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The Family Plot – June 1, 2019


– Hi, thanks for joining
us for The Family Plot: Gardening in the Mid-South. I’m Chris Cooper. If you don’t have space or
time for a large garden, go small with five
gallon buckets. Today we’re gonna show you how. Also, herbs are great in the
kitchen and in the garden. We’ll be talking about a
few that are easy to grow. That’s just ahead
on The Family Plot, Gardening in the Mid-South. – (female announcer)
Production funding for The Family Plot: Gardening in
the Mid-South is provided by: the WKNO Production Fund, the WKNO Endowment Fund, and by viewers like
you, thank you. [cheerful country music] – Welcome to The Family Plot. I’m Chris Cooper. Joining me today
is Walter Battle. Walter is a UT County
Director in Haywood County, and Miss Reni Erskine
will be joining us later. Hi Walter. I see we have a
bucket on the table. What are we gonna do today? – Well, there are a
lotta people who simply do not have the space to garden. – Okay, sure. – And me being a person
that liked to kinda watch my money a little bit, I was walking through
a garden center one day and saw where you
could have these tomatoes already in a pot, and they was getting like $17
for those things, you know? So I said, well,
now wait a minute, if somebody like
me who got a bunch of old buckets sitting
around the house or whatever, I could just plant my own. [laughs] So basically, what a
deal, I got my bucket. And you wanna make sure, I really like to see you
get a new bucket though. – Okay. – Because if you’re
using something that used to have like
petroleum products in it or some kind of
chemical or something, that might have some
kind of residue in there that maybe, you know,
work against you. What I did, I go
and I get my drill and I drill some holes
and these right here are one inch holes, but you
can use half inch holes, just whatever, as long as
water can drain out of it. – So that’s why you put
the holes in the bottom. – Yes, yes. And I always follow that
little step up, Chris, by putting this landscape
fabric, just you know, – How ’bout that. – Just to cover
that up a little bit so that we won’t have a problem. And then I even add
a few rocks in there. And let me see, I won’t
make too much noise here. [Chris chuckles] I put some of that
in there just to hold that down and make sure
everything is fine. – And it’ll probably help
the drainage as well. – Oh absolutely, it’s
gonna help me for drainage. And then, I begin
to mix my soil. – Ah that looks good. – Yes, what I did,
I purchased some already made organic soil, but I did add a
little calcium to it. I did put some lime in this. And all I simply do is just
pour some of that in there, let me get it started
before I dump it. But I add something
else to this organic. I also add a little
bit of cow manure. When you live near a
cattle farm like I do, – It’s readily available, I’m sure [laughs].
– It’s readily available. So I mix that in there too. And then of course I’m gonna
finish the rest of this out. Now you don’t ever,
ever just fill it all the way to the top. You get it right
there, and like I said, I added calcium to
this, I put about a cup of calcium in here. And then of course I’m going to, let me get just a tad more, to get my rocks. – So while you’re doing that, a five gallon, that’s
a pretty good size for a container?
– Yeah, five gallon is a pretty good size
because tomato plants, and look here, I wanna talk
a little bit about that. Tomato plants,
they gonna put down incredibly, a good
long root off in there. Now when you first get that, notice that these
have good white, – Yes. – Roots, there. And another thing that I
do when I plant tomatoes, I like to do what
we call sucker them. So I cut off these little
bottom ones right here. And also, these plants
here that I got, you can use them, these
were over there on a rack. And normally we say
don’t buy those. – On the discount rack? [laughs]
– Yes but I noticed that they were actually just
hadn’t been watered. So you know, I saved
some money there. – So you can save them. – And then so I tear those
little roots apart to kind of, – You tease the
roots a little bit. – Yep, just tease
them a little bit. And there we go. And we can set
that off in there. Let me get that
more in the middle. And then from there, – You just add more.
– I just add more around. And let me tell you, you
gonna have some good tomatoes. This variety here is Early Girl. – Oh yeah, it’s a good one.
– It’s a real nice variety to use and, yeah so there you
go, this here will do wonders. And I even get all up
around there a little more. – Okay. Now this would apply for more
than just tomatoes, right? – Oh absolutely.
– I mean there’s other vegetables you can
put in there as well? – Yes, as a matter of fact,
you can put one tomato plant in a bucket, but you
can put two pepper plants. – Okay. – And you could also put
maybe like one cucumber plant. Squash plant, you could
put one of those in there. I’m talking about
in its own bucket. – Sure. – And they’ll grow fine. Now one of the things about
growing them in the bucket also you can start them out early, you know, so you can
get out there earlier. Another thing is, you don’t
have to worry about weed control ’cause you pretty
much controlling that. I’m gonna tell you, if
a pigweed or something comes in this, you
put it in there. [laughs] It didn’t come in
there naturally. And another thing, you
know, you can move it around if you need to.
– Yeah that’s what I was gonna talk about, okay.
– You can have a little flexibility with that. And there’s just
all kind of benefits to growing in a
bucket, and trust me, it does not cost you $17. – Right. – Which is always a good thing. – Right, that’s a good thing. – But once again, I
do wanna emphasize, do not use an old
petroleum bucket or something like
that, you know, if you see something
like, you know, lubrication fluid or
something on the bucket, don’t use that. – Okay. – But should really just
get you a new bucket. – And let’s talk again
about the different soils you can use, now you
actually put in manure, why did you put in the manure? – Well you know, ’cause
I wanted to raise these kind of organically. And that’s gonna
be a good source for my fertilization
and nitrogen and all that that you get
with the manure and all that. So that’s why I use that. Once again, we do have
people like to know where their food come
from, how it’s grown. What better way than
growing in a bucket? And as a matter of
fact, I highly recommend people who live in
apartment complexes that have just,
– Ah, good point. – Those little ledges. Hey, this is an
ideal way to garden. I mean it just works perfect. – Right, and I was
once in an apartment, so yeah that does work. I did that as well.
– Yes, yes. And also, I didn’t
bring any with me, but I would also put some
mulch on top of this, because when you water
it, that would help this stay moist and stuff, as well as hold that
moisture in there. ‘Cause you know, here
in the Mid-South, woo, once that
June, July heat hit. – Yeah, it’ll dry
out pretty quick. So let’s talk about watering. How much would you water in a five gallon bucket?
– Basically, I would try to give it like
maybe an inch a week is what I would look
at, inch and a half, but basically, just
feel that soil. If it feels moist, you know,
nice and moist, you’re fine. Now we do not want to just
saturate it with water because then we’re
gonna mess around and get all that ol’
off the top or root rot, and all that stuff
developed in there and you’re kinda
defeating your purpose. – Right, right. – So you just don’t
wanna just saturate it, but of course with
those holes in there, it shouldn’t saturate. But otherwise just
keep it nice and moist about once a week,
maybe twice a week, go out there and just
add a little water to it just like you would
water any other plant. – Sure. And you made a point
about moving it, as well. ‘Cause I had to do that
when I lived in apartment, make sure you got enough sun. So that’s the good
thing about putting them in containers or
five gallon buckets, you move it to follow the sun. – Yeah you can move it around. And also you can get you
one of those little cages, and they’ll work also,
and that’s what I would do with this one, I won’t do
anything but just put that little cage in there right now and it’ll just grow right
up into that little cage and you’ll be fine. But like I said, to me
it’s really a neat way to even get kids to garden.
– Oh yeah, I agree. – You know, a lot
of times we say now the kids do not know
where food comes from or whatever, and this would
just really be a nice way to teach some kids how to garden and where food comes from,
and how they can grow things. – Something they can
do at home, I agree. – Oh yes, and if you’re looking
for a good science project, there it is, right there. – Well, good stuff, Walter,
we appreciate that demo. – Oh, okay, well happy
to bring it here. – Now we’ll see how that does. – Oh, okay. – We gonna test you out. – Okay, well we’ll be
slicing tomatoes before long. – All right, thank you much. [soft guitar music] – There are a number
of gardening events going on in the next
couple of weeks. Here are just a few
that might interest you. [upbeat guitar music] – Hi, Miss Reni. We’re happy to have
you here with us today. I know we’re gonna
learn a lot about herbs, but before we get started,
you are the president of the Memphis Herb Society,
so thank you again for coming. – Thank you for inviting me,
it’s an honor to be here. – Great, great. First question, what is an herb? – Well, an herb
is a useful plant. So that really
expands the definition of herb that perhaps our
grandparents knew, right? So you might do something
that is fragrant, that might be useful
as a pollinator, medicinal, as a food source, industrial, and
right now, like hemp, that’s a medicinal herb. Or hops for beer, so all
those are considered herbs. – How about that, wow. Now let’s talk about
some of the popular herbs that people
like to grow now. Can you tell us a
little bit about those? – Sure. I don’t think people
should be afraid of herbs. – Ah, there you go, okay. – They really shouldn’t. You try and you
try again, right? – Right, I agree. – So one of the first
things is parsley. And I love parsley, I really do. But as you notice, I
brought a flat leaf, Italian flat leaf, which is
different from the curly. And the flat leaf is easier to
grow than the curly parsley. Personally, I let mine bolt. and my seeds were
originally from Italy, from a region of Venice,
so it’s humid there, it’s hot there. And parsley does tend to
bolt, it’s a semi-annual. So you actually would
throw seeds out every year, and when it bolts,
I let it go to seed and then the seeds
fall wherever. So I might have
parsley in my walkways, in this bed or that
bed, and I’m perfectly happy with that [laughs].
– And you’re fine with that, good for you, good for you.
– Perfectly happy. So that would be the first one. There are very few things
that really attack. Now the one thing
that loves to eat it is the swallowtail caterpillar, but I’m glad for that. I don’t mind, my whole
yard is pollinator-friendly because I have
beehives in the back. I have three hives, so I
like everything to bloom. And I’ll let kale go to
bloom, bok choy go to bloom. Everything goes wild and then when it comes time
for the tomatoes, [Chris laughs] I’m afraid they have to go. [laughs] And I do the same thing
with the other herb that’s over here, which is dill. Now a lot of people like dill. And it really is
wonderful herb for fish or a vinegarette or
any type of sauce. It doesn’t do very
well in the mid-south because it’s hot here. And it doesn’t rain enough
during the summer months so it tends to bolt,
but that’s fine. – That’s okay. Yeah, so you put out the
seed again in the fall for a fall harvest, or
in the early spring. So when you see a pot
like this at the nursery, it’s probably not going
to do much for you in May, in June,
the season is over. But still, it’s fun to
grow and watch bolt. And again, when mine bolts,
the seeds go everywhere. And I have them growing
right now, every size, small to tall, and
it’s growing in between the cracks of the
concrete everywhere because it’s acclimated
to my little microclimate, – Gotcha. which is nice, same
thing for the parsley. So I save the parsley
seed and I share it. Same with the dill, I
save and I share it. So those are some fun things. – Let it bolt, let it go, right? – It is. [laughs] – What else do you have for us? – The other easy thing to grow, – Easy, okay. – Yeah, easy, well
these are easy. – Yeah, that’s easy. – I think they’re easy, – I think so.
– Are chives. So these are normal chives, and they give that
lovely light onion taste. Now when we talk about
diseases and things, we don’t have a monoculture
in our herb garden. Everything’s interspersed with
vegetables and other herbs so it’s not like
you have one acre of parsley that you’re cutting
for the market, you know? You don’t have that issue. Now sometimes you may have
onion maggots that get in there. Maybe sometimes slugs for the
parsley, slugs for the dill. You can go ahead and, if it’s
maggots, you get rid of it. Just take it out, replant,
do something new, new spot. And we have one more. Ah, this is the favorite.
– The favorite for everybody. [laughs] – That’s basil, and
this is sweet basil. – Okay. And this is new
for me in my life. I didn’t have that as
a child in our gardens, so coming to Memphis
and getting acquainted with basil was awesome. [laughs] – ‘Cause everybody
grows it here, in this part.
– Yeah, yeah. And so there are so
many different kinds that are just a
delight to the palate. Now all of these things do
well as companion plants. – Ah, I was gonna ask
you about that, great. – Yeah, yeah. So we were working
the plant sale at the Memphis Botanic Garden and so when people
went out with a tomato, well where was the basil?
– Grab the basil. [laughs] – It has to go in between
because it’s fragrant and it sort of captures all
sorts of flying insects. With all these different
type of herbs around, you’re discouraging
insect infestation because there are so many smells for these insects to go to. They kinda wonder,
where’s the tomato, right? [laughs] And those should be, you know, tomato hornworms should
be handpicked anyway. [laughs] – That’s right, I
agree with you on that. – So another type
of chive is this, and I only have a
little tiny sample, and that’s a garlic chive. Now, if you plant this,
you’ll have a good chance that it’ll take over,
so that means easy. – I have planted those. – Yes? – Yeah, it’s taking over. – Do you like it? – I like it, it’s fun.
– I do too. I like especially the flowers, because they are so
tasty in a salad, very white, delicate
lovely flowers. Same thing with
the regular chive. That makes a beautiful purple
flower, or pink flower, and you can pick that apart
to put in your salads. I mean, it’s just a culinary
delight to add such things. – Okay, which one of these
would grow best in the window? – Oh my, basil. – Basil, okay. – Basil is very thankful, yes. – It’s very thankful,
I like that [laughs]. So it grows well in the window. – Yes. And most of these
herbs prefer good soil, good watering, but they do
not like to stand in water. – Right, so good drainage. – Good drainage, yes. And the ones that do not do
well with that, are rosemary. It likes a rocky soil. And extra good drainage. – Extra. – Yeah. So I put pea gravel
in with my soil when I have sage or lavender. – Can you tell us a little bit about your background
with herbs? – Well, sure. I was born in Austria and spent
many years there as a child in a small village,
a farming village. And so every householder
in that village, the ladies would
have a kitchen garden that would have in
it, parsley, dill, also chives, and lovage. And they used these things
to season their food because there wasn’t
really a lot of money for cinnamon, cloves,
or curry was unknown. So those types of things
were saved for Christmases, Easter, special events. – Yeah, special
events, how about that. – So that gave me a
great respect for herbs. And then I also had three
ladies in my family, two aunts and a grandmother,
who had restaurants. And so they would be very
aware of what was useful. If they were making spinach
and they were a bit short, they would send out a
helper to go cut nettles and that was added in. And that’s a very healthful
herb to add to spinach. Or perhaps, if they were
making a potato salad, they would cut dandelion greens and that would be chopped very, very fine into the potato salad. So everything was
useful and made life actually very interesting. – Thank you much for sharing
– I love sharing that. – A little bit of
your history as well. We definitely do
appreciate that. So thank you again. – Thank you. [soft guitar music] – So what we have here
is a pin oak tree, as you can see here it’s
actually trying to re sprout. So we have what we call
here are suckers, or shoots. So we want to
definitely remove these, because we don’t want
those to be there, because they’re not doing
anything for the tree itself. So I’m gonna start
by cutting this off. I’m cutting as
close to the trunk of the tree as I possibly can. Okay, there you go. Make sure you’re using sharp
pruners when you’re doing this. And I might have to come back and make sure I cut this one off as close to the trunk
as I possibly can. Now as I looked at
the overall health of the tree, I
have some concerns, of course there’s lichen
growing on the tree, which is not necessarily
a bad thing, per se, but this may be a
possible canker, here. Look at that, and
there’s some flux, or some ooze actually
coming from this wound here. So again, I think
that may be a canker. And I’m surprised
that this tree, which is a pin oak,
doesn’t have bacterial leaf scorch, which is
why we’re telling folks not to plant these pin
oaks anymore in this area. [soft guitar music] All right, here’s
our Q & A segment. You jump in there with
us, Miss Reni, all right? – All right. – Here’s our first viewer email. “What are the cultural
practices to get rid of moss?” And this is from Juan, YouTube. So he wants to get rid
of moss, culturally. – Well I know that
it would basically show up in very acidic soils. So one suggestion
I would have to him is obviously to add
lime to raise the pH. The other practices, I’m
not really familiar with but I just know that’s
why you have it. – Let me help you out
with the other ones, Juan. If you have poorly
drained soils, compact soils, acidic
soils you already covered, and a little shade, so
if you have all of those, then yeah, you’re gonna have the perfect
ingredients for moss. – And I like moss. – And most people like moss. And a lot of moss lawns now. – Yes absolutely.
– Yes in Japan, some beautiful gardens in California, some
beautiful gardens with moss where they work years and
years to establish moss. – Yeah we definitely
have those here, keep the leaves off of them
and they will be just fine. But of course he wants to
get rid of it, culturally. So you have to
improve your drainage, aerate your soil, get your
soil tested, all right. And maybe limb up
a couple of trees to get some sunlight down. – Nothing else to do.
– That’s the way to get rid of it culturally. But again, like Miss Reni
said, it’s beautiful. – I think so. – I’ve seen it. I actually have a patch
of it in my own yard. – Yes.
– Yes. – Looks fine to me. But I know why I
have it, culturally. So there you have it, Juan,
thanks for your question. All right, here’s our
next viewer email. “We want to aerate our
yard then put down “lime and organic fertilizer. “Will these things
help for weed control? “We really don’t want to
spray anything poison “to kill out weeds, so we have
a lot of weeds in our yard. Or, what do you think?” And this is from Bethany. – Well, I mean, one of the
keys to having a good lawn is to have a lawn that
is growing very good to out compete the weeds. And also, mow your
grass a little high so that the crabgrass
won’t germinate. Because crabgrass likes
light to germinate. So those are some
cultural practices they could use to help
with, at least crabgrass, and maybe suppress
some of the weeds. But otherwise you pretty much
have to go kinda out there and hand pull them,
if you see some weeds in different spots. If you’re trying
not to use any kind of chemicals or whatever. – Yeah, so Miss Bethany,
here’s the deal. The thing that
she’s talking about, are the things that you
should do culturally anyway, so aerating your yard, yes. Because you wanna
open the soil up, you wanna get air
down to the roots, you wanna get water to the
roots and those nutrients. Putting down lime
of course helps, according to your
soil test, right. And she said
organic fertilizers. All of those are good
cultural practices, right? Because at the end of the day, if you want the grass to
out compete the weeds, you need a good
dense stand of grass. So these are your
methods to do that. But we did find out
earlier, you could just eat some of those weed, can’t you? – You can. [laughing] – And they don’t wanna spray
anything, which is fine. That’s okay if you don’t
wanna use any chemicals, I think it’s fine. You know, ’cause we talked
about that earlier as well, but there you have
it, Miss Bethany. What you’re asking
is your answer. So just do those
things culturally and you should be fine. All right, here’s our
next viewer email. “Can I recycle expired milk
or juice into my garden?” And is from HiKik, YouTube. Interesting question,
recycle expired milk or juice in the garden, Walt. What do you think? – I know the milk will be fine, because calcium.
– Calcium. Yes, calcium. – But the juice, I don’t know. – I wouldn’t go, again,
going back to the milk, it’s calcium, you know, you just cut it a
little bit with water. – If it’s acidic, maybe not. But if it’s sugary,
because we do put molasses,
– That’s with the juice. – We do put molasses
on as a fertilizer and to increase the
microbes in the soil, so that might work. – Yes you do. Most of your juices,
especially your citric juices are very acidic, though. – So that would be a no. – Very acidic. So I wouldn’t want
to use those juices. – Maybe apple or
something like that. – Maybe, yeah. – Like I said, I’d be
a little skeptical. – Expired milk, yes, some of
your juices, I don’t know. The acidity would concern me. A lot of sugar, they’re
very sweet, of course. It will attract insect
pests, or insects. Wasps, you know
anything that likes, you know, these pests
that like a little sugar, can attract some of those.
– It can also attract some rodents too, with
these food type ingredients. – We actually tell folks not
to put a lot of your juices in compost piles
for that reason. – Interesting.
– Right. – Ants, rodents, so I’d be a
little careful with the juice. Molasses, yeah, you’re
right, that’s a good point that you brought
up, for microbes. So there you have it,
HiKik, all right. Hope that answers your question. So Walt, Miss Reni,
it’s been fun. – Thank you
– Thank y’all for being here. – Thank you for
letting me speak. – Remember, we love
to hear from you. Send us a email or letter. The email address is
[email protected], and the mailing
address is Family Plot 7151 Cherry Farms Road,
Cordova, Tennessee 38016. Or you can go online to
FamilyPlotGarden.com. – That’s all we
have time for today. To get more
information on things we talked about on today’s show, go to FamilyPlotGarden.com. There we have links to
Extension Publications with every video. You can also check out
the full garden calendar. Be sure to join us next
week for The Family Plot: Gardening in the Mid-South. Be safe. [cheerful country music] [acoustic guitar chords]

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