Garden With Me: Watering, Transplanting, Multi-Sowing, & Dragon Fruit

Welcome back to the Epic
Gardening channel, my friends. We are sitting in front of
a ton of seedlings here. I figured I would do another
Garden With Me episode. You know, it's been kind of a crazy
week, kind of a crazy year. Let's just be honest with
ourselves. Um, and so, you know, most of the time here on Epic Gardening
it's a focused video on a specific type of plant or pest. But every so often
I like to do a longer form video. And the goal is to just kind of get
as much of my tips out to you guys as possible, while hopefully you also throw some
headphones in and go out in the garden and do it yourself. So in today's video we're talking about
transplanting some of these seedlings that we grew in the last
Garden With Me episode.

We'll talk about hardening
off and fertilizing and all
sorts of little tips that have to do with that. We'll probably
do a little watering and maintenance. And at the very end, we just might talk a little bit
about this shed back here and do some dragonfruit. So without further ado, cultivate that Like button and I will
personally bestow upon you an Epic amount of Garden Zen, which I think we all
need. And let's get into the video. The first thing we are
doing is taking this kale, taking some of these leftover starts
here as well as some starts that I picked up at a local nursery, and we're going
to prep them for transplant. Now, the first thing you want to
do, at least in my opinion, is give them a nice water.

When you
get them out of these cells here, if the soil is dry, it's just going to crumble and fall apart
and expose the roots. And if you can, you might as well pull that block out. You might have to tease the roots
out a little bit, but not too much. And that way it's just a whole lot
easier to do. So I always come through, we'll grab our hose out a little bit. Further here. There we go. And I just give a nice amount
of moisture to every single tray just to make sure that that
soil is nice and hydrated. So I just don't have any problems messing
with the root system too much. I mean, they can take a little bit of abuse
depending on the plant, but why, why risk it if you
don't have to, you know? In a natural environment these plants
would have grown directly in the ground.

They really wouldn't have
been transplanted. So this
is what I like to do. Now, the other thing I'll say is you gotta
remember when you watch an Epic Gardening video, I'm in zone 10b and I'm
always doing my best to adapt to, uh, just a multitude of different climates.
Different advice for different climates. What you do have to do when
you're transplanting is a
process called hardening off. Now in zone 10b my daytime and
nighttime temperatures are high enough that I really don't have
to worry about this process, but let's just explain it really briefly. So let's say you're starting your seeds
in the shed, in a greenhouse, indoors. And you then immediately take them,
when they're about, about this tall, and you put them right into the garden.
It's not a good recipe for success. Because you've effectively taken, let's just say a character from that
movie Wall-E – where they're like kind of floating around on these chairs and they
get everything delivered right to them. It's that type of plan.

And then
when you put it in the garden, it's like saying, okay,
run a hundred mile, a hundred yard dash as
quickly as you possibly can. It's not a recipe for success.
They're going to be shocked. They're not going to be used to that
new environment or that new amount of stress as far as light,
temperature, wind, sun, whatever. And so what you have to do again,
is a process called hardening off. And so let's imagine this over
here is indoors and this section is outdoors, and I want to harden
off this tray right here.

What I would do is the first day,
I'd bring it outdoors about an hour, hour or two, bring it back indoors.
Next day, two to three hours. Next day three to four,
four to five, five to six. So about a week or so is
the hardening off period. Eventually you get to about eight to 10
hours worth of exposure to the outside temperatures in which it
would actually be planted. And that plant or these seedlings could
be considered hardened off seedlings, which means they are hardy to the
environment that they're going in.

So let's imagine I did that because again, I could start these
seeds outdoors right now. It wouldn't be a big deal because
I'm in such a warm climate. That's not the norm. Most of
you are in colder climates. So you do have to consider that process.
So now that we've watered these in, I've got my fertilizer, which
I'll talk about in a second. I've got a little knife
here just to pry them out. Let's go out into the front
yard and plant them up. Out here in the front yard in one of the
few raised beds that I have filled up. I have soil coming in pretty soon. Very
excited to get this raised bed started. But before we transplant in, I do want to show you these lettuce right
here and a little bit about thinning out some plants. If you look really
carefully, you can see there's one, two, three, four lettuce plants
just in this little cluster.

And that's just simply too
many lettuce. As you can see, I have a triangular spacing here, which is roughly one
every four inches offset. And so there's about four inches
between each of these. That's fine. That's perfect. It's just simply too much
to have four emanating from one area. So what I do is, you want to
isolate the strongest one. So that would be this guy right here. And then you're going to come
in and it can be painful, but you do have to clip these off. Now what's cool about lettuce is these
are now little baby lettuce greens that I can take in for a little micro
salad or something.

But again, we've got one here. You can see this one started out with
one and look how much better it's growing compared to this one that was competing
with four other seedlings. Likewise, over here, I need to isolate
which one is the best. Sometimes you can't really tell, but
clearly this one's not that good. So that's going. We're going to
take this guy out right here. It looks like we have two left. So I'm going to take the one out
that does not have a damaged, that DOES have a damaged leaf. So this one goes because this one
had a little bit of damage on it. So I've hopefully left, oh nope,
there's actually even one more. So I'm going to remove this one here too. So now we're back down to one over there
and we just repeat that process over here as well.

So I'm going
to go down the line here. One important tip when you're
doing this is don't pull them out. You really do want to use some micro-tip
pruners or something like that, because if you pull them out
and you're leaving a plant in, you have the chance that pulling those
roots out upsets the root of the plant that you've left in. Next step, let's
get our seedlings into the ground. And so what I'm doing here is
basically just trying to get them in without disturbing them
as much as I possibly can. So the things that you're probably
going to need, some sort of trowel. So I've got a little trowel
here. I have a knife. I mean, this is just the style of tray I like
to use. Many of you have seen it before. It's called the GrowEase starter tray.
It's from Gardener's Supply Company. And so it's got these
nice blocks of soil here, but if I was to pull it out by the
plant, that'd be a terrible idea.

So what you want to do is, I like to at least come in
from the side just like this, give it a little bit of a pressure
move and pull it right out. And you can see why you water.
Because if I didn't water, all that would have fallen away and
I really don't want that to happen. And so we have it out, right? You
don't need to do too much with it. I'm going to select a spot for
it. So we'll go right here, move some soil aside with our trowel. Now this has been an interesting
experiment for me because this soil mix is actually a 50% compost mix, which
is somewhat high I would say. And what I'm going to do here is I'm
going to put some starter fertilizer in.

This is a 4-3-3 from a Espoma
Organic, it's their Bio-tone Starter. So it's got some mycorrhizal
fungal inoculants. It's got a lot of stuff in there that's
going to help stave off that transplant shock. I don't get very precise with this. I just kind of like to sprinkle it in. And then what I'll do is
I'll take my little plant. I'll snug it up. You can bury them slightly deeper
than you would think for many plants. Oftentimes you can bury them to roughly
around where the seed leaves come out. So I'll do that in close-up
on the next one. Again, we want to move away a bit of soil here. Just like that. Sprinkle. A little bit of our Bio-tone in
there from Espoma. And this one, I will put in I think a kale. So off the
camera right now, I'm just selecting. A kale. This might be. Dazzling blue kale. It's the problem
of not labeling. Total fool over here. But again, look, let me brush this
aside. So we're going to drop it in. It's a little bit lower.
That's fine.

Because remember, look at where these seed leaves start. Seed leaves start right there
and right there. It's okay, from my experienc and as
well as Charles Dowding, I learned this from Charles Dowding. You can bury it slightly deeper and
not only do you get a little more rigidity if you have some wind,
some rain, something like that, but you just get a bit
more of a sturdy plant.

So I'm not like slamming
down on this soil, but I am giving it a
little bit of a compress. Now I don't thin it out until I
know if one of these fails to take. So if I was to thin it out, I'd
be selecting this guy right here, is the only one left. So I'd be taking this one and I'd be
taking this one out right, or excuse me, this one out right here. I'll
just give it a day or two. See if any of these start to look weird.

pexels photo 4921281

And then from there I'll
come in and thin it. One thing I will say as we transplant
in these seedlings here is this is an experimental soil mix.
So this is 50% compost, 50% potting soil. I wanted to see if I could sort of just
use some stuff that I had instead of creating my own mix. And
to be honest with you, the results aren't as good as
they seemed like they might be. Check out those, those roots on
that lettuce. It's really nice. So that lettuce is going to go
in right here and look beautiful. Now the reason why is because the
compost I got, it's great compost. It's from the Miramar
Greenery here in San Diego, which is just a municipality and you can
go and load up compost. So I have that. It's great compost but it's very
fine grained.

And so it's not, it's definitely not soil. Soil you need a mixture of soil
particles from clay to sand to silt. This is more in that silty range
with somewhat fine, not really clay, somewhere in the middle. And
honestly it just wasn't, um, it wasn't a great mixture with potting
soil because it compacts a little bit too much. And so that's some of the
struggle that I've run into in this bed. It was an experiment. Turns out the
experiment didn't work out too well. Fortunately, it's not that hard to fix. If I have some struggles
with these crops right here, all I'll do is add in maybe
some rice hulls or some perlite, something that's has a loosening effect,
into the first top six inches of soil and I'll be completely fine.

are in, it is just time to water. Now, a lot of you have asked in the
past what this rain wand is, and that's what it is. It's
called a Dramm One Touch. It puts out this highly
satisfying spray pattern of water. Puts out a lot of water.
So you have to be careful. Sometimes you want to come up a little
higher, but I'm really pleased with it. I've got long arms. I want to be able to reach and access
different parts of my garden easily.

And I find that it does a pretty good
job there. So again, the Dramm One Touch, no sponsor or anything. It's
just a nice little product here. Might as well get the rest of this garden. Some of these plants in the
back here were transplanted in. This Greek columnar basil
has been on quite a journey. It's been transplanted four times. That's why you see a lot of dead
leaves down here. But all in all, I think it's been doing pretty well.
I've been really pleased with it. The lemongrass didn't do so
hot on a transplant. Again, that was a double transplant as I've been
moving things around this year in the garden. But hopefully we'll have a lot of new
stuff starting pretty soon here as the soil gets delivered for the
rest of the front yard garden.

Those of you who have been watching the
channel for a while know this device right here. It's a nice little
vertical planter called a GreenStalk, the GreenStalk Garden. I used to grow
beans in this all throughout the summer. I'd have beans. And what you do
is, let's say south is this way. That's the direction of the
sun. You want to rotate it. So I'd come in and I just rotate
it maybe once a day, 180 degrees, and every single side would get
an amazing amount of sunlight.

And thus you'd have a huge bean harvest.
Now beans, not in season right now. So we're doing what you can see here
is beets and chard. And in fact, I'll show you in a second, but I want to talk a little bit
about what's called multi-sowing. It's a technique that I learned
again, from Charles Dowding, one of my gardening mentors.
But first let's water it in. I want to show you how that works. So the system is comprised
of these horizontal rings. So you've got one and I
have five of them down here. And if you look really closely, what
you'll see, hopefully you can see, is three, four, and five up here. So you can put as many of
these as you want up to five. So what I do is I just
fill it up like this up until roughly about the four
mark, because in the center here, there's a little downspout. And what that does is that pulls water
down through every single one of these at the same time so that you don't have
an oversaturation up here and an undersaturation at the bottom,
which is a really clever feature.

And I think kind of like the killer
feature of a system like this. That's really the weakness of a lot of
vertical systems and the GreenStalk seems to counter that. So look, I'm
almost up at the five level here, just a little bit lower. So I'm going to go ahead and turn that
off and we'll let this water down. While we're watering in let me show
you what I mean by this multi-sowing technique. So we have some beets here.
It looks like I just broke that one off, that's okay.

But take a
look. You've got one, two, three beets right next to each other.
Now, what's wrong with that? Well, you might say that this is crowding out
and these beets aren't going to survive. They're not going to do that well,
they're not going to bulb up that well. That turns out really not to be the case. What you can start to do is see which
one is starting to win the race. And this one seems to be the case, right? So if I was to pull this
maybe in two weeks or so, when it's bulbed up a little bit,
I got a nice, decent beet bulb. And then these ones are going to start
growing because they're not competing as much for nutrients, space,
water, all that stuff. And so you can get a little bit more
out of even just this one small little chamber right here on a single system.
Now imagine if you were in a raised bed, that would be a lot different. You could get a lot more yield out of
the same space with this multi-sowing technique.

Now that our watering chores are done I
did want to show you a little bit about what's going on in Dragonfruit Alley here. So every single one of these
six pots is a different variety, different cultivar. So here
you can see we have red La Verne, big juicy red dragonfruit. And I finally have some new growth
coming out right here and right here. So the goal then is to train that
new growth to be going UP into this system here and then coming
OVER just like that. So, pretty soon I'm going to have to use
this nursery tape and tape it to about there. And that'll start training
it. Now here I have a yellow variety.

This one's called Ecuador Palora. You can just barely start to
see some new growth coming out. That takes a little bit of time,
but we're starting. Again over here, another variety, we've got a little
bit of new growth. Now, this one, this one seemed to have a mind of its
own. It's almost like a Hydra. Uh, we've got sour patch kid.
This one is from my friend, Richard over at Grafting Dragonfruit.
And this is actually his own cultivar. So I think I'm one of three people
on planet earth to have this one. So I'm very very grateful to
Richard for sending this out. But this is quite prolific. It's
putting out a lot of side shoots. So the strategy here would actually
be to remove some of these. I don't need all of
these little side shoots. What you want to do is you're
going to be putting four in. So I have all four of mine in, one
on each side of my four by four, and then you're just going to straight
up train them up until they get to there and fall over.

So all of these side shoots
in fact are sort of wasted progress. We want one main shoot in a perfect
world to get all the way up to the top, and THEN you can let it branch
out. Over here we have Tricia. This is one of the most incredible
looking dragonfruit you're ever going to find. What's interesting
about this one again, is it has this sort of white powder.
And you know, a lot of you as gardeners, you think, oh no, it's powdery
mildew. It's fungus. In fact, this is a protective mechanism that
the Tricia cultivar has developed in which it sort of puts its sunblock on. This is sort of a blocking of the sun
to protect this tropical cactus from really intense heat. So that's kind
of an interesting little factoid. And then over here we have, I
believe this is sugar dragon, and this one is almost up.
This is the closest we've got.

It's almost all the way up there.
So I'm very, very happy about that. So I still have a few
dragonfruit that are rooting up. They're getting ready to go
into their dragonfruit homes. But I figured what I would do
now is do a little sneak peek, a little teaser of the Epic Homestead
shed. This machine, this beast, this monster and this beauty is
10 foot by 12 foot dimensions. And then it's about eight
foot tall on the low side, 10 foot tall on the high side.
I think it looks really nice.

I'm really pleased with sort of how
it is in this alcove under the tree. And I like the colors. Let me know
what you guys think of the colors, but the reason why is because, as
I'm sitting here on this property, there's just so many different avenues
that I can go with it. With the orchard, with having the front yard raised bed
urban garden container gardens for all of you guys growing in small spaces.
I don't want to forget about you. I always want to be putting out good
tips and tricks for how to grow no matter where you live. I needed this as
sort of the brain of the operations. And so I painted the shed,
but I did not build the shed. I'm going to be doing a lot of building
projects for the garden here on the channel and on the Epic Homesteading
channel. But I didn't want this massive, basically mini-house, to be
the first one that I built. So I figured I'd give you
guys a little teaser on it.

The full shed build guide is going to
be up on the Epic Homesteading channel. And you know, it's looking like
it might rain here in San Diego. So hopefully this Garden With
Me episode gave you some solace, gave you a little bit
of extra tips and info. And also just was a nice little companion
as you get out and work in the garden or inside in your houseplant jungles.
So until next time, stay tuned, good luck in the garden
and keep on growing..

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