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Planning Your First Garden

Paul Dysinger

Presenter

Paul Dysinger

Founder of Born to Grow Online Organic Gardening University

Conference

Recorded

  • January 14, 2021
    9:30 AM
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1st of all just before we get started just to have a little idea how many of you were in the session for planning your guard in that we did yesterday Ok Ok so we we have a few it looks like the majority of Hue were not so there is going to be some overlap because you know planning your plan your garden period and planning your 1st garden you know there is a little bit of overlap there as far as the process and doing it so but I will be pulling up our garden planning worksheet we've got a worksheet that makes planning your garden a lot easier and we're going to have a lot of fun going through it together so this is what how many of you this is like literally going to be your 1st garden that you're going to plan. Ok so that just helps me get to know you guys a little bit better and where you're at fantastic Ok so here's what I'm doing I'm going to pull up our slide. Planning your 1st started so. We all want to start out is 1st of all to give a kind of a big picture a look at gardening what is encompassed in gardening and the way that we break it down is into what I call our gardening game plan and basically this is just a simple way to break down the stages of the garden so that it doesn't seem so complex or overwhelming it's gardening is actually fairly simple. So we break it down into 4 stages you guys can see it every once in Ok so we break it down into 4 sections the 1st one I call ignition The 2nd is launch the 3rd is to grow and the 4th is extend and so we're going to go through these just very quickly these are not so much like the nuts and bolts of planning your garden but it's just to give you a big picture overview of what are the stages of gardening and then when it comes to planning your garden and doing other things in your garden you can kind of have an idea well this fits in this area. So ignition and you can think of this kind of like a rocket taking off right so when the rocket is getting ready to launch the one of the 1st things that needs to do is ignite right so you have that ignition stage of gardening and that includes planning your garden which is what we're going to talk about here this morning. And that includes choosing what to grow choosing where to grow it so oil testing or ordering soil amendments ordering seeds it's kind of those those 1st steps before you actually plant those seeds in the ground and get things going this is your ignition phase and we're going to be talking specifically about like choosing what to grow choosing where to grow it and the timing of when to grow things so. Our session this morning is going to be primarily focused on this ignition stage and I want to give you just the overview picture of the whole thing before we jump into those the 2nd stage is launch and this is where you are preparing your garden beds you're getting ready to plant those plants you might be amending your soil or putting on mulch is are getting that space ready for those plants to go in that's when you're seeding your garden starting your plants transplanting them out into the garden composting now composting is something obviously that you can be doing on a continual basis all the way through but we just threw it in here in the launch section. Grow is as those plants are growing right as they are growing you're going to be watering them weeding them. You're dealing with past control if you have any problems Disease Control How do you do that in a natural way harvesting storing your veggies Unfortunately we don't have time just in one session to go through all of these together like I said we're going to be focused on planning your garden but this is kind of the the growing phase of those plants as they're growing up and then extend is kind of like when you're rocket reach is like space right and it starts circling the Earth how can you extend your season I mean for Winter Garden protecting your vegies growing in the winter and such you can actually extend your season earlier in the spring or later in the fall or grow through the winter so so this is just like I said this is what we call our born to grow game plan and I am going to give you will. A let me see if I can get this to show. So I am going to give you all this mind map here I'm going to give you a link. It's born to grow dot net forward slash 80 a.g.r. a forward slash at Agra and this is a mind map that basically just drills into each of these 4 sections. So you have the ignition section and it talks about you know everything that is kind of encompassed in that phase of the garden and then you have grow in the things that are compassed in that phase of the garden and there's simply cool things in here like we include some of our favorite seed companies some of our favorite gardening tools and stuff all in this my map so that is an extra resource that you all can download and look through and hopefully can just be a little blessing is give us some whatever framework for your garden that makes sense yes fracking All right fantastic All right so without. Following without much further ado by the way one of the reasons why I want to give you that framework is following a system where following a game plan for your garden can really be a key to success in your garden stuff especially if you're a 1st time gardener Otherwise you can it can be easy to get overwhelmed and be trying to figure out what should I be doing when should I be doing it you know well what do I need to be focusing on at this stage in my garden so that's something that hopefully will be a little bit helpful All right let's go ahead and talk about planning your garden so in this session like I said we're going to specifically be focusing on the ignition phase and specifically. Planning your garden so we're going to cover 3 parts here together the 1st part is what to grow in that is choosing what you're going to grow in the garden and will cover that in a little bit more detail part 2 is where are you going to grow and how do you map out your garden space and figure out where the different crops are going to grow and then Part 3 is when are you going to grow it includes creating your planting calendar and what we have kind of coined as our perpetual harvest hack how many of you would like a continual harvest out of your garden where every single week you could go out and you could pick something fresh and put it on your table does that sound fun does that sound complex. Well I'll tell you it can be complex but we have what we call a perpetual harvest hack that makes it a lot simpler oftentimes what happens with gardens I feel like is people get really excited in the spring and they plant their garden and then they get a bunch of harvest like maybe a early to mid summer and then they kind of forget their guard you know it goes to weeds and and then you know it's just kind of a one stop shop it happens one time a year you plant it you harvest it and then the rest of the year you know you're not doing anything but what if you could make gardening a part of your lifestyle where it didn't take a whole lot of time each day or each week but you know every little bit you're planting some new seeds that go out in your garden and down the road those are creating a continual flow of fresh produce into your house nutrient dense produce that is boosting your health of yourself and your family and it would be even really cool if you could share it with your neighbors or it. With other people as well so let's talk about part one choosing what to grow choosing what to grow. So this is what we consider we call this are a 3 step formula for planting a garden and this is basically the 1st step is choosing what you're going to grow in your garden and literally we encourage you to just sit down it might seem like a very simple task but sit down and make a list of what you would like to grow in your garden. Be as specific as possible with this for example if you're growing say you want to grow cucumbers right well if you want to grow pick a link you Cumbers like those little small ones right or do you want to grow slicing cucumbers the ones that you're going to slice up and put in a salad or or make you can for 6 or whatever you know do with them right when you're growing tomatoes do you want to grow cherry tomatoes or do you want to grow the beefsteak tomatoes or maybe you want to grow both but be specific and that will be helpful later on when you start. When you actually are trying to figure out what variety to grow. So be a specific and create a list and then the next step after you create that list is to choose the specific variety that you're going to grow of that type of crop So for example if you pull up a catalog whether it's online or if you put it if you grab a seed catalog and you start flipping through it if you move to the tomato section you're seeing going to find out that there's like 50 or 100 different varieties of tomatoes array Well how do you choose what tomato you should be growing out of those 100 Fridays I want to give you some simple tips that may help narrow it down a little bit for you plus we also at that same link We're going to we're giving you what we call our ultimate garden. That includes links out to some of our favorite varieties so if you just don't want to go through or if you feel overwhelmed you just want to try growing one of our favorite varieties that would be a simple way to make that decision a little bit easier as well. And I'm going to jump off here in as well since it comes in basically at this time in the in the process we are also giving you at that same link so there's actually quite a bit of resources there. What we call our garden planning worksheet this is something that you can download and can be helpful just in going through the process of planning your garden so. Let me zoom in here what you're going to find here is a sheet where on the left hand side here you'll see there's a list where you can this is where you can make that right out that list of crops that you want to grow right so you just fill fill it in going down on the left hand side here I want to grow corn I want to grow cabbage I want to grow slicing cucumber steak tomatoes that cetera write it down there and then when you when you come to picking the variety. There's a column here where you can write in that specific variety that you want to grow for that crop in the next column over and we're going to talk about this in a minute here is where are you going to purchase the seeds for that what seed company are you going to do it you could write that in here so as long as you go through this process of filling out this work sheet when you come to the end you should be able to go to the maybe you have one or 2 seed companies and just go through your list and find out Ok these are the seeds that I'm going to order from them or these are the seeds of an order from this other company. I will talk about the last section of this worksheet a little bit later. So yeah you can once again that work she is on that same link board to grow dot net forward slash at Ag. So the next question is what about different types of seeds right so you have you've written your list of what you want to grow and what talk about choosing specific varieties in a 2nd but when it comes to choosing specific varieties one of the 1st things is that there are different how many of you have heard of the different types of seeds like heirloom seeds hybrid. Right. Who knows the difference between all of those Ok we've got we've got a couple or kind of if All right so let's go through them real quick. Good seeds and good soil really are kind of like the 2 pillars of a successful garden if you don't have good seeds then you're going to struggle in your garden if you don't have good soil you're going to really struggle in your garden right without high quality seed all other activities are moot That's from Elliot Coleman from the new organic gardener. So what about these different types of seeds g.m.o. seeds hybrid seeds. Open pollinated seeds Let's go over their definitions real quick because these are this is what you're going to encounter when you open up those seed catalogs you're going to hear the you know that's going to say this is an heirloom seed or this is a hybrid f. one variety you know what do you what does that mean especially when it comes to you growing in your garden let's start out with g.m.o. seeds real quick g.m.o. seeds is where they actually genetically modify the genes of the plant and an extreme example of this is when they take genes from Ok believe it or not they have taken genes from spiders and genetically modified them into the glands of. Others so that when you milk the goat it will milk silk likes like spider silk web which with the milk so it's like a total Crosse between species like a spider and I go they do and they're not in the same species right so it's taking nature and taking genes from one entire species and blending them with another now that's an extreme example right but when it comes to the garden for example in in agriculture the genetically modify certain crops for example. Is often genetically modified and what they do is they take genes from a soil borne bacteria bacillus This is called Beauty and they insert it into the corn so that when the corn were eats the corn it kills it. Now what do you think that does if you eat the corn. You know frankly there's a lot of health concerns there's a lot of environmental concerns when it comes to g.m.o. crops here's the good news for us as home gardeners number one is that these crops are widely. Or would you call them when there are strongly controlled because they are patented by companies so those companies sell them to farmers who have specific contracts with the company so when you just go to the garden center store you cannot just readily go in by seeds so that's that's good news in that you can not it's pretty fairly easy to not grow g.m.o. seeds in your garden that being said we do highly encourage finding seed companies and we'll give you some of our favorite seed companies that take what's called a safe seed pledge and basically what that means is they pledge that they are will not knowingly sell any seed that has that is genetically modified and as far as I know they actually do their best to make sure that there are the seeds that they buy have not cross pollinated with genetically modified seeds because genetically modified plants can cross pollinate with regular plants and pass those genes on so so I'll give you some of our favorite seed companies here in just a 2nd but that is that is that. In a nutshell what she and most seeds are hybrid seeds anybody want to give a guess on a hybrid see what it is I guess I just put it up on the screen yeah. Wheat is often hybridized Yeah absolutely. Yeah. Tomatoes yet tomatoes are often hybridise wasn't it. Dan Yeah tomatoes are often hybridized. So hybrid seeds basically or think of this when you cross a golden retriever and a poodle what you get. A golden doodle right that's a hybrid and it's a natural occurrence in nature that happens when you cross you know 2 of the same species and so it's the same thing in nature when farmers cross a certain type of tomato with another type of some medo they're going to get some of the traits of both of those in the offspring right what happens though if you cross what happens if you breed a goldendoodle with a goldendoodle Does anybody know what happens do you get golden duals someone shaking their head wow happens is part of those puppies will look more like a golden retriever and some of those puppies will look more like a poodle because it's a gene mix right and the way that people get pure breeds of dogs is they have to keep breeding back breeding back breeding back and tell they get as a breed strain that holds true when it breeds over and over does that make sense so hybrid are at that initial stage of of breeding and it's often offspring across like it says here between 2 or more varieties usually of the same species so basically the key thing to note here is that if you save your seed from a hybrid plant and you try planting it the next year it's not going to give you the not necessarily going to give you the same. Type of tomato that you originally planted it will go back to a kind of one of the closer to one of the pear varieties most often. So that's the main thing to consider with hybrid seeds they're not evil you know some people might get them confused with genetically modified Cs They're not evil we grow hybrids from time to time we actually grow hybrids quite a bit when we were commercially farming. But we are moving a little bit more to growing heirloom seeds and open pollinated seeds which is what we're talking about here next so. Open pollinated seeds are a non hybrid variety and it's one that reproduces true to kind so you can save that seed and you'll always get the same tomato back when you when you grow it the next time an heirloom is an open pollinated variety that basically has just been around for a very long time the really heirloom in open pollinated are somewhat I mean they're somewhat the same heirloom just means that it's been surround for a very long time basically. So as I mentioned g.m.o. seeds have some serious health and environmental concerns that continue to mount hybrid seeds are not necessarily evil and facts you and I are hybrids in the sense that hybrid seeds can have added vigor uniformity and disease resistance that some benefits that they can have sometimes because they will people will breed a disease resistant tomato that maybe has small tomatoes with a larger beefsteak type tomatoes so that they can get a disease resistant larger beefsteak sized tomatoes that make sense. So that can be some of the benefits of growing hybrids of course you have to kind of cross that with whether or not you want to save those seeds. Will not reproduce true to type and there is some evidence that nutritional content may be superior in open pollinated varieties so. You know I don't know to what extent I can't say for sure but there is. Some evidence of that if you want to save your own seeds you need to use open pollinated seed that's the bottom line saving seat is unique How many of you are interested in saving seed All right yes yeah we are we are it really interested in saving seed too and so this last year we bought a whole lot of heirloom seeds because for many years we have really focused on the growing of plants right and while we are commercially farming you know selling our produce but recently we've been a lot more interested in hey we want to start saving our seed and saving seed is unique to different plants be best to have a good book or a resource to guide you and one that is really good if you want to write this down is seed to seed it's a book seed to seed and it's an excellent resource on saving seeds just covers a whole the whole spectrum of how to save seeds for dinner because saving seeds for one crop can have a different process from saving seeds from another crop that's the reason why you you want to it's not necessarily that complicated especially for some crops are a little more complicated than others. But it like I said it's good to have a little resource that gives you a good start on how to do that all right so let's talk about seed companies here are a few of our favorites. John the selected seeds is located in Maine I'm going to give you the location so if you want to look for seed companies that are closer to where you are. That can and that can be beneficial number one just in probably cheaper shipping but also seed companies that are closer to your area will often sell seeds that are more. Tailored to your growing area so for example in the southeast when we if we now we often buy seeds from Johnnie selected seeds which is in the in the northeast but sometimes we want to find a variety that is disease resistant to south eastern diseases like like the late blights and mill dues and stuff that tends to be in more of the hot humid southeast environment so that's something to consider a 2nd one here is high knowing seeds is actually an organic seed company all of their seeds that they sell are organic and they are based in Vermont bakers Creek heirloom seeds in Missouri all of their seeds are heirloom or open pollinated So they are an excellent source if you want to save your own seat. Now. You know when I mentioned that this one is organic This one is heirloom you know Johnnie's sells organic seeds as well they just have both and Johnnie's and milling seeds will have open palm they have varieties you just have to find them to just mentioning that some of these seed companies specialize only in one to one type. Southern Exposure is based in Virginia so if you live in the southeast that's a great one to look for Southern disease resistant varieties southern exposure territorial seeds is based out of Oregon and peaceful valley is based out of California these are all excellent seed companies to look for. All right and by the way I will have these slides is actually the version from from earlier but it's the mostly the same presentation So this slide will be available for download at the same link so you can have that as a resource as I mentioned earlier when looking for seed companies we suggest looking for what we call the save seed pledge and I'm not going to read through the whole thing basically just says that they do stay away from g m o c it's all right So step number one part number one is choosing what you're going to grow right choosing that variety that you're going to grow in finding the seed companies that you're going to order those seeds from. And here's a quick few quick tips on choosing varieties number one is do you want to save your seeds if you want to save your seeds then that's going to narrow down your choice of variety right you're going to be looking for those open pollinated or heirloom seeds we encourage you to pick a seed company or 2 I gave you 6 I don't encourage you to just go out and look through all 6 companies that can be overwhelming so I encourage you to pick one or 2 maybe the ones that are a little bit closer to your location and start with them and start looking for c varieties with them as you get I'm talking especially for new gardeners that are just getting started gardening right as you get more experience you may want to start branching out and looking at other seed companies and stuff like that but if you want to these are tips to keep it less overwhelming hopefully. Order a catalog or you can look online most of these companies their catalogs are free and they'll just ship them to you or they all have online stores as well so it's pretty easy to look at what they have available online Another tip is to ask your local farmers you know go to get to know you find a local farmer's market in your area right and go hit just chat with the with your local organic farmer that selling is produce at the market and say hey what's your favorite variety of tomatoes What's your favorite variety of Q Cumbers they're going to have a lot more experience and they can give you some really good ideas to start start growing and the other thing you can do is watch for reviews often on some of these seed catalogs companies online they have the star rating reviews where people can leverage view on the different varieties and that can be a nice way to find one that's good to grow or as I mentioned we're giving you that cheat sheet that has some of our favorite varieties that you can just jump in and use those. All right soon Part Number 2 is choosing where to grow once you have this list of what you're into growing your guard now comes the steps of choosing where you're going to grow How are you going to map out that space your garden space a couple tips with your garden space is look for areas that get the most sun in your area around your house you know where you have available to grow what areas get the most sun most crops do best with 6 to 8 hours of full sun South plate facing slopes will stay warmer in the winter that's here in the northern hemisphere and we were I should say the south side of your house so you know if this is you know your home gardening and you're finding a space in your backyard in general the south face of your house the south side of your house is going to stay warmer and get more sun So that's something to keep in mind when you're finding a good place to put your garden. In the hot zones like southern Florida. Do we have anyone here from Florida Hey all right yeah so in southern Florida you may actually want to go a little bit of the reverse you may want to find a space maybe on your northern side even for some of the cool weather crops because you want to keep them cooler so you know context is something that plays into into finding where you're going to put your garden in this case as well. There are certain crops that do better in the shade so if you don't have spaces with a lot of sun there are certain veggies that do well and better in the shade and those are mainly your leaves and root veggies so carrots garlic potatoes radishes onions those are root root veggies right those do a little better in the shade also Asian greens broccoli cabbage collards kale let us spend edge Swiss chard etc those leafy greens that you eat the leaves those walls so do a little better in the shade. All right so the next. It is once you find your garden space is to map your garden space out with a pen and paper lay out your garden beds and we suggest doing 30 inch wide beds if you're going to make beds in the ground. That's that's our suggested space thing there are some advantages for it it's easy to step or reach across you don't end up feeling like you're going to fall into your bed when you're reaching and trying to reach the middle of it there are many tools that are made for them and we suggest doing $12.00 to $18.00 inch aisles if you have the space I would probably lean towards the 18 inch aisle otherwise 12 inches can be a little bit narrow for walking in between your beds now and this is simply a suggestion you can make your beds larger you can make them smaller if you're doing raised beds often the standard sizes of 4 by 8 for a raised bed you know those work well as well so there's many different ways that you can do this the main thing is you do want to map out that garden space because then you're going to draw out where you're going to plant each of your individual plants here is an example what we call our plug and play garden calendar. We so this is actually available for download as well we want to give you a bunch of resources that can make your gardening easy so if you want a plug and play garden plan you can take this and we've had students that just took this and grew this garden plan this is a garden plan that we used to grow over a $1000.00 worth of food we kept track of how much we're able to harvest out of it over a season that was just over the summer and. Into the early fall that didn't include over the winter we kept harvesting it out of it over the winter as well so this is a simple garden plan it's 20 feet by 15 feet it does have. In this plan it has one foot walkways but you can make those a little bigger like I mentioned. And a nice thing about this plan is that it has a built in crop rotation plan so when you're planning your garden you want to make sure that you you know you're thinking about this year but when it comes to gardening it's important to not just think about this year but to think about what are you what about the next year after this year. The reason why is crop rotation is important for keeping a healthy soil in your guarded if you grow the same plant in the same space year after year if you grow tomatoes in the same space year after year it will deplete the soil in ways that different different crops plants give and take from the soil in different ways and there are some that are heavy feeders they feed more heavily on the soil there are some that are lighter feeders there's some that actually give back to the soil like lagoon will actually give nitrogen back to the soil make it available for future plants. Also rotating your crops not growing them in the same place every single year can be helpful with insect and disease control oftentimes diseases will be like a soil borne disease. And. That is that can be helpful in it because the disease is often tied to the type of crop So for example there is like a black rot that gets on bras because that's you're killing color in cabbages and it's it's tied me just to that specific family of crops you can grow tomatoes there and it won't affect it right so if you can move your boss because somewhere else and tell that back Black Rock dies off in the soil then you can bring them back and you can grow them and they'll be healthy and that disease will not be there anymore. All right and I already mentioned that lagoon can give nitrogen back so this this plug and play garden plan that I just showed you there this includes a simple crop rotation plan and here's here's how it works so when you are splitting up your crops you want to split them up by family and once again you will have this slide available for download so you can you can take this and use it when you're planning your garden so you'll notice on the left hand side we have. Those are the ones that give nitrogen back into the soil right and that's the family of booms that's beans green beans peas peanuts some cover crops as well then the next section is roots those are like your carrots turnips onions radishes beets and we've included herbs in that category as well those are your care in. Color process families and families all in that section the 3rd one is your fruits and grains. That it will be your tomatoes peppers eggplant cucumber squash corn as an example grain right potatoes and those families include your night shades your melons and squash and grasses and then the 4th one is your leaves and flowers so that would be your salad greens lettuce an edge cabbage kale broccoli cauliflower and the families there are sunflower coal or brassicas and foot so the way that this crop rotation works is going to jump up here so on your number one you're going to grow your lagoons here and your roots here right on your number 2 your lagoons are going to move to where your roots were planted last year your roots are going to be planted where your fruits and greens were last year your leaves and flowers are going to be planted where. Where your lagoons work here's kind of the cool thing you're leaves than flowers do really good with extra nitrogen that really makes their leaves really nice. Your fruits if they have too much nitrogen and it can actually make your fruit small. Because that plant puts a lot of energy into the leaves Well you want the plant to put energy into the leaves of your leaves and flowers over here especially your leaves like here so having them follow the lagoons is a great idea because these lagoons just fixed more nitrogen into your soil right so that's just a simple example of how properties can help benefit benefit your garden. So. Once again here is that simple garden plan split up into those sections and you can just rotate through them like that so that's something that you can easily take and implement into your garden and your for welcome to just copy it and grow it just like this or you can swap one crop out for something else that you want to grow instead right that's in a similar family. So choosing where to grow each crop when it comes down to choosing where to grow each crop if you're going to use this simple crop rotation plan what I suggest doing is just splitting your garden area into 4 sections right and then plan your crops based on those 4 high in that crop rotation plan and fill up those 4 sections of your garden then you'll have that simple 4 step crop rotation plan for your garden the question is What if they don't fit this is now this next step is a little bit more advanced right so if you just want to keep it real simple and not worry about it just use those 44 sections right if you want to. I'm going to give you an example here let's say. With fruits and grains here let's say you want to grow more corn because corn takes up a little bit more space right so let's say you want to grow more corn and it's not going to fit in that one section so what I would encourage you to do corn is a grass grass and you can easily google any of these crops and it will tell you what family there are in corn as a grass so what I would do is I would create a 5th section and let's say you grew corn in the 5th section and your tomatoes and peppers and everything in this in this in this one here. So those would be your night shades your melons and squash you would move your grasses to another section and then you would have a 5 year crop rotation plan does that make sense and you're still not growing the same family in the spring space year after year if you got all that I know it's a little bit more complicated than just the 4 unfortunately don't have time to go more in-depth into it. But once again if you want to just keep it simple you can just keep it to these 4 sections right here. All right. So the next step is once you've decided what you're in to grow you mapped it out right you've chosen your varieties the next step is ordering your seeds so go through your crop list and make a seed order for the rides you picked order the amount of seed based on how much you want to grow nice little tip your is that seed is pretty cheap so it's always better to have extra seed than to run out of seed so I always encourage earing a little bit on the side of extra seed. I'm going to jump back over to our garden planning works here. All right I appreciate the question and I'm going to try and save some time for questions at the end. The reason is that they're recording this and they just want to they asked us if we could save questions the end for the recording of the fantastic stuff but don't forget it I really want to I want to answer it. In this here is a notice like we talked about earlier you have your crop less variety the source where you're going to where you're going to order them from. You can this is a little bit more advanced to the weekly amounts that would be as if you're trying to calculate you know how much you want to harvest from your garden of that specific crop it's a little bit more advance call and you can skip it and then we have when and where these are just simple little boxes that as you plan your garden out once you've figured out and maps in where you're going to put your tomatoes you can just come and put a little checkmark there and then when you figure out where you're going to put your callers or your kill you just check those boxes off and it can just keep you on track through the process of planning your garden does that make sense all right. Untasted. Excellent all right so part number one who remembers what was the 1st step. Choosing what you're in to grow right and section part number 2. Yes mapping out your garden space number 3 is timing and when to grow it and I mentioned that we have what we call our little perpetual harvest hack. So gardening is full of decisions. You might have you might have picked up on that you know it's choosing what to grow choosing where to grow it and there's all of these decisions that you make of gardening and one of our goals as educators to home gardeners is how can we make these decisions as simple as possible for people so they don't get overwhelmed right so it's the simple art of knowing what to do that's having your plan that's part of what you were just talking about choosing what to grow choosing where to grow it that's part of your plan for your garden right what to do how to do it those are the actual actions in your garden unfortunately in the scope of our one hour together we don't have time to go through all of the how to use transplanting etc Your actions and number 3 is doing it at the right time and this is timing and this is what we're going to be talking about a little bit more right now if you can have all 3 of these in one space like let's say if you wake up in the morning and you can have one place that you can go and it will tell you exactly what to do and how to do it for that day that's the timing right today is the timing it makes gardening way way way easier you guys you guys fall down. Otherwise you wake up and you're trying to figure out am I supposed to be planting my tomatoes now should I be you know is it too late to plant kale for the fall like am I going to miss out is it not going to grow enough to be ready for the for a winter harvester or all of that So timing is extremely critical when it comes to nature nature is unforgiving when it comes to timing like if you. I think that. If you think that God is laid back and doesn't have deadlines then maybe you need to spend a little bit more time in nature because there are hard and fast deadlines in nature there are ways that you can kind of you can kind of buffer that with protecting your veggies and stuff like that when it comes to early spring late fall it cetera but there when there comes a time where you know plants will not grow any more or you know of course it depends on where you live in your growing zone. So quick little run through of these 3 sections what to do is kind of what we were just talking about you know the list of crops that you're going to grow seeding transplanting cultivating watering trellis seeing succession planting number of talked about I asked earlier you know how many of you would like to have that continual harvest where every week you had something fresh out of your garden you could put on your table that's kind of the dream that's that's that's what would be awesome. The and that's what we call succession or Leap Frog planting and basically in a nutshell the way you can do that is if you go out to your garden and you harvest a head of lettuce what if you had a 4 week old transplant that was ready to plant in its place right and then immediately that garden space is continually. To be used wisely and efficiently so that you can have that continual harvest because you plant you plant that transplant in and a month later it's ready to harvest and if you have that system with all of your crops you know with whether it's you could actually I know we talked about crop rotation. We the crop rotation we mainly talk about on a yearly basis so you could grow multiple heads of lettuce in the same spot in one year so you can have a transplant of lettuce that's ready to go in as soon as you harvest that 1st one. Here it can go between crops for example peas grow in the spring green beans grow in the summer so as soon as your peas are done harvesting you pull them out and immediately plant green beans and you've got that space continually used in your garden and it's going to bring in that continual harvest. Succession planting or at least from planting really has a lot to do with timing. You might kind of pick up on that right because you've got to time those crops so that they're ready to go in right after each other. It can be a little bit complex you've got to figure out when to plant your 1st crop how long that crop is going to be before it's harvested how long of a harvest window you can expect from it are you going to be harvesting those green beans for 2 weeks is that going to give you going to harvest them for 3 weeks like how long is it going to give you a harvest and then when to plant the 2nd succession or Leap Frog crops so that it is ready to go when the 1st one is harvested. Plus figure out how long in the season that crop can be grown in the 1st place because for example. Or carrots they are a spring crop and you're only going to be able to grow them effectively so long into the summer and then they're just not going to grow so well and it would be better to put some other summer crop in where they work does that make sense to follow and then you want to repeat that for each crop because every single different crop is different so as you can see. There's a sound a little bit overwhelming there's the there are multiple different things that you have to try to figure out for each crop to make those succession plantings work. Here's the interesting thing is it really doesn't take that much extra work in the garden to start another seat right it doesn't take that much extra work to transplant that seed into your garden or to keep it watered Yes it does take some effort but it's not that much extra work one of the real key and where it gets more complicated and difficult is when it comes in to figuring out the timing of it all and being able to stay on track and know what you should be doing each week without just it all becoming a big overwhelming complicated mess right and so that is one of the reasons why we're excited about what we call our perpetual harvest which I'll show you in just a 2nd. The 2nd section like I mentioned you know you how what to do you you have how to do in your garden we don't have time to go into detail on into each of these but. Includes you know how do you start your seeds How do you transplant How do you call today how do you build healthy soil or trellis your plants or extend your season without breaking your pocketbook and then the 3rd part which we're focusing on right now is when to do it the timing in your garden the timing of when to seed when to see the succession plantings when to transplant when to harvest and here is the real key if you can take your garden play and put it into a calendar create a planting calendar for yourself it will make it so much easier for you throughout your gardening season to staying on track and to not be overwhelmed by trying to figure out what to do. In fact if you can take that planting calendar and create a weekly checklist that you can just go out to your garden and it will tell you what to do in your garden for that week and you can just check it off how many of you think that would make it a lot easier for you in your garden. I can I can to it I can attest that it does it makes it a whole lot easier going through your garden especially if you're trying to do a succession planting garden where you have that continual harvest out of your garden. So how can you create your own planting schedule in just minutes because this can be quite a job and there are. There are tools that you can go out I'm going to share with you a couple ways that you can do this one is you can go and there are multiple tools online one of them is Johnny's seeds spring and fall planting calculators basically what these are is they are a spreadsheet and you put in what your average last frost day is for your area or in the fall it would be your average 1st prostate and it will automatically calculate and tell you Ok this is when you should be planting your tomatoes or this is when you should be seeding your cucumbers etc. There's a couple. So you can do this it is a little bit more of a manual task because you go calculate it and then you've got to transfer that over to your calendar Another thing is that it doesn't automatically tell you succession planting spacings or how long that plant can grow and that you know what it's growing season is. So it is limited to a certain extent and it is a little bit more time consuming when you actually go to plan it out there is another out called The Grove edge garden planning out this one is a little bit more of a visual garden planning up you can plan your garden visually. It also will kind of give you an idea of when to plant it. When I jumped in I felt like it was a little bit a little bit complicated Pollock I had a little bit of a longer learning curve and I didn't we didn't end up using it just because I didn't feel like it it was that easy to use still still quite a bit of work. So as we had been teaching gardeners over the years we came up with the idea What if we could put together something that would make it extremely simple for gardeners to plan their garden and howl of everything right on their fingertips and have a weekly checklist of what to do in fact. It was kind of the background story too is my dad my dad and I teach a lot together and we promised our students that we would create a weekly checklist for them of what they should do in their garden based on their location and it was kind of a bit of a rash promise and it's a lot bigger task than you might think you know for everybody lives in a different location right so we after we problems this year like Ok well now we have to do our promise is a promise so we went and we started searching we searched all 3 different types of resources and stuff and really nothing really made it that much easier for us to do this for them so after a lot of research we ended up finding a way that we could take all or we my dad created like this massive gardening spreadsheet for all these different crops and we found a way that we could take that gardening spreadsheet and put it into a click and drop gardening calendar that our users could just click on the crop they wanted to grow it would drop into their calendar and tell them when to seed it when to transplant it expected harvest time at such. And. Would you be interested in seeing that real quick Ok so we call it so we came up with these original gardening calendars now the problem was with these original gardening calendars they were a little bit we included succession plantings but they were not customizable people couldn't move crop planting schedules to exactly where they wanted you kind of had to use what was already inputted there and so this year we were really excited because we were able to start the development of our garden planning from the ground up so we're actually currently developing what we call seed time which is a garden planning where you can do the same thing but it's a lot more customizable you can move plantings around you can tailor it just. To what you want etc And honestly when we 1st when we 1st introduced our 1st planting calendars to our gardening members they this is just a few screenshots from the chat they just went crazy that. To be honest with you I've never seen gardeners so excited about something in my life than when we launched these calendars and as they have continued to use them we've had really really fantastic feedback from them I'm not going to go ahead and read all of these just a couple testimonials from people. I'm going to jump jump over here in the last few minutes pull up. Pull up a calendar so this is what our c time looks like at the moment it is currently in development and you'll notice here on the left hand side we get a colander based on your location you put in your last last and 1st prostates it also bases off of your latitude etc On the left hand side you'll see this is your list of crops that you want to grow. You can add a crop so you just click on this button and we will have many default crops that you can put in right here you can also input a new crop if you wanted to so it's extremely flexible so if there's something that's not in the calendar that you want to grow you can put in just put in the planting information for it you can set a color for an added in once you add a crop you can then simply click on the crop and it will drop into your calendar telling you when to seed it giving you a reminder to prepare the garden space for it to prepare your bed when to transplant it and expected harvest time we will also have cultivation reminders in there and we're planning to include an option for you to put in custom tasks for the crop if you want to put in something a custom task that you want to include. So. Ultimately it makes planning the garden extremely simple because you can simply come down and click or add any of the crops that you want to grow it drops them into your calendar with all of those filled out then once you drop them into the calendar you can view your whole calendar at a glance like this. Your calendar year or you can come over and view your calendar in the timeline view so you can just see your Those crop planting schedules across in the timeline so for example with carrots here this is of my carrots if I want to make those We're going to have automatic succession planting So when you add a new crock under carrots it'll tell you Do you want to add it as a succession of crock planting you click yes and it will automatically add it as a succession crop which means that the 2nd crop will start harvesting when the 1st crop is ending harvesting expected time for that crop does that make sense. We will have that like for example down here with these lettuce ones as well these are suggested succession planting in and it's going to zoom in here so you can see you know this is the harvest time for this lettuce and then the next one starts harvesting right after and the next one starts harvesting right after it now like I said it's customizable so you can move them around to wherever you want them. The other thing is that. I forget what I was going to say there might come back to me another thing is that you will be able to easily filter down by the tasks so if you only want to for example see what needs to be seeded coming up this can be helpful for creating those seed orders making sure you have the seeds on time for what you want or if you want to instead just see when things are going to be harvested this can be helpful as if you're planning a vacation or if you travel a lot you can make sure that your plants are ready to harvest at the right time so it's not conflicting with that make ation or that harvest time if you need to move it you can simply move it over and that will move that crop planting schedule and set you up here's what I was going to say before we are also including. Where when you it's not implemented right at the moment but when you move that crop planting schedule we're going to automatically give you a visual maybe like slightly gray out the calendar for the the season that crop would be best grown in so that So to give you a little warning if you're trying to push it too far into the summer if you're trying to push it too early we're not going to make it hard and fast we're going to do the flexibility where you can move it beyond if you want to but I'll give you that little warning that hey this might not grow as well later on into the summer etc. So. This helps with number one what to do right and when to do it in your calendar but we wanted to take it to the next level so with each of the tasks we're also including a if you click on each of the task it'll pop up a box and tell you exactly what to do how to do it. Including visual demonstration videos that walk you through the process of how to do that that task in your garden specific to that crop So for example when it comes to transplanting kale it's going to tell you you know this is our suggested spacing to transplant the kale and here's how you can transplant it successfully so you can avoid transplants shock in your garden so those plants thrive when they are planted and one more or very exciting little thing is that we are including in this. What we call our proprietary winter gardening algorithm so when it when it comes to growing in the winter plants growth starts slowing down in the winter right and it happens based on your location it's kind of a factor of temperature in sunlight how much sun there is in temperature and we're building into this an automatic estimated harvest delays based on when you see for the winter so as a very simple little example this isn't the actual algorithm at work but it's an example that you can see is if I move this over into October. Ok the next one if I move it over it's going to bump that harvest a little bit later you see that if I move it over a bump that harvest a little later because it's saying you know as you go into the winter it's going to take a little bit longer for that crop to be ready to mature and that will help you with a continual harvest through the winter if you're interested in having extended seasons are growing through the winter so. Yeah. Yeah excellent question yes so we're doing it based on your latitude your zone that's like your temperature levels and whether you have one or 2 covers one or 2 or more covers and it will adjust for each of the. Correct yeah yeah yeah it's exciting and we're looking right now for people to beta test ahead use use that we haven't actually launched this app yet. I have my eyes on you and I could see it so. We haven't actually launched this app is still in development but we're planning to launch the beta version hopefully within the next. Like the end of this month sometime next month so we're working hard on getting it launched out if anyone if any of you are interested in jumping in and being one of our early to users we have a special for you that you can jump in and become one of our early users just come by and stop at our booth in the booth area sometime during the booth and I can talk over the details with you about that otherwise I notice that looks like our time is up. Is there another class in here in 15 minutes Yes Ok. Is it Ok if we take like one or 2 questions. All right let's just take one or 2 questions and then we don't have a lot of time and we need to make sure that we get up now before the next class right so. It's. Cost for the seeds to grow that plan yes they're really inexpensive for that plan you could probably get the seeds. Because it's multiple different multiple different things I would say anywhere between $70.00 to $150.00 and that would be more seed than you needed just to grow that plant it's just that seed comes usually and more than you need yeah. Yes. It can it can so you do in see the in saving seed you do needs to and again you know the book seed to see it is going to help you with this you need to know certain crops cross-pollinate when they're close together certain crops can be close together not cross-pollinate So for example soybeans like. There they will cross pollinate if they're like 3 feet apart and it's only a. 20 percent chance that they'll cross-pollinate because they're self pollinating So as long as you have them more than 3 feet apart like you can be almost 100 percent sure that they're not going to cross-pollinate but other other crops are different than that right so so it is specific to their crop and you'll have to find out find out how specific to the crop. All right one last question yeah. Yeah. Right right actually question so that is the next phase that we're wanting to build out as soon as we have the planning a section you know put in next in the next phases wanting to set a set up where it links with your layout and imagine if you could with just a slider slide across your year and automatically show you when crops are going to be and where they're going to be and you can see where there's breaks and you need to fill in and stuff like that so yeah that's our circle for the next next phase of it. 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