This time last year I was growing
in a small urban front yard. The big event of 2020, that I think
we all know, had not happened yet. And really a lot of things in my personal
life changed dramatically year over year. So in this video what I want to
do is show you the new property here, the Epic Homestead, and show you the progress that I've made
over the last four or so months since I moved in here. Honestly, a little bit
less progress than I would have wanted, but I think given the way that 2020
went that's completely forgivable. Although I will say in the world of
gardening it was kind of a bad year for a lot of different sectors of the
world, personal lives of many people. In the world of gardening it was one
of the best years that we've ever seen, certainly I've ever seen in my
decade plus long years of growing. So I'm very grateful at least
for that. And in that spirit, I do want to show you some
of what's been going on here. And what I'll do in this video is show
you a little bit of what it used to look like and what it looks like
So without further ado, cultivate that Like button for an Epic
2021 Homestead tour and let's get into it. One of the things I am most pleased about
is bringing the original Epic Garden to life in an improved way
here at the Epic Homestead. So I still have my classic raised beds. These are the Birdies Raised Beds that
I know and love and actually distribute here in America. So if
you'd like to cop some, then go ahead and check out
the link in the description. But I went with taller ones here and
you could do this out of wood as well. The problem is wood is just
extremely expensive right now. It's actually more expensive than metal. So for something that lasts longer
for me, metal wins that battle, at least for right now. But I went
with taller ones, 30 inches tall.
I used my method in the video I did on
How to Fill a Tall Raised Bed and Save 60% on Your Soil. So a lot of logs
and some chips down in the bottom, some grass trimmings and stuff, and
then some high quality soil up here. I've gone with straw mulch on top of
every single one of my raised beds, just a shredded straw. The trick with straw is you
want to go with straw not hay. Hay generally contains a
little bit more weed seeds. And you want to make sure you're getting
a straw that didn't have any sort of herbicide, fungicide, et cetera
used on it. Cause that really can, especially an herbicide,
hamper your plants. But some other changes that went on
in this front yard raised bed garden compared to the old one at
my old original urban garden, is that there's a lot more
space in between the beds.
So typically you want maybe
24 to 30 inches of space. I would say about 30 inches bed to bed. Cause you want to be able to
get a wheelbarrow through. You want to be able to
get yourself through. In my old garden I had about 10 inches
of space in between cause I was just cramming things in
wherever I could manage. And that was fine for the time
being. But I've got to say, having this space here has really really
improved my overall daily experience of gardening.
And I'm just mixing in as
many different methods as I possibly can. You can see from our luffa video I
still have one more luffa hanging on the vine. This front yard garden really is sort
of an homage to the original and also a way to show you guys how to grow in
as many different ways as possible. No matter where you live, no matter what type of living
situation that you're in.
Over here we're hanging out
underneath my loquat tree which again, it's kind of a funny little omen
I suppose, to have a loquat tree, which is the only fruit
tree I had at the old place. The orchard is roughly where
we're sitting right now. I've picked out about 40 to
50 different trees, bushes, and vines that I'm going to
be growing in this section. So I will release a full video on every
single one of those if you guys want to know exactly what I'm
doing. And by the way, if there's any section of this tour
that you want to see more about – a dedicated video – please drop it in
the Comments. And then everyone else, Like the ones that you want to see the
most so I know which videos you really really want to see.
But this section right here is going
to be a functional backyard orchard, although it will be in the front
yard. But when I say backyard orchard, what I mean is I'm going to be using
the Dave Wilson backyard orchard culture method where you actually don't
grow your fruit trees that tall. You will summer prune them down to
no more than about eight feet or so. And you'll actually plant them much more
close together than you normally would. So let's just take something like a
peach, which is one of my favorite fruits. For peaches, instead of
growing one massive peach tree, which let's just say it
comes to fruit in April, then you're going to have all your
fruit in April and that's it. Instead, what someone like Dave Wilson would
do is they would pick four different varieties that come to fruit
at a little bit offset times. So let's just say May, April,
June, August, something like that. And you keep them all a lot smaller
and you plant them close together. So in a sense you're almost growing
one tree that's grafted four ways.
Although technically it's not true
because there are actually four separate trees. So that's going to be the method
I'm using cause I want to cram as many different trees, bushes and berries and vines in as
humanly possible while still having ample production. And I don't need a ton of
one particular fruit. I want to come out, graze in my little Garden of Eden
here, Garden of Kevin I suppose, and just snack on what I want to snack
I don't need 600 peach end day. I need five peach every week
for like five months at a time. So that's what's going
on here in the orchard, which of course doesn't look like anything
yet because I don't have the trees. So here we are at the no dig bed, which I made just a couple of weeks back
in collaboration with Charles Dowding. And as I mentioned in that video,
this was my very first no dig bed. And there certainly were
some mistakes that I made, or some adjustments that I
might make going forward, which I will do to remedy some of the
potential performance issues I'm seeing growing in this bed. The
first one being that the soil, this compost mixture rather, seems to
stay way more moist than I want it to be.
And so I think I need to adjust the
mixture slightly because the plants are growing but they're growing a
little bit slower than I would want. We've also had some unseasonably cold
temperatures for San Diego and actually more rain than we would have expected.
And so that could be a factor here. I'm not a hundred percent sure. But a couple other changes I might make
in this bed is I'm going to add just overall more soil mixture to it. I'm going to lighten that
soil mixture up just slightly. And then I'm going to bring out that
cardboard mulch that you guys saw me lay down in that video.
Just maybe about six to 12 inches out
cause I don't want that bermuda grass to come up and over. So certainly some
adjustments to make. But again, just another way to grow food that's
probably one of the cheaper methods. You don't have to build a bed.
You don't have to buy a bed. You don't need a ton of soil. You need something to initially plant
it in unless you have perfect soil.
And if that's the case, I absolutely
envy you! But the no dig bed, some adjustments to be made, but I'll be doing another
update later in the spring. So here we are as we almost
get our way into the backyard, which actually there's quite a lot going
on, which I can't wait to show you. But we have this incredible moon arbor
that has yet to have something growing up it. I actually did a little bit
of peas earlier on in the fall. If they did okay I wanted to end
up moving this arbor to right here. So I relocated them and
that was a whole snafu. But we're growing roses for
the very first time guys. I've got these incredible roses
that a friend of mine dropped off. They're climbing roses, they're yellowish orange and I'm going
to have them slowly come up and over. So hopefully in the future we'll have
this beautiful brick-laid path coming through here. And then what I'm going to have is
I'm going to just have these beautiful beautiful climbing roses.
First time growing roses.
All of you have wanted me to grow
flowers for a long, long time. I just sort of put it off I suppose.
I wanted to grow an edible flower. I wanted to grow like, you know, a
calendula or a pollinator flower. And now I'm just growing straight up
climbing roses and I could not be more excited. So stay tuned for that.
There'll be many videos about it. One thing that's always been hard for
me to grow in my old gardens are these larger perennials because
for the most part, if I was to grow what you see in
front of me right here, artichoke, it would've taken up maybe I don't
know a sixth or a seventh of my entire garden. We're talking about
things like rhubarb, artichoke, these larger bush style plants.
that's what I've planted right here. I've got artichoke lining
this entire row here. I've also planted some rhubarb behind
it. Rhubarb typically, you know, you see it a lot in an English garden.
All of my UK garden friends on Instagram, they grow these massive stalks of rhubarb. It really wants a colder winter than
we typically have here in San Diego. I'm still going to
experiment with it. I mean, I think something that people forget
about gardening is the goal is not to have every single plant live
and thrive perfectly. The goal is actually for you to understand
a lot more about how plants work. And there's no better way to do that
than pushing your zone and pushing your limits and testing things
out. So I put rhubarb in.
I know the artichokes are going to do
well. This is a green globe artichoke. It's going to be a perennial for at
least about two, three years or so. And it's going to explode. It's going
to look amazing. But the rhubarb behind, we'll see how it goes. This is sort
of my little perennial test bed. You know it wouldn't be an Epic
Gardening video if I didn't talk about dragonfruit in some way or another.
So here we have Dragonfruit Alley. It's a slow growing plant. It's
coming along quite nicely though. So I have six different varieties. I have four of each planted
in each of these pots. These are 25 gallon huge terracotta
pots I got for about 40 bucks each. So really quite a steal in my opinion. And then I have my dragonfruit trellises
that I built for a video a little bit earlier on in the year.
var) six varieties. Four each. They're going to climb up. You can see
some of them are already starting to go. I'm really excited! I mean,
these are going to be, these are some of the rarer
ones that you'll ever see. There are some that honestly, I might be one of the only three
people on earth to have some of these varieties. But nevertheless, I will be doing a lot more dragonfruit
care videos coming up. Okay. Welcome to the backyard. We're
sitting on my massive mulch pile. A while back a new neighbor moved
in and that was actually great. He's really into gardening. It's really cool to have a neighbor
that's kind of like-minded.
At the same time, there was a bunch of trees on the
property line – Brazilian red pepper and Chinese elm – that wanted to come down.
He wanted to take them down. Honestly, it wasn't that big of a deal
because they're first of all, the Brazilian red pepper is an
invasive tree. And it's quite gnarly as far as the roots go. They're
very close to our foundations. So he chopped them down and
you know, trees going down, always kind of a sad thing. But I hit up the arborist and I'm
now sitting on all of those trees.
So I had them literally chip
it directly into my yard. I used the logs to fill up the
raised beds. This chipped mulch, you're going to start to see, it's
been strewn about the entire property. But as we sit here in the backyard,
over here there's some cool stuff. Over here it's a complete
empty wasteland of weeds. At some point I'd like to turn it into
a classic row-style market garden and maybe even hire someone here at the Epic
Gardening team to help run that – so that we can show you all
how you can, if you want to, actually make a living
growing plants directly. By selling the plants to farmer's
markets, local restaurants, maybe starting a CSA of some kind. That's probably a little
bit of ways in the future.
Right now I've got some other
projects over here I want to show you. So here we are in the
true backyard garden, which I call the smorgasbord garden or
the nonsensical garden because there's just so many different
things going on here. You can see just plants strewn about me. This is the life of an
Epic Gardener I suppose. I've got some night blooming Cereus
here sent in by an Epic Gardening subscriber. We've got. Epiphyllum right here. That's a beautiful one,
produces a massive white flower. Akin to a dragonfruit but it
doesn't produce the fruit. And then you've got some
dragonfruit cuttings. I've got peas here that are probably
ready to go in the ground by now. And we've also got pineapple. I have about seven or eight different
pineapple that I propagated off of my original pineapple video. But behind me is actually where I think
the real interesting stuff is going down.
Behind me there's a ton
of mess. So please forgive that. I really like showing
you a work in progress. I'm actually not really a fan of these
very beautiful scenes that people will post on YouTube or Instagram. I'd much rather show you the reality of
how a garden gets built from scratch, how you develop a property from scratch.
This is how it actually happens. It's not like the pretty
stuff you see at the end. So what we have here are some potatoes. So behind me in this beautiful looking
little mini plot here are my Ruth Stout, modified Ruth Stout, potato growing
methods. So many of you know, for my survival challenge
I did back in 2019, I grew about a hundred pounds of potatoes. I tested out a bunch of different
methods. Five gallon buckets, grow bags, in the ground with hilling,
in the ground without hilling.
And surprisingly what won out as
far as yield plus overall effort was in the ground no hilling, which
is a somewhat Ruth Stout method. You guys need to look up The
Ruth Stout No-Work Garden. It's a classic classic book. But what I've done here is I've
got six different varieties. I've got just some simple
straw on top. I took a mattock. I pulled out maybe six inches of soil or
so. I have relatively heavy clay here. And just popped in the potatoes.
They were already sprouting. Brushed the soil over, covered
them up. I watered them in. I'm probably not even going to water
them too much until I start seeing some green shoots come out of the ground.
Potatoes are a sort of a pioneer crop.
They don't really need heavily
improved soil to do well. They can actually push their way
through clay a decent amount. I wouldn't say they're like super stellar
at that, but they can do okay with it. And these are going to be just fine.
I've got 36 different total potatoes, six different varieties. I should be getting roughly a hundred
plus pounds of potatoes if I do even just a mediocre job in this, and this
is just unimproved ground. So over here, this is my sheet mulched area
that's going to be my garlic, but my garlic is still in the
fridge. I'm vernalizing my garlic.
It's going to take about three months
or so because I really want to give hardneck garlic a shot here in a warm
climate like San Diego. But to do that, at least from all my research, I need to do as good a job as
I can at faking the winter, which is vernalizing the garlic. So instead of keeping it in the
fridge for about four weeks, I'm going to keep it in the
fridge for about 10 or 12 weeks. So that means I'm going to plant it out
probably in a couple of weeks or so. And hopefully we have better luck here
on this property – without the skunks digging up the garlic, without the
grubs in the ground. Who knows, they'll probably be some
other problem, but we'll see. Over here we have probably the
most famous crop of all time, at least here on the
Epic Gardening channel, which is the ginger I planted last
year for the How to Grow Ginger in Your Containers video. That
just absolutely exploded, both of the plant itself and
the video did really well.
So I hope a lot of you are growing
ginger right now or harvested ginger in December or so. But these little
containers here, I've just got ginger, I've got sugar cane – a crop I've never
grown hanging out right in that corner over there. This is a very
simple way to grow peas you guys. So this is just peas. I've got six
of them in this little container, one bamboo stake per pea. They have
these little tendrils, as you might know, and they'll start climbing up and boom, you have like a little wall of peas here. And then behind me I have
some pineapples planted, but the real magic is
what's going on over here. So I know a lot of you know that I
love those Birdies Beds, of course. I sell them here in America. I love them.
They're my favorite bed of all time. But I do have a more classic
style bed. This red cedar bed, it's four foot by eight foot, and
this is going to be my tea garden, my herbal remedies garden, my
medicinal garden if you will.
So I have a lot to learn
in that area of gardening. It might even be a little
bit of a spice garden too. I just got a book on how to grow your
own spices. I'm very stoked about that! But that's what's going
on there. Nice, flat, huge amount of space for some
sprawling herbs and spices. Okay. Before we get to the final, final part I want to show you what
this property looks like from above. So we're up on the roof and take a
look at that sunset guys. Come on now. Not bad for January 6th. Alrighty. So there's our front yard garden. We've got some soil hanging out in the
driveway as a true gardener would have, I suppose.
And yeah, just a lot
of different methods down there. Of course we have the
future site of the orchard. We're going to be replacing
that fence over there. The loquat tree right there is really
the only sizable thing and this little pathetic lemon over here. Well,
we might bring that back to life. We might end up replacing it
with something else, we'll see. But I want to show you the back.
look at that, we got solar on the roof, which I'm going to talk
about in just a second. but I do want to show you the
back. Okay, so there's the shed. You guys all know the shed. There's the
wasteland. Ignore that please. Actually, this is cardboard. This is
very useful for a gardener. You want to keep that as much
as you can. As you can see, I've been using it as my little
sheet mulch. So, very useful. It doesn't look that great. I should
probably put it in a different location. But here's the evolution
or the beginning of our, our backyard plot that
needs a lot of borders. It needs a lot of border plantings. I'm going to put some nasturtiums
in there and such, but there we go. This is the property. Quite a bit to tame. One of the things that I really want
to do here at the Epic Homestead is not only showcase how to grow your own
food as much of it as possible, as easily as possible, in as many different methods as possible
but also how to do so in a way that is in harmony, I suppose, with the
rest of how, I believe at least, a good life should be lived.
would be to be as sustainable as possible. You know, don't go overboard and just try
to almost kill yourself in order to be extremely sustainable. But if things
make sense, just do them. Right. Solar in my area, it makes a lot of
sense. So solar is now on the roof. We're sitting on a new roof right now. So some of these projects just
really were quite a bear to get done, but they got done. New roof, new solar. The solar is going to be
turned on pretty soon. It'll be powering a lot
of the garden out there. And I just want to take this time to say, first of all thanks for sticking with
me as I've been a little quiet here on YouTube.
You know, the year was probably one of the best
years of my entire life, honestly. And I know that's not the case for
many people out there. So I'm very, very grateful first of all, for all of you watching these
videos for connecting with me. I've talked to probably,
I don't even know, 20,000 of you over the course of the year, as far as Comments replied to and
DM's and emails and all sorts of things like that. So, you know,
really, I cannot thank you enough! I'm standing on this
building because of you guys.
I have these solar panels
because of you guys. I have a garden because of
you guys. And really honestly, I have like a purpose as far as
what I want to do while I'm alive, probably because of you guys here
on, on YouTube and elsewhere. And so that's just really crazy to me.
When I look back at my early videos, you know, I filmed them with a phone. I looked like a complete
slob, probably still do. But no, I mean it really is mind boggling
where Epic Gardening has come to. And honestly, the thing that that is most important
to me is all the emails that I get from you guys and the comments about how
you've used the material that I've put out and changed your own life, which
really is the ultimate reward.
It's the most fulfilling thing, you
know, having this cool solar panel, whatever I could, I could earn
that money in another way. But these emails that I get
are truly very touching to me. And I save them all in a little
folder so when I have bad days, then I read them all and I feel good.
So anyways, I want to say thank you. Here's to an amazing 2021!
Drop me a line in the Comments. Let me know what you want to see more
of this year. And until next time, you know it, good luck in
the garden and keep on going..