| by Kenneth Chase | 88 comments

How to Grow a Vegetable Garden at a Condo or Apartment

Alright! This is John Kohler with growingyourgreens.com
! Today we have another exciting episode for you. And where I’m at today, I’m here
in Monterey County, Carmel area. And why I’m here today is actually I’m in a Senior Condominium
Complex. So this is for people that are 55 and better. And why I’m here today is to
visit with a friend, Cecilia, who is actually growing her own food in her little condo.
And this is simply amazing because not only is Cecilia growing her food in her condo,
she actually follows my videos and actually does a lot of the things that I say and it’s
working really good for her. And so what I want to do in this episode is show you guys
how, if you guys live in a condo, an apartment, a town home, and have even just a little bit
of patio space, you can grow a lot of food in the patio space. And Cecilia is doing an
amazing job at doing just that. In addition, she’s also composting. Not only just standard,
you know, thermal composting, she’s also doing worm composting and she has worm composter
that I’m actually quite envious of. So anyways, without further ado, let’s go ahead and
go into Cecilia’s backyard patio area to show you guys how she’s growing her own
food here in this Senior Complex. Alright, so now we’re at the back door of
Cecilia’s place. So I’m going to go ahead and head inside and show you guys what she’s
got growing on. And one of the things I like is that, you know, all these back yard areas
or patios are nice and private. They got nice tall fences to keep unwanted local animals
out. So let’s head inside and show you guys what she’s got growing. Even though she’s
got a lot of patio space, she’s growing really intelligently. So basically this is what it looks like here
in her patio area. And actually more than half of the patio area is basically this bricked
in space that you, most people couldn’t use for growing food. But yet on this side
actually, she has a nice, I don’t know, maybe five foot area by I don’t know maybe
40 feet long where she’s growing plenty of food for herself. And she’s even using
some of the, you know, bricked in patio space to grow food as well, which I’ll be sure
to show you guys in a minute. So next I want to go ahead and give you guys a tour of this
back yard fruit and vegetable producing garden. So because Cecilia doesn’t have a whole
lot of room, she’s making the best room of the space she’s got. So she has this
existing Meyer lemon tree that she planted like 18 years ago when she moved in. And actually
I don’t know if you guys could see but it’s actually totally loaded up with Meyer lemons.
If you guys grow a lemon tree, I do encourage you guys to grow Meyer lemon, specially pick
them when they’re really ripe and just about dropping off and really dark yellow. If they’re
fully ripe, they’re very low acid. And actually they’re quite good. They’re one of my
favorites, they’re a tad bit sweet actually. And aside from the tree she has here, she
also has, you know, a pallet garden that I showed you guys in one of my videos, that
she made just out of a pallet and she’s growing all kinds of herbs and strawberries
in there. That’s really great. And then right next door, she has a little raised bed
garden. So I want to go ahead and do a close-up of the raised bed garden to show you some
of the techniques and some of the things she’s learned and didn’t learn along the way. So here’s her little raised bed garden.
And one of the things she did, and actually something that I do too, she actually put
some copper tape around the edges. And they say that’s supposed to prevent slugs, and
because the slugs grow across and they shock themselves, so that may have worked if the
copper wasn’t oxidized. But here, you know, it gets quite oxidized and what not. And she
says actually this doesn’t work. So the newer slug protection that I might recommend
you guys is actually they have an electrified fence that will shock the slugs and will work
for sure. Over in this bed, she has a whole bunch of
different crops growing, and they’re planted quite close together, and this is for a very
important reason. So that she could then have more plants. And, you know, see she comes
out here and harvests every day to make her morning, you know, green smoothie or juices.
And so she’s constantly picking these guys so that they never have the time to fall out
and get really big. So she just comes out and plucks small leaves. So that’s one of
my tips as well, as you want to plant closely and plant densely, you know, so you could
have actually more food growing for you guys. And so she has things like celery, swiss chard,
and some cabbage over there. And one of the things she’s done is she has these guys
right here, she basically has these plastic bottles that she’s cut up into basically
little rings. And she saw this on youtube , and you put them right below the plants
and it, you know, then you’ll have less bug and pest pressures. So she says that works,
and it might be something you might want to try. I could see how some bugs might be stopped
by it. I’ve also heard by, you know, using like copper tubing or copper pipe, you know,
about the same diameter and height. That will also prevent slugs, because that’s a lot
more copper they got to transfer go up and go down from. So yeah, I think that’s definitely
a good idea. As you guys could see behind me here, even in she’s got this raised bed
here and then behind the raised bed she’s got containers. And in this container she
has raspberries and she has an apple tree and even some blueberries over there. And
next she has this nice water fountain that gives nice sounds of nature and a place for
the birds to play. But let’s go ahead and head over to her
little greenhouse. And another raised bed that she has growing on here. So for in this
are she has a nice little small greenhouse, and even in this small patio area she has
room for a little more greenhouse. And actually this is the design that I like a lot, actually
it has the better fabric on the outside and it’s just enough room to have like a little
planter bought in the middle, then she could grow all of her starts on the sides. And,
or, other potted plants. And right now she’s trying to grow cucumbers in there. In the
off season, and I think actually a tomato plant actually just popped up in there. So
it’s staying quite warm in there, because, you know, this is, it doesn’t get too cold
here because we have the ocean influence. And then in this raised bed here she basically
has everything labeled. And they’re all on like these little oversized popsicle stick
things, and that’s really cool. Carrots, chinese cabbage, romaine lettuce and she also
has some of the more exotic tropical perennial greens that I don’t know if they made it.
Things like the okinawan spinach that I like, the longevity spinach . And so we’ll see
if they come back next year. I told her you should have probably covered them or maybe
dug them up and put them in the greenhouse for the winter, because that’s what I do.
But it does stay a bit warmer in here. And yeah her carrots so far are coming up. But
she used the combination of methods to plant that I think this is really smart. She’ll
do some seeding, you know, for herself, but then also she’ll get transplants and plant
starts. So this always ensures you’ll have a greater level of success and also food growing
year round. Because if she started everything from seed, you know, they’d just be popping
out right now. And a lot of the things that she starts from transplants are ready and
harvestable. So she’s actually eating out of her garden instead of out of the grocery
store. So most of her patio is actually, you know,
the bricked in area, not like the area where she’s growing stuff that actually is connected
to the earth, and with the dirt. She’s using her space really effectively by having these
guys, like these, these are basically pots and she has them on wheels so that you could
just easily roll them around, you know, into the, under the overhang protection or keep
them out here. And here’s actually a pepper that’s still alive. And then, and next she
has some of my favorite purple perennial tree collards that she ordered cuttings online.
And she’s popped them in, and two of them are sprouting and one of them looks like it
didn’t quite make it. Then she has like an orange tree in this pot here. And then
in the background you’ll see she has some blueberries. She has 3 blueberry plants, and
she’s told me that the blueberries in the full sun don’t tend to do as good as the
ones more in the shade. So she’s, you know, experimenting and learning as she grows. And
that’s something I encourage you guys to always do, you know. See what works, see what
doesn’t work and learn from, you know, your mistakes but also your successes. So another way Cecilia is making really good
use of her space is by having these basically small raised beds self watering container
gardens. And they’re on wheels, so you could easily move them around. And she has 6 of
them. I actually have an episode on this I did with my girlfriend setting one up, I’ll
put a link down below for you guys. And with the proper soil mixture, looks like she is
having, you know, good success with these guys. She has things like the winter purslane
that she actually started from seed herself. She has ones with the swiss chard in there
that she got from plant starts. She started her own kale in the back from seed, and she
has other ones currently waiting to come up, like Swiss chard and lettuce. And she of course
has some beets coming up right here. But I mean, in this area here, this is approximately
4 feet by 8 feet approximately, it may be a little bit smaller, but that’s a lot of
growing space in these self watering movable, you know, containers. These are known as the
City Pickers available at Home Depot or Lowe’s near you. So they are available everywhere.
And this is the easiest way to grow if you have a condo, an apartment or you know, a
town house, on your patio or wherever. And this is what I would recommend. You want to
have a nice large surface area like in these guys, so you’re, you know, intensively plant
and grow a lot of food in a small amount of space. Alright. So that’s pretty much all the growing
area she has here in her place. What I want to share with you guys next is actually a
few things, her compost piles, and then she has the worm composting and also just the
standard thermal composting systems that she’s using to keep the compost contained and the
smells out. So Cecilia’s on her third composter and
this is her third composter. She’s been having some challenges making them work in
her words. Compost happens, you don’t really need to make anything work if you have the
proper mixture. But anyways, she’s got the Toter composter. And this just looks like
one of those roll away garbage cans that the big garbage company would come with their
truck and pick it up and dump it in there. This is made by the same company that makes
those. So they’re definitely industrial grade, but these are designed for composting.
So right about here there’s like a grate , and the goal is that everything you put
in here will compost and then the finished compost would drop out the bottom, which you
could open this hatch in the bottom and get it all out. So I have a nice video on this
where I show how to use it, how to set it up. And in my experience in gardening or experiencing
with the Toter, you know it’s not the best composter. I’m sure it works for certain
people. Hasn’t worked for me because maybe you got to pay a little bit more attention
to it than I pay attention to things and get your mixture right. To me it doesn’t really
like add enough oxygen in there. I mean, the more air you can get and the more infiltration
you could get in there, the faster compost is going to break down and happen. To me,
yeah well there is some updraft air flow from the center tube, there’s not a lot of good
air flow like in a compost tumbler like the Joraform Compost Tumbler that I really like.
So in here to me it looks like maybe she has a little bit too much moisture and needs a
lot more aeration, so probably I would add like some compressed horse bedding pellets,
the pine pellets, mix it in there and then, you know, mix it all up, turn it up and then
put it back in there and then continue to try to get in there and shovel it up and around
and get some air mixed in there. And that will help get the process going. The way she
has been actually more successful composting, and it might be good to expand that, is actually
with her worm bin. She has a worm bin that I really like a lot. So I’m going to go
ahead and show you guys that next. So now I want to share with you guys her worm
compost bin. This is one of the most intelligent ones I have seen to date. I like it a lot
myself actually. It’s the first time I’ve seen it in person. I’ve seen in online myself.
But this is known as the Hungry Bin. And this is basically a continuous cycle worm bin,
much like the Toter composter’s supposed to be a continuous cycle compost bin. How
this works is that you put the food in and this is basically like a funnel. And the worm
compost or the hoop actually drains down to the bottom so you could harvest it and the
worms stay up near the top where the food is constantly being added. In addition, you
get that liquid leachate, and that’s basically the worm pee and the liquid that goes through
the system when you put in wet food scraps that comes out the bottom that you can collect,
that she has actually in this jar here. And I recommend mixing with water and you know,
adding to your garden. So mix a little bit of it with a bunch of water and then just
put it in your garden. Now the leachate is not the same as a compost tea or a worm tea
which is aerated worm compost. That to me is much more beneficial than simply the leachate
that comes out. And here is actually her nice beautiful pepper
plant that’s still growing here in January, has tons of peppers on there and even some
ones that are ripening. And this is underneath her overhang where it does get more protection
than, you know, out in the garden. So it stays a little bit warmer and looks like it’s
growing amazing. So that’s really cool you could grow peppers here year round. So now i want to go ahead and show you guys
how into this Cecilia is. She actually makes veggie patties for her worms to feed. These
veggie patties are actually basically just all the pulp from when she juices and what
not. She puts it in the freezer to freeze it to make it, you know, nice and easy to
take care of and doesn’t attract the bugs. Because she doesn’t want to over feed the
worms. You don’t want to overfeed anything, including yourselves, your mouths, your stomachs,
your kids, your wives, or anything. Because they’re not, it, too much food is not good.
We don’t want too little food, we don’t want too much food. We want just the right
amount of food. So I’ve heard, you know, sometimes you know, skipping several days
at a time feeding your worms, making them work for their food, and also if you have
too much food in your bin then it can tend to attract more, you know, flies and what
not. So you don’t want too much rotting food in there. You want them to put in enough
food so that they eat it and they continue to multiply and be happy. Now because she
does put this in the freezer and it’s frozen, what i would do is actually take this out
and thaw it out before feeding so it doesn’t, you know, chill down the worms too much. Unless
it’s in the hot summer, then this might be a good thing to cool the bin down a little
bit. Let’s go ahead and open this bin up and show you guys what we got. She has a really
nice mixture inside here, like shredded brown paper, she uses that primarily, as well as
some grit for the worms and you know, very little bugs, really nice texture. It’s not
like sopping wet. If your worm bin is sopping wet that’s not a good thing. She’s managing
this fairly well. The top is nice and dry. And that’s why she adds the dry material,
you know, to keep it at the right moisture level. Now if we go down a little bit further,
it gets actually kind of wet here. And I don’t know if you guys could see but there’s like
all kinds of worms inside here. And she’s burying her food, that’s another practice
that’s really important. Don’t just put the food on top, put the food in there and
then cover it over. And the worms are just going to town. So I mean, this method of composting
is working very well for her. So it might really be good to get another one of these
guys because, let me tell know, I think worms they could digest their weight in food in
a day or something. I forgot the exact statistic. But this way she could get rid of more of
her food scraps but also packing up her worms and make it actually create more babies and
actually, more importantly, create the worm castings which are one of the most valuable
nutrients, you know, for your garden. So besides just the worm castings that she makes here,
she has a lot of other nutrients she uses. Let me go ahead and show you guys her garden
shed. So even in this small back patio space, she
has like a little shed area with all her nutrients for her garden. This is also where she stores
her soil and mixes up soil and all kinds of stuff. Let me go ahead and show you guys the
inside here. This is actually really organized well. Maybe that’s, I don’t know, that’s
because she’s a lady or not. But inside here she has all kinds of stuff, you know.
On the shelf she has pots and different things to grow wheatgrass. And she has the trace
minerals and organic fertilizers. And all these bins full of different things. So let
me show you guys down there what she’s got happening. So simply what she has is basically she has
different containers with different soil mixes. So she’ll mix her soil up by batch. I like
to use a wheelbarrow because it’s a lot larger than just a tote. But she’ll mix
in a little bit of different items to make her really rich soil mixture. So she’ll
use things like the cascade minerals or rock dust. She has some CBD minerals. She makes
actually compost tea. She actually is on well water here in addition to the standard tap
water that comes out the faucets. So she doesn’t really need to use filtration. But she also
has different compost mixes from the Home Depot Big Box store. Now originally I use
like this guy, the Kellogg’s All Natural Garden Soil, because it is OMRI listed for
organic agriculture. The sad thing is I didn’t have the best results with this stuff. It
tends to be really woody and not so good in my opinion, because it’s not fully composted.
She also has this Miracle-Gro Nature’s Care, which is something that I necessarily wouldn’t
recommend. What I would recommend at Home Depot is the EcoScraps, that’s actually
probably one of the better composts in my opinion, as long as they’re you know, still
making it out of the fruit and vegetable wastes. And also look for at a True Value or other
local independent nurseries, the Dr Earth brand of soil, that’s a much better, higher
quality stuff than the stuff she’s been using. But nonetheless, this stuff works.
She mixes some of the soil. And what I like to do when I blend up my soils is, you know,
take a scoop out this bag, scoop out of this bad, some of her worm castings, some of her
compost, you know, with some rock dust. She also has, you know, coconut coir, which is,
you know, important to retain the moisture. Mixes it up in here and adds some other stuff
she has, and mixes them all up and then adds it into her beds. And this is what she does
to top off her beds and when she’s starting a new bed or when she’s starting a new pot,
she mixes it all up in here and literally makes her own soil. So you guys could see
that this is much more beneficial than just like taking this stuff out of the Nature’s
Care organic raised bed soil, dumping it in and calling it a day. Because, you know, then
you’re, then you’re subjected to whatever is in here is the nutrition feeding your plant.
What I want to do in my gardening style is have a diversity of nutrients, you know. Not
only this kind, but this kind, the rock dust, the worm castings, her own compost, and a
little bit of everything, right. It’s like baking a cake. Of course, the majority of
my mix would be, you know, these two guys with smaller amounts of the other things.
And of course, read the bags, the labels of whatever you’re using to figure out the
right ratios. I do have other videos on this that I’m not going to get into today. So
that’s pretty much her whole gardening setup here. The next thing I’d like to do is actually
head over because in this Senior 55 and better community, they actually have a community
garden for the residents here to join. So I’m going to go ahead and go over there
and show you guys besides just this space, she could also grow in there. And she’s
a member of the garden club and they have fruit trees and all this stuff. Let me go
ahead and take you guys over there next and show you guys just another way she could actually
get her hands in the dirt here. So besides Cecilia having her own little private
garden at her place, at her condo, which is really cool, this Senior development, condo
development, actually has an area for a community garden. And this is what I think is necessary
in all, you know, condo developments, town house developments and even apartment complexes
should all have a community garden space. So this has been up and running for some amount
of time. And it’s really nice actually. They’ve got it —-20:20 in , it looks really
beautiful. And I want to show you guys in a second I’ll take you over there, let’s
see there’s basically raised beds, and people growing vegetables on this side. And on the
other side they have actually fruit trees like grapes and berries and all this kind
of stuff. And this is all available to anybody who lives here in this development provided
you join the gardening club. So I want to encourage you guys to reach out and join your
local gardening club to network with others and also get free transplants and plant starts
and learn a lot from them. So what I’m going to do next is actually
take you guys in to the raised bed area and show you some of the techniques they’re
using to grow food quite successfully here. So now I’m going to go ahead and enter the
organic garden. And I like that it’s organic. It says, ‘No herbicides or pesticides allowed’.
So this is really cool, keeps everybody on the same page, and that’s awesome. And so
here’s some of the practices they’re doing, because I mean this is like next to nature,
right. I’m sure there’s deer and other creatures all out here. So what they got is
they got six foot tall fences to keep things out. This is very important, depending on
where you live. And of course, you know, they got a gate and a latch. So animals can’t
open this up but I can. So let me go ahead and see what they got. So here on the inside
of the community garden area, they basically have all raised beds that are actually symmetrical,
the same size. I think this is really nice. They actually have nice large pathways. I
personally would make my pathways a bit smaller so I could actually fit in more raised beds.
But everything here looks beautiful. This is probably one of the most beautiful community
gardens that I have visited, because this is, you know, people sign up to be in the
garden club. And if you sign up, you got to pay money for, you know, a raised bed here.
And then you should manage it and take care of it. So I mean, almost every every bed is
taken up and looks like it’s growing some amazing stuff. And they’re doing some other
things to keep the pests out. So they got that one tall fence but that may not keep
small rabbits or other creatures out or the birds that could fly. So what they got is
they got these guys. I don’t know if you guys could see these on the background. It’s
basically like quarter inch PVC tubing with the corner brackets, and they built just a
big box . So all this is is a big box, and it’s got the netting all around it. So this
keeps, you know birds and small rodents and what not out. So then they’re not going
to be eating the greens. Now furthermore if you’re having like bug problems, they make
finer mesh that will actually keep out flying pests. So basically you’re putting and building
a house around your crops to keep them safe. And this is just like super simple, super
easy, and I’m glad that like 98% of the people here are doing this. And I’m not
really seeing any crop damage from birds or deer or anything. So this is amazing and something
all you guys should do, because this stuff is super cheap. They’re using the PVC. You
could also use, you know, EMT electrical conduits available at most hardware stores. So let’s,
next I want to go ahead and I can’t sit here and show you guys all the different things
that are growing. But I want to go ahead and pick out just one of the beds that I really
like a lot because it looks like they’re really doing it right with having good nutrition
in the soil and growing some really healthy crops here. So here’s one of the coolest
raised beds in here, as you guys could see. They basically got these frames that you could
just lift up and have easy access to your plants. You could just literally pick this
whole thing up and carry it off. And then you could work your garden, and then when
you’re, you know, done working on your garden so the pests can’t get back in, you just
got to go ahead and put it back on. And inside this raised bed they got things like collard
greens, they got kale, they got some carrots, and they got Swiss chard, maybe some beets
over there. And it’s all really growing lush. So this must be some really good soil
in here. And I mean, here in Monterey county, you know, it’s quite really close to the
ocean, it doesn’t get too cold. Really nice sun, nice weather, gets a lot of rain too,
overcast a lot. But nonetheless they’re able to grow a lot of food. Now one of the
sad things I’ve seen at this community garden is things are growing lusciously and abundantly,
but the sad part for me is that the food that’s being grown here is not getting harvested.
I think the gardeners here need to really start incorporating and including more of
the food that’s being grown in their garden plot. I mean, they could save a lot of money.
I mean, here at the local stores, you know, some of the standard local stores that sell
organic produce it’s quite expensive to buy organic greens. But yet they’re growing
it themselves but they’re not using it. So I want to go ahead and give you guys some
tips on how to use some of the greens that you’re growing in abundance. You know when
you have so much and like most people don’t eat their greens as part of a main meal, it’s
a side dish. And I want you guys, my viewers and everybody watching this, to make your
greens and your vegetables the main dish. And if you’re going to eat meat and processed
foods and other things, make that a smaller side dish. America has got to backass backaxe
back ass words 25:15 if that’s a word. They’re eating too much of the processed meat stuff
and small amounts of the vegetable stuff. We need to reverse that. Large amounts of
vegetables, small amounts of other stuff. So some of my favorite ways to use some of
these greens, the collard greens and what not, is to juice them. As a matter of fact,
this morning I probably juiced about a pound of my personal greens from my garden with
some celery. And I would have liked to also put some cucumbers in there to really, you
know, get the greens into me. This made about two cups of juice, which was, I easily drank
and I actually enjoyed it. And you got to build up, because some people aren’t used
to drinking that high quantity of greens. So start off with like one, you know, or two
of the leaves and a bunch of celery, maybe some cucumbers and some apple, maybe some
lemon to sweeten it up a little bit so you get used to it. And this is the best breakfast
you guys could have because it’s so easy to digest. And when you’re waking up and
getting breakfast, you’re breaking your fast of 8 hours from sleeping and not eating.
So this is really a nice way to ease into your day. Plus also save you guys the money
from buying donuts of junk food or eggs or bacon or whatever else you guys would eat,
right. So I like that a lot. The other thing I like to do is make green smoothies. So you
could take some greens and just put it in with some water or coconut water and a banana
or two, fresh and ripe, and then maybe a frozen banana or two. And maybe even some blueberries
like my mom does. And blend that up into a nice green smoothie, another really good way
to start using your greens to get the benefits of them instead of just leaving them in the
garden like many people are doing here, which is quite sad, I mean. So yeah, those two ways
will definitely increase the amount of greens you’re using. So next time hopefully I come
back to this garden I’ll see there’s just going to be a crown of like five or six leaves
at the top, because those little ones that they’re leaving to keep growing. But meanwhile
they’re getting all the nutrients out of all the bottom growth. That’s just going
to basically fall off and you’re going to have to compost it at a later point anyway
if you don’t eat them. So another cool thing about being here in
Monterey county, depending on where in the county you live, it doesn’t get like too
cold, like, you know, some places get frost. And I mean, here yeah they could have a frost
but in general it stays pretty warm and this is evidenced by this pepper plant. And yes
you could see it’s got some damage, some frost damage and what not, but it’s still
alive and it’s got peppers here in January. This is completely amazing. And if I was growing
here, one of the things I would grow is I would grow the Manzano peppers. Now they’re
a hot pepper, but they’re more cold tolerant than just the standard varieties of peppers.
And despite the cold weather, unprotected, I’m highly confident that that would last
year round so you’d have peppers year round. Another thing I would do if, you know, I was
in charge of this garden, I would start including more perennial edible vegetables, you know.
Maybe some in the beds but more around the periphery so that they will be here for years
to come. Something like the purple perennial tree collards or the green perennial tree
collards. Like grow those up the edges. So that people could even have more greens. And
they’ll grow year round easily and incorporating other herbs and you know, perennial plants
around the borders. Maybe I’d have a section of Jerusalem artichokes, and Yacón and I
mean there’s so many cool things that could be grown here because it doesn’t get the
frost. I think the last thing I want to do in this
episode, because I could show you around this community garden all day, it’s really cool,
but I got to get running, I want to go ahead and interview Cecilia Star . Actually you
saw her garden earlier and this is the development where she lives. And she has a community garden
plot here. And learn more about why she grows, you know, her food, and why it is so important
to her. John: So now I have the pleasure of introducing
you to the gardener here, this is Cecilia Star. And we’re just going to go ahead and
ask her some questions today. So Cecilia, why did you decide to literally invest in
the time, the effort, and the money to grow your food? Cecilia: Well, because I think it’s important
to eat a lot of greens and eat it fresh rather than buying it from the store, so I get all
the nutrients right away. It really helps to keep me healthy and keep the arthritis
away and that’s why I eat a lot of vegetables. John: That’s awesome, that’s awesome.
So I know you had some health conditions like arthritis and yeast infections and some other
things Cecilia: Yeah John: like how has changing your diet and
eating more of these vegetables, or almost all of these vegetables helped you out? Cecilia: Well that has really helped a lot
because when I switched to being a vegan or a vegetarian diet, my arthritis went away,
I controled the yeast infection by it. And a lot of other things have happened too, like
getting healthier, getting stronger, it’s really been very beneficial and I’m just
real pleased with how I feel. I feel more like a lot light footed. I don’t feel like
heavy and sluggish anymore like I used to feel. John: Yeah. So as you guys heard, this is
a Senior, you know, development. But Cecilia doesn’t look a day over maybe 35. But if
you don’t mind sharing, how old are you? Cecilia: 73 John: Wow, this is one good looking 73 year
old. And she’s what, a great grandmother? Cecilia: Yeah, yeah I could be. I have pretty
old grandkids, 30 year old, 29, 30 year old grandkids. John: Wow. Yeah, she’s full of energy, she’s
still plays tennis and gardens and works and all kinds of cool stuff. So do you tribute
the energy that you have now because of, you know, the diet and eating the fresh foods
and what not? Cecilia: Yes I do. I contribute a lot of that.
And I play tennis three times a week, and I still work. I still hold on a full time
job 3 days a week doing hair. So that gives me all that energy to do all that. And it’s
good. John: Now I’ve seen in your garden, you
know, you have a lot of successes but, you know, there’s some failures that you’re
having some challenges with. What are some of the hardest things that you’ve seen and
you need to still maybe improve on in your garden? Cecilia: Last summer I had some mites, and
I had to go on YouTube and watch your videos on how get it out there with the water. I
used the water spray and the hose and washed it and hand washed each one of my plants and
got rid of them all. And it worked. They haven’t been back, not on any of the second stuff
that I’ve got growing now. I washed that all off, saved them. I’m real pleased with
what I’ve done. And it’s all a learning. I’m learning, what doesn’t work I don’t
do it the next time. Like with my beans, I got to redo them, but that’s okay, I love
my plants and they’re making me healthy and what I am today. John: Yeah and besides just, you know, eating
your plants and getting healthy from the good food you’re eating, you know, you’re also
getting exercise, right. You’re also connecting with nature. You’re also getting sun to
make vitamin D. I mean, gardening is just a good healthy thing to do and I think everybody
should do it. And, you know, spend some time to grow your own food so that you know what
goes into it. So Cecilia, you want to tell us what are some of your favorite crops that
you like to grow a lot and some of the ones you like to eat the most? Cecilia: Swiss chard and collards green are
probably actually my favorite. It’s surprising. I didn’t know that. And I’m trying some
new stuff like purslane, winter purslane, that’s supposed to be really really good.
And so I’m trying a lot of some of a few other things like the —-33:01 that I’ve
heard you talking about. So I’m trying to work that out, and let’s see, what am I
having success in. Well, I also decided to switch from having , I had two more fruit
trees that I dug up and donated to my gardening club and which we now have out in our garden
area. And so I have more room to plant more greens, which will give me more benefits faster
than what the fruit could produce at what time. So for this small space that I have,
I try to keep it more efficient so I can grow more and eat more for myself right here and
grow what I eat. John: Yeah, I definitely want to agree with
that. As much as I like fruit trees and love to eat fruit myself, I think, you know, and
that’s why my channel is called Growing Your Greens . Because greens are the most
important food on the entire planet. So how long have you been gardening and growing food
now, Cecilia? Cecilia: I just started. I just started, I’ve
only been doing it since last year. And so about a year and a half that I’m just getting
in to it. I just made my raised beds myself, went to the Home Depot , measured my stuff
and had it, my wood, and had them cut it, came home, put the screws in it and the wire
under it and I made these raised beds that I’ve got now. And then I bought the City
Pickers so I could do more utilizing for over my brick area. But I don’t have to destroy
it, I could still use it or whoever comes after me could still have it there. It’s
all movable. Where I go, they’re going to go with me. So that idea I like. John: Yeah, wow. I mean, so she’s only been
doing it a year and half or so. It’s amazing. I mean, you could be a gardener of any age,
you know, if you’re 5 years old on up to, you know, whatever. There’s always time
to learn how to garden. And it is really easy. It’s just like learning how to walk or anything
else. you just have to try and you will finally make it and be successful, you know, after
trial and error. And I’m still learning too. I mean, some of my compost piles aren’t
as hot as I’d like them to be, specially when I’m not there to turn them all the
time and specially when it’s a list bit cooler in the winter time. So Cecilia, the
last thing i want to ask you today is what’s a word of wisdom for all my viewers out there
that you’d like to share with them about, you know, you learning about garden and your
diet and all this kind of stuff? Cecilia: Well, where’s there’s a will,
there’s a way. And I, I don’t let my age get in the way or as an excuse that I can’t
do it. So I keep trying to, what doesn’t work I’ll try something else, I get on YouTube
I watch all my YouTube and John Kohler here on YouTube, all his channels. And I learn
from doing that. And then I think well that sounds like a good idea, I might try it out.
And if it doesn’t work, like I’ve been through 3 different composters, I’m still
trying to find out what works for me. And so you just got to get out and do it. Don’t
be afraid. Just keep trying. John: So if at first you don’t succeed,
try, try again is one of the mottos that I like to say. And, you know, that’s pretty
much it. I want to encourage you guys to look at Cecilia as a role model and that if she
could do it, so can you guys, you know, no matter where you live, you know, your age
or anything else that you might have in your head that’s holding you back. Because you
just got to try, learn and do. And if you fail, that’s alright, pick yourself up,
you know, try again and keep doing it. I mean, she continues to experiment with different
plants, she learns what works, what doesn’t work. And she’s learning as she goes. And
that’s what I’d say for you guys as well. If you guys enjoyed this episode, hey please
give me a thumbs up to let me know. I’ll try to come back and visit Cecilia next time
I’m in town, and maybe she’ll have 12 foot high tomato plants again like she did
last year, being so successful using the same methods that I teach. Because she watches
me and she does what I do. I mean, she said that to me Cecilia: Sure John: while I’m visiting, which is actually
quite funny, but it works. What I do works. And that’s why I share with you guys, because
it works for me and it could work for you too, you know. It’s just, it’s simple
once you follow the rules. If you know the ingredients to bake a cake, anybody could
bake a cake if you follow directions. It’s just about following directions. And a lot
of that, you know, is learning as you grow as well. So also be sure to check my past episodes.
I have over eleven hundred episodes now that contain a wealth of knowledge so that you
guys could empower yourselves to grow your own food. And be sure to click that Subscribe
button right down below to be notified of my new and upcoming episodes that I have coming
out about every 3 to 4 days now. So once again, this is John Kohler with growingyourgrens.com
. We’ll see you next time, and until then remember- keep on growing.


Ayesha Noor

Feb 2, 2016, 7:32 pm Reply

yaa i am first.


Feb 2, 2016, 7:40 pm Reply

55 and better… Hehe.

Pepucho Lengualarga

Feb 2, 2016, 8:06 pm Reply

Hello Garden General John congratulations on your success, enjoy your videos… Keep them coming… TV sucks!

Casey Ayotte

Feb 2, 2016, 8:06 pm Reply

my dinner last night was a head of lettuce and a very little bit of gouda cheese…
it was very gouda, i was actually surprised how much i enjoyed this simple pairing and how satisfying it was


Feb 2, 2016, 8:30 pm Reply

This is a great episode.

Lucia Ramirez

Feb 2, 2016, 8:34 pm Reply

Yes John what you do does work. I have been gardening for a long time but have learned so much from your videos than any other blog out there. Keep the good work.

Number Eight

Feb 2, 2016, 9:01 pm Reply

Great video, other than all the benefits of the food itself, time outdoors is vitamin E and likely numerous other physical and mental health benefits. Thanks John, and always remember you help a lot of people all around the world with your passion and dedication to growing your greens..

Cybor Bot

Feb 2, 2016, 9:50 pm Reply

nice video thanks for sharing


Feb 2, 2016, 10:34 pm Reply

Love the episode and the guest.


Feb 2, 2016, 10:40 pm Reply

Congrats to Cecilia! She's an inspiration. She has such a beautiful garden. Thanks John for sharing. You too are an inspiration!

Mike Ramos

Feb 2, 2016, 10:45 pm Reply

Great video!

Rev John O’Toole

Feb 2, 2016, 11:25 pm Reply

I am creating a microgreens business in a room of my house, so I am learning the stuff that is missing in most of the videos.
I did get a quart of Ocean Solutions and use a diabetic syringe to measure it out, kinda symbolic don't you think?
thanks for all


Feb 2, 2016, 11:30 pm Reply

You go Cecilia! Thank you for sharing your ideas. I will be looking for a better worm bin like yours. I also have the city pickers boxes and have found that they definitely work well.

Gladys Fuentes

Feb 2, 2016, 11:58 pm Reply

John, you are in inspiration to many of us out here. Just like Cecilia, we look at your videos, and learn each time. Thanks for all the information…

Poppy B.

Feb 2, 2016, 12:52 am Reply

Cecilia's awesome!! I hope I'm still kickin around and gardening in my 70's. I bought fourteen square, light gray planters at Wal-mart over 10 years ago, that surprisingly have lasted and are still in good condition despite the intense UV in Florida. At 5 bucks a piece, I'd say they were a steal being they are 14"x14"x12". I use them to crop out radishes, cilantro, and other fast turn crops even though I have more in ground space than I actually use.

David Crowson

Feb 2, 2016, 1:14 am Reply

I really enjoy your videos very informative, press on in the good work!

Hifumi Green

Feb 2, 2016, 1:42 am Reply

Thank you John for sharing your passion – you are truly inspirational.


Feb 2, 2016, 1:53 am Reply

8+1…she's a nine. I love her already

Ivy Mok

Feb 2, 2016, 2:06 am Reply

Cecilia is very inspiring! She really looks great for her age. Way to go, Cecilia! Two thumbs up!

matanuska high

Feb 2, 2016, 2:34 am Reply

Growing your own food is like printing your own money..

Jim S

Feb 2, 2016, 2:40 am Reply

Go Celia, Go! You're awesome!

Teoh Boon

Feb 2, 2016, 3:41 am Reply

thanks John for great ideas

Sneker One

Feb 2, 2016, 4:19 am Reply

What if I don't have a patio or anything other than Windows? I made a window garden but that's is.

Something Different

Feb 2, 2016, 8:03 am Reply

Ew. Don't put your hand in the vermicomposter, it's not done and has boatload o bacteria your putting on your hand. She shouldn't put those office paper shreds.

Fruit & Veg

Feb 2, 2016, 10:47 am Reply

Great video, amazing what you can do in a little space. Thanks for sharing

Atelier Novotny

Feb 2, 2016, 12:42 pm Reply

Awesome lady. Very inspiring. Thanks for another great vid John.

E. Harrison

Feb 2, 2016, 3:47 pm Reply

That's really nice, but not realistic to ACTUAL apartments or condos where we only have a tiny balcony. She's got a nice, very large, yard like area. Thanks for the video.

Arthur Baker

Feb 2, 2016, 4:29 pm Reply

Great. Thank you much.


Feb 2, 2016, 5:31 pm Reply

Good job on your garden Cecilia. Thank you John for another great video.


Feb 2, 2016, 8:09 pm Reply

Thanks John.

YTis MYtv

Feb 2, 2016, 8:31 pm Reply

Fantastic! Please do more small space, apartment & urban gardening videos. Thanks so much!


Feb 2, 2016, 8:48 pm Reply

Good video. But this is more like a townhouse backyard, not an apartment/condo balcony, so not what I was looking for at all.

Lodge Family Homestead

Feb 2, 2016, 11:37 pm Reply

where did she get the hungry bin? didnt see it on amazon.


Feb 2, 2016, 3:03 am Reply

Nice video:') your awesome


Feb 2, 2016, 6:04 am Reply

"…what she's got growin' on." Well done, sir.


Feb 2, 2016, 6:58 am Reply

Awesome video! I am going to start my own.


Feb 2, 2016, 6:10 pm Reply

lookin good. keep up tje good work C !


Feb 2, 2016, 4:51 pm Reply

Have you Grown Turmeric before? How did that work out for you? And on the container composter Couldn't you just take the container before you put in any compost, and cut the front and back panels out of the container, then replace it with Screen, Nylon Screen and then put your start up of compost in the container?  Wouldn't that work for getting more oxygen into the compost?

jeremy naranjo

Feb 2, 2016, 1:05 am Reply

Do u ever grow cannabis? U would be expert?

Marilyn Rich

Feb 2, 2016, 6:35 pm Reply

Backasswords lol

Earthing Rocks

Feb 2, 2016, 4:24 pm Reply

If you live in LA there is no way you can use copper in your garden! Those metal scrapers will smell that a mile away. They also love cutting wires from old TVs that are put on the curb. Thus, wasting the whole TV because most people don't know how to change the cord. lol

SugaTree Gardens

Feb 2, 2016, 4:13 pm Reply

Love the City Picker planters they are perfect for small spaces. I put them on top of crates to raise them up off the ground for easy reach


Feb 2, 2016, 4:08 pm Reply

Cecelia is awesome and such an inspiration! Nice video!

dace villen

Feb 2, 2016, 4:55 pm Reply

can any one help me out?  I mixed some soil up and added blood, bone meal, rock dust, worm castings, cotton meal, alfalfa meal  add lime to bring ph up got it a 6.7ph,   three weeks later I checked the ph and it drop down to 5.5.. I adjusted it again to about 6.5 and it drop bellow 6 about two week after that. adjusted it again  and it's seams ok now. why is it so hard to get the ph to stabilize.. thanks

Nicko The Greek T

Feb 2, 2016, 10:53 pm Reply

Oh boy she's hot!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Lol

Vegan Nurse Practitioner

Feb 2, 2016, 1:18 pm Reply

the problem I have when I give too much food to the wormies, maybe Not a problem :), but they then reproduce like crazy, extra food means extra sex! haha, so instead of a 'worm bin', she would have a 'sex bin', ar ar ar. I don't really make my worms 'work' to eat it, I do blend and dump, so I get more worm poop faster for my raised bins

Vegan Nurse Practitioner

Feb 2, 2016, 1:22 pm Reply

55 or older…Senior? egads, I'm 58, wellllll, that explains alot!!!
haha, well, AARP does have the best deal on car insurance hands down, joined that at 50… ok, I'll get back to garden talk, lol

A Synchronistic Life

Feb 2, 2016, 7:06 am Reply

Aww! I love Cecilia! Was so fun to meet her at WFF Hawaii last year. She's definitely an inspiration!


Feb 2, 2016, 3:02 am Reply

I love that lady 🙂

Inga Loves Life

Feb 2, 2016, 1:43 am Reply

Can't wait to start our garden this year.  Will be shopping for fruits and veggies in my backyard. Learn a lot from you. Thanks

Barbara Loveless

Feb 2, 2016, 8:40 pm Reply

Love her ❤️ thank you John for sharing your knowledge & experience with us!

Melissa RMT

Feb 2, 2016, 3:43 pm Reply

Thank you for this video, John! Growing food on an apartment patio has it's own challenges.

Hungry bin

Mar 3, 2016, 8:15 am Reply

Hello from NZ John! What an excellent clip, and an absolutely inspirational garden! Cecilia, you have a beautiful garden. Thanks for the great description of the hungry bin, we're very glad to hear that you're envious of it! Cheers, Ben.

Yvonne Vincens

Mar 3, 2016, 1:33 am Reply

great tips thanks

Jenn Corleone

Apr 4, 2016, 3:30 pm Reply

Awesome job! I have a 140 sq ft apartment garden in Napa that has changed my life in the last year! Thanks, John! Stop by if you are ever in town. ❤️?


Apr 4, 2016, 3:05 pm Reply

She looks great for 73!!


Jul 7, 2016, 6:18 am Reply

I had a gorgeous Chilli plant about 3' high and I tried to protect it form the snails.
I put the whole pot and plant on a raised plate of copper, in the bowl I put diatomaceous earth (sharp volcanic rock), and snail pellets in the pot. I then put the plant in the middle of a concrete patio at least 20feet in diameter.. well within six months they had destroyed the plant..they didn't go for the chillies but rather the leaves.. sure I killed hundreds but it wasn't a deterrent in the end.. They were just determined to get those leaves…

tam Le

Dec 12, 2016, 2:50 am Reply

I think you talk too much John?

Jordan Oliver

Jan 1, 2017, 4:53 am Reply

Hmph not what I was expecting. Her patio is like half the size of my apartment. Shes got alot of room to grow., or atleast alot more than what I was expecting a normal apartment.

shanah Tovah

Feb 2, 2017, 4:00 am Reply

Cecelia, YOU inspire me. I live in Seattle, and just have a southern exposed balcony. 5'×12'. I need to have self watering containers. I made the mistake of buying / inheriting from mom, ceramic heavy pots…Dar n. Impossible in the summer WITHOUT full deep drip pans topped off H20
Well anyway, thank you for meeting with John and helping me keep growing!

Yra nelson

Feb 2, 2017, 3:15 am Reply

55 and better…. I like it.

Alberto Scatto

Mar 3, 2017, 12:37 am Reply

Love your stuff 🙂

loraye jones

Mar 3, 2017, 3:37 pm Reply

You go girl. keep on going. I am 70 and I keep up a small garden and loving it. Can hardly wait to be growing again. Have a great year.


Mar 3, 2017, 9:24 pm Reply

This guy is the shit!

sherry nalder

Mar 3, 2017, 2:15 am Reply

She is so cute !


Mar 3, 2017, 8:29 am Reply

where is 'here' John ..?

Team Julie against Ovarian Cancer

Mar 3, 2017, 4:19 am Reply

I love you videos. HOWEVER i have noticed that when you showcase someone's garden, you have a tendency to say things like," i would rather, I wouldn't. This isn't ideal"etc…. which to me sounds very insulting. So saying that the stuff this woman is doing isn't what you would do because of this or that, its actually pretty rude. I think you need to watch how you word things. Of course its not what you would do, she isn't you. But other than this one downfall, your videos are amazing. I follow a lot of your ways of gardening.but I incorporate my own ways as well.

Terry Smith

Jun 6, 2017, 5:31 pm Reply

sounds like her advice is the the advice to listen to not his!

Quantum Chang

Jul 7, 2017, 7:14 am Reply

One thing I hate about these cheap little green houses is that they create a moist and warm environment that attracts cockroaches due to the fact the bottom is not sealed. If you want a proper greenhouse, it should be sealed at the ground level.

Larry Nashiro

Jul 7, 2017, 4:36 am Reply



Jul 7, 2017, 1:19 am Reply

could i swallow the greens whole like a pill so i dont taste it….like a spoon full to swallow and forget

Alex Gordon

Aug 8, 2017, 4:43 am Reply

just bought and used kelloggs all natural today… it was very "poofy"… not very firm… not very dense…seemed semi rich from smell…….ecoscraps, dr eco brand… noted. thank you!

Roselight Cafe

Oct 10, 2017, 9:31 pm Reply

Wow what a fun show! Thank you! Glad you kept the video up. Never get discouraged not everybody makes a comment. ✝????????

Bob S

Nov 11, 2017, 9:24 pm Reply

eat greens? i thot we just grow them. nice ornamentals. more potato chips and hot dogs please..

Fueled By Fruit

Nov 11, 2017, 7:11 am Reply

can i grow peppers, tomatoes and strawberries indoors during the winter using a 150w HPS light and a nice 6 foot tall grow tent?

Chelsea Shurmantine

Feb 2, 2018, 3:23 am Reply

When she said she'd only been doing it a year and a half, my jaw literally dropped. What a cool person! Cecelia is a beast!


Mar 3, 2018, 8:33 am Reply

This didn't really help much because my space is smaller like a condo. This is legit a backyard.

Estella F

Apr 4, 2018, 12:10 am Reply

This is hardly what I was thinking of when I typed patio garden. Calling this small is a disservice. I mean, she has a shed.

Lovedontel J

Apr 4, 2018, 12:53 am Reply

She’s doing great! ?

Greater Alexander

May 5, 2018, 1:56 pm Reply

On my list! This is another inspiring one! Thanks for the tour, John!

John Craftenworth

May 5, 2018, 2:39 am Reply

she is an amazing backyard gardener! a+

Braiytryene Gibbons

Oct 10, 2018, 2:41 am Reply

This is plenty of room to grow .
How about you actually go to a small apartment patio .

Shannon Garrett

Oct 10, 2018, 11:05 pm Reply

The wider aisles may be too make the garden more accessible for residents who use mobility assistance items like walkers, canes or wheelchairs.

V Williams

Jan 1, 2019, 2:39 pm Reply

With this government shut down and talks of Trump taking away people's food stamps aka cards, everyone should know how to grow their own food.


Feb 2, 2019, 7:49 am Reply

I know people who own their own home and have a much smaller yard than this one! That's a large yard for a condo! my own apartment growing space is the balcony which is 5' x 9', North-East facing, and live an hour north of Toronto. I sure am envious of this lady living in a California condo with a gorgeous garden. lovely.

The Simple Life

Apr 4, 2019, 8:16 pm Reply

I love and appreciate Miss Cecillia. What an inspiration she is ! Ty 4 sharing.
Greetings from central Florida.
Wolf? ?


Apr 4, 2019, 3:52 am Reply

I love your vids. I have an apartment in vegas and I'm planning to veg out the tiny space


Jul 7, 2019, 7:07 am Reply

I hope to be as active as Cecilia when I’m 70. Good for her.

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