This is John Kohler with growingyourgreens.com,
I have another exciting episode for you today. As you can see, today I’m on yet another
field trip and we’re visiting another viewer’s house that was inspired by me so I’m feeling
really cool that this is happening today, and as you can see behind me we’re in North
Las Vegas and you can see me this is what the desert looks like, people littering their
plastic bags that are ending up in the scrub brush over there and there’s just not much
growing on. But if we turn over to just across the street here, the residential area, and
there’s some amazing gardens growing on. And I want to encourage everybody whether
you live in Las Vegas in the desert where, look, nothing would normally grow, and people
think you can’t grow food in the desert, you’re going to have a rock landscaping
like many people do here. You can do it, and we’re going to show you today what has been
done by a 23 year-old who just found my videos a few years ago and got really inspired to
grow everything he’s growing in his back yard, and it’s totally amazing. So let’s
head to the back yard and check it out. This is your standard back yard in Las Vegas.
As you can see it’s just rocks, and it’s barren, there’s nothing growing. Now your
back yard could look like this or like a back yard over the way they have a Miss Kitty Play
jump house I don’t know if they’re out there having a birthday party or what today,
but there’s probably not a lot of food growing over there. But I want to let you guys know
that you can do it, because this is an awesome example, this is probably one of the nicest
back yards that I’ve seen here in Vegas. And now the amazing thing is simply this:
this is a rental house. This is not even owned or anything by the gardener that’s doing
this, it’s a rental. So he built all these raised beds out of just inexpensive construction
grade lumber, not even treating the wood. They may not be here forever, but that’s
all right because they are growing now and that’s what is really important. So let’s
go inside I’m going to show you this amazing backyard garden here in Las Vegas.
So check it out, this back yard is not barren like the one next door but it’s just full
of greenery. This is really well laid out, designed well, just really simple easy construction
using two by sixes and some two by eights tied together, nailed and screwed, and there’s
I don’t even know how many raised beds are in here, there’s at least two dozen raised
beds and each one has different things planted, so what we’re going to get to do today is
actually walk around and show you some of the construction, show you guys what is growing
and actually more importantly show you guys some of the varieties that are growing. There’s
a lot of different varieties of things, and unique and uncommon things, many of which
were learned from my show, but there’s even a few things I haven’t heard of and haven’t
seen growing before, so I’m actually super impressed with his garden, and I’m super
excited to share with you guys, so let’s check it out.
The next thing I want to talk about is the design and layout, I mean this is really a
nice design, it’s just laid out well, he has maybe about 18 inches between these raised
beds, in the center he has little L-shaped beds around and a nice raised bed in the middle
with all those basil around the edges he has marigolds and pepper plants in each of these
beds, so let’s head over to the basil and show you the basil he’s growing.
This is definitely one bed of basil, and he probably likes making pesto a lot. And the
thing about this I really like is that this really shows the genetic diversity that he’s
growing here. I mean simply in this one raised bed he has fourteen basil plants and eight
different varieties, all though I would like it if he had fourteen different varieties,
but eight varieties is definitely really good nonetheless, that’s a lot of different varieties
to hunt down and plant. And by doing this he can literally see which variety is going
to grow best here in North Las Vegas. So he has all different varieties of basils, and
I want to encourage you guys to grow a variety of things, because one variety may grow better
or worse than another in your area. So next let’s take a look at some of the
raised beds in this back yard and as you can see they’re just built out of standard lumber
here, this one’s probably about two feet by two feet, and even if you have a smaller
raised bed like this, you can grow lots of food, they’ve got some marigolds growing
in here, some onion chives, but more importantly, he’s using the vertical space to his advantage.
And how he’s doing that is simply right here attached onto his raised bed are some
two by fours going all the way up, and some one by twos going across that you can see,
and he’s basically tying up and growing his cucumbers vertically. Now he has three
different varieties of cucumbers in here, Armenian, White Lightning, and a lemon cucumber,
and each one’s growing at a different rate so that’s kind of good to know, I’m sure
also he’ll learn this year which variety grows the best in this particular climate
and situation and maybe next year he’ll continue to grow the ones that did really
well, and not the ones that didn’t do so well, and that’s something really that I
want to encourage you guys to do. What he’s doing here is growing many different varieties
of crops, just kind of see what works and what doesn’t, and he’s learning as he
grows and that’s one of the big things that I admire about him, and I want to encourage
you guys to do that as well. And this one’s a very special treat right
here, check out. This is my grandbaby, well I don’t have any grandbaby kids or even
babies, but I’ve got a grandbaby tree collards. This tree collard originated from my garden
from a cutting, I gave it to my friend Jason, Jason took cuttings from his plant and now
it’s growing here, and now this gardener’s actually making cuttings and my great-great-grandbabies
are going to end up hopefully maybe even in your yard. So once again tree collards, it
literally grows as a tree, and this is actually a really nice specimen. He’s taken the time
to stake it properly, and he’s taken the time to cut back all the bad leaves, and he
has one nice trunk coming up, which is a good inch in diameter, and this is the way in my
opinion a tree collard should be grown. Once again it’s pretty tall he’s going to top
it off and hopefully encourage it to bush out to produce more food, and he doesn’t
want it getting too tall for his neighbors, and that’s a thing you know, you can control
how much a plant grows especially in the case of tree collards where it’s putting on the
leaves that may not necessarily affect too much of the yield by topping it, actually
it’ll probably increase the yield. But once again on things like cucumbers, you might
not want to top it off, because that probably will affect the yield.
Next let’s take a look at this raised bed here, and this is his herb raised bed. And
he did this really smart, I like how he did this. He built a one foot by about eight foot
raised bed and then he actually put in dividers in here. So he made little growing compartments
for each herb. Especially some herbs may want to get aggressive and take over, such as I
know this guy will. The oregano likes to take over, and if you’re growing the mint, there’s
some [inaudible] mint, and different things, they’re not going to go out of their little
area because they’re enclosed in, so this is like a container garden within a raised
bed. So he has 14 different varieties of herbs growing in here, so he has literally an herb
garden right in his back yard that looks really lush and is growing really well. One of my
favorite herbs are the stevia, the stevia’s an excellent plant to grow in Las Vegas, also
I’m pretty impressed that the lemon verbena is actually growing nice and well also. I
mean we could walk around this whole back yard and explain every different tree and
plant. Besides having vegetables he has a lot of fruit trees so, some of my favorites
including the loquat tree and the pineapple guava, he also has real guavas and apple trees,
he’s even growing a goji berry, here’s a nice big bush of rosemary that’s got its
own bed, now that’s probably for a really good reason. He’s got Egyptian walking onions,
so these are really cool is what these are. They sprout on the top, and what will happen
is when they get older, they’ll actually dump over and then these will hit the ground
and they’ll actually sprout new plants and kind of just walk, all though there’s not
really a whole lot of room to walk in this bed once they do turn over, you can probably
take those, pop them off and actually grow new plants and give them to another gardener
so that these plants can be propagated and given to other people so that more people
can grow their own food. Next let’s talk about some more herbs, and
this is his mint bed, he did this really smart, he containerized each one, although it looks
kind of like a raised bed, and he did it in like a stair step fashion so he has a lower
one and an upper one, and I really like that design criteria of his garden to make it look
really nice. And containing your mints is definitely an important thing to do, because
they will spread out. So he literally has six varieties of mint, and actually I can
smell the chocolate mint above all else. Mmm smells really nice and the mints are growing
really well. If you are not currently growing any food at home, you want to start growing
some mint. Mint will grow literally as a weed, and it’s one of the easiest things to grow.
And once you’ve got your foot in the door at least growing one thing, then you can move
on to the more advanced levels like he’s doing here. So let’s take a look at some
of the advanced things he’s growing. Some of the things he’s growing here are
the guavas. And guavas, you know you probably should grow those somewhere like Southern
California where it doesn’t freeze, it might get to cold in the winter time, so he’s
planned ahead and built a trellis up the back so he can drape over something and I’d also
recommend maybe putting some Christmas tree lights to keep a little bit warmer. Besides
the guava growing in here I have something else that I talked about in my show but I’ve
never grown myself because it just takes an incredibly long season, so I don’t know
how well it’s going to do, if it’s going to fruit, or produce fruit, but it’s cool
that he’s growing it nonetheless, this is actually called the casa banana, and this
is a melon type fruit that I’ve eaten before in Puerto Rico, and I love the look of these
leaves, I mean these leaves look literally ornamental, and so these vines could actually
get really long so he’s growing them against the brick wall, but this guy’s growing up
and hopefully it will vine out a long ways and maybe even produce some fruit for him.
In this raised bed once again he’s using some two by fours stacked up on top of each
other to build a raised bed, it’s probably a one foot by about eight foot again, and
then he used some more two by fours and some one by two to make a very simple trellis,
I mean this is just construction grade lumber that he did not treat, so will this last forever?
Absolutely not, but is this allowing him to grow today with a minimal investment and minimal
cost in resources? Absolutely, and that I believe is what’s really important, and
especially because this is a rental that he could literally pick up and move all this
stuff at a moment’s notice if they decide to move. Nonetheless in this raised bed he’s
growing a lot of unique melons. And you can see here, these kind of look like cucumber
or something a little bit, but they’re not. What these guys are are Korean melons. So
you can see here’s a Korean melon flower, and a little fruit starting to form, and if
you go down here, this what it looks like right here, these are Korean melons, I love
these guys a lot, I had some actually when I was visiting Korea, and they also grow them
in California, and I’ve n ever had a truly ripe one, so one of these days I want to eat
a truly ripe one. They kind of taste a little bit sweet and like a cucumber, but inside
they’re mostly hollow and air space, and there’s a lot of seeds so there’s not
a lot of fruit. But one day hopefully I’ll be growing my own, and I get to taste them.
Next we’re going to talk about these two raised beds here, there’s a bank of four
of these guys with eggplant pepper, eggplant pepper, and in this bed he has some eggplants
planted and he basically in this two and a half foot by six foot raised bed, he planted
basically two rows on each side, and with 10 inch to 11 inch space although normal square
foot gardening spacing is 12 inch on eggplants, and then he also popped in one on the diagonal
in the middle to get like a third row. So he’s really packing the plants in, and to
me this looks like it’s doing really well, maybe a little bit tight, but you know what,
hey it all works, that’s all good. And the plants are flowering, looks like they’re
doing well, eggplants are probably my number one favorite fruit to grow in Vegas just because
it’s going to do really well, it can totally tolerate the hot heat of Vegas. And one of
the other things that he’s doing that’s really cool is he’s experimenting as he
grows, and I want to encourage you guys to experiment. So on this side he used Job’s
Organic fertilizer, and on this side he used the Epsoma Plant Tone fertilizer, and based
on his results, he would say the Epsoma Plant Tone Organic fertilizer is doing better than
the Job’s. And besides just testing the fertilizer, he’s also testing the [inaudible]
too! So like this row has the Great White [inadubile], and this row has the Micos, and
guess which one did better? It’s undeterminable, because they both look about the same. So
I would be interested to see if he did one row Great White, one row Micos and one row
with nothing, and then we could truly see the difference. In this raised bed he’s
growing peppers and he’s pushing the limits of square foot gardening and I think that’s
all good, especially here in Vegas I’ve noticed some of the peppers actually don’t
get quite as bushy, they actually grow taller, so in some instances this actually looks like
and actually is working for him because things aren’t getting too bushy, all though it
is still pretty early in the season and it’s going to be interesting to see how all this
plays out later on. But on the rows he’s basically spacing them on the 12 inches and
in between the plants they’re pretty tight and only six inches apart. But nonetheless,
everything looks like they’re growing really well, they’ve got actually lots of fruits
on them, and these plants look nice and lush. Now we’re looking at yet another raised
bed, and he has some melons growing along the bottom, and this is actually a two layer
raised bed, he’s got the bottom layer here with some melons and some eggplants around
the bottom, and then he has a top layer here with a fruit tree and some rosemary growing
underneath it. Now this fruit tree is a pomegranate, and that’s probably my number one favorite
tree to grow in Vegas, pomegranates will do really well, and pomegranates are really high
antioxidant fruits. I mean, the other thing that’s really amazing about this space that
I really want to comment on is that he’s really packing it to the max. Not only the
vegetable plants we saw some examples of growing the eggplants really close, and the peppers
really close, he also has 30 fruit-bearing trees, vines and shrubs here in this backyard
and I mean, this back yard is not really big, this is probably one of the newer houses that
have two stories, so it’s a lot of square footage, but the yard is really small. And
while some of the fruit trees aren’t in the optimal sized container, they’re going
to be definitely growing and producing fruit while he’s living in this rental, and then
finally when he moves out he can take those plants and plant them in the ground, and that’s
one thing that I want you guys to be inspired by is how much this young man is growing in
this backyard, and if he can do it, so can you because he is a brand-new gardener he’s
never done any of this before, and he’s done so much in so little time with the help
of some of my videos, and maybe next time we’ll even get to interview him on here,
and that’d be really cool too. So hopefully you guys enjoyed and were inspired
by this episode, and you know what? In the end you guys can do it too, you guys need
to just get off your duff and start growing today. Once again my name is John Kohler with
growingyourgreens.com, we’ll see you next time and keep on growing.