Help You Grow a Vegetable Garden in Miami without all the work

Alright! This is John Kohler with
! Today we have another exciting episode for you. I’m still on my vacation here in Miami,
Florida, and having a wonderful time. The weather is beautiful today. It’s actually
supposed to rain but it’s actually kind of sunny. So I’m really happy for that.
And the place I’m at today is a business here in Miami known as Ready to Grow Gardens.
And their tagline is ‘Grow your own food’. And that is actually my message also. And
I’m glad that they’re promoting this message here in South Florida to people, but more
importantly, their primary business is involved with installing gardens. Whether that’s
a raised bed garden, whether that’s a permaculture style garden, whether that’s just edible
landscaping around your yard, so that you guys could grow food. I know a lot of you
guys watch me and a lot of you guys are still scared of gardening and growing your own food.
And let me tell you guys it’s really not that hard man. You get some soil, you get
a raised bed, fill it up, get some good soil, get some plants, plant it in and the stuff
will grow. Specially here in South Florida. But for those of you guys that don’t want
to do this, that’s where Ready to Grow Gardens come in. I know a lot of you guys have a lot
more money than time. I’m kind of in the later have a lot more time than money. But
if you guys are like rich and stuff and want to just garden, want to come in and just be
eating out of your garden and not have to hassle with it, then Ready to Grow Gardens
is the place you want to call. I mean, let me tell you, this morning before
I actually came here my first stop was a local farmers market. And I won’t mention the
farmers market name. But they have a big price guide. And I mean, the prices here in South
Florida for organics are insane. Let me go ahead and look up like a bunch of kale, alright.
So kale, bunch of kale organic $3 and 60 cents each. And that’s for one bunch of kale.
And here’s the thing, if you go to the farmer’s market and buy kale, as much as I encourage
you guys to support your local farmers market, you know, you get 6 leaves of kale for $3.60
or whatever how many leaves you get. And once you eat that, the kale is poof, it’s gone,
it’s put through the juicer, it’s put in salads, it’s put in your blender, it’s
gone. And there is your money too, it’s gone $3.60 . But if you put that same $3.60
you know into a plant start here at their plant nursery, that kale will grow for a full
season and depending on the kale variety, get maybe even for a full year you can harvest
6 leaves off it easily every week. And that will pay you money back. So you have money
in the bank plus you’re going to have a higher quality food. Because even at the farmers
market I was at this morning, most of the food was not local food unfortunately. It
was actually trucked in from other parts of the country, which I think is quite sad. I’m
really all for local organic food and it doesn’t get more organic or local than your back yard. So yeah, if you got money, stop buying stuff
at the farmers market, start growing it yourself and get Ready to Grow Gardens put in the garden
for you. Now i know most of you guys watching this video are not in that category. So what
I’m going to do today is actually show you guys how they install some of their raised
bed gardens. And share with you guys the materials they are using, show you guys the soil mixture,
and more importantly share with you guys the plants that they’re using. So if you want
to do it yourself, you can. So they focus on is doing the whole installation
for you. They don’t necessarily sell any of the components to do that except the plants.
And they have a by appointment only plant nursery, that’s the main reason why I wanted
to come here to share with you guys some of the unique and rare varieties of plants that
really grow well here in South Florida. If you go to like a Big Box store or Home Depot
and you just get any old plants there, they may not do well. But they have, you know,
selected and tested and sell and offer the plants that will grow good here because those
are the ones that they’ve been planting in the gardens now for the last 5 years successfully
running this business. So I’m glad that they’re open by appointment or, you know,
right now they’re open Saturdays only but call to check ahead to make sure they’re
open on Saturdays. I came here on a Saturday, they are open for a few hours every Saturday
because the nursery business is not their main business. The main business is actually
installing gardens for you guys. But I’m glad once again, they are a resource for organic
plant starts here in South Florida, because they can be really hard to find. So actually the next thing I want to do is
I want to spin the camera around and show you guys their little demonstration garden,
show you guys what you could have here in South Florida in just a small amount of space.
And then we’re going to go ahead again and get into actually how they put one of these
together. So what we’re looking at now is their demonstration
garden at Ready to Grow Gardens, and you guys could see behind me basically they have an
area up front with like four raised bed gardens from actually reclaimed wood, which is really
cool. It’s actually a reclaimed hardwood that’s probably going to last longer than
your house is going to last. And then behind that actually they just have row crops. So
they, once again, they focus on the raised bed gardens but if you want to put a row crop
garden in, hey be my guest. Basically what they’re doing is they’re basically building
or mounting up beds in the existing ground to really build the raised bed without site.
So that’s all that is. Now if you are new into gardening, I always encourage you guys
not to bite off more than you chew proverbably, which basically means start out small. So
build a small raised bed like this so that you can manage and take care of it. And at
Ready to Grow Gardens, you know, if you don’t want to take care of it that’s alright because
they do the maintenance for you. So literally all you have to do is walk out the back yard,
front yard, wherever you put your garden, and harvest the food whenever to want to eat.
So yeah I really like that they take care of the whole gamut for you guys. Anyways, let me go ahead and show you guys
how they set up one of these raised bed gardens and what they have planted this time of the
year. So what you’re looking at now is a four
foot by ten foot raised bed garden. This is a pretty good size to start out with in my
opinion. You know, you could do a 4 by 4, 4 by 8, 4 by 10, 4 by 12, you know. Gets kind
of larger. 4 by 10 is a really good size. In this one, they have it basically planted
out in leafy greens with some herbs. They have over 2 dozen different plants in here
right now. Most of which are kale, collard and other brassica family plants. And you
guys could see this is lush and abundant. You know, in this bed how it’s actually
sitting right now, i could easily , you know, harvest 6 leaves off this plant. You know,
one day harvest 6 leaves off that plant, the next day and every day I go around to different
plants and harvest 6 leaves or I could harvest 1 leaf off 6 plants to have 6 leaves. That
would probably be a better way to do it to let the plants continue to grow longer. And
literally, you know, as you guys could see, having a garden really pays you money by having
higher quality food and a never ending source of leafy green vegetables. And the leafy green
vegetables, I want to remind you guys, are one of the most nutritious foods on the entire
planet. I mean, my channel is called Growing Your Greens. And that’s because I want everybody
to grow their greens and include the greens, the leafy green vegetables, in you guys’
diet each and every day. They are very important. My goal is to get two pounds of leafy greens
in me. That’s not always possible, but normally I get in about 1 pound, specially when I’m
traveling it’s challenging unless I come to a nice garden like this that has a lot
of extra greens for me to eat. But, you know, the leafy greens have the least amount of
calories and are loaded with phytochemicals, phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals, and
specially in the cruciferous family of plants like the ones we’re looking at here are
anti-disease. So they’re disease protective. They can protect you against different diseases
whereas, you know, processed foods, junk foods and animal foods in excess, you know, will
cause disease. And the problem with America today is too much fast food, not enough vegetables.
And I don’t care if you still want to eat fast food, but make most of your diet fresh
fruits and fresh vegetables and a really small portion of your diet, you know, junk food,
processed food, animal foods in excess, right. So yeah, so easily you could see how really
it’s going to pay you money to grow your own food. Next, I want to show you guys actually how
they have this bed set up and what they’re growing in and actually how they’re doing
it in case you guys want to do it yourself. So now I’m going to show you guys how they
set up one of these raised beds. Luckily on this trip, this bed is about half planted
out. So they haven’t actually topped it off and finished it. So it’s not like a
finished growing raised bed. It’s still kind of in transition. So I could show you
guys this. So basically what they got is basically 4 pieces of wood they screwed together and
put some corner brackets in to make a box. This is very simple, you could go down to
Home Depot, Lowe’s, local lumbar store, get them to pre-cut the wood for you and make
sure you get some, you know, hard wood that’s not going to rot out in the sun like the standard
construction lumbar. But that’s alright, even if you don’t have a lot of money, you
could use standard construction lumbar. I would just encourage you guys to treat it
with some kind of natural wood treatment such as the Eco Wood product that I recommend,
and have videos on in the past that I’ve used to preserve it so it won’t rot out
as quickly. Everything will rot out, it’s just some things last longer than others.
So yeah, build the box. And then you’re going to fill it with the soil mix. So they
have nice really rich black soil mixture here that is their proprietary recipe. And then
they just fill this bed up. It’s actually well draining, also holds some good moisture
to keep the plants watered properly. And then you basically put it in irrigation system.
And what they use here is they use the drip irrigation predominantly with some sprinklers
here to just get some extra coverage as needed. Lately because it is raining so much they
have actually been able to turn these off. And they have a basically a header pipe here.
And for me personally, I would recommend instead of using the small drip tubing stuff like
they’re using here, I would just recommend using the larger half inch or five eighth
inch drip tubing, and either stick emitters in there yourself or get the ones with the
emitters built in. I find that these clog less, are a lot more durable and that’s
what I personally use myself. So after you get the irrigation in, what you’re
going to do is go ahead and you’re ready to plant your plants. So I recommend and encourage
you guys, if you guys are new growers, to always start from transplants if possible
and try to get the largest size transplants you can. Because the larger the transplant,
generally the healthier it is and the higher your probability of success. That being said,
the carrots they have planted here they’ve started by seed and there’s many crops that
can easily be started by seed. Carrots is definitely one of them. So they just spread
the seeds out and then guess what? The rain comes, the sun’s out every day and the stuff
grows. You don’t need to tell the plants to grow man, grow baby grow. They’ll grow
on their own because that’s what they’re programmed by nature and designed to do naturally.
So literally as long as we have a good setup in place and created a good foundation of
our garden like you have to create a good foundation for your home before they build
a home, you are going to be successful. So that’s what they really focus on here, setting
up people with good foundations. So that you could get off and growing you know, without
any work. So the next thing I want to do is actually
really go ahead and talk to you guys about this wood here. Because that’s what’s
actually quite interesting to me. They’re actually using a reclaimed wood. This is probably
the first time, a rare time, that I’ve actually seen people use reclaimed woods to build raised
beds, and actually they are very durable, reclaimed wood at that. So now I am in their little workshop area
where they actually build the raised beds here on site. And I want to share with you
guys actually the special wood that they’re using which is reclaimed hardwood. This stuff
is actually known as greenheart. And when I saw this originally I thought this was like
something like some kind of IPE wood, Brazilian hardwood that actually I use for a deck that
I made, that are actually quite expensive to use for raised beds, but a good wood nonetheless.
But this is actually reclaimed, so instead of chopping down forests and taking new wood,
this is wood that would have literally just been thrown away. So this Greenheart wood,
what this was originally from, it was pilings from docks. So it’s like they had these
big pilings or big fittings that go into the ocean and then support the dock and then they
have to replace them every so many years. And this is like the inside of the wood after
it’s been, you know, milled and what not. And they get it here to use in raised beds.
Now this is stuff that’s been under the ocean man, water, you know, contact each and
every day and hasn’t broken down. So this is a, and actually it’s quite dense for
it’s size, it’s actually a really heavy wood, not like one of those you know, pines
or douglas firs that you go, and that’s definitely a good sign that it’s going to,
you know, be more resistant against decay and also pests and what not. So I’m glad
they’re using that. As you guys could see here behind me they
have basically a warehouse of stacks and stacks of just different size raised beds. Whether
you’re going to get a one high or two high, and the different sizes, you know, 4 by 8,
4 by 10, 4 by 12. They come in all different sizes here and they actually will make ones
to fit your specific, you know, dimensions in your back yard. And of course, when you
build them yourself, make the size that is most appropriate for you. Now everybody always
asks me John what height should I make my raised bed? So you know, I recommend generally
I like about 12 inches. If you make it taller you’re kinda wasting your time unless you
want to grow something like gobo root that gets really tall, you know. You could get
away with something like 8 inches but I really like to go with the 12 inch mark. I just find
that a lot better. But yeah, 8 inches will work as well. The last comment I have for them here is that
they have a big pile of all the end cuts and what not that they haven’t used. Now there’s
a lot of nice wood here left. So I really hope that they use some of these small cuts
and just make little small 1 foot by 1 foot boxes or, you know, little planters for people
to, you know, enhance people’s gardens. And they could maybe make put bottoms on them
and sell them as little herb gardens here. So even if somebody has like a balcony or
patio, they could have a little garden, you know, made out of this scrap wood that you
know looks like it has been collecting for a little bit. Next thing i want to do in this episode is
actually take you guys around their regular demonstration garden where they actually are
planting extra plant starts that they actually don’t sell and actually don’t install
. So you guys could see how they grow. And I could share with you guys some of the best
crops to grow here in the winter time in South Florida. So now I want to share with you guys just
some of the plants and edible vegetables that are thriving right now here in the winter
time in South Florida. Now I want to explain to you guys that there are basically two kinds
of vegetables you guys could grow here in South Florida, unlike most parts of the country,
due to the mild climate you guys have. So you could grow the standard annual vegetables.
And these are the vegetables that if you go down to the supermarket, most people are familiar
with. Things like the kale, the collard greens, you know, lettuce, and celery and carrots
and beets and turnips and radishes, arugula, all these kind of things are standard annual
vegetables. And those are the ones you guys are all familiar with. Now the class that
I personally recommend the most you guys grow are not the annual vegetables but the perennial
vegetables. The food that you guys probably have no familiarity with unless you’re from
some of the countries which they originate, which are from tropical countries, you know,
that don’t get cold weather spells and frost and all this kind of stuff. And because of
the mild climate here, you know, you’re able to grow some of the perennial vegetables.
So that’s what I think you guys should take advantage of. So this time of the year they’re focusing
on annuals and in the summer time when it’s too hot to grow the annuals, they focus on
the perennials. So I’m kind of sad I’m not here to share with you guys the perennials.
That being said, any time of the year, you could grow perennials. You don’t just have
to focus on them in the summer time when the annuals won’t grow. I would actually just
personally grow the perennials all year long as the majority of my garden, or as landscape
plants, and then have a raised bed with the annuals. So I want to first in this little clip here,
go over just some of the perennial vegetables they have growing, and I hope in future visits
they massively expand the amount of perennial vegetables, you know, they’re growing here
to demonstrate and explain and let people try the new taste sensations and varieties.
I mean, they are much easier to propagate because they are often done by cuttings instead
of starting from seed, and you know they grow really easily. And it’s sad that most farmers
gardeners and people into this, you know, grow your own space, don’t focus on perennials
as much as I would like them to. So yeah let’s go ahead and share with you guys some perennial
vegetables that I recommend you guys grow here. So the first two perennial vegetables i encourage
you guys to grow is one right here. This is known as okinawan spinach. This has been popping
up in pretty much every one of my permaculture style farm videos that I have actually gone
to this trip. And that’s because it grows really well. I mean, I don’t know if you
guys could see but this is a nice area. They probably planted one plant here and it basically
just spread out and took over. So this is a great ground cover. If you have the space,
you want to just grow a lot of food, I don’t know if I’d recommend putting this in a
raised bed because it would probably take over the raised bed over time. But you’ll
have, you know, copious amounts of food. And I really love these leaves because not only
are they green on the front side but they’re purple on the back side, like some people
I’ve met. But yeah these are very nutritious and have a really mild flavor. Definitely
not as strong as kale to me. And they are really nutritious for you as well. Another one they got growing right behind
me right there is the comfrey. This one will also grow really well. That’s more of a
medicinal, not necessarily a food. So I do encourage you guys to have, you know, herbs
as well. And over on this side they actually have the lemongrass. So besides focusing on
the leafy greens, I want to encourage you guys like if you get one raised bed, do leafy
greens. If you get a second raised bed then do the perennial herbs that are going to grow
year round. Because literally you could plant them once and you will have herbs that you
will not have to go out and buy little small packets for $2 , you know, at the grocery
store each and every time you need it, if you just have an herb garden outside. And
many herbs will grow fine in this climate year round. So next let’s go ahead and share with you
guys actually a new herb that I learned about actually this very trip, which is quite cool. So the new herb I learned about this trip
actually right here right now, a little bit earlier, is this guy. Now I don’t know if
you guys could see this, it’s like the light green color, it just kind of goes along a
little border here. This would make an excellent ground cover also when you step on it or when
I just sat down right here, it really emits a nice fragrance. And this is a mint. So this
just known as the Florida water mint. So that means it likes, you know, moist places. It
has been raining a lot. but there is little small mint leaves. They also make these little
delicate flowers that are actually quite edible. You could eat those. And the Florida water
mint is actually excellent to use in smoothies and juices and other culinary creations like
soups and salads and all this stuff. It’s a really nice small leaf. Mmmm, really nice
mint punch, little bit stronger than many mints but I really like it a lot. So don’t
use a ton. But as you guys could see it grows prolifically. And these are the kind of garden
crops I want you guys to grow, ones that grow prolifically without you having to do anything.
I mean, literally you could probably plant this somewhere in your yard and it’s probably
just going to take over the little space, you know, maybe put it near like the down
spout on your gutter system or something right. It’s going to love that and you will forever
have mint, you’ll never have to buy mint again in the grocery store. You get ripped
off or go to the farmers market and buy mint. I think it’s just insane when some people
buy certain herbs when you could, they’re so easy to grow. And mint, this mint particularly,
is a no brainer. Because I mean it’s native here to Florida. And actually maybe I’ll
even try to get some cuttings or a clump to take back with me to grow it myself, because
I actually like it a lot. Alright, so actually I think they are pretty
shy on perennial vegetables this time of the year in the garden. There’s one more that
I want to show you guys. But on their price list they do have a number of other perennial
vegetables such as the chia, such as the bele (belmoschus manihot), edible hibiscus and
gynura procumbens or longevity spinach that actually they don’t have available today
at the nursery, that I would also encourage you guys to purchase and grow in your garden
perennially as hedges or as ground cover. The last perennial vegetable that I’m going
to share with you guys today before I get into the annuals is this one right here. This
is one of my favorite perennial vegetables and I only wish I could grow this year round
in my climate. And you guys are so lucky that live in South Florida, you guys could grow
it here year round easily. And this guy is known as katuk or sauropus. And basically
what’s eaten are the leaves. So you could just go to a leaf or a branch and take your
hand and bring it down and then you could get a little handful of leaves. And then pop
them in your mouth. To me, this has like a reminiscence of like
peanut butter. But this is a leafy green that’s actually quite delicious. So you could make
salads out of this stuff, make blended smoothies. But I don’t necessarily recommend juicing
this stuff in high concentrations. But as you guys could see, it grow in these stalks
and it just grows as a hedge. And you could have endless food, you know, along the border
of your property, along the fence line, wherever you want. So I really hope they get some of
these into their demonstration garden, and to really show the power of perennials. Because
specially in tropics, in sub-tropical climates like Florida here, South Florida, those are
the vegetables that you want to focus on the most with the annuals as a smaller side component.
That being said, let’s go ahead and talk about some of the annuals that grow well here
in the winter in South Florida. So my top pick for annual vegetables are right
beside me here. And you guys could see, I mean, these guys are huge, these plants are
huge, these leaves are huge. This will grow you guys a lot of food. And these are collard
greens. So Georgia southern collards, you know, they’re grown originally here in the
south and they flourish in the weather here. So you know, why fight the system and try
to grow lettuces and things like that that can’t really deal with the heat and the
humidity when you could grow something like collards that grows really well. And, you
know, I’m not, I’m personally not at the point where I’m growing a 100% of the food
that I eat yet. You know, one day I definitely will get there, mark my words, but until then,
you know, I like to grow things that are easy. So like if I lived here I’d grow collard
greens and if you want some lettuce yeah try your hand at growing some lettuce here and
there. But you know, buy some good organic local lettuce or imported lettuce you know
hydroponically, you know. And then eat both, right. So you don’t have to have only collards
and no lettuce. but grow the easy thing because you’re going to not have to pull out your
hair and you’re going to have greens year round when lettuce can be significantly more
difficult, you know, to grow. Just buy it, right. And grow as much as you can of your
own stuff. I want to go ahead and cover a few more leafy
greens here that are thriving this time of the year. So the next family of plants I want to share
with you guys today that grow really well here in the winter time in South Florida are
the asian mustard greens. Now yeah you could grow hot mustards or you could grow more mild
mustards like they’re growing here. They got things like bok choy and tatsoi and mizuna
and all these things that really grow well. I mean you guys could see these leaves are
nice and huge and it’s relatively unaffected by pests. They’re all growing organic here
and it’s just doing really well, you know. So once again, focus on the easy stuff instead
of the hard stuff. Now the next crop I want to share with you
guys is the crop that you guys want to grow if you guys are impatient. And, you know,
wanted to eat out of your garden today instead of tomorrow. So the next crop I’m going
to share with you guys, for you guys that are, you know, really like things quick, in
the bedroom or out in your garden. And these guys are known as radishes. Here’s one actually
just popping out of the ground. And these guys could be ready in as short as you know,
15 days to 30 days. So really, you’re going to get a very quick return on your investment
of growing your own food. I do encourage you guys to, you know, grow highly colored pigmented
radishes whenever you can. You know, ones that have a nice pink color all the way through
and through because those are really rich in anti-oxidants and the beneficial nutrition
for you guys. Now I want to encourage you guys don’t forget that besides the roots
being eaten, which is what most people do, you could also use the greens. Now the greens
can be a little bit stronger, and definitely eat the greens at their younger stage than
the mature, you know, green stage. And I’m going to go ahead and try this radish to see
how they are here today. Mmmm. Look at that color on the inside. This is a really nice
mild radish, not that spicy or hot. They definitely have picked some cool varieties to grow here,. Alright, so no episode would be complete without
sharing with you guys tomatoes. Aside from the leafy greens, I like other fruiting crops
such as the tomatoes here. Now tomatoes in tropical climates can be difficult because
not all the varieties will grow really well here, you know. It’s really sad, once again,
at the farmer’s market this morning, you know, they were refrigerating their tomatoes.
And when you do that you lose the flavor. Specially when they’re picked too early.
So here it looks like, I don’t know if you guys could see this, but there’s like just
a mass abundance of tomatoes on the vine here. And that’s because they have certain tried
and true varieties that they know will grow well here in South Florida. So those are the
ones I recommend you guys to grow instead of just the standard you know beefstakes that
may not do so well here. Generally for a hotter climate I like to grow smaller cherry style
varieties that tend to do a lot better. Also if you guys look closely you’ll see here
they build all these trellises out of bamboo. So natural construction that they will actually
include with your raised bed package. Or of course if you’re doing it yourself you could
get some, you know, bamboo stakes and tie them together to make your own trellis, really
simple, real easy. So the next thing I want to share with you
guys, you know, besides all the cool crops they have growing is you know, one of the
main components of a raised bed garden is the soil. And luckily enough there’s a soil
yard next door that you could get your soil from and also, you know, they do sell their
specific recipe that they put and fill in the raised beds here that their clients have
uber success with. So right next to Ready to Grow Gardens is
the neighbor here, who actually makes compost. And this is predominantly from horse manure
and wood chips. Now while you could get this stuff, you know, I don’t necessarily recommend,
this is not my favorite to use animal manures because many times you don’t exactly know
what you’re getting, you know. The manure is only going to be as good as what the horses,
cows or pigs, sheep, chickens, goats, you know, or whatever, is eating. And in many
cases they may be eating GMO food and, you know, have high antibiotics, you know, used
to help keep them disease free and well. So you know, that’s definitely iffy. So of
course if you want to get some and this is the best you could do, I encourage you guys
to get some next door. Now just be forewarned the quality can vary depending on batch to
batch. So if you do choose to get that, I want to encourage you guys to get one that’s
like nice, rich and dark and broken down as much as possible without big, you know, pieces
and things in there. So the other thing if you want you could actually
get the soil that they’re making here by using some of that stuff with a mixture of
other ingredients to make a higher quality soil mix. So let me go ahead and spin the
camera around and show you guys their soil mixing and what they’re doing here to make
their soil. So this is their soil mixing area at Ready
to Grow Gardens, you know, when the next areas manure they have is good quality stuff, they’ll
get actually a batch over here. And then they’ll mix that with, you know, plant based compost
that I really like, you know, instead. And then vermiculite and coconut coir and other
ingredients. And then make a nice rich mix that actually they grow their plant starts
in and fill in the raised beds. And this the very mixture they’ve used to grow some of
the plants up front that look quite healthy to me. So, you know, they will sell this separately
by the bag or actually they will even deliver it to you. Now, you know, be forewarned, when you get
pre mixed soil, it is going to be a little bit more expensive. So I, you know, I’m
still on the hunt for some really good soil in South Florida. And yet I have not yet found
it. So the last thing I want to show you guys
in this episode actually a little plant nursery where you could actually buy the little plant
starts that they’ve put in their commercial installations and home owner installations
or they just grow out in their sample demonstration garden here. Due to the time I’m here, their,
you know, nursery is a little bit lower in stock on plants than it may normally be. So
I hope they get that rectified soon and get a nice abundance nursery full of perennial
vegetables. Because I think that’s really where the , where you know the future lies
with growing your own food here in South Florida. So the last shot I want to share with you
guys today is their little plant nursery. And actually this is what got me here. On
the website they said they had a lot of different perennial vegetables available for sale. And
then I get here and they have like a handful. I mean they have some katuks available, they
have the okinawan spinach, they have of course things like lemon grass and holy basil, some
mints, and some other herbs that probably grow year round. But they don’t have as
many perennial vegetables as I saw on the website. So if you’re coming down for those
guys I want to encourage you guys to call first. They have actually plenty of annual vegetables
inside, and you know they have actually a whole bunch, and their price right now, I’d
say they are priced reasonably for South Florida. But for me because I’m a cheapass, they’re
actually a little bit more expensive and more than what I’m used to paying. But that being
said, I’m from the agriculture state on the other side of the country. And buying
organic plant starts here in South Florida is actually pretty rare. So in any case, I
encourage you guys to support them here, specially some of the more rare plants and the perennial
plants that they’re growing. Literally once you get them once you could take your own
cuttings, put them in the soil and then you could have an endless supply of plants and
plant starts for your friends. So investing in perennial plants is definitely worth your
money. So the last part of this episode today is
actually I’ll go, I’ll like to go ahead and interview Dylan, the owner here at Ready
to Grow Gardens, and talk to him more about why he started this company and what keeps
them motivated to keep it going, keep all these plants in stock and get people to grow
their own food. John: So now I’m with Dylan Terry, founder
of Ready to Grow Gardens. And, he put all this together. So we’re going to ask him
some questions today. So Dylan, the first question for you today is, you know, why did
you start this business to help people install gardens? Dylan: Well, I graduated college and I had
an Art degree and also was taking care of a garden at college, and it was more of a
hobby. And then I came and moved back home and I realized that, you know, it’s tough
to get a job. I had a degree in Art and I thought maybe I wanted to be a graphic designer.
I did some internships, realized I can’t take sitting in front of a computer for, you
know, 5 to 10 hours a day. And I really wanted to be outside. And then I got a job doing
graphic design part time and also gardening. And then realized that there is a lot of potential
and a lot of people wanting help with gardening and a lot of interest in it. And it was kind
of that was about a little over 5 years ago. There were, you know, the garden table movement
and local food movement was kind of just growing more and more in South Florida. And so I saw
an opportunity to start an organic garden company. And we’ve been doing it just over
5 years, almost 6 years now. And it’s been growing little by little and helping people
grow food and, you know, starting out with simple gardens, you know, for people that
are just starting out. And then if people wanted to do a bigger garden or, you know,
if it’s for a restaurant or for a school sometimes we do bigger gardens. So it’s
just become very successful. John: Awesome, man. Yeah, so basically I mean
he needed a job. Dylan: Yeah John: And so he took his hobby, made it his
job. And that’s what I encourage you guys to do. You know, I have a video with Curtis
Stone. The video is like how to make a $100,000 on a half acre of land that you don’t own.
And you know, so it’s totally possible to turn your hobby into a business, you know.
This is how Dylan here has done it. And there’s many ways to do it. Whether you want to install
gardens for people to help them along or grow food for people. but it’s very important,
you know, to really get people connected back with the food and get them out of shopping
at the grocery store and that habit. And because, you know, food comes from the earth.
So Dylan, I want to talk about our unique climate or the unique climate you have here
in Miami in South Florida. Because I know a lot of people here in Miami might move from,
you know, New York, Connecticut or wherever and come down here. And then they’re trying
to like grow things and plant tomatoes in the spring time. And that doesn’t work so
well. So how can you help somebody, you know, grow food here that has never grown here in
Miami because it’s almost like backasswords. Dylan: Yeah, so in Miami and in South Florida
the seasons are backwards from what most gardening books will tell you. Probably 95% of gardening
books that you could order or find at a library or bookstore will tell you to plant in the
spring, grow things throughout the summer and then harvest in the fall, with most of
the most popular veggies. And so here it’s all reversed. Here you plant things once it
starts getting a little bit cooler, so usually that’s October November when it starts to
get a little cooler here. And then you grow things through the winter and then harvest
the majority of your veggies in the spring time. And in the summer there’s different
things you can do. You can replenish the soil, you can do soil mineralization, also there’s
a wide variety of tropical fruits that grow well. So we tend to focus on growing tropical
fruits. And there’s different tropical veggies that could also do really well. A lot of them
are perennial and very low maintenance. So a lot of these we do as food forest gardens
which are gardens that produce have a lot of fruit trees and a lot of other edible plants
growing around the fruit trees. And also plants that are good for the soil. Plants that are
good for the wildlife and also good to incorporate. So we kind of switch what we do based on the
seasons. John: Awesome. Yeah, so I really am into the
perennial vegetables. So you want to share some of your favorite perennial vegetables
that you like to grow here that will do good for people, you know, over the summer time? Dylan: I love okinawan spinach. That’s probably
my favorite tropical spinach. I like it more than malabar spinach, that’s another good
one. But malabar spinach doesn’t really do well in the winter here. It kind of tends
to make seeds. But okinawan spinach looks really attractive, it spreads out if you need
a big plant and it can fit in with your landscape as some ornamental plant also. The under sides,
the tops of the leaves are green and the undersides are really vivid like brilliant purple. And
that’s probably one of my favorites. Cranberry hibiscus is another favorite of mine. It also
isn’t as productive in the winter but in the summer it’s one of the best tropical
greens to add to salads. There’s quite a few of them. Those would might be my top two.
And I’ll try to think of some others but those are some really good ones. John: Awesome, awesome. So why is it important
you believe that people should grow their own food? Dylan: Well, more and more we’re learning
about problems with our food system, you know. You don’t know a lot of the time what is
being put on to the food that you’re eating or buying from the supermarket. You don’t
know whats happening to that land or what ecosystems are displaced based on, you know,
those farms being put there. And you know, on top of that, transporting food from one
side of the country to the other side of the country burns a lot of fossil fuels. And,
you know, a lot of times foods are actually brought in from the other side of the world.
So, you know, the more that you can have of your diet grown as locally as possible, you
know, the better for the environment. Also it’s a great way to connect to nature. You
know, it helps people get outside more. This, we’re in a time where people are spending
way too much time glued to screens, TVs, you know, ipods, computers, you know, we’re
just looking we’re just focused on technology and we’re further and further becoming more
removed from nature and we’re trying to reverse that. We’re trying to get people
outside, get people eating healthy. If they are gardening they tend to really enjoy eating
what they’re growing. So it’s a great way to connect with nature and be outside
and you know help the environment, and you know it can be a social thing too. You can
do a community garden or a garden with friends, and just something I started doing as a teenager
and I have you know really loved doing it, and it started out as a hobby and you know
it’s become a nice way of life and way to spend almost every day. John: That’s awesome. Yeah I mean I do this,
I spend half the day in my garden and I spend half the day inside on a screen. But at least
I’m outside half the day and, you know, I know you guys got to have a job for a living
and maybe you want to something like Dylan’s here in your area, you know, and help people
install gardens and grow food and teach people about, you know, real food. And that’s really
cool. Like I’m doing online with all my videos.
So Dylan, I know Ready to Grow Gardens is here in South Florida in the Miami area to
help you guys grow your own food if you’re scared to do it yourself or to you know take
it to the level that you need. So you know, they could do the full install and take care
of the maintenance upkeep for you guys. But they could also just come and install it and
train you guys a little bit so that you guys are off on growing and get you guys the right
plant starts to start or as I showed you guys they have soil that is available here and
even plant starts. Now I know that you’re only open by appointment only and on certain
days. So you want to explain that to everybody that may live in the local area that want
to drop, wants to drop by? Dylan: So, right now we’re only open on
Saturday, and that is from noon to 4. The reason is that during the week we are busy
installing gardens and doing maintenance on gardens and right now we’re still a small
company. And eventually we may grow and have more regular hours. But right now it’s just
Saturday from noon to 4. And during the summer things might be a little slower, we may change
the hours, but it just depends. During the fall we may have longer hours too because
that’s the busiest season for us is the fall and the beginning of winter. John: Awesome, awesome. So how can somebody
get a hold of you guys and learn about your schedule and contact you if they’re interested
in putting in a garden or just getting some plants or some soil or any of the other services
you offer? Dylan: Well, my number is 786-436-7703. That’s
786-436-7703. That’s a good way to start. Also our website has a lot of information.
So if you want to see pictures of our gardens or information about how we do our services,
the website is with hyphens between the words. So it’s
. We also have an Instagram account, that’s Readytogrowgardens without hyphens. And we
have a lot of photos of our gardens if you want to see photos of our gardens. We also
have a Facebook page, that’s ReadyToGrowGardensSouthFl. So those are the best way to get in touch.
And if you want to just stop by our nursery and take a look at our demonstration garden,
right now our hours are every Saturday from noon to 4. John: Awesome, awesome. Yeah. I definitely
enjoyed my time here. I want to encourage you guys to stop by if you’re here in the
area, pick up some plants, and check out their amazing demonstration garden to get you guys
motivated about what can be grown here in South Florida. I mean, it is really easy to
grow anywhere wherever you guys live. but you need to learn certain practices that work.
And, you know, they have determined the ones that will work here because this is where
they grow. I know the ones that will, you know, that work in California and Nevada because
that’s where I grow, you know, predominantly. But I get to come here and see what they grow
and then I just get to build upon my knowledge of what will grow and the more tolerant plants.
And that’s what I really try to focus on. I did visit you guys’ website, that’s
how I learned about him and why I came out here today. And I want to say that they have
a wealth of knowledge on their website. I mean, the thing that was most valuable to
me are the plants, the edible plants that could be grown here in South Florida and the
seasons. So they have a lot of annual crops and, you know, more importantly to me the
perennial list with links to, you know, further information about some of the plants. And
that’s a list that actually can be very difficult to find. So I’m glad that they
provide that. So I want to encourage you guys to visit their website and check them out
if you’re definitely in the area. Now if you guys enjoyed this episode, you
know, here that I made today, hey please give me a thumbs up, let me know. I’ll come down
next visit and be sure to give you guys an update on their garden and how it’s progressing
and how it’s changing over time, over the seasons, when I’m able to come. Also be
sure to check my past episodes. I have over 1100 episodes now teaching you guys all aspects
of how you guys could grow your own food at home. You know I have at least two or three
dozen videos now from and me being in South Florida that directly applies to the people
living in South Florida, so information you can use. And also be sure to click that Subscribe
button right down below to be notified of my new and upcoming episodes. I have new and
upcoming episodes coming out about every 3 to 4 days and I still got a few more videos
to make here in South Florida on my vacation. So, once again this is John Kohler with
. We’ll see you next time and until then remember- keep on growing. Dylan: Thank you

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