Episode-1957- The Beginners Guide to Growing Food

I have done some really advanced stuff with agriculture and permaculture over the years but I realized it has been a long time since I have done something totally devoted to a true beginner.  The person looking at a patch of ground and a back porch and just wanting a garden and some of their own food on their own table.

This does not have to be complicated and it also doesn’t have to be expensive.  Our grand parents and great grand parents didn’t spend a lot of money to grow a garden, they didn’t have design certificates or gadgets either.  Still today we have a lot of options they didn’t, by combining their simple approach and some modern convience we can get off the ground running fast.

We can have a great harvest in our first year and lay the ground work for a garden that gets better and better over time.  We can also do things in a way that shortens the learning curve and makes us feel good about what we are doing, rather than demotivated and frustrated as many first year gardeners become.

Join Me Today to Discuss…

  • An example of why the “green thumb” is a myth to be ignored
  • What is the goal of a family garden
    • Produce food
    • Save money
    • Improve quality of life
    • Provide better healthier nutrition
  • Should you go with “raised beds”
    • What is the ground like
    • What is your climate like
    • Can you either automate or simply irrigation
    • Are you going to want “borders” if so why
    • Where are you going to get your material and how much will it cost
  • Why I recommend buying plants your first year, at least some of them
    • Plants I recommend buying
      • Peppers
      • Tomatoes
      • Broccoli/Cauliflower
    • High success rate
    • Very broad availability of varieties now
    • Cost is not bad, and this is a learning year
  • Plant I recommend planting from seed in the ground
    • Peas/Beans etc.
    • Beets
    • Radishes
    • Arugula
    • Dill
    • Squash
    • Melons
  • Plants I recommend starting in containers even in your first year or buying
    • Chard
    • Lettuce
    • Basil
    • Parsley
    • Chives
  • Why everyone should grow sweet potato
  • Bed establishment
    • Double dig, sheet mulch or both
    • Bring in material – yes till/turn it in
    • Mulch with wood chips
  • The things that will make your plants successful almost no mater what
    • Dr. Earth 1014 Premium Gold Organic All-Purpose Fertilizer (balanced NPK) – Link
    • Garrett Juice Plus (foliar feed) – Link
    • Blood and Bone Fertilizer – Link
    • GS Plant Foods Liquid Kelp – Link
    • Hydro Organics Earth Juice Cal-n-Mag Plant Food – Link
    • Liquinox Iron Zinc Chelated Solution – Link
    • Endo Mycorrhizae Fungal Inoculation – Link
    • Azomite consider sourcing locally – Link
    • Green Sand consider sourcing locally – Link
    • Lava Sand – source this locally!
    • Expanded Shale – source this locally!
  • Going forward or doing more in the first year (composting-worms-etc)

Resources for today’s show…

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16 Responses to Episode-1957- The Beginners Guide to Growing Food

  1. Jack, at 26:10, how did you determine your square yardage for a 4x8x1 raised bed? I got 3.5 cu yards, not 1 yard.
    Thanks for the show. Good advice regarding peat moss.

  2. 4×8=32 32 divided by 9= 3.55— square yards. 4 x 8 x 1 = 32 cubic feet divided by 27 = 1.185 — cubic yards of soil needed.

  3. OK.. I agree that Jail House Rock was not about prison sex but since you brought it up, listening to the song with that mind, I had a few laughs. I’ll probably never hear that song the same way again, lol.

    Great show. In well into getting some plants started this season.. too many heirloom tomatoes that I’ll be selling off a lot of, and I was happy see my lettuces started coming up yesterday. Beans, squash, and melons are also planned along with some short carrots and I decided to plant radishes and turnips so I could excitement with trying to introduce them into my diet. Also considering a couple of potatoes, and definitely sweet potatoes.

  4. Maybe I missed it but I never heard anything about having a soil test done. Wouldn’t the results from a soil test be valuable? Perhaps just an oversight, but thought I would ask. Your thoughts?

    • No if you do what I laid out, it isn’t going to matter. If you want to do one fine, but in the end, amend with organic matter, see to soil biology and rock on with your life.

  5. Really good timing on this episode, I look forward to listening.

  6. I may have missed in my first listen through on this one but if you are double digging and adding mulch/organic material to improve the soil do you mix it in and then dump the soil into your hole or are you doing this after you replaced the old soul into the home you made? Do you do little 4×4 beds and have the wood chips around those or do wood chips go around everything and you just clear out a space to plant? I know it’s rudimentary but I just want to get it right this year since last year our garden sort of worked but became weed central. I thought we would go to raised beds this year but this episode has convinced me that we just need to use the dirt we have and do a better job of weed block. Thanks!!!!!

  7. Great show Jack! Put in a raised bed last fall and getting ready to plant this spring. Very timely with a lot of good info!

  8. Could you provide link or name to backpack sprayer you recommend in this show.

  9. What about horticultural molasses? I’m pretty sure I’ve heard you recommend that before.

  10. Very timely for me as I just put together my first garden course. We are zone 3 (Canada) and surprisingly I included 90% of the same stuff as it works for me even up here. I geared it towards people who are not gardening at all or just buy bedding plants every year because they keep telling everybody “nothing grows up here”.
    Thanks for the show!

  11. Would you prepare the soil the same for planting fruit trees?

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