How I Build My Raised Bed Garden Soil Before the New Planting Season

Alright! This is John Kohler with
. Today we have another exciting episode for you. And what we’re going to do today is
we’re going to plant out this raised bed here, it’s approximately 4 feet by about
15 feet, in pepper plants. So I’m going to take you guys through the whole process
in pretty much planting out a bed, how I methodically space out my plants and, you know, make the
soil mixture, to actually top off my bed. And yeah, how I basically plant square foot
gardening method. And kind of modify it a little bit to meet my needs. And that’s
what I want to encourage you guys to do too, you know. I mean, I much, I might show you
guys what to do, and it doesn’t mean you guys need to exactly follow all my things.
But there are some practices that I definitely would recommend you guys do for the greatest
level of success. The other thing, a lot of you guys will be
happy, I’m actually using a wireless mic today. Got a bluetooth wireless mic by Sony,
and so we’ll see how this audio turns out. Also this will allow me to actually put the
camera up at a, you know, on my, on top of the roof, and shoot down so you could see
the whole process, you know, as I’m doing it. Alright! Let’s go ahead and head over
to my wheelbarrow, where I’m actually probably going to mix up some new soil to top off the
top of the bed. So now I’m going to share with you guys
how I mix up a new soil mixture that’s actually going to go on top to fill this raised bed
before I plant it out in peppers. I get this question a lot, “John, what do I add to
my raised bed after every gardening season?” And this is pretty much what I do. Now I’m
going to give you guys a disclaimer, right, what I use to add every, after every season
depends on what I have kind of like floating around here and I strive to get as many different
diverse, you know, inputs as I can use to add to the mixture I’m using. The more different
kinds of things I could add, in my belief and experience, the more nutritious the soil’s
going to be. Instead of just using, you know, cow manure or something like that, you know.
That’s only one ingredient. There’s only nutrients that are in that cow manure. Likewise,
you know, if you’re only using rock dust, which, you know, then you’re going to be
great, you got some nutrients in the rock dust, but you’re missing some of the other
nutrients in some of the different items. So my main goal with making a mixture is try
to diversify and get a lot of different kinds of inputs, you know, some in different proportions
than others, but get them in there so that they are in the soil and ready for my plants.
I mean that the standard analogy I could give you guys is, you know, if you’re eating
a diet you don’t want to just eat McDonalds every day.. and I don’t really care if you
eat McDonalds, I don’t think you guys should do it, I think it’s very unhealthy food,
fast food, junk food, processed foods, all this kind of stuff.. but if you’re going
to do that, if you eat McDonalds every day, you’re only getting the nutrients that are
in the McDonalds food instead of eating, you know, the sugar snap peas that are behind
in the trellis or my different, you know, herbs, ashitaba, you know, lettuce, kale,
collard greens, arugula, all the different things that I have growing in my garden. So
I really want to encourage you guys to diversify in your diet. And also, you know, what you’re
adding to your garden. So this is my pretty much my mixture. Let’s
go over it one at a time. The first thing I use of course is compost, you know. The
compost probably makes up maybe, I don’t know, at least 50% of my mixture. And I not
just have one kind of compost, I have 3 different composts today. So this is my home made compost
right here. This stuff is just from my tumbling compost bin, my Joraform, works really well.
And I made this with all my food scraps and yard clippings. So we’re going to toss a
bunch in there. Next, what I’m going to use is another kind
of compost right here that I got from the store. Actually this is the, the Kellogg’s
All Natural Garden Soil. And for those of you guys that are long term viewers, thank
you. When I originally installed the original beds here, you know, I pretty much used this
soil as my main soil, plus vermiculites plus some peat moss and some coconut coir to add
to my beds. And in my experience, based on how things grew, it grew very poorly. So this
is why I no longer can recommend the Kellogg’s All Natural Garden Soil, although it’s probably
the lowest priced, you know, compost product you could buy. You guys get what you pay for.
And I don’t have to tell you guys that. The reason why I don’t like this stuff,
you guys look at it, it’s pretty much like a lot of unbroken down wood chips, you know.
And yeah there’s some compost in there but it’s mostly wood chips. So for that reason,
you know, I’m only going to add just a few handfuls because at this point I’m trying
to get rid of this stuff. I’ve bought it for a couple bucks because it was like a broken
bag at Home Depot, and I can’t resist, you know, buying some really cheap compost. But
nonetheless, you know, it’s not that good. So I’m just adding just a little bit, you
know, to every batch just to get rid of it. But what I will add in a much greater proportions,
which is another fine compost, is this stuff right here. Now if you guys are looking for
the best soil, you know, bag soil product available in a store, this is the product
I would recommend you guys. Now I don’t necessarily recommend you guys go out and
buy bag soil products. I think, you know, it’s really not cost effective and not the
best way to do things. But depending on where you live in the country, it may be your best
option. Unfortunately here there’s not a lot of, a whole lot of good options for bulk
compost that are really high quality that I like. But, you know, in most cases the bulk
compost will be less expensive. So if you’ve got to, you know, fill your raised beds, the
initial get-go, then you know use whatever kind of compost you guys could get at a price
that you could afford. And what I recommend for you guys is go around all the different
places that make compost or sell soils and soil yards and a lot of those guys are just
resellers, so be aware and just see, ask them if you could have like a 5 gallons buckets
worth. Take it home and do pot tests, you know. Don’t get high and look at your soil.
What you want to do is actually you want to take that soil from each of the different
places you bought it, and grow something that grows relatively fast, some radishes. They’ll
be done in like 15 days. And grow the same radish seeds, maybe a couple radish seeds
in each basically compost that you’re, you know, considering buying, and see which one
grows the radishes better. But also ask them for nutritional assays, you know, they should
have standard nutritional assays or what the NPK ratios are in the compost or soil mixture
they’re selling you.And if they have this thing called the food soil web testing on
their compost, you know, as long as that testing looks good, that’s probably a compost you
should buy. Because this means that the person that has that compost kind of is in the know
with, you know, actually making good compost instead of just mediocre or crap compost that
they’re trying to get rid of. So that’s the big bulk composting. So yeah, I can’t get any. So what I got
was this stuff. This is the Dr Earth Pot of Gold Premium Soil, Organic, 100% Natural,
Hand Crafted, Contains Aloe Vera and Yucca, Pro Moisture Hydrate, Dr Earth created for
life. So this is a potting soil mixture. They also have compost mixtures, but if I’m getting
this stuff I kind of like the potting soil mixture best. It has compost as well as a
lot of other things that I like. Let’s go ahead and go over the ingredients real quick.
Forest Humus, Fir Bark, Peat Moss, Pumice, Earthworm Castings, Kelp Meal, Alfalfa Meal,
Soybean Meal, Seaweed Extract, Aloe Vera, Yucca Extract, Oyster Shell, Dolomite Limes,
Ecto and Endo Mycorrhizae and beneficial soil Microbes. So I mean, you could just get this
stuff and plant directly in this. But, you know, even getting something like this, a
premium soil mixture that is available, you know, check out their website. Dr Earth, I
think is their website, dot com. Yeah, , and check out where it is available near
you. I believe that the True Value hardware stores, you know, near you either stock this
or they have it in the regional distribution warehouses and you could order it online and
then have it dropped off at a local True Value store so that you could get your hands on
some of the best bag soil that I have found. So yeah, now we’re going to go ahead and
add about equal amounts of this stuff as my own home made compost, because I like it so
much. So look at this stuff, man. This is nice, rich, dark and black unlike the stuff,
you know, that I just added that’s full of wood chips. This is nicely broken down
with fine particulate. So that’s really good. So yeah we got the compost aspect in
there. Oh and we got another compost that’s very important to add, that’s over here.
Now this stuff is even more difficult to find. If you’re lucky to live in the Houston area,
Texas, there’s a really cool place that I’ve visited that makes fungal dominated
compost, which is basically composted wood chips done at low temperatures, which creates
more of a fungal dominated base. This is something that is extremely important and extremely
missing from most people’s gardens, you know. I’m not saying you need a fungal dominated
soil overall, but you do, in my experience, need to add some fungal dominated compost
to your bacterial compost which is what we added so far, to get at least a good percentage
of the fungal, you know, species in your soil because it’s just far too often left out.
And, you know, one of the best places I ever went was my friend’s place in Portland.
I’ll put a link down below. I’ll also put up a link to the place in Texas that sells
the fungal dominated soil. They have the largest leaves that I’ve ever seen. And they basically
just decompose wood chips on their property and make their own fungal dominated soil.
So that’s the best way to do it if you can’t buy bagged products or if you have a lot of
space. I don’t have a lot of space to dedicate to making fungal dominated compost here so
I just buy the stuff. There’s many different brands. The one I like the most so far is
Biologic Systems. This is a biologic soil primer derived from wood chips. And so yeah,
hopefully I’ll visit Biologic pretty soon. I have a video on them. There’s also other
ones like Alaskan Humus, that may be available in many hydroponic shops. And let’s see,
there’s yeah Boogie Humus is another one, California Humus. So yeah we’re going to
add a bunch of this stuff in here. And the fungal dominated compost is specially important
if you’re going to basically be planting trees, you’d want a lot of the fungal dominated
stuff. So those are all the main composts, three
or four couple kinds of compost that I’ll be adding. And the more the better, you know.
If I had other different kinds, I’d probably be adding these in too. So the next thing
that I’m going to add to my soil mixture, very important, is this stuff. It’s the
Worm Gold Plus, Premium Worm Castings. Now this is not the same as just standard worm
castings. The Worm Gold Plus Worm Castings are fed a special diet. So the worms castings
are high in basically Cellulose Degraders and Chitinase, which may give your plants
the immunity against disease. So we’re going to go ahead and add this whole bag in here,
this is a total of 8 lbs, into this mixture. I’d add more if I had more. But this is
about all I have at this point. And, you know, all these ratios that I’m doing are just,
I’m just eyeballing it, right. The cool thing is about the gardening style that I
use, you know, organic biologic, you know, mineral rich gardening, is that you can’t
really burn your plants with all these things, you know. And I wouldn’t put a ton of, I
don’t know, some of the things coming up next. But you could put a ton of rock dust
and as long as you got enough compost in there, it’s probably not going to be an issue,
right. So let’s see here, the next thing I’m
going to add besides that stuff, oh we got my favorite products here. These are the John
and Bob’s products. So they have a couple different products. This is the Optimized
Soil Optimizer. And we’re just going to go ahead and add these. I’ve been using
these for years. And this stuff just works really good. We’re just going to go ahead
and add a whole bunch into this mixture. Next we’re going to add the John and Bob’s
Nourish Biosoil, which is an all purpose natural fertilizer. Once again, add this stuff in
there. And it all will get mixed up. Final John and Bob’s product we’re going to
use is called the Maximize, this is microbes and minerals. So this is a type of rock dust
infused with microbes in there that are very important. So now we’re going to go ahead
and add this in there. And sometimes some of these things kind of get balled up a little
bit. And you get little clogs. And I don’t like clogs because what happens when the clogs
they don’t really do much, so I try to like get in there and, you know, break it all up
into the fine powdery dust that we want instead of big, big, big chunks. Alright. Alright! So once we got all the John and Bob’s
products in there, let’s see what else we’ve got over here. Alright! Next product we’re
going to use, we got a rock dust. This is the CBD Rock Dust, California Basalt Deposit
going in. So we’re going to go ahead and put a bunch of rock dust. Now what the rock
dust does, it adds 70 different, up to 70 different trace minerals into your soil that
your soils may not contain. And if it’s not in your compost, guess what? It’s not
going to be in your soil, right. And here’s the thing..however your compost was derived.
So for example my compost was derived from things that grew on my property. Also, you
know, just mostly organic and small amounts of commercial produce that were grown with
the limited palate of minerals. So if you’re composting products like animal manures that
have been grown on chemical fertilizers, it’s going to have a small spectrum of he trace
minerals and not 70 to 90. So this is why it’s so important to me to add. And I see
the results and I know a lot of you guys have seen results when you guys use the rock dust.
And still a lot of you guys don’t believe in it. If you don’t believe in it, great,
don’t use it, I don’t really care what you do, you know. It does cost some extra
money, right. And I’m not going to tell you it doesn’t. You could get rock dust
for free or cheap near a rock and stone quarry, you know, often times. You don’t call them
and ask them for rock dust though because you’re not going to know what the heck you’re
talking about. Basically you just want the, when they grind the rocks up into different
particulate sizes, you want the smallest particle size even if there’s still pebbles in there.
It could be really inexpensive, right. It’s basically a waste product of the rock and
stone industry, you know, when they do aggregates and mine rocks out, right. But it’s amazing
to use in your garden. And I want to encourage you guys before you knock it, try it, right.
And don’t just try it one season. Sometimes rock dust takes a while to break down from
the microbial action. And specially if you’re not adding some of the fungal dominated compost
and some of the different composts and different kinds of compost with different microbes,
the microbes and minerals product, it may not break down as quickly. So you may not
get the results. But once it breaks down, oh my god, you will see the results. You’ll
see plants and your fruits and vegetables taste better. They’ll be, you know, they’ll
grow larger and they’ll have a little more pest resistance that I’ve noticed. Alright! So besides that stuff, I think that’s
all on my individual bag products. Oh, got one more individual bag product right here
I want to go over. We got this stuff. This is actually called the Natural Guard. And
the only reason why I have the Natural Guard today is because actually it was on sale at
my local feed store. It was originally $13.99, on Clearance for $4.78. So let me tell you,
I’m a whore when it comes to like cheap organic sol amendments. I’ll like buy them
all! And stock up on all of them. So I bought like 20 bags of this stuff, loaded my car
with 20 bags. Each one of these bags is 20 lbs. So 4 or 5 bucks a bag, 20 lbs, that’s
a really cheap price. We’re going to go ahead and open this guy up. And what this
guy is, as we pour it out, this is actually soil humates derived from leonardites, leonardites
I can’t say that word, whatever. And basically this is going to add additional minerals and
nutrients into the mixture, you know. This is not a substitute for rock dat, but I think
this should be used in addition to the rock dust, right. We just added a bunch in there,
just to make sure we got it in there. And we’re going to mix this mixture up in just
a minute. Alright! So that’s pretty much all the bag
products. Now I have some products over in the, underneath the shed area. We’re actually
just, put them all into one bucket because I use a lot smaller ratios than just pouring
out the stuff like it did. And basically what I did was I used this little pot or like it
looks like one of those red, you know, cups for drinking beer out of. I use different
scoops of these. So like I have like, I don’t know, 5 different kinds of rock dust powders
in there aside from the microbes and the minerals and the CBD rock dust that I’ve already
added. I have things like the azomites, couple different 3 different kinds of rock dust from
Rock Dust Local, and also another kind of rock dust out of Canada. So I got lots of
rock dust in here. Basically one of these scoops of each one. And let’s go ahead and
pour this out so you guys could see the colors on this and all the different things in here.
And I could describe what they are. Yeah I do encourage you guys wearing a mask, I’m
trying to do this carefully so I’m not breathing a lot of this stuff in. So as you guys could see, we have a spectra
of colors in here. The first stuff is the coconut coir by the Wonder Soil company. Next
we have some Perlite in here just for a little bit of extra aeration. Next over here, the
black stuff, we got one scoop of biochar. I added about 6 cupfuls of the coconut coir,
about 3 cupfuls of the perlite. Then we got 3 cupfuls of this stuff. This is actually
known as the insect frass right here. It’s another kind of basically excrement from insects
that can provide a lot of different biologic activity and nutrients for your soil. And
then I got all the different kinds of rock dust. I think that’s all the basic ones
I get in there. Now after I add all this stuff, it gets kind
of blowy. So what I like to do is then top it off with some of my own homemade compost
to bury it under so it doesn’t like blow. And my own home made compost is a little bit
moist. I think I got a little bit of extra room in
here. So I’m going to go ahead and add some more of the Dr Earth compost. And, you know,
this is all basically just by look and feel, right. And you guys saw the proportions I’m
using. I’m using mostly the compost with yes smaller amounts of the other stuff, a
cup here, a cup there. Doesn’t take much of this stuff. And specially when I’m using
like 6 different kinds of rock dust or 7 or whatever I’m using, right. You don’t need
to put a ton of each one, right. I put small amounts of each one. And the question I get
a lot is, “John, what’s the best rock dust?” I don’t know what the best rock
dust is, man. I just use them all because check it out..rock dust, the main benefit
of the rock dust is the trace minerals. Every different rock deposit is going to have a
different spectrum of trace minerals. So you want to get a variety of rock deposits to
get all those trace minerals in your soil, right. And let nature figure it out, right.
Instead of trying to like play god and give them like, you know, synthetic chemical fertilizers.
Because these fertilizers, 10-10-10, has everything your plant needs, which in my experience,
in my opinion, you know, the chemical fertilizers do not contain everything your plant needs.
I would bet you money that my mixture here has more of what the plant needs, up to 70
different trace minerals and a whole spectrum of different microbes from 4 different kinds
of compost. You know, this is the basis of my gardening
style…microbes, trace minerals, organic matter. And here’s the cool thing about
doing this gardening style- once you have the, you know, excess of minerals that are
going to get taken up by just one season of growth, and you got the microbes in there,
you know. The microbes are breaking that non water soluble nutrition in everything I’ve
added, and the organic matter, down every season 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, provided
you got, you know, good temperature and climatic conditions for them. They’re making more
nutrients that are going to be available for the plant. This is how nature works, right.
Literally, this, this mixture is going to create more fertility as time goes on. And
this is, as you add, you know, chemical fertilizers, it diminishes the fertility of the soil and
if they keep adding that stuff you got to keep getting hooked. If I forget to do this
after one season because I got too busy and I just planted my new stuff out, which actually
never happens, well actually it happened a couple of times, it wouldn’t be a big deal.
My plants would still grow, right. But yeah, so that’s my goal. This is how I mix this
stuff up. Now I got this little cool handy dandy craftsmen, you know, mini shovel, I
think I got it on sale for like 5 bucks , that I like to use and get in there and mix it
up. Alright! So now that I got this stuff all
mixed up, what I do is I take like 5 gallon buckets or just a 3 gallon bucket, I get bucketfuls
and then I go over to the raised bed, dump it out and screed it out or level it out,
level it all out. Alright, one bucket! Two buckets. Alright, let’s go ahead and prepare
this raised bed. Alright! So this is a new position that I
never tried before. I mean, the camera guys, not in the bedroom. Since I got the wireless
mic I could have the camera so far away and I don’t have to yell. But I still talk loud
anyways. Alright. Anyways, this is the raised bed, you guys
could see like 80% of it. You could see the end there. And over here I’m walking and
walking. I get kind of cut off right here. I probably got another 3 feet over there.
Oh my fly is open and I don’t know if you guys can see that from the angle there, let
me zip it. Alright, so anyways, what we’re going to
is we’re going to take this bucket of soil that I just mixed up, you guys saw me mix.
And we’re basically going to distribute it pretty much evenly along the whole bed.
That’s one bucket. Alright, here’s the next bucket. Might take a couple or four bucketfuls,
we’ll see. But basically what I’m going to do is I’m going to go ahead and take
this straight edge here, you could use a piece of 2 by 4 or whatever you got, and basically
just going to go along the edges and just knock it down so that I have even consistent
soil level all the way down. And looks like that one bucket or two buckets that I added
didn’t help out a lot. So I think I’m going to need at least about another maybe
6 buckets worth. So I’m going to do that and come back at you when I got this all filled
up and flattened out. So as you guys could see, got it all leveled
out there. Looks pretty good. Kind of ran out of soil. I used everything that was actually
in that wheelbarrow and then I actually had to grab some more compost that I had lying
around. Next step, it is so blowy today, I’m going to go ahead and water this down so the
soil kind of stays in place instead of blowing away all my expensive rock dust! It’s probably
best not to do this on windy days but you got to, you got to deal with the weather,
you know. And this is the day I’m out working in the garden, and that’s alright. So yeah,
we’re going to just wet this down before we move on to the next step. So I know what you might be thinking. You
might be thinking, “John, is it really, do you really have to like level it all out
and make it all perfect?” Well, you don’t, I don’t really have to, you could leave
it all jumbled mumbled but, you know, what I like to do is level out the soil and raise
it up to the top of the bed. This gives your plants the most basically home to put their
roots and spread their roots. It also give you the most nutrition in the bed, you know.
I hate when I got to places and their beds are this high and their soil level is, you
know, still like 2 inches up from the top. I don’t really like that so much. So this
is what I choose to do. And the other thing is if it rains heavy and you’ve over piled
your soil and it’s really mounted up, it’s going to wash out. So I want to keep it nice
and tidy and neat, and have it all leveled out. Also I think it looks a lot cleaner too.
I mean, I garden for beauty and maybe that’s not why you garden. I garden for beauty, I
like to have it look nice and a particular way and also, you know, more importantly to
me than just looking good, I want to have the nutrition in the soil and more importantly
grow the highest quality food, you know, for me and one day my family. Alright, next step is we’re going to get
to basically planting out the peppers. So let me go ahead and show you guys the technique
I use to do that. So now I’m ready for the next step is to
plant the peppers out. And I could just go ahead and just haphazardly plant them here
and there and everywhere. But I like to do this methodically so I could fit more peppers
in my raised bed. Now I use what’s called the square foot gardening method of planting
my plants out. So I look up, you know, square foot gardening plant spacing, so I know how
far to plant my plants out. Now square foot gardening spacing rules say that peppers should
be planted every 12 inches or 1 per square foot. So this is 4 foot by 15 or 16 feet,
I could basically plant 4 rows of 15 or 16. So that would be like 60 plants. And actually
that’s what I did in the lettuce bed that the camera can’t see right now. But I want
to plant peppers a little bit tighter than that so that they basically shade out the
ground in the summer time and also I could fit more peppers in. So how I’m going to
do this, I’m probably going to have instead of 4 rows, I’m going to basically have 5
rows evenly spaced out. And the materials I will need to do this are number one, a yard
stick, I have about a half a yard stick because it broke, a 25 foot tape measure, a bunch
of small stakes, and I got some jute twine. So this is going to be indispensable. So what
we’re going to do is we’re going to go over to one side and figure out my spacing. So now I’m on one of the edges of the beds.
And what I’m going to do is I’m going to go ahead and take the tape measure and
measure the bed from the soil to the soil and the end to the end, the inside measurement.
It’s 43 inches total. I would like to have this 48 inches total but just the way these
blocks work and figured I got 43 so I can’t really do like 1 square foot spacing, so I’m
going to have to like tighten that up a little bit. Now what I want to do is like figure
out the center point. So to do that easily, basically I’m going to go ahead and bring
this in about a half inch on both sides. So then it’s like the tape measure is reading
kind of like 42 inches. And I could easily do math on 42. And I’m sure if you’re
into geometry, algebra or trigonometry, whatever they call it, you would know the formula to
figure out the mid point, the exact spacing. I’m not like that at all. So I just kind
of do what makes sense. So anyways, half of 42, that’s easy, it’s 21. So I put a stake
at the 21 point. This is my middle line, maybe my middle row. Then what I want to do is like
go halfway in between. So between 21 and 42, well guess what, genius? That’s 21, so half
of 21 is what is that, 10 and a 1/2. So we’e going to go at 21 to 31 and then we’re going
to go half right there. And then we’re going to do the same basically on this side. We
just go to 10 and 1/2. So now this would be good if we add 3 rows
and we plant it very at the edges. But I don’t ever do that. So well these aren’t the exact
rows we’re going to use. What I want to do now is maybe like, I don’t know, what
am I going to do now? What I want to do now is actually I want to go in maybe probably
about 4 inches from the outside on that side. And then we’re going to go 4 inches from
the outside. So now my stakes are at 4 and 38. So that’s basically, let’s take out
these, we didn’t need them. So now we’re going to go halfway between these two stakes.
And I think that’s going to be about 8 and a 1/2 inches or so. One, two, three, four,
five, six, … it’s 29 and a 1/2. And then we go 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and a 1/2. Yep
that’s it. So 8 and a 1/2. So we’re going to go 8 and a 1/2. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
and 1/2. So now as you guys could see these are our row markers. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 rows we
got. And then we’ll have plants spaced out maybe every 10 or 11 inches all the way down.
What I’m going to do next is actually go ahead and take my tape measure to the other
side and repeat this exact spacing. This is a very critical step. So now that I got the stakes on either end,
we’re going to go ahead and take our jute twine and we’re basically going to tie a
loop off at the end. And what I’m going to do now is basically pull a line, like a
chalk line if you’re doing dry wall or whatever. And we’re just going to go ahead and pull
a line. So now these are going to be my exact rows. And then next I’m going to go ahead
and figure out the spacing for each row. So now you guys can see we got a line pull.
Now this is my first row. So now what I like to do is figure out the spacing for each row
and, you know, the maximum is going to be 12 inch spacing. If I want to like have a
good amount of spacing, I’m going to see how many plants I could fit in, maybe 10,
11 or 12 inch spacing. I want to try to maintain that 12 inch spacing but I want to also fit
in the maximum amount of plants. So for this, what I do is I take the tape measure and go
this direction, and then I try to do some mathematical equations to see how many plants
I’ll be able to fit in. So basically this bed is 200 inches long.
So we’re going to go ahead and get out the good old trusted calculator on the iPhone,
if my battery doesn’t go out before I get to do it. So say we need 200 divided by 10
inch spacing, we’d have 20 plants. It seems like a bit much for me. We’re going to go
ahead and do 200 divided by 11 spacing. Alright, that seems about right. So I’m going to
go ahead and get 18 plants in on one row with 200 inches. Alright! So I decided to have basically 17
plants in the row instead of 18 because if I did 18 I would come in only 1 inch. And
at 1 inch it’s pretty close to the wall. And I didn’t want to have like a plant that
close to the wall because I mean I get the water with this aqua jet system. So instead
I’m going to have 17 plants in this line. And we’re going to go ahead and space the
first one out, 6 and a 1/2 inches from the wall, the end wall. And then on the outside
wall it’s 4 inches in, which I feel comfortable with. And then we’re going to do every 11
inches all the way down the line. Alright! So I decided to put basically a stake
every 11 inches. We’re going to have 17 stakes that will denote where the plants are
being spaced out, and we got to start the first one 6 and 1/2 inches in. Once I got
a stake at the 6 and 1/2 inch in point, what I will do to make it easier is I’m going
to go ahead and move my tape measure down. And we’re going to start my tape measure
at the 0 point. So now all this means is I’ll need to stick a stake actually every 11 inches.
So just need to go to 11, 22, 33, 44. And this is where, you know, your multiplication
tables from grade school come in really handy. At least I didn’t forget those. Alright! So as you guys could see, we got
the whole first row marked. Now the second, third, fourth and fifth row, we could do the
same exact thing. So we could have it totally like squared off and symmetrical. I’m not
going to do that. I’m going to go ahead and offset my rows. So now we’re continuing
to get the bed laid out. We got a little bit late last night so I had to stop working on
this project. But I’m continuing today. Basically you got 3 of the rows laid out.
And what we’re going to do is we’re going to stagger the planting. So instead of doing
like, you know, all symmetrical like, you know, one plant here, one plant right there,
every other row is going to be like, you know, halfway in between. So this way instead of
just the standard 9 inch spacing between them, if I just laid them out in a grid format because
I’m going diagonally, the spacing is 10 inches, you know, from row to row, and then
11 inches from plant to plant. So that’s, you know, a little bit short of the 12 inch
spacing from square foot gardening. But this allows me to get one extra row in here. And,
you know, grow a lot more plants. So I guess the next thing I’m going to do is I’m
going to go ahead and start showing you guys how I dig holes and plant this bed out. So now I want to share with you guys how I
plant out my little starter plants from the 6 pack. And you guys don’t need to necessarily
do it like this. This is the way I do it just because I find it like the quickest, most
efficient way and works the best. So what I like to do is once you have a, you know,
a placeholder like the baby stick, I pull it out. I’m left with like a little hole
and I take a bulb planter, yes I know I’m planting plants and not planting bulbs. But
bulb planters I really like a lot because it allows you to move pretty much the perfect
amount of soil. So we’re going to put it right around that circle. And spin this down.
And I have my bulb planter marked with some electrical tape, so I know the depth to go
for most of my plant transplants. Hold this up, all the soil is contained inside. I then
take a bucket, tap it out, nice and clean, ready for the next shot. Then what we do is
we go ahead and carefully take out one of these transplants. And check out that nice
root structure on there. Perfect timely planting out. There’s like not too many roots and
they’re not really wrapping around. The ones that did hit the bottom, I’m going
to kind of tease them out a little bit. Kind of like teasing out that 70s hairdo. And then
what we do is I go over the soil that I just knocked out of that hole and I apply what’s
in this little shaker, oversized herb shaker. So I just apply just a little sprinkle around,
not too much, just need a little bit. Once we got that on, next is we’re going to go
ahead and plant it in the planting hole. But before I do that, we’re going to go ahead
and use some of the Dr Earth Tomato Vegetable and Herb Fertilizer. So I like to just take
like a little sprinkling full just in my hand and just sprinkle it throughout the hole.
So that my nutrients, plant would not only have some mycorrhiza, some beneficial bacteria,
also some fertilizer. Put that right in the hole. Sometimes if I’m too deep I want to
make sure that the level of the soil is the same level as the soil that I’m transplanting.
So I might knock a little bit of soil in there to make sure that we’re going to be at the
proper level. And we’re going to take some of that soil that I just knocked out and carefully
fill it back up in there. There we go. That’s how I plant out a plant.
Now I know you might be thinking, “John, what’s in that little tube thing, that herb
shaker?” I got you covered, don’t worry about it. So here’s what’s in there. So
I use a mixture of about maybe about 1/3rd and 1/3 rd and 1/3rd . It’s 1/3 rd mycorrhizae
plant success, mycorrhizal fungi. So this mycorrhizal fungi has several different species
of mycorrhiza. I know there are different mycorrhizal, you know, products that have
like one species, the dominator species and all this kind of stuff. And once again, like
I talked about mixing up the soil in the garden, I want to encourage you guys to have a diversity
in mycorrhizal species, you know. Maybe one of these species is going to become dominant
over the others and that’s great, but that’s what my soil and my climatic conditions are
good for, right. And this way, by providing more species, you’re just going to let them
figure it out instead of us trying to lay like god and, oh you’re only going to have
one species because that’s what the dude selling the stuff says, right. So yeah, I
like the mycorrhizae product. Been using that for years now. In addition, besides just the mycorrhizae
which is predominantly all mycorrhizal, which is fungi, I also want to get some beneficial
bacteria in there. I have used other products in the past, but the one I have right now
is the Plant Success Solubles. This is the Premium Mycorrhizal Inoculant with Trichoderma,
Beneficial Bacteria, Seaweed and Humic Acids. So this also adds a layer of nutrition but
also it has many different kinds of bacteria including the Saccharomyces cerevisiae, which
is something actually I eat because it’s a yeast, in here. So I like to add that. And
then in addition, I like to add this stuff- the Aquasap Pure Seaweed Powder in there.
And once again, I just put a small sprinkling on the roots. You don’t need to use lots.
And I know there will be some of you guys that say, “John, you put too much!” Alright,
I put too much maybe, I don’t really care because, you know, I couldn’t be burning
with this stuff as long as you don’t like dousing stuff in there. So yeah, and some
of the studies and testing I’ve seen is that the Aquasap, you know, can help increase
the growth and increase the yields. So that’s why I use those three things. And, you know,
sometimes I don’t have these 3 items, I’ll have some other different bacterial inoculants
or whatever and I’ll use that stuff. And of course, I added the Dr Earth’s, you know,
Organic Fertilizer. And I’m not relying on fertilizer for my fertility, as you guys
saw earlier, I’m relying on all the other things. This kind of just gives my plants
a boost because they’re coming at a transplant shock and then they got transplanted. It’s
like, you know, packing up your house and moving to another state, right. You got to
get adjusted, right. So I just give them some of this stuff that’s going to help them,
you know, get adjusted, and are just ‘oh we got some nice nutrients, oh we really like
our home now, oh we got all these beneficial microbes and bacteria and fungi that are helping
us take out some of the rich nutrients of the rock dust and the organic matter in the
soil’. So that’s basically it. I got a lot more work to do. That was the
first one out of probably like, I don’t know, maybe 90 plants, 90+ maybe almost 100
plants that I’m planting out in this bed. So I better get to work. Alright! So as you guys could see I got the
bed planted out here with all my peppers at the designated space and it all went to plan
really easy, just like how you saw me plant one. I thought I’d save from planting all
88 of them on the video. That would make this video extremely long. That’s pretty much
the end of this video. I got to put p a little fence around so that my dog doesn’t like,
you know, walk through here and poop on my stuff or pee on my stuff and all this stuff.
And the other thing I’m going to do is because, you know, the peppers, they’re relatively
slow to take off and grow really big, I got a lot of space in between. Now another reason
why I’m planting so closely so that the leaves fill out and basically cover the soil,
this is what I call a living mulch instead of just mulching. But even the compost, you
know, acts as a protective barrier from the other compost down below. Now because it will take some time to grow
up and get really big, what I’m going to go in the meantime, maybe tomorrow, the sun’s
going down right now, I’m going to plant these guys. So these are Johnny’s Selected
Seeds I got, microgreen seeds. These are Hong Vit Radish for microgreens. So I’m likely
going to take some of these radish seeds or some other radish seeds and plant them like
in between the plants, in between the rows, maybe like one in between all the plants and
all the rows. So I’ll have some tender radishes in about 30 days and I’ll have microgreens
in about 10 to 15 days, and also the leaves from the radishes if I want to harvest them
as well. So I’m getting, you know, full production out of my bed instead of just letting
the, you know, peppers grow until they start making some peppers for me to eat, which will
be actually probably a few months. So in any case, that’s the end of this episode.
Please let me know if you guys enjoyed more mixing up the soil in the beginning of the
video or more about how I methodically lay out and plant my beds. Please post your comments
down below so I’ll know, because I’m kind of curious about that. Also be sure to click
that Subscribe button right down below for updates on my garden and how it’s growing
at this summer time. And also be sure to check my past episodes. I have over 1100 episodes
now educating you guys on all aspects of how you guys could grow your own food at home.
And be sure to like this video if you liked it, you know. This will encourage me to do
some more videos where I mix up soil, plant stuff out, based on just basically what I
have around, you know, laying here. And every day and every time it’s a little bit different.
And just because I plant this way doesn’t mean you guys have to. This is just the methods
I’ve come up with and that I like to do. And of course, you know, you ask one gardener,
you know, how to plant their radish and you’ll probably get 10 different answers, or if you
ask 10 people you get 10 different answers. Anyways, you know. And oh, the other thing I want to mention,
you know, I do use a lot of different products to enrich my soil and this is the method I
choose to do. I know I’ll get comments and people saying that “You don’t need to
use all that stuff, John”. And yes you could totally garden on the free or cheap, that’s
just not my goal. My goal is to grow the highest quality food. And I believe and from my experience
by adding some of the different things I do, I’ll have the highest quality food because
I want to get out and distance myself from the food system. And not just grow food that
I could buy at the local grocery store, that low quality stuff. I want to grow some really
high quality stuff. So that’s why I do the things I do. And the other reason is because
I almost lost my life and I take the food that I eat seriously because the food that
you eat becomes you. And if you’re eating junk foods, processed foods and even maybe
foods from your garden that’s maybe not grown in the best way, you know, you’re
not serving yourself. So that’s why I do it. So yeah, comment away. Hope you guys enjoyed
this episode. I got to run, got to get to the Post Office, ship a couple few things
out. Once again, my name is John Kohler with . We’ll see you next
time and until then, remember- keep on growing.

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