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1 Part Round House Productions 1 Inc. All Rights Reserved.

2 IMPORTANT: I know you want to get right to all the gardening how-to information. But you will get WAY more out of the experience if you watch the Blueprint VIDEO that goes with it. I give you the play-by-play details on how this can all connect to you getting the methods going in Your Garden right away. Go check it out here: 2

3 The Organic Food Gardener s Success Blueprint Table of Contents Part 3: How your garden can take care of itself while you re on vacation... Now that we ve learned how important it is to setup a micro-ecosystem in the garden, you can use proper timing and automation to help continuous plant growth while freeing up the need for hand watering. Getting your freeze dates right allows plants to have the full growing season, and a simple, $30 timer can save you labor and time all summer. Mistake #4: Irregular Watering: Humans Forget - Plants Suffer Simple Drip Irrigation Setup: Automated watering on a $30 timer. Mistake #5: Mis-timed planting schedule Finding your Freeze dates and Climate Zone (How to) (How to) Download the Custom Planting Chart software Buying Seeds from Catalogs: recommended sources Tips on starting seedlings indoors Transplant vs Direct Seed Intensive plant spacing for garden vegetables (list) 3

4 The Five Biggest Mistakes #4: Irregular Watering Irregular watering can cause a host of problems for garden plants: Heat stress Nutrient deficiencies Waterborne diseases Irregular growth Stunting Early bolting Pests Humans Forget to Water Plants Suffer Don t be a hose-dragger all summer. You re smarter then that. I ll show you how to automate it next. 4

5 Drip Irrigation setup Drip irrigation is one of the best ways to help yourself save time and water while delivering enough water to your garden throughout the growing season at the best times for the plants. Drip irrigation systems slowly release water into the soil around roots where they get most of their water, and avoid exposure to evaporation unlike overhead sprinklers. Using drip irrigation can also lessen diseases that can become a problem with overly wet conditions on plants. The physical parts of the drip system: - Main Supply line: 3/4 or 1 diameter - The secondary lines (drip irrigation tubing) Choices: -1/4 inch tubing -1/2 inch tubing -T-tape -Elbows and accessories The drip irrigation, on a $35 timer is what allows me to leave for weeks at a time during the growing season. It ROCKS! 5

6 At the hose spigot -Pressure Regulator Four-way (optional) This will take your house water pressure, which is usually around 60psi (pounds per square inch), and drop it to 20psi so that the higher pressure won t blow out your delicate emitters. -Timer This battery-operated valve will turn water on and off on a schedule you choose. The cheaper ones are around $35 and well worth it. -Female hose start, or coupler (female to female) -Screen filter This will filter out any sediment that could clog your emitter openings. Purchase drip system parts here: You can find similar systems at big box hardware stores. Water Supply line out to Garden 6

7 Go vertical with a trellis! Think about where you can install a vertical trellis in your garden. Usually the north side of a bed is a good place, or along an unused wall space. You don t need much area on the soil. Just a space the width of the trellis and about a foot in the other direction will work fine. Plant any climbing veggie there and save space in the main garden for less sprawling plants. Good starters: Peas, Pole beans, Squash, Cukes, melons, and vining cherry tomato plants. 7

8 The Five Biggest Mistakes #5: Mis-timed planting schedule Sowing seeds or transplanting seedlings at the wrong time can set you up for failure. Plants need good timing. This mistake happens because freeze dates are unknown or ignored. Do you have your local planting calendar yet? The first thing you will need are your freeze dates. 8

9 Every gardener needs to know their local climate information. Step one is to find your seasonal freeze dates (Last spring freeze and first fall freeze) How to find your freeze dates Copy and paste the following link into your web browser: directive=prod_select2&prodtype=clim2001&subrnum%20to%20freeze/frost%20data%20from%20the%20u.s. %20Climate%20Normals This will bring up a list of freeze dates broken down by town in your state. Find your town and look at the freeze dates. If your particular town isn t listed, look for the town that is nearest to you and shares your general climate and altitude. See next page for screen shot... 9

10 50% chance it will hit 32 degrees this date in Spring 50% chance it will hit 32 degrees this date in Fall Your Town Total Growing Season Length: 116 days 10

11 Finding your Plant Hardiness Zone Copy and paste the following into your web browser: Use this information for ordering seeds acclimatized to your location. Get to this page. Click on your State. Find the zone closest to you... i.e. Zone 6b Plant Hardiness Zones 11

12 You should now have: Last Freeze date in spring First Freeze date in fall Growing season length days Climate Zone (Print this page, fill in dates, keep in folder) Now you can back-time planting of seedlings and direct seeding. Next: FREE BONUS GIFT! Download this Custom Planting Chart: Enter your freeze dates and read directions. 12

13 Buying seeds from Catalogs *Always buy GOOD SEED. Here are the main four I use: Rancho Dominguez, CA Cottage Grove, OR Waterville, Maine (Peaceful Valley Farm Supply) Grass Valley, CA Open-pollinated vs. Hybrid seeds Try to use open-pollinated seeds if you can. The seeds from these plants can be saved and used year after year, as opposed to Hybrids which cannot. However, it s okay to have some hybrid and some openpollinated is fine in organic gardens. (This is different than GMO seed, which should be avoided.) 13

14 Three Categories for Starting Garden Plants: Starting from Seed Buying Seedlings at the Nursery Direct Seeding Starting Seedlings indoors (Skip this step if you plan on buying seedlings later in spring.) Several options for containers: Plastic trays with cells Wooden seedling boxes Soil blocks Other seedling containers, newspaper, etc. -Plant seeds with seedling soil mix. -Plant on schedule from back of seed packet, based on your freeze dates. -Plant in warm place for germination. -Keep watered but not soaked. -Place grow lights 2 above seedlings. -Plant outside when temperature allows. 14

15 Buying Seedlings -Use reputable nursery, not a big box hardware store (bad stock). -Avoid yellow or droopy leaves. -Avoid root-bound plants. -Avoid tomato seedlings already fruiting. -Avoid veggie plants already in bloom. -Be careful with seedlings during transport. -You may need to harden off plants for a few days out of direct sun. 15

16 Transplanting starts into pots or garden Many garden plants can benefit from being started indoors including: -Tomatoes -Basil -Eggplant -Onions -Leeks -Peppers 16

17 Direct seeding Some plants are best seeded directly: -Squash -Potatoes -Corn -Peas -Carrots -Beans -Melons -Lettuce -Cucumbers -Radish -Spinach -Garlic 17

18 Sowing seeds or seedlings at intensive spacings maximum Intensive Spacing 8 centers at triangle spacing This diagram shows a couple of different routes for bio-intensive spacing of the vegetables in your bed. On the left is the planting diagram for getting the maximum plant density in any one bed. Each vegetable has a specific plant spacing requirement. Some are 2 apart in all direction; other, larger plants are up to 18 or 24 inches apart. It s all based on how big the leaf canopy of a species gets during adolescence. What you are trying to create is a bed with plant canopies that will cover the bed from all sides. 8 centers for drip lines optimum I shifted to the planting pattern on the right using the same veggie spacing but not alternating rows. This allowed me to use drip lines. It isn t the maximum amount I could plant, but the canopy touches and it is the optimum density for me, since my drip lines water each plant, and I don t have to be a hose-dragger every day trying to get water to every plant in between. 18

19 Here s an example of some young eggplants at modified spacing along the drip line, but still planted in blocks. 19

20 Optimum seed / seedling spacing (inches) I rotate over 40 different varieties from these categories each season in the home garden. (you can too) Artichoke, Jerusalem 15 Artichoke, Regular 72 Asparagus 12 Basil 6 Beans, Lima, Bush 6 Beans, Lima, Pole 8 Beans, Snap, Bush 6 Beans, Snap, Pole 6 Beets, Cylindra 4 Beets, Regular 4 Broccoli 15 Brussels Sprouts 18 Cabbage, Regular 15 Cabbage, Chinese 10 Carrots 3 Cauliflower 15 Celery 6 Chard, Swiss 8 Collards 12 Corn 15 Cucumbers 12 Eggplant 18 Garlic 4 Kale 15 Kohlrabi 4 Leeks 6 Lettuce, Head 12 Lettuce, Leaf 8 Mangels 7 Melons 15 Mustard 6 Okra 12 Onions, Bunching 3 Onions, Regular 4 Onions, Torpedo 4 Parsley 5 Parsnips 4 Peas, Bush 3 Peas, Pole 4 Peppers, Cayenne 12 Peppers, Green 12 Potatoes, Irish 9 Potatoes, Sweet 9 Pumpkin Radishes 2 Rhubarb 24 Rutabagas 6 Salsify 3 Shallots 4 Spinach 6 Squash, Crookneck 15 Squash, Patty Pan 15 Squash, Winter 15 Squash, Zucchini 18 Tomatoes 18 Turnips 4 Watermelon 16 Print this page for reference! Spacing is equal in all directions. 20

21 This intensive plant spacing in each bed performs several functions: 1) The micro-climate below the canopy provides optimum growing conditions, reducing evaporation, keeping the soil cooler, and minimizing weed competition. So it saves on water and saves labor in that weeds are reduced considerably. 2) It increases yield per square foot. 3) The dense canopy creates a living mulch that protects the soil and creates a buffer from temperature swings. *This system of intensive spacing pre-supposes that you have double-dug beds or at least beds that have been worked 24 deep, with loose, aerated soil and 21

22 -Deep, aerated beds -Soil amended with organic compost -Intensive blockstyle plant spacing If you combine all three of the above, you will increase your yields from %. Adding drip-fed irrigation on a timer will cut your workload in half by greatly reducing hand-watering and weed growth. 22

23 23 When vegetable plants get consistent, baseline access to water and living soil, they can avoid stress and grow to their full potential with more strength to ward off pest attacks.

24 24 And resilience leads to better harvests!

25 Things to Avoid when starting a Food Garden 1) Herbicide carryover Mistakenly bringing in chemical residue in mulch, straw, compost, and manure from poor sources can create a problem that will take years to fix. Watch out for broadleafed herbicide: aminopyrlids and glyphosate. The trade names are Milestone and Roundup. 2) Poor garden location Don t locate the garden where there is limited access to sunlight or drainage. These are both tough to remedy. 25

26 Learn more about growing a resilient food garden by visiting Video Topics We Cover Mulching Companion planting Compost piles Composting with worms Compost tea Worm bins Planting structures and strategies Season extension Cold frames Hoop houses Vertical gardening Succession planting Crop rotation Food preservation Solar driers GrowFoodWell.com. Join our upcoming food garden class! (It s launching in a few days) Watch for an ! Round House Productions Inc. All Rights Reserved.

27 Round House Productions Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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