Alright! This is John Kohler with
Today we have another exciting episode for you. I’m coming at you from my backyard
garden today. And today we’re going to go ahead and answer you guys’ questions. So,
you know, I apologize once again in advance, for people that email me, write a comment
or contact me through various means to ask me a question, whether it’s through Facebook
or wherever, I get so many enquiries and I apologize I just can’t answer every one.
So pretty much I just try to, you know, do videos like this where I do answer your questions.
So don’t, please don’t think poorly of me if I don’t respond to you because I get
so many different, you know, people who are trying to contact me all the time and if I
did that literally I wouldn’t have time to garden anymore, I’d just be answering
emails. And, you know, as much as I like to make videos or share with you guys how to
grow food and all this kind of stuff, I got to draw the line at how much time I give to
this because I got things in life I actually got to do myself. So anyways, if you do want
to ask me a question that may appear in a video like this, there’s two ways to best
do that. Number one is my Youtube discussion page. So if you go to
, click the discussion tab , you could write a question there for me. Or if you go through
the Youtube email system or messaging system on Youtube, which is I think you click the
About page on my or the Youtube homepage and then you could send
me a message through there. The other way if you do want to talk to me personally, for
10 minutes for just $5, of that I get $4 and of that I keep 0, the $4 actually goes to
pay other people on the fiverr network to get my videos transcribed so that more people
could have access to my videos whether they speak foreign languages and Youtube will automatically
translate those into foreign languages or for the hearing impaired. So I thank you guys
that have supported me in that. And yeah that’s one way you could talk to me for 10 minutes
and ask my any questions. I may not know the answer but I’ll tell you if I don’t and
I’ll give you my best answer and best opinions about things. So I will post a link down below
to my fiverr campaign so that you guys could do that. In any case, let’s get in to today’s
questions. First question is from Chris M, “Quick question,
is it okay to grow two pepper plants together? I have started some seeds and it kills me
to pull out the extra seedlings. Is there any benefit to growing two plants side by
side as one, as one plant or should I just sacrifice the weakest?” That’s a good question. So I got pepper
plants right here. And some of my six packs , and you guys could see a lot of these have
a single and then, you know, here in this side there’s a double. And so what am I
going to do in this six pack? You know I’m just actually going to plant both of these.
Some people might say, “Well, John, if you plant two then there’s not enough nutrients
in there and one is going to suffer”. But look at this! Literally in this six pack,
I don’t know if you guys could see that, the tallest plant is the one that actually
has two in there, and it’s actually already starting to bud out and flower and produce
in there. And so, you know, while common gardeners and people have always recommended oh yeah
always sacrifice the, the weakest one so you could only grow one. I don’t like to sacrifice
things if I don’t need to. Specially a plant that looks healthy, that’s doing pretty
good. now of course, if there is like a runt and it’s just really not doing well and
it’s just attracting bugs or whatever and it’s like half the size, you know then I
might pull it. But often times I like to give living things a chance and just see what happens,
right. One of the things that I really strive to do is, you know, in the garden, this is
my lettuce, so I garden in the springtime, doing really well, I try to really strive
to have the best soil, right. Now if you’re growing like in the soil that’s in your
ground and maybe put a little bit compost and some stuff in there and it’s maybe not
the most nutritious, you might want to sacrifice one whole plant, right. In the case, in my
opinion, you know, based on my experience when I have really rich soil, you know, probably
some of the richest soil in my city, I don’t have a problem with planting two plants because
I know there’s so much nutrition in the soil that the plants will take up whatever
they need. And I try to when I transplant the ones that have two plants, try to separate
their roots out a little bit, you know, so they could go different directions and figure
out maybe they, maybe they’re going to be like husband and wife living together, right.
But anyways, yeah so I mean, I leave it up to you. And I encourage you guys to experiment,
right. Try with one, try it with two, see what happens. I think every time it’s just
going to be a little bit different based on the soil conditions, how you’re growing
them, and just the plants in general. The other thing I would mention if you do see
two seedlings starting to pop up, right, if you catch them young enough, just separate
them and then put them into different, you know, pots so that you can’t grow two. That
might be the best idea instead of having, you know, two pop up in one, you know, tray. Alright, next question is Jessica H. “My
husband and I moved to Vegas in November from Virginia. I have a raised bed and have been
composting. I’ve watched hours of your videos about what grows in Vegas, but I don’t know
when to plant each item. This is my first time trying out gardening. Can I pay for the
service to meet with you or someone else about what items I want to plant, when they need
to be planted. I would also love some advice on where to get the organic plants locally
if possible. I just don’t want to miss the season for planting. Help please. Thanks so
much. Jessica.” Alright, Jessica, so I apologize, I don’t
do any kind of consulting. That’s not what I do, you know. I do make videos and share
everything I know on the videos. You could also sign up for, you know, a fiverr campaign,
pay me $10 and I’ll, pay be $5 and I’ll talk to you for 10 minutes or pay me $10 and
I’ll talk to you for 20 minutes and you could pick my brain. And I’ll tell you what
you could do. But other than that I don’t go to anybody’s houses and do all these
different kind of things. But there are people in town that will do this. I don’t know
that I’d necessarily recommend any of them. There’s also people in town that teach gardening.
I kind of, you know, like the way that I garden and I think it works fairly well. I basically
when I first, you know, started living in Vegas I went around to all the different people
teaching gardening and kind of took what I needed from each person and kind of incorporates
that into my own. Plus what I’ve learned in California. I would recommend you guys,
you check out the Facebook group Las Vegas Gardening Club. Check them out on Facebook.
There’s some really helpful people there, people that have been gardening for a long
time and have a lot of experience. And you could see, you could ask them questions there,
see what they’re doing and see what they’re starting and see what they’re planting.
The other thing I would recommend is the UNR, University of Reno, at the Agriculture extension
office they have you know, basically planting guides on when to plant things. Also Leslie
Doyle has some good book on growing tomatoes and other vegetables in Las Vegas and the
times to plant them. Basically for me there’s two planting seasons for the most part. There
is my summer planting and my fall/winter planting. My summer planting I’m planting now, I started
planting actually late February. But now is a good time, March, plant all your summer
crops out. So, you know, I like to focus on the crops that would do really well. Things
like okra, eggplant, peppers do really well, I also do some cherry tomatoes. And then a
lot of different leafy greens, you know. I do Swiss Chard, Dinosaur Kale, a lot of different
herbs, a little Basil does really well, and you know, lot of other plants that you can’t
necessarily buy in plant starts that I have videos on, you know, some of my favorite greens,
the Ashitaba, Gynura Procumbens, Egyptian Spinach. They all do really well in the summer
heat. Yeah and watch my videos for others. But you can’t really buy plant starts for
those. And organic plant starts in Vegas , that’s actually pretty hard to find. So I just buy
the non-organic plant starts, certain brands, you know I tend to try some of the local brands.
I go to Star Nursery, although their plants are not always of the highest quality. I do
prefer those over like say Plant World now called Moon Valley or Home Depot, Lowe’s
or Walmart that just sells the bonnie plants right. Although if Home Depot or Walmart or
Lowe’s has a sale on the bonnie plants for super cheap, which they normally do every
spring, I’ll probably load up on a bunch because I always have space to grow things,
but also you could start your own seeds. At this point it’s a little bit late to do
that for your summer season now, but you could do it for your winter season or fall/winter
season. And so time to plant summer is now. Time to plant winter is when your summer stuff
comes out. So sometimes I’ve pull some plants out early. Like if my tomatoes aren’t performing
well or you know the okra is at the end, I’ll pull those out and then, you know, plant my
fall/winter garden that I keep through, you know, the winter until it’s spring time
again. Then I’ll eat all this stuff, harvest it, and then I’ll pull it out and plant
my summer stuff. So the bed actually right on this side that maybe you guys can’t see
where these, these pepper starts are, this is all going to be planted out in peppers
just maybe tomorrow actually. I should be planting them today but I’m making this
video for you guys. I felt like it’s a lot of use to just sit and talk to you guys instead
of working today. Taking a day off. So yeah, that, oh and the other thing I do is that
I actually I drive to California to get plant starts because honestly plant starts in Vegas
are quite expensive in my experience and also maybe not the highest quality. So I go to
CPG nurseries. And actually that’s where I got a bunch of plant starts that are really
good quality. They always like do well like the majority of the lettuce in this bed is
from CPG. And their plant starts are just really healthy. And I mean there’s, there’s
no substitute for healthy plant starts because if you get unhealthy plant starts like some
of the ones I’ve got from Star Nursery that have brought in insect infestations in my
garden before, you know, you’re not going to be successful. And I want you guys to be
successful, right. So go direct to the grower if you can. I’m going to have to take a
trip to LA maybe once a month, you know, just hang out and get plant starts and do other
things, right. So hope that helps you out. Yeah once again, check that gardening club
on Facebook, lots of cool people there. You know I hope to be more involved with that
and hopefully they have some like kind of meet up groups for gardeners to get together
and, you know, give presentations and all this kind of stuff on that group as well.
That’s probably the best networking of gardeners in Vegas that I’ve been aware of. Alright, next question is from Scott. “Hey
man, thanks for your videos John. Quick question, I have a bed I would like to put in some edibles.
It’s on the east side of my house but it is completely shaded by trees. I tried some
mint but it did not grow well as I hoped. Any suggestions for a low light edible in
the 6A area? Thanks.” Alright, Scott. So I don’t have any experience
in growing in the 6A, sorry. But I will say I do have a lot of experience growing in the
low light situations, you know. I have lots of areas in my garden here. And I really like,
I really enjoy micro climates, right. If it’s a micro climate, maybe next to the fence,
you know, next to your house, under a tree where it’s more shaded, I mean, use those
micro climates to your advantage, specially if you guys are, you know, have mostly full
sun. Some things don’t like full sun, you can’t grow those because you need to kind
of maybe grow it next to the house or, you know, under the shade of a greenhouse, you
know. And some things grow better in different places, right. Some things don’t like full
sun for eight hours in the middle of the heat of a 120 degree weather, right. So I kind
of keep them in the greenhouse and keep them open. They don’t get as much direct sun
and they do better, you know. For example, my miller stockton aloe vera. But basically
for shady spots what I recommend are two things- greens and herbs. Herbs and greens. And you’re
going to experiment. Experiment with different ones, right. Now they’re not going to be
the most productive because, you know, my collard greens in full sun are going to produce
more. But they’ll grow, right. I mean, in an unshady, in a nice shaded spot near my
house I have things like some different herbs. Oh I actually have mint over there. that grows
really well. Oh actually I got some goji berries. I wouldn’t recommend that in 6A. Bu t I’d
recommend greens. So maybe some things like lettuces, kale, collards. Oh this is the one
that’s going to work for sure if you want edibles right- grow some edible weeds. I have
a really good video, I’ll post a link down below of my friend Katrina Blair. We talked
about edible weeds. And guess what? Weeds grow everywhere, man. They don’t need sun.
But also it can be very potent, you know, nutritionally, and they’re really strong
plants. And so, you know, you really got to go out of your way to, you know, get weeds
not to grow in your garden. So if you’re having challenges growing standard vegetable
crops, grow some weeds. And hopefully the deal that I set up with Katrina is still going
on. You buy her book, which is an amazing book, talks about all the most common edible
weeds that are around anywhere here or anywhere in the world. You know, you’re also going
to get the seeds of those weeds as well. And that’s only available if you buy through
the link that, if she still has it though, I’m not sure, I’ll check later. But yeah,
check that link down below. Yeah, grow weeds, greens and herbs and try different ones and
see what works. Alright, next question is from David R. “Hey
man, I’m not trolling, but you would look so much better and more distinguished if you
didn’t dye your hair. I finally got my dad to stop dyeing and he looks so much better.
Getting older is cool and part of the beautiful process of this world.” Alright David R. So I’m sorry, I cannot
stop dyeing my hair if I’m not dyeing my hair in the first place, man! I don’t dye
my hair. Now I will mention maybe when I was like 18 I think I dyed my hair like I dyed
it like a lighter brown because I didn’t like my dark brown hair. My girl friends who
are not girlfriend but my friends that were girls at the time, they dyed their hair. And
I’m like oh I’ll dye my hair, maybe look kind of cool, you know. I didn’t like it.
I think hair dyes are quite toxic. I’m probably not ever going to dye my hair unless I use
something like henna that I grew myself. But I do not currently dye my hair. So I can’t
stop dyeing my hair. This is my real hair, man! You know, I like to think that, you know,
I got a full head of hair and pretty healthy because I’m eating like lots of leafy greens
that are really rich in trace minerals. And specially these trace minerals are the minerals
that I’ve been adding in my soil from, you know, from ocean solids and rock dust, right.
A lot of people prematurely grey and I believe this is due to very poor diet and eating the
wrong processed foods, animal foods that are deficient, you know, in excess and not getting
the minerals that we need. Because, you know, standard agriculture is not putting in these
trace minerals like they should be, in my opinion and experience. So yeah, sorry, can’t
stop dyeing my hair. Alright, Red Vixen , “Do you know anything
about Diatomaceous Earth? If so, can you do a video about it and if it’s okay to use
or not. Thank you.” Alright, Vid Vixen , so yes I do know about
Diatomaceous Earth. I have some here. Really quick point on the Diatomaceous Earth, you
do not want to get the pool grade Diatomaceous Earth that they have for sale at Home Depot.
That’s not the right stuff. That’s been heat processed, it loses all, most all the
benefits, right. You want to get a food grade DE, Diatomaceous Earth. I will put a link
down below to a video I did on using Diatomaceous Earth as pest control in your garden. I think
it can work. Definitely wear a respirator. You could also actually use it to add to your
soil, to add, build fertility. But before using Diatomaceous Earth in your soil, I’d
actually add something like the rock dust. Alright, next question, Carl Pagemen. “Quick
question, while composting do I continue to add greens etc to compost? If I do, when will
it ever be ready since I will always have a new uncomposted material and it seems like
I should do a load and leave it to do it’s thing. Can’t tell from your videos. Carl
” Carl, what I will tell you is this- there
are many ways to composting. And there’s I don’t know, I wouldn’t say that there’s
any one right or wrong way. I would say there is good, better and best ways. Personally,
because I use compost tumblers, I tend to like to do batches, right. So for example,
I just actually took a load over and dumped it in the compost tumbler. And it’s about
three quarters full. Now when I get that compost tumbler 100% full, then I stop adding stuff.
I just spin it every day and it breaks down. And I don’t, once it breaks down I don’t
continue to add things, you know, to it. I just let it break down completely until I
get nice compost that looks like dirt. And then, and then I take it all out, sift it,
screen it, pour all the big chunks back into my next batch, and then use that compost that
I’ve made myself. So that’s how I do it in the batch system in a tumbler. You could
also do this, you know, if you had a pile, if you had a big pile, right. Add stuff up
to the pile to a certain extent. And when you get the pile so big then just keep turning
it and then have a second pile. And then, you know, build up that pile and then, you
know, when that gets to a certain, you know, bigness, then stop. The main thing, if you
guys do have a pile, I would strongly encourage you guys to aerate your pile, man. Aerate
your pile with like, you know, you could get like an air blower thing and put perforated
PVC tubes in there. That will definitely speed up the process so you’ll have compost sooner
instead of later. Because I see a lot of piles just take forever to compost. In the olden
days, I would just have a compost pile in the corner and I would just throw everything
on there and not really turn it, which I do also recommend you guys do if you don’t,
if you’re not aerating it. And basically I would just let things rot and break down.
Then I’d basically, you know, harvest off the bottom, which that’s kind of a pain.
I would prefer you guys maybe you do it in a batch situation. But any way you could compost
is definitely good way. And don’t forget as much as you’re putting in the greens
you also need to add the browns. I see so many people unfortunately always add greens
greens greens, you know. Whether that’s food scraps and, you know, green clippings,
we need to add the carbon source, you know, actually even in a higher amount than the
green source to make your compost work properly. So think wood chips, think you know brown
paper bags, you know, micro shreds, think you know sawdust , think leaves. We really
need to keep those browns in the compost to get it to work effectively. Alright, next question, Lloyd Campbell, “I
watched your video about the AquaJet irrigation system and wanted to check out price and availability.
When I google AquaJet, I get an irrigation company that installs the irrigation equipment,
but I don’t get a sub soil garden irrigation system. Where can I find out more about it?” Alright, so you want to check out the AquaJet
system at That link is also in the description, which I encourage
you guys to check the descriptions of my videos for links and other things. I will have some
links down below to the AquaJet video that I did. And, you know, this bed here has the
AquaJet system in. It’s a sub soil, high pressure irrigation system. I currently run
it for one minute, which in my opinion is too long because I’m bleeding water out
the edges. I’m going to upgrade my timer control, hopefully really soon and be able
to water for like 30 seconds, 45 seconds. And then it should work a lot better. But
as you guys could see, it’s working amazing. If I had to do my whole garden over again,
I would definitely choose the AquaJet system at this time over drip irrigation. But I’m
still currently seeking out, you know, better irrigation systems that will conserve more
water and get me better results. The AquaJet system by no means is perfect. There are some
challenges with it. So that’s why I encourage you guys to check my videos on it, on how
you could actually ensure that it’s going to work properly for you. But it’s the best
we got right now in my opinion and my experience. A few changes that I would recommend at this
point is it has a 12 inch spacing between holes. I would probably do a maybe 10 inch
spacing between the holes and then also standoffs because the AquaJet system as you install
it, it will sink unless you have standoffs keeping it at a certain height. And also having
at a certain appropriate height is very important. You know this bed is really good, I don’t
get any surface holes. But on some of my beds I get surface holes. It looked like you know
mole hill holes. And then when that happens, I don’t think the system is working appropriately
and that’s if it’s not deep enough. So I think about maybe 4 inches, 4 and a 1/2
inches approximately. Alright, Jessica H, “Does anyone know how
to donate $5 for 10 minutes of gardening tips from John. I’m new to this. Thanks” Alright, Jessica, Check the description right
down below. There’s a link to the fiverr campaign. Otherwise you could go to
and search for Garden Coaching. Alright, alight this is an interesting name,
Kit Serubamy. “John or anyone reading, is it safe to juice and drink mature pinto bean
plants, leaves, stems, roots? Does anyone know a resource where I can find information
on which common plants are edible or not? I’m tempted to try the universal plant edibility
test to find these answers, but this will only tell me if it causes immediate problems.
Why do I want to drink pinto bean plants? Because the seeds are so cheap and it’s
just fun. I love growing all plants.” Alright, so, number one, I do not recommend
eating anything that you are not completely sure about that it is edible, right. That’s
number one. I don’t want anybody to get sick from the information that I share. I
mean, all my lettuce plants, even when it’s bolting, even when it tastes a little bit
bitter, I still eat it, right. I don’t think that’s a problem. I don’t want to eat
my lettuce roots. And there’s people that are into all kinds of crazy stuff in the garden,
in the bedroom. I’m not into that at all kinds of crazy stuff. Well at least in the
garden eating and trying to eat things. You know I do know that there are some things
that are actually quite toxic specially when they’ve been juicing concentrated. So for
example, buckwheat greens. You could eat buckwheat greens, you know, whole buckwheat greens.
They’re great for you, right. And you’re probably not going to have many major challenges
unless you’re eating them each and every day. Now I don’t recommend that either.
I always encourage you guys to rotate your diet, right. And in the next couple months
here I’ll be eating lettuce. And then the whole summer off guess what? The whole summer
I’m going to actually have a lettuce free life because I can’t grow lettuce in the
warm summer heat here in the desert. I guess I could but it’s not worth the trouble.
So I’m going to take a lettuce off, so I’m going to be eating a lot of lettuce now and
then no lettuce later. And that’s alright, right. I want you guys to always change up
what you’re eating because every plant food has different kinds of nutrients, plant phytochemicals
and phytonutrients are very important but also plant toxins. Whether that’s kale,
and, you know, they have people say they have goitrogenic properties and all this kind of
stuff, which that’s a whole another topic I’m not going to get in to. Or the oxalates
in the spinach, in the Chenopodium family, right. We want to balance these out and not
always eat kidney bean sprouts, if they’re edible which I don’t recommend you guys
eating those, or whatever you’re going to want to eat. Always rotate and eat different
stuff. Eat seasonally. Eat what’s growing in your garden seasonally. That’s what I
try to do. And I would always encourage you guys to eat something a little bit different.
That’s number 1. Number 2, oh, oh, oh so I’m going to get back to the buckwheat greens.
So yeah, if you juice buckwheat greens you’re going to get numb in the fingers. And people
that are into animal husbandry know this and that’s why don’t feed buckwheat, you know,
greens or maybe even the seeds in high volumes to animals because they could cause some significant
challenges. So that’s why I encourage you guys to rotate what you’re eating and specially
with the beans, you got to be very careful with beans and bean plants. They have different
phytates and other anti-nutrients that are really not good for us. And while you could
do the taste tests and it seems edible, you can build up and get some really toxic effects
over time. I think there’s a thing in the news, somebody heard that like bok choy could
help you lose weight. So a lady ate like 2 pounds of bok choy every day for like months.
And then she got super sick because she had too much bok choy. I don’t recommend any
kind of extreme diets like that. I encourage you guys always to, you know, eat, eat things
and eat them in small quantities, right. And if you want to learn a site that has basically
all or not all but most all the edible plants available online, visit one of my favorite
websites that I visit quite often , it’s Plants for future database . And,
you know, be sure to contribute them a couple bucks so that they could keep that amazing
resource going. I mean, one of the things I also do is when I travel and visit new places,
I try to like go to museums and places and find what the traditional people of that area
ate. Nowadays you can’t see that because they’re eating all Americanized food or
the food of wherever they are. But I try to just really find what they grew and what they
ate, you know, if they’re out growing. Because they grew a lot of different things than actually
we’re growing and eating now. So hope that helps you out there. Next question is from Jill MF. “Need to
know where you got your clips for cucumbers. Looks better for metal cages than the old
ring style” Alright let’s see if I have any clips hanging
out here. Usually I have a couple when they’re a couple feet. I do not have any clips. Let
me go, oh here’s one right here. Alright, so here is this, I got these clips here. These
are quite handy. They are reusable. They break occasionally. But these guys are super inexpensive,
so I get these clips at the 99 only store. They are a chain throughout California, I
think they’re in Arizona, I’ve seen some in Texas, yeah. Anyways, for just 99 cents,
they round up to a dollar, you get about 16 of these. So these are amazing. I buy them
when I see them. I’ve also actually found these online. They are significantly more
money. And I like these a lot. They come in two sizes. This is the larger size and I don’t
have the smaller size in, in easy access right now. But yeah, I love these guys because this
is not like ties or, you know, plastic that you got to rip off and throw away at the end
of the season. You could just reuse these guys. And yeah, I mean, I’ve had a few break
here and there and stuff, but overall these guys are quite dependable and my favorite
inexpensive clips, you know, that I would encourage you guys to use. So yeah, those
are my clips, 99 only store. Okay, next question. Tonio L Crepito. “Hi
John, I’m reviewing sprouting seaweed fertilizers at the moment because Easy Green used to sell
some, but that’s not available where I live in Belgium. I have an Easy Green automatic
sprouter, several actually, and wonder how to make my own fertilizer for the sprouts.
I do wheatgrass but not so often the water I have here is full of calc and poor quality
I guess. So I distill it, which means there’s very few minerals left in it. I thought about
mixing a bit of spirulina and chlorella from Superfoods powders in the water tank of the
sprouter or in a handy spray. What’s your point of view please? Best regards and many
thanks for all your shares.” Alright, Tonio, so I don’t know that I’d
necessarily waste expensive superfood powders or spirulina, chlorella, on your sprouts you’re
growing. But what I would do to add some minerals is because that’s a waterless system I would
add ocean solid trace minerals. So they have different various products, I mean here in
the States, I don’t know about in Belgium, but they have like this product called Sea-90,
you know, Ocean grown Ocean Solution. There’s this one called GroPal that actually I kind
of favor a little bit more these days because actually they naturally remove the sodium
content out of there, which is probably one of the biggest issues in adding trace minerals.
But I’ll tell you the cheapest way to do it. The cheapest way to do it is to go down
to a local health food store, right, and try to find a sun dried sea salt. Not an iodized
salt. You want a sun dried sea salt and a high quality sea salt at that. One that’s
like all grey and looks funny. It’s not all white and crystal clear, you don’t want
that kind of salt, right. And specially don’t just get table salt, no no no no. We want
a real sea salt. Some of my favorite sea salt products is actually Sea-90 at this time because
unlike most salts that have like 99% sodium and 1% of trace minerals, the Sea-90 I think
has like 70% sodium and 30% of other trace minerals. And it’s the other trace minerals
that I’m interested in, not the sodium content. But nonetheless, adding some, you know, sea
salt from your local health food store is going to get some small amounts of trace minerals
in there with some sodium. But the main thing is dilution. So you want to take 1 gallon
of water and 1 teaspoon of the sea salt and mix it up thoroughly and then use that to
water your plants. This will get small amounts of trace minerals into your plants and then
consequently your sprouts are going to taste a lot better. So this is the way I would do
it. Also if you use powdered seaweeds and algae and whatever, it’s going to get your,
you know, your mister tank kind of funky which I don’t recommend either. Alright, next question is from X Philly. “Hi
John, I was wondering if you juice Rainbow chard. I got some from a store and it was
the most beautiful plant I’ve ever seen. But when I tried to juice it in the juicer,
it went a bit crazy and I had to open it up and reset the parts. I’m using a Lequip
215 XL which I love. But do you think they are too stringy or fibrous to juice? Thanks
for any advice and keep up the great work” Alright, so yes I juice swiss chard absolutely.
I have some beautiful rainbow chard in the beds behind the camera actually. And I’ve
been juicing that recently because it’s not coming in, amazing, amazing plant. Now
I have a slow juicer. So the slow juicer really gets in there and grinds up the leafy greens
most effectively. Juicers like the centrifugal ejection style machine like the Breville that
most people have or like the Lequip or many other common inexpensive juicers you’d find
at your local Big Box store, do not adequately handle leafy greens. And you’re basically
just kind of throwing your money away juicing them because you’re going to get very little
juice. Unless of course, you have a garden full of extra greens and you’re able to
eat them all. Then yeah, run them through your juicer. But special when you have to
buy them, I would encourage you guys to get a good juicer that’s going to juice leafy
greens effectively. And I know juicers cost some money. But I want to let you guys know
that it is worth the investment. So for an inexpensive juicer to juice leafy greens,
I would recommend the Mini Green juicer. And I do need to give a disclosure- for a living
I sell juicers so that I can actually make these gardening videos. So I do encourage
you guys to support me if you’re looking to buy a juicer, blender or dehydrator, or
even fermenting croc pot ceramic at my website . I’ll put a link down
below this video in the description for a link to the Mini Green that will really beautifully
juice the swiss chards as well as other hard vegetables, and make a higher quality juice
than your high speed machine. At present time it’s under $150, which is the least expensive
slow process juicer on the market that’s actually a good quality. Alright, next question, Carol Wells. “Hi
John, I just came across your videos about the Wonder soil products and would love to
get my hands on some of your own seed starting pellets. Do they still have your mix available?
If not, how can I get some of your seed starting mix? Thanks. CW.” Alright Carol, so yes I went to Wonder Soil
company in Las Vegas, made an amazing video at their place, also sat down with the owner
there, Patty, and we basically hashed out an excellent seed starting mixture. And so
she makes that and has that available. So it’s formulated by me, they sell it, I don’t
make any money from that. And the deal when I made the video was that I wanted them to
offer it to my viewers at an amazing price. So we went over the numbers, you know, she
went over the numbers, how much it cost them to make it, and we figured in a good profit
that would work for them and then I made the video, posted it for you guys. A lot of you
guys got in on that deal, for you guys that are long term viewers. And, you know, some
of you guys haven’t even seen the video. I’ll post a link down below for that. And
yeah the seed starting mix was amazing. It works great. But then, I don’t know about
a year or two ago, they emailed me, John we got to change the price on the seed starting
mixture, you know. And basically what they did was they actually lowered the amount of
seed starting mixture you would get and they raised the price. So I wasn’t too happy
about that, you know. I mean minimally they should have kept the package size the same.
And yeah if they got to increase the price a little bit because the shipping cost changed
and all this kind of stuff, that’s cool, but they kind of significantly raised the
price and lowered the quantity which I wasn’t too happy about. But you know, whatever, they
could do whatever they want, they have their own business. So I don’t know that I’d
necessarily recommend that seed starter mix. It’s a good mix but I think now personally
a little bit overpriced and hopefully they’ll lower the price or something one of these
days. So that’s what I think about that. So next question is from Dave Pason. “Hey
John, I was wondering if you had a video on what to do to soil in a raised bed for the
start of a new season. I’ve been following you for a long time and you inspired and taught
me so much. I made my soil from scratch and have added most of the items that you recommend.
I know compost would be a must to add. But do I have to remove the soil in order to make
room for the new compost? Maybe a higher concentrate compost tea is the solution?” Alright, Dave, so every year after I , or
every season after I grow stuff, so for example, this bed has lettuce in it, you know. The
lettuce is actually pulling out nutrients from my soil. And then at the end of the season,
the soil level of the bed, you know, the soil level of the bed, you know, it might go down
just like I don’t know, a quarter inch or half inch or something. The soil level sinks
down because everything kind of gets compacted and nutrients break down, earthworms are in
there eating organic matter and what not. So then basically after every season I top
it off with just like, you know, half inch, quarter inch, one inch of new mixture. So
what I’d do was basically just make up a whole new batch in the wheelbarrow, you probably
can’t see it way over there, and I just take, you know, compost, maybe some Dr Earth’s
soil bag soil along with the compost I make, along with some rock dust, along with some
maybe some zeolite, some biochar, some John and Bob’s organic products, some earthworm
castings, I’m using Worm Gold Plus currently, some soil humates. I mean, oh I got the, the
meal worm castings, I got all kinds of basically different things I add into this mixture,
mix it all up and then top this off to basically refresh the bed with new nutrition. Now the
thing I want to remind you guys about is that even though the lettuce plants are pulling
nutrients out of the soil. The other thing to remember is that all the organic matter
you’re adding, so i.e. compost, and as long as you have good biological activity in there,
you know, the biology in there, the microbes, the bacteria, the fungi, arthropods or earthworms,
they’re basically all converting the organic matter that’s sitting in there into new
fertilizers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, provided, you know, you got good climatory
conditions, like if it’s not too hot in the middle of summer, they’re not drying
out, you got a good, you know, weather conditions, you got a good moisture level, and you’re
keeping them happy with a constant supply of food, whether that’s soil based trace
minerals like the rock dust or the organic matter, They’re making nutrition for you.
So this is how a forest works, right. So I want to try to get out of that mentality like
oh I got to always add fertilizer or create fertility. Yes, well I do top off my beds,
there’s a ton of fertility in my soil right here and it’s constantly making more. I
do like, actually after I harvest everything, top it off with my soil mixture and then replant
my new plants. I will also invigorate with some Boogie Brew Compost Tea in there to basically
get more microbes and ensure there’s microbes in there that are then able to go in there
and convert more of that organic matter, the rock dust and different materials into nutrition
for my plants. So that’s my answer to that one. Alright, last question, alright down to the
last question, Ken Gobain. “John, I’m sure this is only one of a million message
you get per day but I really have a question that probably only you could answer objectively.
I’m new to the whole hydroponics things but I’m looking at it as a means of trying
to eat healthier and provide much healthier food to my family. I’m a disabled vet so
needless to say money is tight. Thus I’m coming to you for your opinion. Is it really
more economical to utilize a compost tea in growing hydroponics when compared to a 20-20-20
fertilizer mixture? Are the yields comparable? Probably stupid questions to ask. But when
I look at Boogie Brew website, their prices for compost tea are astronomical when compared
to fertilizer pricing. I’m willing to bite that bullet but just want to make sure the
yields are worth the investment, which I realize goes against the whole organic principle when
using fertilizers. Maybe you have a more economical suggestion. Thanks, Ken, Orlando Florida” Alright Ken, so this is a touchy subject and
a touchy question. Because I know a lot of my viewers might object with my answer, right.
And how I’m going to answer is this. There are pros and cons to every gardening style.
Whether you’re going to use a Mittleider method, whether you’re going to use a hydroponic
method, whether you’re going to use an aquaponic method or whether you’re going to use a
soil based method growing in a raised bed like I do, there’s pros and cons to every
method that you’re growing or that you’re trying to grow and trying to do, right. And,
you know, in some cases some of the cons of organic gardening is that it can get expensive,
right. You could do organic gardening totally cheap, right. You could pee on your plants
for fertilizer, just a little bit first. You could get some sea salt, you know, from Whole
Foods and little packets, make sure it’s the real salt, to add the trace minerals,
you know. You could make your own compost with your leaves, your grass clippings, collect
those from your neighbors, you could get free wood chips. So organic gardening doesn’t
have to be expensive, right. Once you start buying some products, you know, then it can
get expensive. You could make your own compost teas, you know. I did a video with Josh, owner
of the Boogie Brew company, on how he open sources compost tea recipes, right. I’ll
put a link down below to that. But at the same time, you know, people must have realize
that the overall cost of your food is not just the cost for you to buy the inputs. It’s
the cost to the environment. It’s the cost of the, you know, transportation of some of
those items. And each one of you guys need to take some of these factors into consideration.
It’s the cost to the planet, right. And so although buying the fertilizer 20-20-20
might be cheaper for you to buy, what’s the exogenous cost or external cost not related
just to the purchase price? What’s the cost to the environment to create fertilizers out
of natural gas or petroleum products, to put them in a bag and ship them, right? They’re
mining the earth of it’s resources to make this non-renewable resource of chemical fertilizers.
But on the other flip side, you know, they are inexpensive, right. Now I do not believe
they will grow the highest quality food because standard 20-20-20 or 10-10-10 or 15-15-15
fertilizers they focus on 3 main minerals. And some of those fertilizers may have up
to 16. But I put like, you know, 70 to 90 different trace minerals in my soil and I’m
building a soil bank just like I answered in the first question before this, is I’m
building my soil up. So now it makes it’s own fertility so that I can stop buying and
importing stuff. Now I’m still making my own compost and add that, and I still add
some rock dust, but to top off this whole 4 foot by 16 foot bed it might take maybe
10 to 5 gallon buckets of stuff per season, which I could easily make compost and then
I don’t even use that much rock dust once I got it initially filled, to add. And then
maybe I spray on some compost tea. So once you got it up and running it’s not that
expensive, right. So I mean, overall hydroponics also has it’s pro and cons, right. Ad yes,
I eat hydroponic food in the off season. I don’t actually grow hydroponically yet.
I think that’s coming up pretty soon I think, you know. And I think that’s better than,
you know, conventional food that’s been sprayed and all this kind of stuff. But I
really would encourage you, you know, to grow in soil. I mean, this is how nature works.
We’re not trying to make a man made system to duplicate nature, to make it better and
all these kind of things. I would encourage you guys to have a soil garden, a soil in
ground garden, not even a container garden or a tower garden and all these kind of things.
Soil in ground garden that’s connected to the earth, that’s grounded. And there’s
something to be said about grinding your plants and not growing them in containers or off
the ground and all this stuff because a whole another topic that actually I haven’t had
a video on yet. It’s coming up. But yeah, so while the cost may be less expensive in
the get go, you know, in my opinion you’re not going to produce as healthy food. Now
the other thing which you’ve mentioned is using, you know, compost tea versus you know
conventional 20-20-20 fertilizer to feed a hydroponic setup. Now certain hydroponic setups,
you know, you can get away with using compost tea as a fertilizer like if you have like
a coconut coir medium. But if you’re just growing in a rockwool or you know just net
pots or with like hydroton, I would not recommend doing like compost tea. Your system is going
to get so nasty, so smelly, and so clogged up really fast. So you pretty much that dictates
you got to use some non-organic kind of like mineral salt fertilizers for it to work. Because
once again, that’s a man made system working outside the confines of how a natural system
would work. Now that would not be my first choice as I had mentioned, but it will be
less expensive, and will the yields be different comparable? I mean, yeah. They grow, you know,
foods with conventional fertilizers and some of those things are huge, right. But yield
and weight is not the goal, right. This is what pisses me off about the conventional
food system. People think bigger is better, right. Oh yeah, buy a big SUV, they’re better
than the small ones from , you know, Japan that get better gas mileage, right. Bigger
is not always better, you know. Unfortunately most of the people here in America, 66% are
overweight and obese, including my brother who I spoke with earlier, which is actually
quite sad. That make us better? Well, I don’t know, maybe. Probably not, actually, we’re
quite unhealthy as a nation here. And that’s why I make these videos so that you guys could
grow higher quality food than what you could buy. And just growing with 20-20-20 fertilizer,
and even if you grow big stuff and the yields are bigger doesn’t mean it’s healthier.
And the whole system is setup to, you know, sell food on the weight, right. So the more
weight that you could grow, the more money you make, even if those things are pumped
up with maybe not the right balance of nutrients, pumped up with excess water, you know, or
whatever, right. So I want you guys to just go beyond just the yield, you know. Although
I’ve been to plenty of organic farms that have amazing yield and super size of produce
that’s actually quite healthy and quite tasty, right. So once again, I think it’s
a balance, not just focussing on the yield, that’s only one aspect of gardening, but
focusing on the nutritional quality and the nutritional density. And these could be easily
detected through Brix, which I’ve had videos on in the past. I’ll put a link down below
to one. And then also could be easily detected by our taste buds, the better a food tastes
to us, more than likely the more nutritious it is, right. When I taste some of this lettuce,
it’s simply amazing. And some of the lettuce at the store tastes like nothing. So yeah,
so as much as it could be cheaper and you could probably have higher yields, you know,
in a pure hydroponic water based system with synthetic fertilizers, because to keep the
system hydroponic and organic is quite challenging, I would discourage you from doing that, you
know, and encourage you guys to grow in the ground. I think that’s always a much safer
bet. Orlando has some amazing weather, there’s some amazing permaculture farms and organic
farms, and people, gardeners in the area. So I would encourage you to get around and
check out some people. I have some videos coming up soon actually because I’ve visited
Orlando a little while ago and I have a few videos that I did in Orlando. So stay tuned
for those. There’s actually a really cool resource for plants, plant starts down there.
And I actually visited a really cool guy who’s just growing food at his house for him and
his family. So yeah, hope that helps you out. Hope that answers your question. I get a little
bit worried a little bit some times in these videos. But hope you guys enjoyed it. And,
once again, I got to get going. It’s time to make dinner. I’m going to harvest some
stuff. Probably make some veg kale chips tonight and make some dinner and just relax and chill
out. Alright! So if you guys enjoyed this Q & A
video, hey please give me a thumbs up to let me know. Also be sure to check my past episodes.
I have over 1100 episodes now teaching you guys all aspects on how to grow your own food
at home. Also be sure to click that Subscribe button right down below to be notified about
my new and upcoming episodes, I have coming out about every three to four days right now.
And yeah, other than that, I want to encourage you guys to get prepared for the spring time.
It is here in some places of the country. Plan out your plants and minimally you should
have seeds growing or, you know, start planning out how you’re going to be growing some
food this season so you guys could have higher quality food and some of the best food on
the planet, the ones that you grew with your own two hands. So once again, my name is John
Kohler with . We’ll see you next time and until then remember-
keep on growing.