Vegetable Gardening 101 | Robert Pavlis | Skillshare
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20 Lessons (2h 39m)
    • 1. Introduction to Vegetable Gardening 101

      2:40
    • 2. P1 Planning Your Garden

      9:40
    • 3. P2 Selecting the Right Soil

      14:20
    • 4. P3 Converting a Lawn to a Garden

      2:57
    • 5. P4 Maintaining the Garden

      15:01
    • 6. P5 Buying Seeds

      16:09
    • 7. P6 Starting Seeds Indoors

      14:22
    • 8. P7 Planting Transplants and Seeds Outside

      4:22
    • 9. P8 Gardening Techniques

      8:59
    • 10. 10 Best Vegetables for New Gardeners

      4:12
    • 11. Growing Onions

      4:37
    • 12. Growing Lettuce

      4:35
    • 13. Growing Cucumbers

      7:35
    • 14. Growing Beans

      7:25
    • 15. Growing Beets

      6:43
    • 16. Growing Carrots

      6:27
    • 17. Growing Radish

      6:07
    • 18. Growing Peas

      6:13
    • 19. Growing Garlic

      6:53
    • 20. Growing Tomatoes

      9:28
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About This Class

Complete guide to growing the 10 best vegetables for beginners.

Meet Your Teacher

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Robert Pavlis

Instructor of all things gardening

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My name is Robert Pavlis and I live in southern Ontario which is hardiness zone 5 in Canada and US systems. I have been gardening for more than 30 years – I stopped counting at 30! I am a Master Gardener and speak about gardening at many local gardening events and horticulture meetings.

I wave written several books in including Building Natural Ponds, Garden Myths Books 1 and 2, and Soil Science for Gardeners. I also publish two blogs GardenMyths and GardenFundaments as well as teach local courses in gardening and garden design.

A few years ago, I bought 6 acres of land and have developed a large private garden called Aspen Grove Gardens. We now have about 3,000 perennials, grasses, shrubs and trees.

I am a plantaho... See full profile

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Transcripts

1. Introduction to Vegetable Gardening 101: Welcome to vegetable gardening. 1, 0, 1. This course is perfect for beginners and intermediate. This is a complete course on growing vegetables. We're going to start at the beginning with planning your garden, trying to decide what type of garden you're going to have, how you go into garden on the ground with raised beds. Or maybe you'll use containers that I'll help you select the right soil for that garden and show you ways to improve Sala you may already have. I show you how to buy really good seed and how to start those insights you get good transplants. And I'll show you how to get the transplant into the garden. And we'll also cover direct seeding. Some vegetables do better if you don't start them early in side, will cover everything you need to know about maintaining that garden, including watering and weeding and mulching. And we're going to look at several gardening techniques like crop rotation. What about tiling? Is that something you should do? And then I'm going to introduce you to the 10 best vegetables for beginner gardeners. This list guarantees success. And then we're going to have a look at every one of those 10 vegetables and go into detail on what varieties you should grow. How do you get them in the garden? When should you harvest? At the end of the course, you'll be able to grow perfect vegetables for your table. Who am I? Well, I've been gardening for over 30 years. I started with vegetables and I still have a vegetable garden today along with thousands of other perennialism, trees and shrubs that I grow my six acre private botanical garden. I'm a master gardener and a chemist, so I understand what goes on in the garden. I also write regular articles for magazines and I published my own book. My first book was garden myth, Book 1 and Book 2. Each book contains over a 120 garden myths, and each of those books is completely different. I've also published a book called Building natural pawns that shows you how to build upon without pumps, electricity, or chemicals. It's time we start doing things in a more natural way. And finally, I recently published a book called Soil Science for gardeners. That was a new gardener, soil may not be that important to you, but it's critical for the plant. If you understand your soil and you get the soil right, you can grow just about anything. Now it's your turn. Start this course today and you'll be eating better tasting vegetables tomorrow. See you inside the course. 2. P1 Planning Your Garden: In this video, we're going to have a look at planning the vegetable garden. Where should you put it and what are the criteria you should consider in doing that? And then we'll go and have a look at different styles of gardening. Are you going to garden on the ground and containers or in raised beds? Let's get started. The most important thing you have to think about is light. And this is also the problem most people have in our backyard. You want as much light as possible. Now if you go online, you'll find people who write about growing vegetables in part shade. You can grow some things with less light, but let's be very clear. Vegetables prefer light all day long. Now you can grow law thing but less light, but the ideal spot has lots of light. So go into your garden and figure out where that is, particularly afternoon. So comes a little late in the morning. That's okay. You want a good amount of light all afternoon. Without that, you're going to be limited in the kinds of vegetables you can grow. The next most important thing is water. When I had my first garden, I didn't worry too much about water. I had a normal sized lot in the city and I dragged hoses around to the back from the front of the house where the TAP was. And every year I'd say to myself, well jeez, I should do something a little more automated. But it really is important for vegetable garden. If you don't have that water near your vegetable garden, you're going to tend not to water enough. And vegetable gardens need lots of water. So try and figure out where your water is now and how you're going to get water to that sunny spot. Where are you going to put the vegetable? Now this can be pretty simple. If you look at the little valve on the right, if you attach that to the spigot coming out of your house, you can still have water on the left side there, right at that spot. And then on the right side you start attaching some of those garden hoses and just make them around your guard. Ideally, if the water isn't right where your vegetable garden is, you want a hose, it's permanently in place where it ends at where your vegetables are. You want that to be really handy. Now I now garden on a six acre property and I can water almost every spot on my property using this system. Admittedly, I've put some underground water from the house going out to some of the spots of the garden at or close to the house, but there's still a long way from where the back of the property is and I'll just do it with hoses. I'll run up to 200 feet of hose from the last water outlet to where I need it. And it works really great. Now in cold climates where you have freezing taking place, you have to empty all those hoses in the winter time. And I just go around in the fall and I empty all the hoses, roll them up and I just put them in the shed. But now I just leave MOOC laying somewhere. They're fine for the winter, as long as they are dry, you can't leave them with water inside or they'll rupture. But this sort of a system, if it's set up, is so convenient. And what it will do is it means that you're going to water your garden properly. So as you're looking for this garden and try and figure out where to put it. Figure out how to water's going to get there. Now there's different types of gardens styles. So this is a more traditional guard were growing on flat ground. In this case, it looks like a lot of strawberry plants in the frontier with some anions around the outside. But the garden is just soil. It's flat. This is very traditional and this is a great way to grow vegetable. And in fact, to be honest, it's my preferred way to do that. A lot of people now want to go to a raised beds. This is a pretty simple design. The beds are only rise with two-by-fours, so there are only raised up about 3.5 inches. That's pretty good. What it does is it makes a nice, neat garden. You then have to fill those beds with soil and that's something people don't think about. There's a lot of soil and those bats, so they usually go out and build them first. Most people make them higher than this. Then they go out and try and get soil. And they realized that my goodness, I need a whole truckload of soil now. And so there's a cost of transporting that soil to your garden and getting it from the front of the house or the back of the house. And people don't realize that until they build the bads. So give some PFAD as to whether or not you want raised beds. They look really need a lot of people use them because you have to do less bending. So it's easier on your body. And I understand that some people who have physical disabilities and it's really necessary to raise those beds up. Last year I was out in the garden. I was thinking to myself, you know, how much time do you really spend in the garden? Bending over. And I said a timing that and I found that in an area that's about four by eight, you probably spend two hours for the whole season. That's not a lot of bending. You break the soil in the spring. You do that standing up. You plant seeds or plants, so you have to bend a little bit for that. Then you have to weed once in a while and then you harvest. You don't actually spend that much time bending over in that bad. So decide if it's really worth doing. Now some people go with really tall bats. And again, for disability, These are great, but these have a couple of problems. First of all, the boards here or just one by sixes maybe. So they're very thin boards. These are going to last very long. If you get two to three years out of this, you'd be lucky. These taker tremendous amount of soil. And what I'm finding is that a lot of people online are spending a fortune to have their first vegetable garden. And the reason is that they go with these kind of raise bats. And I think people have gotten to the point where they think that this is the only way to garden. Well, my vegetable garden has never been an erase bad. It's always been on the ground. Another option is containers. And this works really well if you perhaps don't have soil or you don't have a garden, you only have a balcony, or you want a garden on the deck. And this will grow everything that a normal garden, well, but there is one problem you have here. These containers don't hold a lot of soil and they dry out very quickly. If I'm growing these papers in that size of pot, I'm going be watering those probably twice a day in July and August, they dry out far too fast. Now in my opinion, these containers are really too small for vegetable. So there are okay for some lettuce and maybe a few radishes. But for things like tomatoes and peppers, you really want a pot that's bigger than that. You can grow in containers. It works really well. The advantage of containers too is that you can move them around. So if you don't have sun everywhere, you can move them into sun in the afternoon and then put them wherever the sun is in the morning. So that's an advantage. Sometimes you get less paths when they're in containers because they're not sitting on the soil. So there are some advantages to that. Whatever vegetables you can grow, they're always going to grow better in soil rather than in a container. So it's sort of a second option. If you don't have a better one, you can grow in almost anything. And so here's a specialized raised bed. This is a very traditional way to garden, and this relies more on agricultural style of gardening. You have a role of plants, and then you have a pathway. Then you have another role of plants and a pathway and another role plants and so on. Even the sea packages that gardeners by will tell you at the back, this is how you plant them. You put them in rows and you separate the rows by so many feet. And that's great and agriculture, a gardeners have learned that this is a complete waste the space in our small gardens we don't want to grow this way. We have far too many pathways here. So this is an improved version. The arrow here points to the pathway. Beside the pathway, we actually have several rows of vegetables grown much closer together. So what you wanna do when you design your beds is figure out how much halfway do I really need and how do I maximize the space for plants? It's very important that you always walk on the pathways and try not to walk with the plants are, but the advantage of this garden is that you get more crops in a small space. And that's really important for today's small gardens. Minimize the number of pathways and maximize the growing space that you have. This gives you some basics for planning your garden. Find the sunniest spot, and then decide on the type of style you want to use. If you're going to use raised beds or you're going to garden on the ground, layout, the beds and the pathways. They'll give you a good idea of what the garden will look like. 3. P2 Selecting the Right Soil: In this video, we're going to have a look at soil. Try and understand the various characteristics of soils and the different types of soils that you can use. We're also going to look at soil amendments and then I'll help you select the right soil for the style of gardening you have pet. Oh, let's start making a garden and selecting some soil. Topsoil is the top few inches of soil. And if we take an area that's been left alone, so this is a wild area, could be a meadow or could be a forested area. But someplace where we haven't had a lot of agriculture, the soil profile looks something like this. The top part is really nice and dark. And as we move down that profile, the soil gets lighter and lighter. And you might even get this yellow layer depends on where you're digging soil at the top, those top two or three inches, if you're lucky, it's six inches, is called topsoil. That's where most of the plant roots exist. That's where most of the organic matter is in the soil. That's where plants want to grow and that's the best soil you can have. Below that level, we start getting into something called subsoil. Has a lot less organic matter and is not nearly as good for growing plants. So here's the problem with most homes, particularly new homes. When those homes are built, the builder comes along and removes all that topsoil. In fact, it's a government requirement. They have to take the topsoil away before they start construction. And that top soil has to be used in an environmentally friendly way. So this actually a good thing. They then build the house with a lot of heavy equipment, a lot of digging, and what you're left with a whole bunch of subsoil, then they'll come back and I'll put two inches of topsoil back on your property, put down the lawn, and that's your home. Now you come along in, your soil is pretty crappy because all you have is subsoil. The good stuff all been taken away. And so this is a problem that gardeners have and we have to do something to improve that soil over time. And we'll be talking about different ways to do that. But if you're going to go buy some soil, topsoil is a good choice. Another good choice as very popular, something called triple mix. Triple mix is supposed to be 1 third soil, 1 third peat moss, and 1 third compost. Now, what is it in reality? I have no idea. I've asked a few places that sell triple max what's really in it and do the add some testing done. And no, they don't. They could put in whatever they want. But triple mix is usually pretty good soil. The reason is that two-thirds of it is organic matter. So the compost and the peat moss are both organic matter. The soil component is mostly the sand, silt, and clay. When you mix it together, 1 third of each of these, you end up with a very fluffy soil that holds a lot of moisture. It has a lot of air which plant roots need, and you end up with a really good soil. And the compost adds nutrients to the soil. So a triple mix is actually a good soil to buy if you're trying to fill raised beds or even containers. The problem with triple mix is that two-thirds is organic. And I just said that's a good thing and it is if you're trying to grow in it. But what happens to that organic matter over time? Well, it's slowly decomposes that peat moss and the compost slowly get less and less as it decomposes in the soil. So after a few years, it's 1 third as thick as you started with. So if you put this material in raised beds, you will have a great garden this year and next year I'll have settled way down the year after you'll have saddle even more. So each year you have to bring in more soil. I tend to start any garden that I'm doing if I do need soil is I'd prefer to go get some topsoil because the amount of organic matter is much less. But to be honest, triple mix does grow some really great vegetable. So we have different types of soil is material that people use it both in the garden and in raised beds and in containers, compost peat, moss, core, vermiculite, and pearlite. So the top two you probably have some understanding about core may be completely new to you in the production of coconut. It comes within outer husk. And after they process the coconut out there left with this waste product called coconut husk. They groin that down into a product Hall core. And it has properties very similar to peat moss, vermiculite and pearlite are inorganic materials that are added to the soil to make it lighter. Now each of these products affects the soil a little differently, and most people really don't understand what the differences are. Bugle online and ask, you know, which combination is best, you'll get a 100 different answers. And people will combine all of these things in various ratios without any real logic to the process. They just know all this stuff is good for plants. So let's try and understand what the differences are. First of all, let's look at peat moss and core. So we've got peat moss on the left and core on the right. In this case it's called cocoa bail, but it's coconut core fibers. In the last few years, a lot of people have been writing about the fact that we shouldn't be using peat moss because we're taking our peat bogs and we're destroying them and that's harming the environment. And to some extent that's correct. There is some harm. The problem is, we have more peat moss every year than we can possibly harvest on a global basis, we harvest about 1% of the peat moss, grows naturally every year, and almost all that peat moss is used for heating, agriculture, and forestry. The amount that gardeners use is minuscule compared to those other things. Pmos is not an environmental issue. We get a lot of it in Canada, we have a readily source for it. Now cocoa has sounds like a better product. I mean, it's the waste product of the coconut industry and get these piles and piles of coconuts leftover, you might as well use them for someone. And it sounds like such a great environmental choice until you look at this a little closer and what you find in fact, is that the factories that produce this Horrendous places for people to work because they're extremely dusty. And this all takes place in India and Sri Lanka where the regulations aren't that good for keeping the air quality. The other problem you have is that those coconuts have a lot of salt on them and that has to be washed out before we can use min horticulture. So they're using a lot of fresh water to clean the core so they can package it up and put it on a ship to get it from India up to Canada or the US or Europe. So it really depends on where you live. I think if you live in an area like North America where we have a good peat moss sores, it's actually the better environmental choice. If you're in Europe, core might be a better choice. Both of these products do about the same thing. They both hold moisture. Neither one adds very many nutrients. They make the soil fluffier, they add more air, and that's good for plants. If we compare the various options, there's really three criteria we should look at. The first one is, does it make the soil lighter? Does it add air? Plants need both air and water, and all of these products will do that. So if on that basis they're all a good choice when we look at providing nutrients, compost is the only one that adds nutrients. Now PMOS and Corps, they decompose at very small amounts, but it's pretty much insignificant. So if you want a product to add to soil and you want to feed the plants than compost is the one to get. The other thing that's important is the holding of nutrients. And this is something that's not well understood by a lot of gardeners when we fertilize or when we put compost on our gardens, the nutrients that plants use are in a form that travel very easily with water. So every time it rains, the water washes nitrogen through the soil and away from plant roots. It's important that we put something in the soil to hold onto those nutrients. Now clade does that. Sand and silt do not. So if your soil has a lot of clay, then that is a help for holding nutrients. The other three that do a good job of that is compost, peat moss and core. Vermiculite. Perlite don't hold nutrients. So they're actually a really bad choice for putting into soil. I wouldn't put those in any kind of garden. Hi, wouldn't put them into raised beds. And quite honestly, I wouldn't even put them into containers. Go a soil compost is your best choice. If you want to put in some peat moss or core, those are also good when we're looking at containers, most people will go out and buy soil for those plants in that materials usually called potting soil. Certainly around here, most potting soil consists of mostly peat moss, and then they throw in a little pearlite just to make it a little more interesting, but it's essentially a peat moss product. And for years I've been using proteomics. There are other good products on the market, but I've just have experienced with this one. This is the industry standard. So if you go to most nurseries. Using a purchase product, they're going to be using Pro Max. So that's a good choice. It's a little expensive for the garden though. It's great for containers. It's also great for a couple of small raised beds, but if you need this in quantity is a really expensive way to go. Here's an interesting idea that I've seen on the Internet. I've never actually tried this, but I'm sure it works fairly well. So you want a really simple solution and you just want to play around with a few vegetables and kinda get the hang of things, go on by some potting mix, cut the top of the plastic off and plant that potting mixes great soil for growing vegetables. Now the problem I see here is that you don't have a lot of soil, that depth is only a couple inches. And that's great for lettuce, which is what they're growing here. It's also good for radishes. It's good for any small type of vegetable. You can probably do a few beats in here. Carrots probably wouldn't work because they have this long taproot and it's not deep enough. And tomatoes and peppers probably don't work quite so well unless you only put like one or two plants in a bag. But this is a really simple way to get started if you just want to give it a try. You also have these raised beds. And I think raised beds are a good idea once you know that you really want to garden. This really is your first garden. You've never gardened before. I would just gardening containers or in the ground. Learn a little about it, see if you even like it. You may hate gardening. So why go out and spend hundreds and hundreds of dollars building these sayings, filling them with soils, putting in some plants. Then you find out your hated it and you don't want to guard. So I wouldn't start this way. Now, once you have some experience, you know what you're doing and you know, you're really liked these newer, really want them. Go ahead and build yourself. So, so now that you have a better understanding of the different types of soil and amendments, which one should you use for your garden? Well, this depends on the style you selected. If you're going to grow your vegetables in containers, then do one of two things. If you're only going to have a few containers, just go out and buy some potting soil, get a few bags, bring it home, fill the pot. You're ready to go. Keep it simple. If you're going to use larger container or a lot of containers, then you need more soil and buying it and bags, it's just too expensive. In that case order a load of triple mix omega is a pretty good soil for growing vegetables and it's a lot cheaper than bag material. If you've decided to use raised beds, then I would use either triple mix or just order some topsoil. Triple mix is a much nicer soil is very fluffy, but over the next couple of years it's going to compact and degrade very quickly. You're going to have to keep adding more soil every year. So if it was me and I was using raised beds, I would get topsoil, that's real soil. And then every year I would just amend with some compost. If you're going to grow on the ground, you already have soil and you don't need to get more. Your soil is probably low on organic matter. So your goal is to keep adding that organic matter. And the two best choices as you've seen, our compost and manure, depending on the size of your garden, you can buy those products as bag materials. Or if you want to save some money, get a load delivered, put that organic matter on your garden and dig it in. For most new gardens, what I would recommend is a good four to six inches of organic matter and then dig that into the garden. 4. P3 Converting a Lawn to a Garden: So we're going to start this garden. We found a sunny spot, we have water for it. We go out there and what do we have? Well, you probably have a lawn unless you're out in the country and in that case you probably have weeds. How do you get rid of that lawn? In the olden days, we'd come along and we dig all this up and we take that lawn away. So we take the top two or three inches of the lawn and remove it. And I did do that years ago. I can tell you it's a lot of work. There's a fundamental problem with it. Remember what I said the builder does when he's finished building your home? He puts down two or three inches of good topsoil and puts lawn on top of it. So the best soil on your property is those two or three inches you're now going to take away and discard, which he leaves you with the subsoil. So it's not a great way to start. He want to keep that top soil. So this is another option and I think it's one of the better options. And it's called lasagna gardening or sheet mulching. You take either newspaper or cardboard, and I highly recommend staying away from the cardboard. You lay it down in sheets, wet it as you go because dry newspaper flies away on you. But once it's wet it stays in place, cover with something. It can be soil that can be composed, that could be malls. It doesn't really matter. It's really there just to hold a newspaper in place and what happens? Well, the grass can't get any light in. It dies pretty quickly within three or four weeks. That grass is completely dad and you can start planting in this. Now what some people will do with this technique is they'll actually put several inches of soil on top and then they plant right away. And by the time the roots need to go deeper, a lot of that newspaper has been decomposed. So this is an easy way to start a garden. It keeps all that top soil in place. It disturbs the soil as little as possible. And once you understand more about soil, you realize that it's that soil structure that's really important for plants. You don't really want to destroy that structure. And it's the least amount of work, except that you have to find some newspaper, which is a little hard now that you're getting all your news online, soft going find it. Now a lot of people use cardboard and I recommended not to use it. It actually works fine. The problem is Cardboard takes about a year to decompose, at least in zone phi. If you're in a much warmer zone and be a little faster, but it's a slow process. So here you are sitting in spring, you're ready to get gardening. And what do you do? You put down cardboard that needs to sit for a year. That's not a great solution for someone who doesn't have the patience to wait for a year. So go with the newspaper, it's much better. 5. P4 Maintaining the Garden: Let's look at some garden basics. Watering. I've mentioned this already, but watering is really critical. Now if you've ever heard any of my talks about gardening and the rest of your garden. So the landscape and trees and shrubs, I actually water very little just so you know where I'm gardening. I actually have a gardening Guelph and I have dwarfs largest private botanical garden. It's about six acres in size. I grew about 3 thousand different species of perennials, trees, shrubs and grasses. And I have a little vegetable garden. Virtually none of that garden gets watered except the vegetable garden. And I have a hose that comes out right to where the vegetable garden is. There's a tap there to make watering as easy as possible for me because I know I have to water this every few days, especially in the spring after seeding, you have to keep that top inch of soil moist for those seeds to come out. Now later on in the season, you don't have to water quite so much and I'll show you some secrets. So you have watering less. But it's critical that the plants get water when we're talking about the rest of the garden, all the perennials and things. We don't really care about a harvest. We don't really care if they grow really fast. I mean, if I put in an evergreen and it grows four inches instead of three inches this summer, do I really care? No. In fact, I probably want it to grow less quickly because I probably bought one that's too big for this space anyways. But when we're talking about vegetables, we generally have a short season, especially in zone five, and we gotta get started early. We got to keep those plants growing at a good speed. We don't grow as quickly as possible, so we can get a harvest in before the snow cone. That's the challenge in colder climates. One way to do that is to make sure that they're never dry. The other thing that's important is weeds. We want to get rid of all these weeds. And the main reason for this is that weeds compete with our plants for both light and roots space. And it turns out the biggest competition is actually the light, but there is also competition for nutrients. So we gotta keep the weeds out of this thing. You got lots of Daniel lines out of there. We gotta get them out of the garden. And there's several things you can do. A lot of people WHO, and this is a very traditional technique. Once a week you go out a whole that soil and that does two things. The first one is that as little weed seeds start to sprout, they're very easy to kill if you just hold the top inch or two of the soil. The second reason you Hall is because the soil gets a crust on it when you have bare soil with nothing growing in it and there's nothing covering it. It forms a crust. And the reason that forms that crust is actually due to water droplets, believe it or not, those water droplets are falling. And hitting the soil hard enough that they compact the top inch of soil and that creates that crust. So the traditional way to garden vegetables is to come along and once a week you hold all the soil you can see between the row. I have news for you. I haven't heard anything in a long time. But when I do Hall, I use this home, not through a traditional one. The traditional one is really ineffective and you kinda chop away at your soil. This is called a Dutch hole or a sterile pole. It's a little harder to find. But if you can find one of these, you can do the weeding and a half the time with this whole compared to the other one. So get yourself one of these. There are good tool to have in the garden because every once a while you do want to have one of these. But here's a much better way to haul. Don't haul. This is actually a picture of my garden. One of my favorite vegetables are these Ps. I guess I liked them partly because they taste good, partly because it's one of the first crops I can get out of the garden and I just can't wait to eat something after a long winter, but I mall to a straw as long as I mulching, I get virtually no weeds. So once the plants are in place, I pushed that straw right up against them and I cover every inch of soil with straw. And this does a bunch of things for me. It keeps the sun off the soil, which means that it doesn't dry out nearly so fast. Which means I have to water less mall, which is critical for keeping moisture in the soil. Not only that, but it keeps that moisture level more constant. So rather than having a dry day and then you watering and then it's a wet day and a couple of days later it's dry again. And you have these cycles between dry and wet, you actually get a very constant moisture in the soil. And this solves several problems in the garden. One of the main ones is blossom end rot in tomatoes. So malt means less water and more consistent watering your plants. It also keeps the soil cool and that's great in July and August because plant roots liked to be cool, even if the top part of the plant likes to be warm. The roots of all plants that we grow one to be cooler. And the mulch keeps that soil nice and cool. So the roots are really happy. What else does mulch do when it rains? Those raindrops can't hit the soil. So you never get any crusting on this soil. And that's why I don't have to hold because I don't have soil crust. So long as you have mulch everywhere, you don't get this pounding of the soil. You don't get the compaction, you don't get the crusting. I like straw because as slowly decomposing, so it's adding nutrients and organic matter my soils over time, it makes that so I'll better and it's a pretty easy product to you. So this is my favorite WHO? Lots of straw. Now there's other ways to prevent weeds, and this is becoming much more popular, maybe not so much in home gardens, but certainly an agriculture. And what they do is they cover their soil with plastic and then they'll plant into these rows of plastic. Now this has a bunch of advantages. Just like the straw das keeps moisture in the soil. Weeds from growing. So it's less work for the gardener. The thing I don't like about it is that it's not very environmentally friendly. I don't really want a whole bunch extra plastic around, so it's not my favorite, but it does work in agriculture and it's very efficient there. But at the home garden, we don't have to worry so much about efficiency. We can do things at different way. Now if you do decide to use plastic, it's really important to put in a water line, like a drip line under the plastic. It's really hard to water these covered rows. So what the farmer has done here is lay a line of drip underneath so they can water this constantly as needed. Here's an example of using plastic as your mulch and width larger plants, don't get me wrong. It works well. And if you had a larger garden, limited time, it's certainly a good option. But I wouldn't use it if you're going to have a small backyard garden. This is a picture of my garden, my vegetable garden that is, and I like to go vertical. So my garden is actually weigh out the back. It's not near the house where you'd expect it. And I have a couple of problems back there. One is lots of animals including deer. So I have to fence my area. Deer or problem in a lot of areas. So how do you keep deer out? Well, the recommendation is to create a fence that at least eight feet tall. Deer can even jump that if they really want to get over it. But a feed does a pretty good job. Well, my fence here is about four feet tall and it works. So why is that? Well, if you keep the area that's inside the fence fairly small, the deer won't jump in. Dear don't like to be in an enclosed place, so they stay out. The other thing I like to do is I like to grow vertically, particularly in a small garden spaces at a premium. And there are several vegetables that we're going to discuss later in the course that you can grow flat on the ground and they take a lot of space. Or you can grow them vertically and they take very little space. So I have two of these areas where I have this mesh going up and I grow vertical. I do my p's, my beings, My someone might tomatoes, particularly the cherry tomatoes and my cucumbers, anything that's veining, they go up. I need much less space that way. And of course, last space means I have less mulch that I need to get, I have less weeds and so on. So this makes a lot of sense in a small garden. When you go vertical though, you have to give some thought about where are you going to put these vertical pieces. Remember I said one of the most important things for your garden is sun. So you want to put these vertical areas so you're not blocking the sun to the rest of the garden. So this is my garden. The fence that you see is in a north-south direction. South is to my left eye. Yeah. Lots of sun on both sides of this trellis. It doesn't shade any area. And I did that on purpose. There's another one in this garden where I put my cucumbers. But it's on the north side of my garden. It's only shading weeds on the other side. So think about going vertical. Think about where you're going to put the vertical pieces and make sure that you're not trying to grow things behind it that need lots of sun. Now let's talk about tiling. The traditional way to garden goes something like this. I start out with lawn and I come along and I dig it up with one of these tellers. And by the way, I've done all of these things in the past. I just don't do them anymore. The Taylor chops everything up and you think, okay, my lawn is gone. I've loosened the soil and now I'm ready to plant. Well, there's a couple of problems with that story. First of all, it doesn't kill the grass. Well, you end up with here is a lot of grass that regrows. All you've done is chopped up the roots. It is true that you'll get rid of some of the graphs, but a lot of it will grow back. So now you have a garden that's half grass and half vegetables, and it's a mass and a lot of work. Now that's not quite so bad. And a vegetable garden because you're going to dig this up every year anyways, and so you can deal with that. But doing this in an ornamental bed where you're going to put in some permanent plantings. This becomes a nightmare because all that grass comes up right in the middle of your perennials, then you can't get rid of it. The second problem here is that you're turning up the soil. One of the things that we have to understand is that soil has a structure, is not just a bunch of dirt does laying on the ground. When you look at good soil, it looks completely different than poor soil. In fact, here's a little experiment. You can go for a walk in a wooded area and dig around in that soil. Okay. You want an area where the trees had been there for many, many years, nobody's farmed and so on. And look at that soil. You'll have this black crumbly soil that you almost don't even need a shovel to dig into. Those crumbs are what we call aggregation of soil that have clumped together into bigger clump. That aggregation is critical to healthy soil and as critical for root growth. When you tell you destroy that aggregation, you take these large clumps and you pulverized them down into smaller and smaller bits and you've lost that aggregation. One of the reasons people till is to loosen that soil. The problem with tiling is you actually destroy the structure, which leads to compaction, which leads to less air in the soil. So you're actually destroying the soil. The less we do the soil, the better that structure will be 0 tiling and is not a great idea for most gardens. Now there are some reason to use it, and I have used it the first year when I create a garden. So you're starting from scratch. You've killed the grass, OK? And now you want to tell in a lot of organic matter to get things going because you don't have enough organic matter in your soil. You put on three or four inches or compost and you turn that in with a rotor tiller. That's okay. You're gonna do this once the first year. But to be honest, I don't even do that anymore in the last few years when I make a new garden, I just killed the grass and I planned. I don't do any tiling. I don't do any digging. I don't turn the soil. I do as little as possible to that soil because I don't want to destroy the structure and that's really the best way to start. Now of course, if you're doing a raised bed and you have to fill that with soil, you're going to go out and buy some saw anyways and that's already been loosened and tilde for you. But in future years, you want to leave that soil alone. Now in raised beds, That's pretty easy because you walk around the bed. You'd never walk in the bed and walking on that soil creates compaction. And we want to prevent compaction in a bed that's larger like this, it's a large area. I still make beds here and I have permanent pathways and I only walk in those pathways. I don't walk wherever I want in this guard. And this works especially well for a vegetable garden. See you take this and you take areas. Lot of people take a three-foot wide bed and motor pathway beside it and put another three-foot wide bed. And once they've decided where those are, They never walk in those beds again, a three feet is narrow enough that you can reach him from both sides. Fact, I usually use four feet. I'm six feet tall so I can reach to feed in. It's not a problem is a four-foot patent. The key is you decide where the plants go and you decide where your fico and those have permanent location, wrote Hotelling. Okay. The first year after that, get rid of that machine. You do not need to roto tell your soil every year. And in fact you shouldn't, the soil will get better if you don't tell it. 6. P5 Buying Seeds: The easiest thing to do is to go out and buy plants. So if you're a complete beginner and you've never gardened before, I think buying plants is not a bad choice. The seeding part and getting the seeds to a plan is not real tricky, but it's not trivial either if you've never done it before. This is where a lot of first-year gardeners fail. So if, if that's something new to you, I think you should give it a try, but maybe be prepared to buy some plants or just by the plants for the first year. That's a great idea. The other nice thing about buying plants as you can do this at the last minute. And you can run down to the store pixel operand moment, you've got tomatoes. So the plants work quite well. The thing that is not as credible plans as it doesn't work for all crops, okay, and we're gonna be talking about some of those, but a lot of the root crops. So things like beets, carrots, radishes, you really have to see those, but you do that outside. Things like peas beans. You can do them inside or outside either way, but you generally don't buy those plants. So if you shop the nursery and say, I'd like a flat of beans, they're probably going to look a little weird and say, Well, we don't do being sweet, don't grow those plants. So the only some plants are available in nurseries. This is the way they're usually sold. You get these little pack's usually of six. And it's kind of tricky buying these things because ideally you want to buy them before they get as big as the ones in the picture. These guys are already getting a little old and a lot of new gardeners go to the nursery and what they buy, both in vegetable plants and all your annuals. They want things in flour and they think a best one is the one that's flowering and that's wrong. You want to buy the tray that has really tiny things that haven't started flowering yet. And the reason for that is by the time they get as big as the ones in the picture, that root system is overgrown illness to beg for the little bit of soil that's in there. The problem with the nurseries is that people want big plants. So that's what they grow. They grow big plants. The people in the nursery industry knowledge that you'd be much better buying a two-inch tomato plant, but nobody would buy it. So they sell you these big guys. Now you can buy monster plants. Last year I was a clean tire and add these 15 gallon pots with huge plants. He already had flowers, some head tomatoes on them, and they're selling at ridiculous prices if you ask me, but if, if that's what you wanna do, that there's nothing wrong with that. They can give you a very early harvest. As I said, it's sometimes already have the fruit on there. You can take them home, wait a few weeks until they get robbed and you've got tomatoes. This is an option that you shouldn't ignore. But to be honest with you, I haven't bought any seedlings for many years. You don't have to go this route. And I think seeds are much more uninteresting. So why would you use seeds? Well, first of all, there's a huge selection. I could probably go out and buy 500 different types of tomatoes. There's lots and lots of choice with seed. Whereas if I go down to my local nursery, I might have three or maybe five different selection. So there's a lot of things you can get through C, you can't get in plants. I can also start my seeds early. I can actually grow those big plants if I want to have. Tomato plant that's already flowering before it can go in the garden. I can do that provided I can give it enough light inside the home. We'll see to have control over when I start the sum and we're going to talk about that in a few minutes. I think you get a better quality that way too, because you can grow this plant with a good root system. You can give a bigger pots then you'll see in the nursery. And so you end up with a better plant. So when it goes in the garden, it actually does batter for certain things. It's really the only option. I've never seen carrots available as plants in a nursery. If you're going to be a vegetable grower, you have to learn how to do seeds. This is my garden, peas, and I plant them really early. These have probably been in the ground now for a bottom months. There's sort of two feet tall and they're coming on really good. One of the things we have to understand with Cs is that some seeds pretty much have to be done in the guard and peas are one of those examples. Other plants, we start the main side and it depends on the plant. It depends on your location. Hands on how long your summers are? Well, I'm in zone five and my summers are pretty short. One of the things I'm always working at is how do I get things in the garden early? How do I make them grow really fast because fall is not far behind. And so the challenges in the zone 5 garden is, is how do I get lots of produce before frost? Now if I was down in a zone 8 garden, it would be completely different. I have a much longer summer. I don't have this Russian the spring. And so I can't do things differently and I can certainly time things differently. So let's go buy some seed. You'd think this is really easy. Just ordered some PCs. We're going to make it more complicated for you. There's a couple of things you have to understand. There's lots of talk about heirloom seeds and hybrids. And if you get online, there's lots of people, I'll tell you one of these is better than the other one. Let's go into this in a little more detail. But what is a hair Heroku? Everybody talks about it. Everybody wants hair looms. They're so popular these days. Well, it might surprise you to know that there is no definition of a hair loom. People can't agree on what it is. I could literally take any c, call it a hair lumen. I can't be wrong because there is no definition. What most people consider a hair loom is a variety of plant that has been around for a long time. And usually people pick 40 years, is that long time? Other people say No, 40 years isn't long enough. It has to be 50 years. And you'll find some hair looms on the market that only been around for 20 years, but nobody looks at up, so we still call them hair looms. Here looms are pollinated in the field. They've used nature for pollination. Another term for this is open pollinated. So you have this plan growing. You let nature pollinated. That could be within sex, it could be with wind, it could be self pollination. Whatever it is, whatever happens in nature gets pollinated and that seed is open pollinated. And that kind of equates to hair looms. It's not exactly the same, but a lot of people associate those. Being the same, a hybrid is very different. In a hybrid, the growers will have two different types of the plants or two different cultivars of tomatoes. And there'll be in different fields. And they might even be separated by many miles depending on what the crop is, because they want to control the type of pollination. They don't want any open pollination here. They literally go to one field, collect the Paul and taken over to the other field their hand pollinating these plants. They want to know which pollen goes on which plant. Because they know that if I cross these two particular plants, I end up with a really special seed different than either of the parents. That's a hybrid. And that's one of the reasons why some hybrids cost quite a bit more because they're pollinated by hand. So what's the difference? Well, when we come to disease resistance, hybrids are usually much better. Part of this is that the breeders have bred into those sees resistance to certain diseases. Hair looms can also be disease resistant, but they tend not to have as good coverage. If you grow hair loom, you can collect your own seed. For instance, I grow sugar snap peas, and it turns out sugar snap peas are cultivar. That is a hair loop. So I can grow the peas. I can click my own piece and use them next year and they will be heirloom seeds, hybrids. You can also collect the seed, but the clients you get from those seeds are usually pretty crappy. So the general rule is if you're growing hybrids, don't collect your own C, go out and buy some new. In general, here looms tastes better because people have selected them for flavor hybrids. Certain not really bred for flavor. Now that's changing. But a lot of hybrids are bred for the market for farmers. They want things that are stable, that don't ripen too fast and so on. They're looking for other qualities. So Hybrids may not taste as good. And a lot of people say this, but the reality is that flavor and most of our vegetables comes from how it's grown, the type of soil you have, the type of climate you have, how warm it is, the kind of fertilizer gets. And that turns out the much more important than the actual cultivar. In, inmost cases, nutrition, they're the same. You'll get a lot of people online saying all I buy her looms because they're much healthier than much more nutritious. That is all a big myth. Both of these have the same kind of nutrition for a yield. Hybrids generally do better. The reason is that the breeders of these seeds have selected these two lines that they're going to cross, typically for good yield, so they generally do better. Another thing that's very popular these days is to buy organic. See, what is an organic seed? It's a seed that has been grown on a farm that is certified organic. So there's certain things that farm can do and can't do. All farms use pesticides. So it doesn't mean there's no pesticides being used. But on an organic farm is restricted which pesticides they can use. When it comes down to it, there's no real benefit from organic C, and that will contradict 99% of what you'll read on the internet. There's no health benefit. There's no nutrition benefit. It doesn't grow better, it doesn't produce better food, it doesn't taste better. The only real benefit from organic seed is that you're supporting an organic farmer. Other than that it makes no difference. There's also a GMO free seat and I get a kick out of this. So this quote here, I took off a park seeds, which is a large seed company, 100% non-GMO seed. And you'll see this plastered over most seed catalogs. Well, it's a myth really. Now. These are all non-GMO, but the fact is that a gardener cannot go out and buy GMO seed. It's simply isn't available when you're buying a small amount of seed in a package, it is always GMO free. If you want GMO seed, you have to sign a contract and buy a whole bag of it from whoever makes that material. This is strictly marketing. So ignore the GMO makes note of. And in fact, for most of the vegetables were going to grow things like carrots, tomatoes, pretty much everything except maybe corn. There are no GMOs. Nobody's invented them yet. They don't even exist. Even a farmer can't buy GMO tomatoes, although they probably can get those pretty soon. But there is GMO corn available. Another term that you really need to understand with some of these crops, there's an indeterminate and a determinant type. And it's important to know the difference. And the way I try to remember this is that the determinant types, they're determined to stay small. This works for peas and beans and tomatoes. Maybe papers. You combine a determinant type and they stay small. What they'll do is they'll grow up. They make all their fruit at the same time. You'll harvest at all and you're done. Now this is great for farmers. They want to grow crops, they want to harvest, I get it off the market and they're done. A lot of the crops that are bred for farming are determining determinants are also great for containers because they're smaller plants. Indeterminate means that it's a plant that just keeps getting bigger and bigger and bigger, doesn't know when to stop growing. The benefit of these is that they produce fruit over a longer period of time. So as a backyard gardener, you know, do you want all your tomatoes ready in one week and then you're finished? Or do you want to pick some tomatoes every day for two months? If you're canning these materials, you want to determine if variety, because you don't want to Can every two days or for fresh eating, you really want an indeterminate type for beans and tomatoes in particular, I only grow in indeterminate because I want to harvest over a long season. Another term that you have to know, and that's maturity dates in seed catalogs and on seed packages, they will generally tell you what the maturity date is of that seed. And the table here shows you three tomato varieties, beefsteak, Early Girl, sweet 100s with maturity dates as listed there, ninety, six, seventy five and sixty days. What this tells you is how long they have to be in the garden before you get to eat by plant beef steaks, they take three months before I can eat a tomato. If I plant sweet one, Eigen needed 60 days. Okay, So do you care about this? Well, again, this depends on your climate. If you're in a warm climate, urine zone 8, you may not care because you've got this long summer and you can wait for your beef steaks. But people who grown cold climates, you really want to get some of these tomatoes early. And this applies not just to tomatoes but to all the seed you buy. In cold climates, you want to pick varieties that have short maturity date because you've got short summer. You want to get the seeds in the ground. You want to get some fruit you want to eat. And the sooner you get that, the better these three tomatoes, I picked those because I've been growing these for many years. Sweet 100s, I can start eating by the third week of July if I've done a good job, beef steaks, I will never get that early. Now, don't get hung up on the actual numbers too much because Sweden a hundreds, it says 60 days, but that seed package says 60 days for everybody in North America, they all get the same maturity date and things will grow faster in warmer climates. They grow faster in certain types of soil and so on. So these are an absolute numbers, but they're very good for comparing the same type of seeds. Three tomatoes you compare the maturity day, you know, which is the faster one and which is the slower. By the way, Early Girl is a standard. It does well for most people, sweet 100s, I've been growing for 30 plus years. I still think it's the best cherry, tomato, beef steaks I used to grow and live them brown allele, which is like an hour from here. And I had no problems growing those. And ever since I moved to Guelph, I can't grow them. Don't know why, but it must be the soil because our climates are the same, gotta be the soil and they're growing it. So actually I've stopped growing beef steaks, although I like them, they're huge. They're those things you can take one slice, cover a whole sandwich. Most new gardeners go out and buy a million different taxes, seed. He way too many seats. So be very selective by a few seeds and get them going. Don't overdo it. 7. P6 Starting Seeds Indoors: But we have our seeds. Now it's time to start them and we're going to look mostly at starting them indoors here. I'm going to look at three methods here. Growing in pots, using baggies and Jiffy pots, says your standard way of growing your seedlings. You'd get some sort of a tray. You put some soil and you put the seed in and the little sprouts come up and away you go. And this works quite well. The problem I have with this method is that there isn't enough soil in there to keep the seedlings growing for very long. And if you start them in the normal duration, which we're going to talk about in a minute, they're going to run out of space. So what I tend to do is I actually start and bigger pots. And I much prefer that. The problem with bigger pots is you need enough space and lights to keep them growing. For soil, you don't actually use soil, so you don't want to use garden soil and you don't want to use a bag that's labeled as garden soil. What you want is something called seedling mix or potting mix. And the one I use is this Pro Max, which is just called general purpose. But everyone knows that proteomics is a potting mix. So what's the difference between ceiling maximum potting mix, about five-box seedling mix is a bit finer material, but it's a lot more expensive. You really don't need that. I would get some potting mix. And this is the kind of material you use for your house plants. That's fine. What I use here is a potting mix is not a seedling next, but get a good quality. I cut corners a lot in the garden and save money here and there. But when it comes to growing seeds, I don't, I buy the best product I can get because you're going to invest a fair amount of time in this and you don't want any failures, otherwise you're sitting, you're later in spring and you don't have anything to use, get some good stuff, don't go to the Dollar Store to get this seeding. The second method I want to discuss very briefly is called the bagging method. In short, I take the seeds, I put them on some paper towels, I add some water. I put them in a baggie and I let them germinate there. Now the picture here is showing some seedlings that are we've overdone. So these things germinated like five days ago. And I've loved him in the bag to show people what they look like. What you wanna do is leave the seed in here until you just see the root coming out, then you plot it up. Now there are a lot of benefits for this, but the main reason I like doing it this way is that I know the seat as germinated and I only start a pot when I have a germinated seed. So if I have seed that say only germinating 70 percent of it, I'm not wasting a whole bunch of empty pot with nothing growing in them. I know every one of these pots has a real seed that is germinated. And I can see exactly what goes on in these baggies. I tried some pepper seeds last year and nothing germinate. I didn't waste all the soil and all the pots. I German almost everything with this. Trees, shrubs, grasses, perennials, you name it. I do it in a baggie method. Here's some that's really popular. These are called Jiffy pots are little Giphy pallets. They come as a small disc, look like a big to10 and you put water in there and, and expands and then you have what? Pictured on the right side here, very popular, relatively inexpensive, horrible idea for starting seeds. The soil in here is not very good. The container is far too small for most seedlings, so it's great for starting the seed. But two weeks later you kinda have to take him out of here and put them into pots. And the third problem is that the plastic mesh around the outside is advertised as being biodegradable. And that's true. It only takes two to three years to biodegrade in the garden with you plant these out, you have to take all that plastic off anyways. So I'm not a big fan of these things. Use some real pots. There's also lots of dumb ideas on the Internet. One that I thought I had to try is this one. So on the left is the advertisement you'll see on Facebook and all over the place. Here's a great way to grow seeds. Get an ice cream cone, put some soil and it put your seeds in it, and it works so well. Even show you a picture of how well it's working. So I thought, well, I know this isn't going to work, but I had to try it. And the right is the reality. So he uses some beings that are growing in ice cream cones and gay, they get moldy, they get mushy, they fall apart. It's a complete mass. This is just a stupid idea. Other ideas that sound very cute but don't work very well is starting in egg shells, in egg cartons. They're just far too small. Get yourself a good size pot of three, four-inch pots. Start them in there. For most of the sea, they can stay in there until it's time to go outside when you start the seed, it's probably the most common question I see. To understand that we have to understand the process of getting these seeds started. We start on the left, we plant the seed. It takes about a week to germinate, give or take 34 days. Some are pretty quick, some take a little longer, but it's about a week. So we reach this point where we have germination. Now we want to grow them inside for approximately six weeks. At the end of the six weeks, we want to get them outside. At this point, the plants are well-established, their footer too tall, they're nice and large. They need to get outside. But then we have some called the last frost date. Most seedlings cannot take frost. Know you'll probably read about some crops like let us for instance, and peas that can take frost. And that is true once their condition to being outside. So if you start those outside and they're used to cold weather and they get off been a frost, it won't damage them. But if you grow these inside and a nice warm room, and then you take them outside and tomorrow you get frost. It will damage to plants. Things you're growing inside. Assume they can't take fraud in some cannot. So tomatoes are just decimated with a bit of frost. You have to figure out what that last frost data. It takes about a week to get them outside. And this is a process called hardening off. You don't just take your ceiling from inside and put it outside in full sun and say there I'm done, okay, That will probably kill that seedling. So we have this process called hardening off, which I'll discuss in a second. But after about a week, you can plant them out and they're used to being outside. So when you start your seed, well, this all depends on the last frost state. And you can look those up online. You can get them for many cities, or if you want a little cheat sheet, this one is pretty close. We're in zone five, so my last prostate is April 30 of give-and-take. Now you have to understand that this is an average. So this is the last day we have frost when we take the last 30 years and average them out. Which means that we could have frost two to three weeks earlier, or we could have a two to three weeks later. Just depends on the year. Last year was a really screw year. In May, we had really warm weather and in fact, I started planting some peas because it was so warm. Then we got towards in April hand at real cold spell in the first week of May was really cold with Frost. I've never seen it like that. So these are just averages. So when it actually comes to moving your plants outside, you have to listen to the weatherman. Don't go by the date. But what this data allows you to do is now figure out when you start your seat. And depending on where you live, It's a different start tunnel. We're going to start see, how do we take care of these little seedlings? Well, we want to keep them warm. Well, well maybe not when we're trying to germinate the seed. We'd like to give them warm. If there are warmer, they germinate faster. But once they're germinated, we actually want to grow them cool. The way I always do it is I just leave them sit around the house and that's warm enough to Germany, a lot of people recommend these heating mats. They're not necessary, but they can be useful if you're doing all of this in a very cold basement. A heating mat is not a bad idea. A heating mat also works for seeds that are slow to germinate, probably the slowest our papers, they can take three to four weeks to germinate. And if we warm those up to about 80 degrees, they'll germinate faster, but a heating mat is not necessary. In fact, I've never used one for seeds. The problem is that when people use heating mats and they get germination, they usually leave the money heating mats, and that's really bad for the seedling. You use the warmth for germination and then you grow them cool. Now obviously you need to keep these seeds moist. You have to water them. Humidity is not quite so important. A lot of people want to give them extra humidity. It can work as not necessary. And we're going to talk a little bit about life. So the easiest way to give them humidity as you put one of these domes on top or you just take some Saran wrap or some plastic and cover it. I generally don't do this partly because I pre germinate them in my baggie, so this isn't necessary. But even if I plant seeds, I tend not to do this, although it, it can help. The trick is soon as they germinate, as soon as you see a little bit of growth, take that doma. You don't want high humidity in there when they're growing. You only want the high humidity while their seeds and they're working on germinating. And lots of people keep the dome on and that causes them all kinds of problems. And one of them we're going to talk about. So here's a young little seedling, has a tomato seedlings. The top part looks like a tomato seedlings. The big leaf in the middle doesn't. That's quite normal. The first leaves on most seeds won't look the way they're supposed to. They're not true leaves their caudal lesions. So the lower set here is the caudal leading leaf and the opera set as the first truly, alright, we have germination now what do we do? And we want to grow them cool. We have to keep them watered. We want to lower the humanity. And what I think is really important is to start some air movement. So the best thing you can do for your seeds is get a fan blowing on them. You actually want to see the little ceilings move a little bit and run that 24, 7. The other thing that most new gardeners do wrong is they over water the seedlings, tiny little things and anything t's, I gotta keep this soil really good on wet or they're going to dry out. And that's really the worst thing you can do. You want the top of the soil to dry out. Remember that you're seeing the green part above ground that doesn't need to be watered. The watering needs to go to the routes and they're already several inches down. In fact, when a seed germinates, the piece that comes out first is the root, and it will grow down. And it could be several inches long before you ever see anything above ground. So you need the lower soil moist, not sopping wet and the upper part a little dry. And so many people post pictures online and I see PaaS it or just sopping wet and they're saying all my ceilings aren't growing very well. Now if we look at the picture, it shows them seedlings, but these aren't really healthy. If you see a long stem between the soil and the green leaf, and those are the caudal leading leaves up there. It shouldn't be that long. Ideally, it should be like a quarter of that distance. If you see that, it tells you they're not getting enough light. They're stretching, trying to get to that light. And so they grow long and skinny and they're not really healthy seedlings, light becomes critical at this point. Here's the biggest problem with seedlings is damping off. It's a fungal disease. The tomato plants on the left are normal and no disease, they're growing quite well. The ones on the right have damping off. And the way you recognize that is that the top part of the plant looks fairly healthy when it first attacks it. But right near the soil, that stem gets very skinny and this fungus actually attacks are right at the soil level and basically chops that top part off. So once it does that, then the top part also shrivels. And so you can see a smaller ceiling there That's a little further advanced than now. The top is shrinking, damping off is the biggest problem with seedlings. It's caused by not having enough air movement, having too much humidity over watering put on that fan, and you hardly ever see damping off provided you're watering correctly. Now if you do see damping off the minute you see it, cover these things in cinnamon, cinnamon, and we'll stop damping off, but you don't need to use it if you get the conditions right. So lighting is the other big problem. And I would say for most homeowners, particularly beginning gardeners, this is your biggest problem not providing enough light for your seeds. Are eyes look a room, move, say, Oh, there's lots of light in here, but there really isn't. From a plant's perspective, our rooms are just dark caves. So if you have a west or south window that can work, but the plants have to be pretty close to the window. They want as much light as you can give them. You can use all kinds of indoor lighting for most of the fixtures that homeowners use, you have to get them really close to the plants. Now if you get some of the new higher intensity LEDs, you can actually burn your plants, so then follow the manufacturer's instructions. But most of the pictures I see online from homeowners, I can tell right away that those plants have not gotten enough light. 8. P7 Planting Transplants and Seeds Outside: Welcome to another episode of vegetable gardening. We now have little seedlings. Spring is here, it's ready to get stuff into the garden. We're going to talk about how to do that. How do you harden off seedlings? You can't just take them outside and plant them, you'll kill him that way. We're also going to look at how to take those plants and get them in the ground. And we're going to have a look at direct seeding. Many vegetables don't have to be started in doors. We actually see them outside. I'm going to show you exactly how to do that. So the hardening off process inside there, nice and warm, but getting low-light, they're getting no wind. Now we want to take them outside where they get a tremendous amount of light. The wind's blowing around like crazy. And in the spring it's cool. So I do it's something like this. On day 1, I give him one our full sun, a3, they get three hours, day six to get six hours. And by day nine, they're used to being outside. And what I do is I just put them on the North side of my house where they're protected from the sun. And then I slowly moving away from the house. And each day they get a little more light and a little more light until they're used to it. It's a pretty simple process, but don't forget to do it. Growing in containers and raised beds to planting process is the same as if we're gardening and soil. So I'm going to ignore these. We'll just talk about planning out in the garden. There's two ways to plan. There's direct seeding where we actually take the seed and put it in the soil. And then there's using transplant. Now the list for transplants are the ones you typically start indoors. Tomatoes and peppers and lattice. Top three, the ones on the left side, you typically plant direct in your garden. Now you see let us on both sides and you can do lattice both ways. They both work. You can also do peas and beans as transplants, but not everybody does that. Root vegetables are harder, especially carrots and radishes are a little harder. Some people will start beats indoors and transplant though. Now everybody says plant cucumbers directly in the garden don't use transplants because they don't like to be transplanted. So last year I started them indoors. I grew up in pots. I took them out, planet them and they did just fine when they say plants can't be transplanted, I generally read that as meaning, if this is your first year gardening, you might not triad, but once you know what you're doing, they actually can be transplanted. You just have to be a little more gentle with the plants. Bye, Starting them indoors and moving them out. I had cucumbers a month early. So we're going to so directly in the soil. I like doing them in rows. So I make a little trench, put the seed in, cower them. Simple process. The picture here is a terrible picture. This row that's being made, this trench is far too deep. You want to cover the seed with about two times the amount of soil as the thickness of the seed. And I don't want any seed that would fit into this trach, peas and beans, they're pretty large. You can cover those up. Things like carrots are quite small, and if you bury them too deep, they simply will not germinate. They'll be careful how deep you make the trench, cover them up, water them. And this is one area where I want her a lot. I will water this pretty much every day. I want those seeds to stay moist until they sprout. Once I see them sprouting, then I start cutting back on the wall. Transplants are pretty easy to do. Here we have pictured Pete pots. They're advertised as being bio-degradable. You just dig a hole, stick him in and away you go. I would not do that. These are not that biodegradable. So if I was using these, which I don't, I would still take them off. And that's why I like using standard plastic pots. I buy a three or four-inch pot, which I generally get free because I bought some other plant that was in it and I reuse them year after year after year. That works the best. If you plant these the way they are, the roots get trapped inside. They have a hard time getting out of that. So whenever they're in, take the container off. 9. P8 Gardening Techniques: In this episode of vegetable gardening, we're going to have a look at some different kinds of techniques. We're going to look at the pros and cons and decide whether you should be using these techniques. What about intercropping, crop rotation, succession planting, and companion planting? These can all be useful techniques when applied in the right situation. And we're going to have a look at all of that. Now we have a couple gardening techniques. Succession planting is one of them. And what this means is that you grow one crop and then you follow up with another crop in the same spot, you get double duty out of that piece of soil. Now this works really great in warmer climates because you have a long summer, so you're going to do a whole crop, follow it with something else. It also works in colder climates to some extent, peas are cool growers. So I plan some peas really early, put them in the ground and they grew up this trellis system. These are vines and they'll grow about six to eight feet before they're finished for the summer. But they're cool growers. You plant them early. They grow and as cool and by mid summer they pretty much dissolve away. They cannot take the heat. So they're growing up this trellis. And then on the other side, I will plan beans. Beans are a warm crops so you can't grow the beans until the soil is good and warm. We're way past the last frost day. We want actually warm soil here. So I will probably plant the beans around this time when the picture was taken, or maybe even a couple of weeks later, By the time I'm harvesting peas on this side of the fence, the beans are just starting to grow on the other side when the peas are finished and don't need the soil anymore, the beans are starting to flower and are starting to produce and so on using this same role soil for both peas and beans. And so that's the way we have to do our succession planning here. Let us in radishes grow very quick. Both cool growers. You can plant those pretty much anywhere in the garden you want, knowing that the space will be empty by the time you're warm growing crops. So there, so you can plot them around where you're gonna put your tomatoes. Just leave a space in the middle for your tomatoes. Hi Rachel, let us near radishes and those plants be completely done long before you'll ever see a tomato. And another technique is called intercropping. This is where you take several crops and plant them together in the same spot. And this works really well for home gardeners. For most of us, we don't need huge amounts of plants, but we'd like to have lots of variety. So you put a little lettuce and a little strawberry. You have a tomato growing beside that, you throw a few carrots and beside that, and they all kind of grow jumbled together. And this is intercropping. Some of these things would be done early as he pulls out. Some will stay a little longer. You eat those later in the year, but you mix up all of your plans. There's another technique that's very popular and this is called companion planting. So the picture here shows some cabbages and some calendar Julia, the pot marigold. Most people, when they do companion planting or talk about it, they're talking about the regular marigolds and they plant dolls around their guard. And the ideas this, these marigolds are very fragrant and insects come along and either they hate the fragrance and leave or they like the fragrance and spend their time on the marigolds. But in either case, the lever cabbages alone, right? Companion planting, you plant two things together. Usually it's a vegetable with flour, and somehow you end up with less pests and diseases. Well, as it turns out, most companion planting suggestions don't work. There's whole books on companion planting and 99.9% of the examples in there do not work, then it gives you one classic one and that is for root nematodes. So this is a tiny little worm that you can barely see. It attacks things like carrots and beets and anything with a root system. And lots of people will tell you to plant Mary goals aside your carrots and then you won't get nematodes. Well, it just doesn't work. In fact, when they studied this, what they found was you had to grow the Mary goals for a whole season and follow it immediately in the same season with your carrots. And then it does work to some extent. So if you're gardening and Florida where you have a really long season that works. But if you're in a cold zone, there's no way you're going to do two crops, one after the other like that. So for most of us, it just simply doesn't work. There are a few examples where companion planning works. Most of them don't. And in fact, what you find is if you put Mary goals around your garden, they actually attract trips, which is a little insect. And then you get trips going on here, cabbage. And you actually have a past problem that you wouldn't have if you didn't grow the merry-go-round. So be very careful with what you're reading online. Here's another one that's really popular, crop rotation. So a crop rotations says As that you grow crop in a certain spot and then next year you don't grow it again, you move it to a different spot. And then the third year, another different spot. People do a three-year rotation where they're rotating their crops around. Other people do a four-year or even up to us, seven-year rotation. Some people have rules like, you never grow a root crop after our root crop is a bunch of different rules. Nobody seems to agree on what is the right crop rotation. Again, you can go nuts planning your garden like this and where you're going to move it. If I recently did a review of this and I've written about it in my blog, garden nas.com. And I looked at those crop rotation really work for the home gardener. Well, in farming they do use crop rotation in it does make some sense there. But when we look at the ways done in farming, they have a 100 acres of tomatoes and maybe next year they'll grow those tomatoes in a farm that's 510 miles away on a different, a 100 acres in our garden. People are moving tomatoes 10 feet from where they were last year. It makes no sense because most insects travel much farther than that. The cabbage looper, which is a little caterpillar that a, is a real past on cabbages. It flies to Mexico every winter along with the monarch's, it has pretty much the same flight path as the monarchs. So a goes to Mexico for the winter, flies all the way back up north for the summer. So do you think moving your plants 10 feet over is going to make a difference now? And in fact, crop rotation in a small backyard really doesn't work. There's almost no example where it does work. Farming is different. And if you're doing a type area where you've got an acre to even there, it might make some sense, but in our typical backyard gardens, it doesn't. It's complicated. Just forget about it. I grew up my tomatoes in the same spot every year, had been for 15 years. My p's go in the same spot, my beings gone the same spot. My girl who goes in the same spot. And they worked just fine. So ignore a crop rotation. You gotta make gardening easy. And there's a lot of information online that wants you to think that it is, has to be a really complicated process. It 1001 last slide, and that's called gambling. Gambling isn't a technique that's recognized, but it is something we all do in cool climates. So spring is coming and if you follow my procedures, you'll wait for the last frost date and you plan after that and so on. But you know what is fun to do a little gambling. So every year I always take some of my plants and so my seeds and I plant them really early. I know I keep an eye on the weather, on the year. I'll planet at different times. But if I plant my piece, I have three rows of peas. One goes in really early and if we get a really heavy frost and it kills them all, well, so what I last, $2 of p's and q's, they're just seeds. And then I plant the other two rows later on when I know the weather is warm enough. So take a chance, plant some things really early will do is give you a really early crop in that just means you're going to be eating sooner in your garden. 10. 10 Best Vegetables for New Gardeners: In this video, I'll explain my selection criteria for the list of the 10 best vegetables for new gardeners. I'll also give you that list. What makes a great vegetable. My number one suggestion for new gardeners is to grow things that they like to eat. I don't like brussel sprouts and for that reason alone, they would not make my 10 best list. Besides, they are a bit harder to grow. I'll admitted my list is a bit biased towards things I like to eat. It is also important to pick things that are easy to grow. I want you to have some immediate success so that you don't get discouraged. You also want to have a high yield for the space you use. Corn is fairly easy to grow and it tastes good, but you don't get much from a small garden. So it didn't make my list. I've selected vesicles, they give you the most from a small garden. There you have it. Those are my selection criteria. Easy to grow, high yield, and good to eat. Here's my top ten, less. Number 10, it's the onion. It takes very little space, is super easy to grow and has very few pasts. Best of all, I'll show you how to start them from sets so you don't even have to bother with seeds. I'll even show you how to grow some perennial onions that you plant once and harvest every year. Number nine, Let us grows fast, germinates easily, and you can talk them into any small space. They also grow really well in containers and there are even varieties for hotter weather. And number 8 spot or cucumbers, these things take a bit more space, but I grow them vertically to reduce the space they need. Besides one or two plans will provide a cucumber every few days, giving you a very high yield. You can also buy pre sprouted plants and skip the seeds. Number 7 beings, they come in a variety of types and some are even ornamental and make a great addition to the flower garden. Once they start making beans, you will have more than you can eat and you can harvest until frost. Number six is beets. I know that not everyone likes beets, but there are much better fresh out of the garden. They're easy to grow and take almost no space. If you pick the right cultivars, they are super sweet. Number 5 is the common carrot. Easy to germinate if you do it right, and they take very little space. Number 4, the radish, they grow really fast so they can be planted along with other crops and harvested early. If you do that, they take no space at all, the common types or cool weather crops, but I'll show you how to harvest them all summer long, even wants to weather, gets warmer. And number 3, spotted a piece. They are cool grower that can be started very early. Many people think they produce a small yield, but that is because they're growing their own type. I'll show you how to get a good yield from a very small space. Number 2, garlic, This one had to make the list because it is the easiest vegetable you can grow, plant late summer, do virtually nothing, and harvest. Growing this plant is so easy that it's almost boring. You probably guessed it by now, but the tomato is in spot number 1. Admittedly, they can be a bit tricky to grow and they take up a fair amount of space. But there is nothing as good as a warm tomato right from the garden. And most people love tomatoes if you've only eaten grocery store tomatoes, so you have no idea what you're missing. There, you have it. My 10 best vegetable list. I'll produce a separate video for each vegetable and show exactly how I grow them. I'll give you pointers about selecting the best cultivars and show you how to grow them with minimal space. 11. Growing Onions: Growing onions is really easy. Let me show you how I do it. You can grow onions from seed or sets. Seeds are great for more experienced gardeners, they provide a wider range of cultivars, but they have to be started early because they need a long growing season. Seed is also short-lived and only lasts a couple of years. Sets are usually available in three or four varieties at your local garden center, but they are much easier to use, which is perfect for the first-time gardener. Sets are just baby onions. Try to buy the smaller ones. If sets are too large, they might go to flower and then they don't store very well. You can still eat them, but they just won't keep long and fall. Also BY locally because then the variety should match your climatic conditions. Ionians can take some frost, so plant early to give them a long growing season. They can be planted a month before your last frost date. As soon as the soil can be worked, the more leaves you get, the bigger the final bulb. So plantain, where they will get lots of sun. You can plan in rows or in a grid format, space to stats about five inches apart. Take the SAT, push it into the soil about an inch. So the top still shows above the soil level, water in and you're done. It's really that easy. Don't let this all get completely dry, but don't over water either. If the top inch gets dry, that is okay because the roots go deeper than that. I like to mulch my plants with straw, but composts would work to. This keeps the weeds down and reduces the watering, fertilize if your soil is deficient of nutrients, if you're not sure about the US, the best thing to do is to incorporate some compost or manure into the soil before planting. Decide dress with it after planting. A bit of nitrogen can help develop larger bulbs, but stopped fertilizing once the bulb start to get thicker around mid summer as the bald fat now they will stick out of the soil and this is perfectly natural. Don't cover them with soil. It is best to weed on a weekly basis so that you have as little competition for the anions as possible. You can start pulling green onions anytime you want. If you plan to harvest a lot of these, plant the sets closer to the gather and harvest every second one all season long as needed. Once you see the bulbs forming, you can harvest these two and eat them right away. If you're looking around the Internet, you might find people that tell you you need to bend the green tops over to get them ready for harvest. That is a complete math. Don't do anything to the top of the plant, knows what it's doing and we'll bend over when it's ready. When you see the top spending over the plant is signaling you that it has stopped growing. It's time to harvest the onions, hold them out, let them sit in the sun for a day or two and then store them cool. That's really all there is to it. Onions are part of the allium genus and other types of algorithms are also good for eating. Many of them are quite cold tolerant and can be grown as perennials. In fact, I grew older men lie perennial bed instead of the vegetable garden because they flower so nice. These are chives. Plant the bulbs in spring and harvest anytime you want for the rest of your life. If you plan to eat them, it is best to cut off the green stems before they flower. But you can even eat the flowers if you want. Keep cutting them anytime they get long enough to harvest. You can also eat the bulbs. Another great garden allium is fistulas awesome, also called the Welsh onion, grow and harvest it just like chives. I've had it in my zone 5 garden for about 14 years and it comes back every year. It also slowly seeds itself. And the larger clump from year to year. Garlic chives are also a perennial which can be harvested all summer long. I find it seeds around quite a bit. So if you do let it flower, cut the flower heads off before the seeds are fully developed. I hope you will give onions a try. They're so easy to grow. 12. Growing Lettuce: Let us maybe the most popular vegetable grown by both new and experienced gardeners. It is easy to grow and grows fast and it is easy to harvest. In this video, I'll give you some pointers on how to grow it. There are three basic types of lattice, head lettuce, Romaine, and leaf lettuce. In the past head let us was the most popular one you could buy in grocery stores and many gardeners wanted to grow it in a garden. Unfortunately, head lattice is not that easy to grow, so I suggest new gardeners stay away from it. Romain is now popular in stores and it is a bit easier to grow, but leaf lattice is even easier. And I suggest new gardener start with it. Leaf lettuce forms a very loose head. The nice thing about it is that you don't need to wait very long to harvest it. You can pull off the outside leaf at any stage and start eating. You can also cut the whole head off and more leaves will grow from the stump. There are many types of leaf lattice and they come in different leaf shapes and colors. One that I really like is called oak leaf lettuce. You can also try the red or green variety of salad bowl, which has received the all America winner award, led us as a cool season crop, which means it needs to grow. Wild temperatures are cool. Once it gets hot, it will bolt, forming a flower. Once I bolts becomes bidder and the season is done. Seed germinates best with a soil temperature of around 70 degrees. If you wait until things get that warm in the garden, the season is almost over. So the trick for growing lettuce is to start it early indoors, Started under lights or on a window sell about four weeks before the last frost date and get it outside as soon as possible. Ambitious gardeners will start it even earlier and hope that the frost does not get them. A bit of frost won't harm the plants if you decide to start them very early, I suggest you start a second batch a few weeks later as a backup, just in case that way if you have a late spring and the first crop gets killed by frost, you'll have more plants ready to go. You don't want to start them inside. You can use winter sewing. You can grow lettuce in beds or rows with plants spaced about four inches apart, harvest every second one as small plants to provide more room for the others. Or you can just tuck seedlings all over the garden. Since they are ready early, they can be grown right next to things that are harvested late, long before the other crop needs the space let us will have been harvested. They can also be grown in containers or in flower beds. Each plant needs very little space. The secret to growing lettuce is to grow up fast, keep it well-watered, and add some extra nitrogen in the form of either fertilizer or compost. One problem with lettuce is that it can't take summer heat, but there are some techniques to get around this problem. The first is to plant in shade, plant lettuce in a spot that is sunny early in the spring, but one that gets shady by late spring. Other tall vegetables work well for this, the north side of tomatoes is a great spot if you grow beans or peas on trellis, as I suggested in these videos, the north side of these are a cool spot by mid-summer. Let us can also be planted in late summer and harvested in fall and early fall. Frost won't hurt these plants. The other approach is to grow. Let us impostor, like New Zealand spinach. This is a leafy green that loves summer heat. Plants. Some of this along with your lead us and you can have a salad all summer long. New Zealand spinach is not really a spinach or a let us start seeds indoors, but don't plant outside until the danger of Frost has gone. These are bigger plants and need to be spaced about 18 inches apart. Harvest of few leaves off each plant every few days to keep reproducing new leaves all summer long. A final suggestion. There are many types of let us try to grow variety that you can't buy locally. That way you can enjoy something special and impress your gas. 13. Growing Cucumbers: Cucumbers are number eight on my list of the best vegetables for new gardeners. They're fairly easy to grow and each plant produces a good size crop. The plants to take quite a bit of space, but I'll show you how to overcome this limitation. Cucumbers are a warm season crop. They can't take frost and you can't plant seeds in the ground until it warms up. Once a plant stars producing Qc, so it will continue until frost. Each plant will produce about two cucumbers per week. So you can see that for an average family, you don't need a lot of plants to keep a salad on the table. By the way, is a cucumber, a fruit or vegetable? Botanically speaking, it is a fruit because it is the part of the plant that is used to make seeds. A tomato is also a fruit. There are many types of cucumbers, but if this is your first time, stick to the common variety which some people call the American cucumber. Some good cultivars includes straight eight and market more. English cucumbers are a bit harder to grow in a garden, but if you want them, give them a try, they're not that hard to grow. Pickling cucumbers are grown in the same way as the American cucumber, but they're not as good for eating fresh. Cucumbers make some people burp. And some older varieties are bidder. But most of today's common varieties are both bidder lists. Amber plus there are two ways to start cucumbers, seedlings, or direct sowing. In short season locations. It is a good idea to use seedlings because it extends the harvest season. In warmer areas, seeding direct is preferred because it is much easier to do. I live in zone five and mostly direct seed because it's easier, I could produce a lot more fruit by using seedlings. If you're going to start seeds indoors, start them about four weeks before the last frost date and plant outside about two weeks after the last prostate. The soil should be warmed up by then so that the seedlings will start growing right away. If you want to see direct, you need to wait until the soil is about 60 degrees fahrenheit or 16 degrees centigrade, which happens two or three weeks after the last frost date. Most online information and the seed packs will tell you to plant several seeds on a hill. As a myth, historically, the word Hill means a group, not amount of soil. Over time, people misinterpreted the term and started planting on a mound. There are some benefits for this, but for most people, you can just plant on flat ground. But about planting several seeds together in large fields, you can do this and let each vine grow outwards like the spokes of a bicycle. But in smaller gardens, this is a waste of space. You can still plants several seats to gather, but once they germinate, cut off all but one plant. Don't want competition from a second plant. Space seeds or seedlings about two feet apart. If you have the space for feet is better. Where should you plant them? Keep in mind that cucumbers are vines and they are large plants. If you have the space, you can just let them cover a large piece of ground. But for most of us, we have smaller gardens and a spreading vine takes up far too much space. The solution is to grow vertically. You can make all kinds of trellis. The plant really doesn't care. It will climb up almost anything. Here's a suggestion. Try to find an existing trellis in the garden. A chain link fence is perfect. An old kilometers trellis works provided at no longer has a calamitous growing on it. Does your back deck have a railing at some string to it and you have a trellis or had some wires to a standard wooden fans. If you're growing in a raised bed, put the trellis on the north side and plant other things in front of it. It is important to plant the vine so that it gets lots of sun. Also keep in mind that the north side of any trellis is Shadi and many things won't grow well there, but it is the perfect place to put some cool growing lead us. Once the cucumbers growing, keep it well water, but water only when the soil dries out. Some compost or fertilizer will help things along. The vine is now growing and you get your first yellow flower. You're very happy. Soon you will be harvesting your first cucumber or not. Cucumbers make both male and female flowers. The first few flowers are almost always males and they don't produce fruit. You have to wait until the plant produces female flowers. How do you tell a difference of female flower will already have a small cucumber right behind the flower, as in this picture, female flowers still need to be fertilized for the fruit to grow. But you can see the baby QC as soon as the flower opens. A male flower, as in this picture, has no such baby QC. Once female flowers are produced, cucumbers start growing quite fast, keep an eye on them and the harvest early. If the cucumber starts getting yellow, you waited far too long. And if they get nice and thick, you also waited too long once they thicken up, the seeds inside are developing and it is less desirable for eating, pick early and often check minds every couple of days. Cucumbers have two main problems. The first is mildew, this forms or white coating on the leaves. It's a fungal disease and as it progresses, the leaves get wider and wider. Once they are completely covered, there are useless to the plant, which then stops making fruit. You can spray with a fungicide, but a home remedy can work. I rarely recommend home remedies because 99 percent of what you see on the Internet doesn't work. But in this case, there is one that does make a mixture. Baking soda in a quart of water and spray plants once a week is best to start sprang before you see mildew. But even if you start once you see it, this spray will slow down the disease so that you will still get a good harvest. The second possible problem is the cucumber beetle. Adults have yellow and black stripes on their back and they love the cucumber leaves. There's also a less common species that has a black spots instead of bars. You can try to catch the Beals and drop them in soapy water, but that can be difficult if you have a lot. You can also try and insecticidal soap. That is all there is to growing cucumbers. It is an easy crop for the beginning gardener, and pound for pound is one of the most productive. I've been growing cubes for 40 plus years because they're easy and always produce well. 14. Growing Beans: Every time I think of beans, I can't help but think of the playground rhyme. Beings, beings good for the heart. The more you eat, the more you, well, you know, they may cause a bit of gas, but they are good eating, produce high yields and are really easy to grow. At the end of this video, I will let you in on a little secret that will double your production. And this video, I will focus on the string bean, which is also called the snap bean or green B. When it's yellow, it's called the wax being. They come in to growth habits Bush and pull the bush beans make short plants mature earlier and all of the crop is ready for harvest at the same time. This is great for farmers who only want to harvest once, and it's a good choice if you want to preserve your beans. But it's not ideal for people who want to eat them fresh. For fresh eating, I recommend the pole bean takes up less space in the garden, produces more beans and produces them over a much longer period so that you can pick a few every day, both Bush and pull a grown the same way. But you might want to give the bush beans a little more space between plants. Kentucky wonder is a well-known hair loom that produces well and is easy to find in seed packs. It is available in both a green and a yellow being blue lake is also a popular green being. The other cultivar I would suggest is the scarlet runner bean. It has nice red flowers and makes a bean pod that most people North America I have not eaten before making a kind of special try a few Vines in the flower garden and see if you like the flavor. If you don't like the way they taste, at least you've got pretty flowers in your garden, beans or warm growers and are used these song direct outside once temperatures reach 75 degrees Fahrenheit or 22 centigrade, warmer soil works even better if the soil is too cold, the seed will rot. You can also start them inside four to six weeks early and plant outside once the soil is war, they don't like to be transplanted. So do this with minimal disturbance. Plant seeds with the eye of the beam pointing down about an inch deep. This is where the root will emerge. Both seeds and seedlings can be planted about four inches apart in a sunny spot. The problem with beans is that the seedlings are very attractive to small animals and insects. And I find that the first few leaves get eaten. If they're sewn directly in the garden, they will recover. But it does delay harvesting. Starting indoors to produce larger plants works well. You can also cover the newly planted seed with floating row cover to keep hungry things away from the plants until they are about a foot tall. After that, they can fend for themselves. The reason these beans are called pole beans is that they liked to climb. Traditionally, gardeners took several polls, I made a type of TP out of them. They would then plant a couple of seeds at the base of each pole. This works quite well, but I find that takes up a lot of room in the garden. I prefer to plan at the base of a trellis or chain link fence and let them climate. Ideally, this structure is about some feet tall, so the plants have lots of space to climb and you can still reach the beams. But shorter structures also work. Once you see the flowers, beings will soon follow the plant loss of water and the beans develop quickly. The key to producing good fresh beans is to pick them at the right time. If there are too small, they won't have good flavor yet. But once they develop to the point where you can see the sea bulge in the pod. You've waited too long to pick them. This is especially true for runner beans. Pick. Before you see the bean seeds develop, as the pods get bigger, they get Whittier and develop a string along the edge. You can still eat them, but they're now past their prime. The secret here is to pick every two or three days, select the ones that are just right and enjoy them. If I miss a few and they start getting Woody, I pulled them off so the plant keeps producing more flowers and being, once the plant produces beans, it will keep producing until it gets either too hot or too cold. In zone five, they produce until frost, but in warmer climates they stop producing pods when the temperature gets above 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Beings don't have a lot of paths once they are out of the seedling stage. But the Mexican bean beadle can be a problem. It is copper colored with black spots, knock them in the soapy water when you see them. You can also use insecticidal soap. Aphids are also attracted the beans and they come in a variety of colors. They like to live on the tender growing tips of the plants where they suck out the juices. A heavy daily spray of water from your hose will knock most of them off and control them. There are many other kinds of beans you can try. If you are a beginner, try the bug mentioned green ones. They are the easiest to grow, but most beans are fairly easy. So feel free to try others that you might like. Here's some suggestions. Lima beans tend to produce all of their crop at one time. So you can plant either push or pull, doesn't really matter. The bush type mature sooner. So is a good idea to plant new seat every two weeks so that you can harvest over a long season. Yard long beans are popular in Asian cuisines. They produce very long beans and are fun to grow. The vines are also much longer than the green beans and can reach 12 feet. They grow best up a very thin poll, since they have trouble wrapping around thick poles. Instead of harvesting fresh beams, you can also let the beams reach full size on the vine, let them dry and then harvest as dry beans. Personally, I feel you combine lots of dry beans in the store, but it can be hard to find really fresh green ones. So I focus my garden on producing things I can't easily by. If you are after dry beans, there are many types to try and they all grow about the same way. Here's the secret I promised you. I grow my beans APA vertical trellis, which is orientated North to South. So both sides get sun since beans are warm growers, the trellis would normally sit empty most of the early spring, which is a waste of space. So what I do is plant snap pea vines on one side very early in spring, will be about two feet tall by the time the soil is warm enough to plant and beans on the other side of the trellis, the P harvest is just about done by the time the beans start producing fruit. This way I get two crops from the same trellis and I am harvesting something most of the summer. 15. Growing Beets: Beats are numbers six and my ten best vegetable list. Unfortunately, it's one vegetable that a lot of people don't like to eat. Part of that may be due to the fact that store bought beet roots are hard as rocks and don't taste nearly as good as the ones I grow. If you don't like the roots, you may still like the leafy green tops, which are much more nutritious than lattice. If you're still not convinced, then you should know that the Greeks and Romans considered beats to be an aphrodisiac. I don't know if that's really true, but that's what the Internet says and the Internet never lies. I kept beats on my 10 best list because they're super easy to grow and you can eat both the leaves and the root. There's very little waste in this crop. There are two main types of beets, sugar beets and garden beads. Sugar beets are grown commercially for their sugar content and not for their taste, is not worth growing bees in the garden. The beat sold for eating are called beat route, table beats or common beats. A big reason why my beats taste so good is that I grow a particular kind of be called cylindrical. This beet root is shaped more like a carrot, so you get a lot of route from each plant. More importantly, it's quite sweet, at least for a beat. The combination of good taste, large size, and being inherent room. This variety, my number one choice. It is also great for slicing and canny and the green tops are quite good. Cylinder matures in 60 days from seed and they germinate well, there is not much value in trying to germinate early insides and you can plant outside as soon as the soil can be worked. Space seed about one inch apart in rows that are about one foot apart and a nice sunny spot. Because of their small size, beats also grow well in containers. Beats are a coolish crop. They can only take a light frost, but they also don't grow well once things get hot, they germinate and grow, bast and spring and fall. Beats like a fertile soil, but grow quite well in poor soil provided the pH is above six, they don't tolerate a low pH, go easy on the fertilizer. Too much nitrogen will give you a lots of tops. But small root beet seed is kinda weird. The so-called seed is actually a seed cluster of several seeds. This is why, no matter how thinly you saw the seed, you always end up with seedlings growing too close together. You can also plan some radish seed in the same row as the beads. They germinate and grow quickly and can be harvested before the beats need the space. Thin beat seedlings. Once there are a couple of inches tall, add the complete seedling roots and leaves to your salad or just munch on them in the garden as you thin. Repeat this a few weeks later, I always picking out the smallest seedlings. He want to end up with plants spaced about four inches apart. As Beats grow, they have a habit of showing the top of the root above the soil. This is particularly true for a cylinder which seems to grow mostly above the soil. This is not a problem, so don't try to cover the roots, just leave them alone. The top skin of the root might get brownish red, but this will come off when you cook them. Beats can be harvested at anytime before they are mature. Small beads tastes good and are very tender. Once cylinder has a diameter of about two inches, it is ready to harvest. There. Now at their best, to be honest, I usually just harvest them as I need them. And I find that even when cylinder has passed its prime, they are still quite tender and good eating. Some other cultivars will get hard and Woody as they age and should be harvested sooner. You can also so some new beats every three weeks so that you have a continuous supply of young beads. If you're seeding in warm weather, plant the seed a bit deeper so they stay cooler. This will help germination. Harvesting can continue quite late into fall, even if the tops get hit by frost, the roots would be fine. Warmer climates, some people cover the beats with straw and harvest all winter long. I find that in zone five, even when covered, they deteriorate too much during the winter. It is better to pick them before you get a hard frost. The top green leaves can be harvested at the same time that you harvest the roots, but using smaller tender leaves will make a better salad. If you plan to harvest young leaves, it is best to harvest from plants specifically grown for the leaves, because taking too many leaves will start the development or the root. If you'd like to try some unusual beats, they do come in different shapes and colors. Golden beets can be sweeter and have less of an earthy taste. White beads are quite mile and maybe a good choice for anyone who is not that crazy bot beats. And then there are the candy striped beads with red and white circles, which will make a very interesting meal. All of these beats can be grown exactly the same way. Past. Don't bother beats too much, but there are a couple of possible problems. One is the leaf minor. This is a fly who's mag it crawls inside the leaf and lives. They're making tunnels in the leaves. They affect beats Spanish and Swiss chard in Bede's, a light infestation does not harm the roots, but the leaves won't be good for eating unless you want to meet in your salad. You can crush the maggots through the leaves or cover the plant with a row cover so that the flies can't lay their eggs in the first place. Nathan's will also munch on the leaves, but these are usually not a significant problem. Fresh beats store well in the refrigerator for several weeks, provide it, you remove the top. If you want this, store them longer, put them in San saw dust or peat moss so the roots don't touch each other and then store in a cold, dry place, stored properly. They will last months. One of the best ways to store beats as the PECC on them, which I just love. 16. Growing Carrots: Carrots are one of the most popular vegetables and they are quite easy to grow. Provide it you follow my planting instructions. Carrots are normally sewn in the garden once the soil can be worked, the seat is short lived and is only good for about three years if they're stored in the fridge, if you're using it in its third year. So twice as many seeds as normal to make sure you still get a good crop. Carrots will germinate and cooler soil so you can start planting seeds about three weeks before the last frost date. In warm climates they grow best in fall and winter. Don't add too much fresh manure or nitrogen fertilizer, which can cause hairy roots. Small deformed side branches. The seat is very small compared to many other vegetable seed. This means that it needs to be sown quite shallow, just barely covered with soil. The seed is slow to germinate and it needs to be kept moist until it does add to this one other complication. The initial growth is quite small and not very strong. They have trouble breaking through a hard crusted soil, which can form if you water every day to keep them moist. As a result of all of this, some people have problems getting carrots to germinate, but the solution is quite simple. Make a very shallow trench for the seeds no more than a quarter inch deep. Place the seeds in the trench and cover with sand, gently patted down with your hands so that there is good contact between the seed and the soil. Now water generally, so you don't disturb the soil water daily and you will have good germination. The sand ensures that the surface does not crossed over, making it easy for the seedlings to poke through the soil. In climates with a longer growing season, you can extend the harvest by planting more seed about every three weeks. As the carrot root grows, it grows straight down unless it hits a stone or hard soil. In which case it starts to grow sideways, resulting in all kinds of funny-looking roots. These may be fun to look at, but you really don't want them. Instead you want nice straight ones which are much easier for peeling. Hard clay can also create misshapen roots. If you have this kind of soil, had lots of organic matter and dig up the soil to try and make it as loose as possible, get rid of any clumps of clay. If your soil is very rocky, consider using a raised bed that is filled with good soil that has no rocks in it. Once the seedlings are a few inches tall, thin them so that each plant has about an inch of space. A few weeks, then them again. This time there will be large enough so you can eat the small carrots. Keep thinking is required so that they end up with a space of four inches. When mature. As the roots develop, they may push themselves out of the ground. When the top of the root gets too much light, it will turn green to prevent this hill up the soil or malls so that the tops always stay covered. Carrots can be harvested at anytime. Very small carrots or tender, but not as flavorful as older roots. A touch, a frost will make them even sweeter. I like to harvest some every few days as I need them and I don't wait until they are fully mature. Just pull out the most crowded ones and give their neighbors more room to grow. Carrots common various lengths. If your soil is not great, pick a variety that is shorter. They tend to grow straight or even in poor soil. There are also many different caret cultivars, and I've tried quite a few. They all taste the same to me. I select the cultivar based on how well it grows and how quickly it matures. In zone five, we have short summers and I always look for vegetables with short maturation dates. If you wanted to try something special, try one of the purple, yellow, white, or red types. There are also baby carrot types, but to be honest, I would just plant a regular sized ones and harvest earlier if you want the small ones. Carrots can also be grown and containers, and the shorter ones are best for this, except for animals like rabbits, carrots are fairly past free in most areas. Root rot nematodes can be a problem in warmer climates, common internet advice is to grow Mary goals with the carrots to prevent this problem. But that only works in very long growing seasons like Florida. The other paths that can be a problem as the carrot rust fly, which feeds on mini-planets and the carrot family, including salary par snaps. So Lariam back and Dell, the adult lays eggs in the soil near the carrot. In a week, larva hatch out and feed on the roots, and then it pupate. Several generations can occur in one season. To solve this problem, lots of people recommend crop rotation, but the new area needs to be 5000 feet or 1500 meters away from the last location. This is just one example. We're crop rotation in a small backyard simply does not work. Row covers can keep the fly off your crop provided that last year's Pew pay are not hatching under their cover. You can also try some of the resistant varieties, but none are completely immune to this past. Carrots are really easy to grow. Once you learn how to germinate, I hope you give them a try. 17. Growing Radish: The radish is the easiest vegetable to grow and it's also the fastest to mature. That's why I put it into the number four spot. It's a cool growing crop that can be sewn very early. As soon as you come work the soil. The key to its success is to get it to mature faster and harvest at, before the hot weather hits. But I have a secret for you. At the end of this video, I'll show you how to grow and harvest it. Even in hot weather. You can sew it as a separate crop and planted in a traditional role. You can add a few seeds to most other slower growing crops like beets and carrots. The radish would be harvested before the other crops need the space. And since radish seed germinates quickly, it helps mark the planting role and can even help break up the soil crust, making germination easier for the other crops. A good place to plant radishes where you will plan other crops like tomatoes and peppers. The radish would be harvested long before these crops get big enough to need the space. And they just might provide a bit of shade and early summer keeping the radish cooler. Seating is simple. Make a trough about a half-inch deep, add the seed and covered with soil, water well and ceilings should appear in a few days, then seedlings as needed so that the final plants or two inches apart in rows, eight inches apart, have seedlings are too crowded, they won't plump up. You can eat the leaves and roots of these standings. Radish don't need a lot of fertilizer and can grow and most soils, the key is to keep the soil moist so growth is not interrupted and a mulch is a great idea. Once you see the route getting thicker, harvest at any time you need a meal, the trick with radish is not to leave them too long since the root gets woody soon after maturing, harvest. Most varieties when they are the size of a large marble, leaving him too long in the ground can room them, but they keep for weeks in the fridge if you harvest them and trim off the leaves. As the temperature warms up, the radish will start to flower and you'll see the flower stock L and gating above the leaves. Once this happens, the roots become really woody and they're no longer worth harvesting. Routes that split indicate a watering problem. This can happen after a heavy rain or if you water too much, the ladder is easily prevented by watering only when the soil needs it and not on a regular schedule. Radish are also a good fall crop. Some wants to temperature starts to drop so that you can harvest the late crop before a hard frost. There are a number of different shapes and colors of radishes, but most table radish tastes the same. Here are some different colors. You can try cherry bell as a reliable red radish. There are also winter radishes you might like to try. You can grow them in the same way as the common radish, but they usually do better when they're planted as a fall crop. The DICOM is a white Japanese radish that grows up to 16 inches long. Looks more like a carrot. Just like table radishes, they should be harvested early for better taste and texture. The black rat edge is available as both around and along caret shape variety. They grow best in fall and are very pungent. China rose is a unique winter radish with red skin and white flash. It has delicious roots, angry. One problem with radishes that the roots are only good and spring and fall, they just don't grow well in the heat of summer, but there is a solution. Plant and harvest radish as normal in spring, but leave a few to flower. The flowers are quickly followed by seed pods which are green and look just like small peas or beans. Or they taste like radish. Harvest when they are small, since they do get woody wants to seed starts to form inside the pod. Each plant will produce pods for a month or more. If you keep pecking them. With successive plantings, you can enjoy the taste or radish all summer long. If you want to have a bit of fun, take these radish pods and put them in a normal salad. Your friends will wonder why they can taste radish but can't see it. You can also buy seed that is specially bred for harvesting seed pods. Rat's tail and dragon's tail are some named cultivars, but I just use the regular radish once they go to flower. I gave a talk a few years ago and mentioned this trick with the radish and the lady in the audience put up her hand and told me that she was from India where they never eat the roots. They always grow them for the seed pods. Slugs and snails will damage the leaves and chew grooves in the root, just ignore minor damage. But if you have a significant problem, use commercial slug bait. Flea beetles are tiny insects that chew holes in the leaves. These are usually not a major problem. The worst issue is the root mag and which iss holes in the roots. The easiest solution is to cover the plants with a row cover to prevent the tiny fly from laying eggs. Put this on right after seeding and keep it on until you harvest. If you had this past last year, use the row cover, but plant in a new area of few feet away so that you don't trap the emerging flies under it. They do overwinter in soil. That's all the risks for growing radishes. 18. Growing Peas: Peas are easy to grow, provide it. You start them early, they just don't grow well in the heat of summer. In this video, I'll tell you which P's to grow and how to grow them so that they take up virtually no space at all. P's tastes best when you eat them right in the garden. If you have only eaten store bought peas, you will be inferred treat. There are three basic types of peas. Shelling, snow, and sugar snaps. Shelling peas are also called English peas. The pods are ready for harvest. Once the peas inside are fully developed, the pods are tougher eating, so people remove the green peas from the pods and just eat the seed, hence the name shelling peas. These p's are easy to grow. The problem is that so much of your crop is left on the compost pile. You only eat the green seeds and it's a lot of work shelling them. That's too much trouble for me. The snow peas, also called Chinese pod peas, are mature when the seeds are just starting to form, even though they are harvested before they're fully mature. This type takes longer to grow. I like the taste of these, but again, the harvest is small since you don't really eat the pea seeds. At some point, plant breeders decide to cross the above two types and a developed sugar snaps, combining the best qualities of both. You grow them until the seeds are almost fully develop and the pods are still tasty, provide it, you pick them on time. Best of all, you don't have to show them. This. The only kind of PI grow. The original variety name was sugar snap. And this is now considered by some to Heroku as easy to find in stores and seed catalogs. Some newer hybrids includes sugar and sugar daddy, but I grow the original sugar snap, plant pea seeds as early as possible, about one inch deep. Hat the soil down with your hand to make sure the seed is in contact with the soil. Peas can take some frost and even seedlings are not harmed by a light frost. So start some very early and hope the spring weather is good. So some every two weeks so that you have a continuous supply piece showing a few weeks after your last prostate. Here's a trick you can use to plan earlier and have a longer crop season. In late fall, remove all malt from the area where you will be sowing peas. Cover the area with clear plastic and use boards or soil to hold down the edge of the plastic in spring, this area will heat up much faster than the rest of the soil. As soon as you can dig one inch deep, plant a seed and cover up with the plastic again to keep things warm. Remove the plastic once the seedlings show above the soil, this can give you a two to three-week headstart. Peas like a fertile soil that drains well, but they do find in most soils except heavy clay. If you have clay, incorporate some compost to loosen the soil, a pH above six is preferred. If you plant seed about two inches apart, you will not have to thin the plants don't fertilize once you have sown the seed, their light feeders and too much nitrogen will give you less fruit. After seeding, keep the soil moist but not too wet, especially when the soil is cool, too much water will rot the seeds mulch. One seedlings are a couple of inches tall to keep their shallow roots cooler water well, once you see flowers, sugar snaps, or a short vine that grows to a ball five feet. I like to grow them up a trellis so they take up very little room. My trellis runs north-south, so both sides get good sunlight. By the time the peas are a couple of feet tall, I plant beans or cherry tomato vines on the other side of the trellis, peas or my early crop. And I'm finished picking them before the second crop needs the space. And this way, I basically get Ps using any garden space at all. If you don't want to use a trellis, try growing sugar n, which is a very good snap pea type. But in Bush for, this is also a better option for container garden plant so that each seed is spaced about six inches from the next one. The trick to great Ps is to harvest at the right time. Sugar snaps are perfect when the seeds are getting plump but are not yet fully developed, the outside of the pod will still be green. If you wait too long, the peas lose their sweetness and the pods start getting a whitish green color. The pod looks like it's drying out and it starts forming a string, just like beans. They are now past their prime. The more you harvest, the more flowers and fruit each plant will produce, provided the weather is not too high yet, harvest carefully. If you just pull the pods off, you might break the vine, which means all of the less mature pods will fail to develop. It is best to hold the stem just below the fruit with one hand and twist the p.ball off with the other so the main stem is protected. You can also see it in fall for a late crop to be successful, you need to shade the seedlings from late summer heat and keep them well-watered until cooler temperatures arrive. Peas are fairly pest free. Aphids can be a problem as warmer weather approaches, but a strong spray of water usually keeps them in check. There are also some root rots, but they don't seem to be a major problem in gardens. Give sugar snaps and try and eat them right in the garden. 19. Growing Garlic: There are two basic kinds of garlic, hard neck and soft neck. They're very similar, but it is important for you to know which one to grow. This table compares hard neck to soft neck. Hard neck garlic tends to have a stronger flavor, but that depends a lot on the variety you grow. It makes larger cloves and is more cold hardy. Hard neck is grown mostly by gardeners in northern climates, soft neck garlic can be stored longer and make smaller close. The soft neck allows you to braid them together. Most soft neck do not make flour scapes. This can be a plus or minus. Flower escapes need to be removed mid summer, creating more work, but some people like to eat them, and so they see this as a bonus crop. Soundscape is more popular in warm climates. The picture on the left shows hard net garlic. These bulbs have been dried a bit too much, but they clearly show the hard stem coming out of the center of the head. On the right side, we have soft neck garlic. Notice that the stem is soft, then flimsy. It is mostly made up of the same skin that surrounds the whole bulb and the center of the stem is hollow. Garlic is mostly passed free, but it does have one past, which can be serious, the blue nematode, this is a microscopic worm which attacks the garlic ball and a heavy infestation will destroy your crop once in your soil, it's difficult to get rid of. This has become a serious agricultural problem in arterial, most garlic fields are now infected. It is also a big problem in many US states and it is present in Europe. The good news is that it does not travel very far in soil and it doesn't move through the air, it won't show up in your garden unless your immediate neighbor has them or you bring them into your garden along with your seat garlic. Now garlic doesn't really have seen the term seed. Garlic refers to the clothes you buy for planting. So as long as you buy clean nematode free garlic for planting and your neighbor has clean soil, you will not have a nematode problem once you have been growing garlic, you will use your own seat garlic in future years. Where should you buy your seed garlic if you are going to buy garlic for planting, only buy it from companies that have tested and certified their garlic to be nematode free. This is one time when it is not a good idea to buy from your local farmer unless they are certified nematode free. A second option is to get some garlic from a gardener, you know very well, and trust someone who has been growing their own garlic for at least 10 years and who is not introduced a new garlic source to their garden? I've been growing the same Garland for 15 years and I know it's nematode free in that time. I have never added a new variety for fear of getting nematodes. Don't use garlic from a grocery store. It will grow and make garlic, but you don't know where it's been. They might look perfectly good, but you can't see a low infestation rate of nematodes, don't take a chance. I am now going to show you exactly how to plant garlic. I live in zone five and I harvest my garlic around mid August. The garlic heads are dried and then most of the stamp is removed. They will sit in my shed until around mid September when it's planting time and northern climates, you want to plan once you have some cool nights, I don't think the time is that critical and I probably plant sooner than most people. I like to give the bulbs as much time as possible to set down a good root system before the ground freezes. The first step is to select the biggest clothes from the previous harvest. The theory is that if you plant big close, you will get big claws. And he bulb that shows damage should be sent to the kitchen for eating. You only want to plant the best Faulds you have. The next step is to take your selected heads and break them into individual close. As I go through this process, you can clearly see the hard stems in the center. If you have any smaller cloves, don't plant them, eat them instead. Leave the paper coding on the cloves because it might protect them once they're planted. As some of the coding comes off, it doesn't really matter. The clove was still grow fine. The next step is to repair the planting bed. I don't believe in digging up the vegetable garden before planting, you will have healthier soil if you disturb it as little as possible. I plant my garlic in the same row every year. Crop rotation makes sense in a large garden, but in most small home gardens like mine, there's no benefit in doing it. I also don't fertilize. The crop last year was good and the bulbs were large. So the soil clearly has enough nutrients. Why add more if they're not needed besides, some of the straw use will decompose and add nutrients. I simply rake the surface of the soil a bit to make it level. And then using the edge of the rake, I make a small fertile, four to five inches deep. Then take the clothes and set them about six inches apart. Cover the soil. I then cover the row with some loose straw. As the temperature drops, the straw will keep the clothes warm and they will grow for a longer period of time and the fall. More growth equals a bigger crop next year. The final step is to add some water and the job is done, keep them well-watered until the ground freezes in early spring, remove most of the straw so that the soil can warm up. Once the soil is warm, put the straw back to keep moisture in the soil and to keep weeds down in summer, keep the soil moist and we'd regularly, so the new garlic heads grow as big as possible. 20. Growing Tomatoes: Without a doubt, the tomato is the most popular vegetable grown in backyards. It's fairly easy to grow, but a few diseases can be a problem. I think the main appeal for home-grown tomatoes is taste store-bought ones are just so tasteless these days. Once you've grown your own, you'll never want store-bought again. There are different classes of tomatoes. There are bush tomatoes and climbing tomatoes. There are also determinant and indeterminate. This sounds complicated, but it isn't. Bush tomatoes are exactly what they sound like. They grow as a short bush and they are determinant. They produce all of their fruit at one time and then stop growing. The easy way to remember this is that they are determined to finish the year early. Bush tomatoes are best for farmers who want a single harvest and for gardeners who want to preserve and can them indeterminate tomatoes are the opposite. They are climbing vines that continue to grow all season long, continually producing fruit. In greenhouse culture, they can grow 40 feet tall in a 10 month period. These tomatoes are great for an extended season. Most varieties on the market are indeterminate. Tomatoes have a fairly long growing season, but they can't take frost. Gardeners that live in colder zones usually start the seed indoors and plant seedlings out once the weather gets warm, it's important to harden them off before taking them outside. In warm zones, you can plant C directly outside. Tomatoes grow boss with lots of sun and want, but when it gets too hot, they won't ripen. So in hot climates, some shade is a good idea. Setting out plants is done a bit differently than most other transplants. Tomatoes form roots along their entire stem. So many people will remove the lower leaves and plant them deepen the ground so that more of the stem is covered with soil. Doing it this way results in a bigger root system and hopefully a higher yield. But there is limited science to confirm this, except in hot climates. How you grow tomatoes depends very much on the cultivar. Small cherry tomatoes they grow as a bush, are perfect for containers since they don't need much space. Larger, indeterminate tomatoes are generally grown in one of two ways. Staked and traditional rose or grown up a trellis. Most of the common varieties like beef, steak and Early Girl, don't grow very tall and are easily grown with a steak. You set out the plants, place a steak beside each one, and then train the tomato up the stake. A lot of indeterminate cherry tomatoes produce faster growing vines that are grown best on trellis because they just get far too tall. My all time favorite tomato, which I've been growing for 40 years as the sweet 100, which is a fast-growing vine. In zone five, it will be a feet tall by August, due to this height, it is best grown on a trellis to save garden space and to make harvesting easier. There are thousands of tomato varieties. Some claim that hair looms can't be beat for taste, but many of these are less resistant to diseases. There is no such thing as the best tomato, while grows well in one location may not grow as well or taste as good in another. This is one crop where it is a good idea to grow several varieties and over a few years, select the ones that do best for you. In my previous gardens, I always grew beef steak and it did well for me in my current location. It just does not produce a good crop and I have no idea why tomato plants produce soccer's. These are side branches that grow out between the leaf, the main stem. If you leave the soccer to grow, you will have many stamps. The age-old debate is about removing soccer's, should you or should you not. Every gardener seems to have an opinion. I looked into the science of the US and the best choice depends on your goals. In short, you can get a higher yield with soldering, but only if you also plan closer together. If you use traditional spacing and you remove soccer's, you will actually get less fruit for a given space. In warm weather, it may be better to only soccer the lower leaves since the developing fruit needs extra shade to write them properly. Red tomatoes are ripe and ready for pecking once the red color is well-developed. But tomatoes also common purple, yellow, green, and black. Tomatoes are fairly heavy feeders prepare new soil by bringing in some compost or manure, then add some more compost on top once plants are in the ground, it is also a good idea to malls between the plants to keep moisture constant. The downside to tomatoes is that they can get a number of diseases and they have some issues with improper growing conditions. Blossom end rot is common, especially on the new fruit. Each season, the fruit develops a distinctive block, quirky material at the blossom end, the Internet is full of all kinds of nonsense about this problem, which is called BER for short. Ber is rarely a soil calcium deficiency. So adding calcium or TMS to the soil will not help. Some people swear that adding Epsom salts works, but this contains magnesium and BBR has nothing to do with the magnesium deficiency provided your soil has enough calcium and most soil does BER is a watering issue. It can be prevented by correct watering, keeping soil evenly moist and preventing dry wet cycles. Another big issue or tomato blight. Unfortunately, most gardeners clumped three different diseases into one and call them all blight. This results in all kinds of bad advice on the Internet. Here's the Coles Notes version of these fungal problems. The first disease as sectorial leaf spot is very common and in my zone 5 garden plants have it every year. It does not kill the plant, nor does it deform the fruit. In warm climates, it can eventually kill the plant, but you should still get a good harvest first. It is soil borne. So a mulch that covers a soil may slow down disease by preventing soil from splashing up on plants. You can also try removing lower leaves as soon as they get infected. But in my experience, this is not help very much, except in severe cases. Ignore this problem. The second disease is early blight. This forms brown rings on leaves which slowly spread through the plant. Fruit can be affected. Early crops can usually be harvested, but late crops are less successful. A fungicide can help, but the best solution is to plant varieties that are resistant to this disease. And then there is late blight. I'd not seen this in most of my gardening life, but about eight years ago, it hit Northeastern US really hard. I also had at the following year and about three years later, this fungus also attacks potatoes, and it's the same fungus that caused the Irish potato famine. The spores from this fungus travel a long distance and it is mostly passed along by disease seedlings. The symptoms look a bit like early blight, but with late blight, the plant and fruit are dead in a matter of a week or two. It is very fast and deadly. There are now some resistant cultivars, but these are mostly the smaller type tomatoes. There's really very little a gardener can do to prevent or control a disease. C does not carry the fungus, so growing your own seedlings will help. But remember the fungus travels long distance on the air currents. So if anyone in your town hazard, it's quite likely you'll get it to. Plant breeders have been working very hard to produce disease resistant tomato varieties to show that a call to R is resistant, a letter designation is added after the name and F indicates resistance to Fusarium wilt and an LB as resistance for late blight when selecting your tomato varieties, it is a good idea to get as many of these resistances as possible, especially if you had a disease and the previous year. My sweet 100 is a vf resistance to one type of fusarium and to vertice cilium wilt. Tomatoes do have some challenges, but except for late blight, which is not that common in most years, you should get a decent yield each year. I suggest you try a couple of different varieties to see which ones grow best for you, you will love that first fresh tomato from the garden.