Alright This is John Kohler with
Today we have another exciting episode for you. I’m here at my girlfriends house actually
and many of you guys know that I helped her set up her very first garden and it’s sitting
right next to me. This is the Aerogarden 7 LED. We actually have two videos on that so
I’ll post the links down below. The first video is just when we set it up. Actually
she set it up, I didn’t even set it up and help out you know to let her know she can
start to grow some food very easily. The second video we did was basically an update on harvesting
some herbs, how the Aerogarden has been growing for her, plus we made a really cool pizza
soup recipe so I’ll put a link down below for that. So that being said since Lauren
has been growing this for over two months now. She’s graduated. Yeah she’s graduated
up to the next level. And this is what I want to encourage you guys to do you know. Many
of you guys have gardened before, gardening probably longer than I’ve been alive. But
I know there’s a lot of you guys that maybe have never grown anything in your whole life
or cause you’re city folk right? And that’s alright. I wanna let you guys know to start
slowly. Start slowly, and then to graduate up and get more challenging to challenge yourself
and to challenge your skills. You know much like when I was a youngster right, I didn’t
start by riding a you know a two wheeled bicycle. I started riding a tricycle right. Anybody
could get on a tricycle and ride it and then I got on a bicycle with training wheels and
was able to get on that and not fall over and ride. And then I got the training wheels
off and don’t tell anybody, I fell over after the first time. But after a few times
I got it and that’s how I want you guys to look at gardening. Start off easy. Start
off with something like an Aerogarden. I mean, really all you gotta do is pay attention to
the lights. The light comes on for water you water, the light comes on to add nutrients
you add nutrients and boom you’re gonna be successful. So Lauren also has built up
the confidence that yes I can do it its super easy. And this is really cool. So what I’m
gonna do in this episode is kinda take her up to the next level since she graduated from
the dummy gardening with the Aerogarden. We’re gonna basically make a self-watering garden
for her that literally waters itself so she doesn’t have to worry about when to water
when not to water she just basically fills up the reservoir but there’s no dummy lights
on this one right. So as long as she can remember to top off the reservoir every couple of days
so that you know it doesn’t run out of water it’s gonna grow great because we’re gonna
set it up properly. And thats another thing that’s super important like the Aerogarden
is a kit that’s all set up. They’ve done all the homework for you and they set up a
you know container garden, a self-watering garden like I’m gonna do now. You know we
gotta get it set up properly and that’s why I’m here to help her out set it up properly
so that literally all she needs to do is water it, keep it in the sun, and it’s gonna be
growing a bunch of food for her to eat and for me to eat when I’m visiting her. So
anyways lets go ahead and head out to the patio and show you guys this space we’re
working with and also share with you guys how we’re gonna grow some food in a self-watering
container fort. So now we’re outside on Lauren’s patio
and this is all the outside space that she gets living in an apartment. I know many of
you guys may be living in apartments or condos or places where you don’t have a yard you
don’t have any direct access to the ground but you might have you know a little wooden
deck area like she does here to grow some food in. Now this would not be my first choice
for growing food if I lived in an apartment you know it might be fun to try to get your
hands dirty to have some plants but you know for the most part you’re not gonna make
a significant quantity of plants that’s gonna be feeding you. It’s kinda more like
for fun, enjoyment, although if you did fill this whole area with plants I’m sure I could
grow quite a bit of food but you know I don’t know if she’s gonna allow me to do that. In
fact we did get permission to grow two small containers gardens to start her off with to
see how it goes. That being said if you do have an apartment looking to grow, don’t
necessarily just automatically think I gotta grow outside. You know think first indoors
like the aeroponics with the Aerogarden, that’s a really good way to kind of get some grow
on, but even better than that in my opinion is growing something like sprouts or micro-greens
that you could easily do in your kitchen that you could grow a lot more quantity of that’s
really gonna sustain and feed you. I mean I could start a tray of micro-greens, you
know today tomorrow the next day, and then everyday I’m harvesting one large tray of
micro-greens that could pretty much meet my requirements for green leafy vegetables whereas
you know out here in a smaller space you’d have to grow lots of heads of lettuce to harvest
one leaf off every plant you know to have enough to keep you fed. So uh but yeah nonetheless
I want her to get her hands dirty doing this and uh let me go ahead and show you guys next
the system that we’ll be using today to grow some food outdoor on her patio. So now I’m gonna show you guys the container
that we’re gonna use that will allow Lauren to grow some food here on her patio and this
is what I recommend for apartment dwellers or people who don’t have a lot of space
or you know even if you live in a house and you don’t wanna like start raised bed yet,
this is something I have used in the past and is actually a very good device to allow
you to grow food and what it is is pretty much this. It’s actually just a small little
container garden. It’s actually called the City Picker’s Patio Garden Kit. This is
self-watering so I mean for those of you guys that are familiar with the earth box this
is basically like an earth box, kind of like a rip off or copy of it. And it comes on casters
so it is moveable and rollable and it’s self-watering so it’s really easy to take
care of. The main thing is setting it up properly and getting a good soil mix. So these are
widely available and anybody can literally just pick one up and have just about an instant
garden. Now you know the main caveat of setting one of these guys up, cause I have set one
of these up before you can check my past videos for a video on that, basically theres a little
tray here that sits on top so it basically allows aeration for the root zone, the water
sits on the bottom. They give you a little tube that you’re gonna fill up with water.
And then it has an overflow valve. If you overfill it it’ll drip water out so you’re
gonna fill it until it drips a little bit of water out. Then of course you have a top
that I probably won’t use. If you wanna you know instead of using a mulch to prevent
evaporation. And then of course you have the casters you know to put on the bottom so you
can wheel it in and out of the sun, wheel it inside if it’s getting too cold outside
etc. Now the main point of one of these City Picker’s also known as the patio pickers
super critical, is setting it up properly and even if you’ve never done this before
it is just super easy. Basically they tell you what you need. You’re gonna need seeds
or seedlings. You’re gonna need a scissors or utility knife. You’re gonna need some
water. You’re gonna need some potting soil mix, some dolomite, and some fertilizer. And
they do not want you to use potting soil they want you to use a potting mix that’s very
important. And they kinda give you you know uh some hints and tips on getting started.
You know I’m never really one to read directions and I have set these up before and I have
a lot of experience gardening so if you’re not experienced at gardening do yourself a
favor follow the directions and you will get proven results. That being said I’m gonna
stray away from the directions because uh I’ve been doing is a little bit and I think
I know better and uh information than what they’re teaching in there so that’s what
I’m gonna share with you guys today, what I’m doing to fill up this container garden
for Lauren. So you know you’re gonna need a few things to fill up this container garden.
You know primarily you’re gonna need a peat moss or coconut coir based soil right. This
is known as a soilless. A soil available at many hydroponic shops, so I’d recommend
going to a hydroponic shop and getting a soilless core you know uh perlite mixture and then
mixing that in like maybe I’d do probably 50/50. 50% of that you know mixture of the
coir with the perlite and probably have also some other ingredients in there and then 50%
of the compost. You know one of the things that’s very important is that you can’t
just put straight compost in here, your just soil out of your you know yard, or bagged
garden soil. Not gonna work, it’s not gonna wick its very important to have enough percentage
of the coconut coir or something like the peat moss that’s gonna help wick up the
the uh the moisture in the bottom to get all your plants watered. So thats simply what
I’m gonna do. I’m gonna I’m gonna put together my own soil blend and you know it
can be very difficult to buy compost in many areas. I have really researched the best compost
here in this area and so you know a lot of the bagged product at the big box stores I’m
really not happy with. It’s really like subpar, contains too much sawdust and all
of this kind of stuff and it’s just not good soil. So to get the best soil I actually
had to make a call to a buddy. I called up my buddy Josh at the BoogieBrew company who
actually sent me several flat rate boxes of some soil including some rock dust and worm
castings. And in addition locally I picked up some coconut coir thats gonna help with
wicking action. So the next part of this video we’re gonna go ahead and show you guys how
I’m gonna mix this soil blend up for Lauren to fill up her little container for her garden
so that she could start growing some of her own food. Of course besides just the soil
blend you’re also gonna need the seeds or the plant starts and of course I always encourage
you guys that are new into gardening, never grew anything before, buy a plant start. It’s
like 10 times easier than to try to start your own seeds because when you start your
own seeds they may not germinate, they may not get enough light, they may you know not
be super healthy, and then you’re not gonna get full productive yields. So over here,
I was just visiting Austin Aquaponics today, and uh I already posted the video on that
episode so check below for the link on that if you wanna check it out, but I was able
to get some plant starts from them grown in their aquaponic system. These are some of
the healthiest plant starts that I was able to find in the entire Austin area. We’re
gonna go ahead and transplant these that were in aquaponics into my high nutrient dense
soil mixture into Lauren’s garden so that she could be eating some of this beautiful
red lettuce and things like the curly kale as well as dinosaur kale. So here’s, let’s
get started and make up that soil mix. Alright so now I’m gonna show you guys the
soil blend that I’m gonna create. So once again you know we got the uh coconut coir
or the coconut fiber here you know in that bag locally. And we got 4 boxes from the BoogieBrew
company and we got the uh marley mix soil. That’s the Boogie soil, really rich, really
good. I do have an episode on that so check once again the link below for the episode
on the Boogie soil. And in the back we also have some boxes of the worm castings and the
rock dust, two critical ingredients that are missing in too many gardens in my opinion.
So since we’re on like a wooden deck thing with holes in it and I don’t have a wheel
barrel to mix stuff up in we’ll use the next best thing. We got a 5 foot by 7 foot
tarp from one of my favorite stores, Harborfreight Tool. So what we’re gonna do is we’re
gonna go ahead and spread this tarp out on this whole uh patio area and we’re gonna
make this soil on top of the tarp. Alright so now we’ve got the tarp all laid
out and the best thing to do would be to get some like boxes so that we can kind of like
crease up the sides to make like a little cement mixing troff. Um I don’t have anything
like that today so what we’re gonna do instead is uh you know I got some of these uh like
clips and we’re gonna try to clip the tarp up to kind of make like a little like tarp
bowl to contain the all the soil stuff that I’ll be dumping out here cause I don’t
want to let any of it spill into the people below and I don’t wanna lose any of the
valuable soil mixture that I’m creating. Alright so we got that kinda to work. This
is kinda like reminds me of like a kids swimming pool or it could also be something else you
use to mix up in but the tarp is a lot cheaper especially when you get a free tarp from Harborfreight
cause they got coupons for free tarps sometimes. What I did was kind of ingenious check this
out over here. I used just some pieces of cardboard in between the wood on a beam just
kind of like to brace it up and put a little clip on it to kind of like keep my sides up
so that things won’t overspill. I guess the next step we’re gonna go ahead and open
up some of these boxes and I’m gonna get to share with you guys what we got. Alright, first Boogie box is coming right
up. Let’s see what we got sent here. Alright it looks like we’ve got the uh marley mix.
So this is organic compost and a lot of other good stuff including the uh perlite so I mean
this is a premo blend no matter what kind of vegetable, flower, or herb if you get my
drift you’re growing. So let’s go ahead and uh dump this baby out. Straight up marley
mix, this is some of the best richest compost. Now I don’t necessarily recommend that you
guys mail order compost and all this kind of stuff. I wanted Lauren to have the best
so that’s why I pulled some strings to get my buddies at BoogieBrew to do me a favor,
and uh frankly I know this is available in the local Sonoma country area. I don’t even
know if they’ll be making this available to ship to you guys if you even want it you
know. So I recommend you know trying to find a local vendor of really good high end compost
and yeah I mean this stuff, nice and rich. And one of the tips when you smell compost,
I mean it should just have a nice earthy smell like if you went into the forest and picked
up some soil on the forest floor it just smells earthy. It doesn’t smell, it should have
some kind of minimal odor you know not be too strong or whatever but uh this stuff is
great so that’ll make a good base of the mixture we’re putting together for Lauren. Alright, I’ve got the next box here. Let’s
see what kind of fun stuff we got in this one. Alright yes, we’ve got another bag
of the marley mix coming right out to get mixed right up. And this is the label right
here we got if you guys wanna check it out the moonshine marley mix and this one of the
cool things about this mixture is that it is actually pre-inoculated with their very
own BoogieBrew compost tea you know when this is mixed and made. You know no other compost
that I know is pre-inoculated with compost tea to give your plants the microorganisms
to help get them ramped up to absorb all the nutrients that are based in this rich compost.
And uh yeah so what’s in here all kinds of cool stuff worm castings, composted wood
chips, free range manure, peat moss, perlite, rice hauls, volcano rock minerals, neem seed
meal, gypsum wine, pumice, volcanic sand, redwood compost, fur hummus, beetle castings
from meal worm larva, microryza, plus an aerated uh tea infusion. This is one compost simply.
Alright gotta shake that up get all the compost. This wasn’t even bagged. I mean I had to
pull some strings to get Josh to do this for me so I don’t know if you’ll be able to
order this stuff like I did. Plus this doesn’t make financial sense to be ordering and shipping
compost to mail. Find the local stores man you know. Most important thing don’t get
compost from the big box store. Most of the time it’s not gonna be good. Maybe your
local hydro shop might have better stuff but even then, I just don’t really know you
know. Make your own thats the best way of all. Alright next box let’s see what we
got. More of the moonshine marley mix. Alright man we got a nice mixture here. Check out
what’s in this last box. Oh this box is heavy. Alright my favorite worm castings in
the world coming right up. This is how important worm castings are. I got a whole bag shipped
to me and I know the BoogieBrew company does ship out worm castings. And these are just
not any old worm castings. These are the Worm Gold Plus worm castings, my favorite castings
of all the different castings I’ve tested. Unfortunately this is not available in every
single area. Thats why I got it shipped in. You know when you’re looking to find worm
castings it’s very important to see what the worm is eating right. These worms have
a diet high in cellulose, which most worms are simply eating manure which I’m not a
super huge fan of. So we’re gonna go ahead and take this whole bag of worm castings and
we’re gonna dump that in the mixture. And I think I should’ve had a box of uh azomite
or rock dust to mix in here but at least I’m glad that the uh BoogieBrew soil, the moonlight
marley mix uh you know has and is pre-inoculated with the rock dust. You know I would like
to add you know a nice bag of the rock dust to make sure my girlfriend’s gonna be growing
mineral dense plants. Alright let’s dumb this guy out. A lot of soil is in here on
the deck. Of course last we need to add one more thing to this mixture because if we mix
this all up, put it in the bed, it’s not gonna wick properly right. So we need the
coconut coir and what we’re gonna do is we’re gonna go ahead and take this locally
sourced coconut coir and we’re gonna go ahead and uh dumb this out in this mixture
and then we get to have the fun of mixing it all up. And it’s a good thing we got
the sides lifted up on our tarp because this stuff would’ve went anywhere. Alright now
I just get to have fun and uh mix all this stuff up. Alright we’ve got this soil mixed up real
good, got the worm castings integrated with the uh marley mix. And then also the coconut
coir actually has nice big chunks which I like a little bit finer texture but it doesn’t
really matter the texture too much so we’re trying to just break up some of the larger
pieces to get it more evenly distributed in here but yeah this looks like it’s gonna
work great for our uses. I would like to put a little bit more coir in here but this is
all we’ve got today so I think this stuff is gonna work out just fine. Alright now we’re gonna assemble the City
Pickers. The picker’s super simply super easy. There’s only a few parts. You got
the main uh container there, you got a little tray that fits in, you got a a watering tube,
and then finally you have the uh casters so we’re gonna go ahead and flip this baby
over. And uh first we’re gonna go ahead and put the casters on now. I don’t know
why other garden systems you know that are similar to this don’t include the casters.
It just makes it a lot more convenient and easy to move the garden and I’m sure it
doesn’t cost the company a ton of money. So yep put these guys in there. Alright now
flip this baby over. Alright we are mobile. nice, rolls nice and easy. Next we’re gonna
go ahead and put the tray in. Make sure you get the proper orientation on the tray. Uh
the cut out end goes on the small end. Yeah so you could actually put the uh the watering
tube in there. And the only next thing to do is actually to fill it up. So uh we’re
gonna start filling this up now and the main thing you wanna do when you’re filling it
up is you wanna pack in the soil into the corners and make sure it’s nice and tight
into the corners. This is gonna allow you for better wicking. Once you got all the corners
packed in we’re basically just gonna take the soil and uh gently spread it along. We
don’t wanna like get soil down below the grate, we just want it to you know sit above
the grate so we’re not really packing in we’re just kinda layering it on. Alright so it looks like I got this guy all
loaded up with soil and man this guy is definitely pretty heavy now. And what I’m gonna do
next is actually water this soil in to get it nice and moist and ready to accept the
plants that I’m gonna transplant. Alright so as you guys could see you got this
guy almost planted out and this I’m doing the vegetable bed, Lauren’s back there planting
all the herbs out and we’ll come back at you right in a little bit when we’re done
planting and I’ll go over with Lauren how to take care of her new patio apartment container
garden. So as you guys could see we got this entire
garden planted out for Lauren. We got the two little patio pickers and we got basically
nine different herbs planted in this one. Actually we took two of the plants out of
the Aerogarden that were doing good to give them a second life to see how they would do
in here including the cilantro and the parsley. We’ve also got some chives, some rosemary,
some fennel, some sage, some oregano, some mint, and of course some thyme. Over in this
one we got things like broccoli. Over here we got kale, curly kale, dinosaur kale, and
we got some red lettuce and some green lettuce all interplanted. Now this bed was planted
a little bit too close that’s because we wanna encourage the plants to grow and then
we’re gonna shave off the leaves. So this uh mature kale plant we really gotta come
in and just harvest all the bottom leaves and leave a little top middle coming out so
it doesn’t shade out all these other small plants you know down below. So this was intentionally
done. You know I always wanna encourage you guys to pack as many plants in as you possibly
can but not over pack them. So in the case of herbs because some of those herbs will
get quite large over time we only planted nine. In the case of the vegetables here the
leafy greens primarily you know we can harvest these to keep them pruned down and keep them
small so that we can put this volume of plants in this small amount of space. Um I guess
the only care that I need to share with Lauren at this point is that you know once you get
all your plants in you just wanna give them a light little water here. And thats why we
got this little container, water on the top and that’s uh number one, very important.
Number two the other main thing that you’re gonna need to remember on these guys Lauren
is maybe for the first week you’re gonna wanna top water it a little bit to allow them
to get moist. We pretty much saturated the soil so the soil should work as a wick and
how these work is in this little reservoir you’re gonna take like a bottle and pour
it down in the reservoir. And then when it’s full off the side there’s a little whole
right here and if you can see this is actually leaking a little bit and then that tells you
okay stop. So what we’re also gonna have to do is like you’re gonna have to get a
little tray or cup to put underneath here so it doesn’t leak you know down. And you
have one on either side so there’s one on this side, one on this side. And you’re
gonna just basically uh water in here until it starts leaking and stop then you can take
the water and pour it back in on the top and then um and then basically how this works
is that the water should wick up in the little layer in the bottom thats about the bottom
this much full of water it’s gonna wick the water up the the roots as they need it.
But when the plants are young you don’t got the roots really deep so thats why we
need to just maybe top water around you know each plant just a little bit you know to give
them enough water. Then you’re gonna keep these guys in the sun. If it gets like freezing
then you might wanna bring them inside maybe even put a you know put them to the wall near
your place and either put like a big towel or blanket over them to kind of keep them
warm or actually just move them in your place. Any questions? Lauren: Uh so do we top off the water just
a little bit like everyday like every… Right and then next week. Lauren: Alright, and then what after that? Then you’re just gonna keep filling the
tube up until it overflows. Lauren: Alright. Keep it in the sun and as the things get big
harvest the and you’ll immediately harvest all the bottom leaves on this guy maybe like
this so that all these guys down below can get some sun. Lauren: Alright that sounds straight forward. Alright so that’s pretty much it. Actually
I gotta run and I’m off flying again so. Alright honey so any comments for your for
my viewers on the little container garden that we got set up on? Lauren: I’m really excited. I think it looks
beautiful and I’m looking forward to eating some of this stuff very soon. Alright so hope you guys enjoyed this episode
here. I wanna let you guys know no matter where you live whether you have an apartment
in you know New York City with a little patio space or you know a home there’s always
a way to grow. This is yet another way you guys can grow in an apartment, in a condo,
or even if you have a house and you don’t wanna put in a big garden yet just get some
small containers like this to grow on your patio or you could wheel them in in the winter
if it’s too cold outside. Leave them by a nice sunny window and they’re gonna grow,
they’re not gonna do as well as outside you know in full sun, but you know there’s
always a way to grow some food today and on my channel I try to share with you guys all
gardening different methods. Not concentrating on only aquaponics or only growing you know
five gallon buckets. I mean all those techniques are cool. I wanna give you guys some different
ideas and some of the some of these videos may motivate some of you guys to get you gardening
cause it really is that easy. We got most of this stuff you know locally at home depot
including the plants and the kids and I got some really some veg soil shipped in. If you’re
interested in getting some of this soil I’m not sure if they’re shipping it or the worm
gold plus. Check the link down below for the BoogieBrew company. They’ve been awesome
and helped me get this garden set up so I could grow some nutrient dense foods for Lauren
here. And yeah if you’re not already please subscribe to my videos and be sure to check
my past videos. I have over a thousand videos now but I have a good handful on other container
gardening set ups that I have done including setting up one of these beds or one of these
uh containers like a couple years ago and I used uh you know a better mix. Cause I was
at my home and I had really good stuff to put in there but yeah there’s many ways
to garden the main thing is start getting your hands dirty today start growing foods
so that you can take independence from the food you eat instead of being dependent on
the grocery store. Once again my name is John Kohler with We’ll
see you next time and until then remember keep on growing.