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Planning a Backyard Garden ft. Gardenerd

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Show Notes

Join Nicole and Christy of Gardenerd as they talk about planning a garden!

What You’ll Learn

  • How to plan your garden
  • Starting seeds
  • Soil amendments
  • What are cool weather crops
  • Battling squash beetles
  • What are biointensive gardens

Our Guest

Christy founded Gardenerd, where she teaches people how to grow their own food through classes, consulting, food garden design and installations. You’ll also enjoy the Gardenerd Tip of the Week Podcast, their YouTube channel with (almost) 15K subscribers, and a website with tons of free gardening information in a searchable database.

Christy Wilhelmi

Resources & Links Mentioned

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    Announcer: Welcome to the Backyard Bounty podcast, from, where we talk about all things backyard, poultry, beekeeping, gardening, sustainable living and more. And now here's your host Nicole.

    Nicole: Hello everybody. Thank you for joining us for another episode of Backyard Bounty. I'm your host Nicole and today we're joined by Christy from Gardenerd, the one stop shop, all inclusive resource for everything gardening between the podcast, the website, her classes, consulting, food garden design, YouTube and more, and Christy, thank you so much for joining me today.

    Christy: Thank you. I'm happy to be here.

    Nicole: We did a podcast a couple of weeks ago on your side, where we talked about chickens. So I figured it was only fair to have you on my show to talk about some gardening.

    Christy: Yeah, of course. And that was a fun podcast. Thanks for doing that with me.

    Nicole: Yeah, of course. I definitely enjoyed it. I love talking chickens. You, I feel like are one of the authorities on gardening. Gardening, unfortunately isn't one of my strong points, but something that I enjoy, and I know that a lot of people are making that switch, where they're getting into the farm-to-table, and they're wanting to start growing their own vegetables and things like that. So I thought maybe we could talk about the basics of getting started, when it comes to gardening, and jumping right into planning our garden.

    Christy: There's so much in that question really, but I like to talk about starting small, and growing as much as you can in that small space. My specialty is small space bio-intensive organic vegetable gardening. And so it's all about using the space to its highest potential. What that starts with is soil. You really have to have the best soil possible, and if you're dealing with soil, that's not great, I can't recommend enough putting down compost and worm castings, and if you can, brewing compost tea, if you know how to do it right, or finding someone who does. Because compost tea inoculates your soil with beneficial microbes that help do a number of things. They help aerate the soil, they help cycle the nutrients from whatever it is that you put down, to the plants. They help mine deep soils for nutrients, and bring them back to the plant roots, and they just help keep pests in check.

    Christy: So it's all about balance, and it starts with having a balance of microbes in your soil. I would start with that. Of course, you want to pick a good spot for your garden, I think that the sunniest spot is the best. It depends on where you live though. If you're in the desert, you might want to have some shade, or shade cloth, but if you in a place that has mild, regular and average temperatures, you want at least six hours of sunlight a day for your crops. That's a minimum. And if you're growing things that produce a fruit like tomatoes and peppers, and we're talking about spring. Your tomatoes, your peppers, your eggplant, your beans, your corn and your squash, those things all produce a fruit. And so you want to have more than six hours of sunlight a day if you can. But that's the minimum.

    Nicole: To kind of back up and talk about the soil amendments, when's the best time to do that?

    Christy: Well, if you're starting in spring, and your ground doesn't freeze, you can start adding amendments pretty much right away. If you do have soil that freezes over, or has a lot of water collected in it, if it doesn't drain well, you need to wait until it does thaw and drain, before you start working it, because you can really mess up soil structure if you work at while it's too soggy. So I don't know... that date is going to be different for everyone. Most places, the average frost-free date is April 15th. It's tax day, it's always tax day, but generally speaking, like here we don't get a frost where I live in Los Angeles, we don't get a frost, and so we plant our warm weather stuff, as soon as the days start warming up and it's a beautiful day, which is a lot of the time. We're lucky.

    Christy: It's going to be whenever your frost or freeze day passes, and you can work your soil. There arr videos out there and websites out there that give you soil tests that you can do and basically you grab a handful of soil, and you squeeze it in your hand, and then when you open your hand up, and push your thumb into the block of soil, if it falls apart, it's ready to work. If it doesn't fall apart, if it just makes a dent, it's not ready to work, and it needs some more time to dry down. If you can make a ribbon out of it, like a clay ribbon, then it's clay soil and you need to add as much compost as you possibly can. That's the trick.

    Nicole: Okay. So once we get our soil prepared and ready, then I assume the next step would be planting our plants, but what's the best way to decide which plants that we want to get?

    Christy: When you are planning out your garden... I do a couple of things. I actually teach a class on how to plan your garden in both fall and spring. And the fall planting, or the spring planting, operate the same way, the list of crops is just different. For people growing in spring, the first thing I do is I clear the table. I get a pad of graph paper and all of my seeds, and I lay them out on the table. If you're going to grow from seed, and that's what I always recommend, because the variety is so much more diverse, than what you can buy at the nursery.

    Christy: But if you're just getting started, there's no shame in buying nursery seedlings, and it's perfectly great to do. But there's certain things that grow best in the cool weather. So we're going to start with our cool weather crops, and that's your lettuces, mustard greens, arugula all of your herbs, except for basil, your leafy greens like chard, and kale and your brassicas, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kohlrabi, Brussels sprouts, kale, sugar snap peas and snow peas and shelling peas all do really well in cool weather. And root vegetables. Carrots, parsnips, beets, turnips, radishes, and I'm sure I'm missing something in there, potatoes can also be grown in the cool season. So those are your starting point. And I usually make a list of things I want to grow, and then I compare them to my seeds, and what I have, and I map out my space.

    Christy: Ideally you want to find a space, that is South-facing, or at least gets that six hours of sun that I mentioned earlier, and always know where North is. If you don't know where North is on your property, you can type your address into Google maps, and North is always the top of the page. That should help you orient yourself. And North becomes important because, at least this is how I do it, I plant things, tallest to shortest from North to South. So toward the Northern part of the garden is all the tall stuff that's going to go in like corn, and peas and beans on a trellis, anything tall. And then as you get to the middle of your beds, or whatever it is that you're planting in containers or otherwise, you put the mid-height things like your squashes, they get tall but not too tall, your onions, your garlic, that kind of stuff.

    Christy: And then short things go in the front toward the South, which are your lettuces, and most of your greens are pretty short, spinach is very, very short, radishes and that kind of stuff. Once you have that idea, that framework to plan by, you can go from tallest to shortest, and from North to South and be good. As you get into the warm weather stuff, where you're planting squash and watermelons and things that vine and sprawl, those I tend to plant furthest to the South, so that they can spill over the edge of my raised beds into the pathways, and not take up the whole bed. You get a lot better use of your space if you do that.

    Nicole: Yeah, we do that too. When you say the cool weather stuff, is this things that we can start early spring?

    Christy: Yeah. And if you do have the benefit of grow lights, and I definitely do that, you start your seeds... the package directions are always, "Start indoors, six to eight weeks prior to the last frost." Which is, "What the heck does that mean?" You're counting backwards. This is where paper calendars come in really handy, because you can always look at your last frost date, which you can look up online, by your zip code usually, and count back six to eight weeks from there, and then start seeds indoors. Meanwhile, you're waiting for your soil to thaw, if that's the case, or you're waiting for your thaw, if you planted in the fall, you're waiting for your crops to finish up. So you can pull them and amend the beds, for the new crops. So, either way you get to jump on things, if you're starting seeds indoors. And if you're going to buy at the nursery, you don't have to start six weeks ahead of time, you can just go to the nursery, the weekend before you plan to plant or whatever, and get your plants.

    Nicole: So in the perfect world, your cool stuff, you plant it early and then you would harvest it and then plant your warmer weather stuff?

    Christy: Correct. And that's a totally different calendar from what we do here in Los Angeles, because our cool season is now. I'm planting all my cool weather crops right now. And that's going to go through winter till about February. And then in February, March, we start putting in our hot weather crops. We kind of skip warm weather, and go straight to hot weather. And then that goes until about August, and then it's dead. Like our winter is August, September, October, when nothing... it's too hot to grow anything, so the garden is just kind of dying out there. And then we take a break, and then we plant afresh in October or November, for the cool weather stuff again. But everywhere else, and what most gardening books tell you, is that you're going to plant your stuff, sometime in early spring, when it's still cool, and that'll go till about June and then you start putting in your hot weather stuff in late May, and then that goes through the summer, till you hit your first frost, and the killing frost that comes through and ends your garden.

    Nicole: I'm always so jealous of people like you who can garden almost year-round. Here in my area, we can garden from about the end of may, to the very beginning of October. So we don't have a super short growing period compared to some, but it's certainly not all year. And things get brown, and ugly and sad.

    Christy: Right. And that's part of, it's sad because it is part of gardening, but there's a beauty in it too. I think, we all want our gardens to look beautiful all the time, but there's the benefit of letting your garden get ugly, and that is when things go to seed, then you don't have to do as much work. The seeds scatter and then next spring they start to germinate, or in my case, in fall when the rains come, they start to germinate and we've got garden flowers, and beautiful volunteer cilantro and arugula everywhere. And I've got celery coming up all over the place right now, because I let something go to seed. So don't be afraid to let your garden get ugly, it really is a benefit in disguise.

    Nicole: I have to say we have a raised garden system because the dirt here is just awful. And one of my raised beds is just herbs, and I like that one the best, because I don't do anything to it, I just water it, and I let them just re-propagate themselves the next spring. So it's totally chaotic, overgrown, but it's fun if I want time, I've got to dig through the tarragon and look over here, but it's very easy.

    Christy: Yeah. And that's the goal for me, is to get as perennial as possible with some of my crops. So I have this thing called tree kale, which some people call tree collards. It's a perennial kale that gets about six to 10 feet tall, if you let it, and it has a deep root, so you don't have to worry about it as much, and it doesn't get aphids like the regular kale does when the hot weather comes. So it's cool, and a lot of herbs are perennial, and when they flower, they're beautiful and they attract bees to the garden and other pollinators, and insects. It's all good.

    Nicole: Maybe moving on to our warmer weather crops, what are some of those?

    Christy: Warm weather crops are, your beans, corn, squash, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, okra, you can grow potatoes in warm weather also. Sweet potatoes get planted usually in May, and harvested in November. Anything that needs warm weather to do well. Cucumbers, I forgot cucumbers, and the melons, all the things in the cucurbit family, like cantaloupes, and honeydews and that kind of thing, those all do well then. More so for my own personal interest of course, of course.

    Nicole: Of course. Do you have any creative solutions for squash beetles?

    Christy: We've been getting... The equivalent to that is the cucumber beetle out here, and they seem to be attacking our squash at the same time, and they carry bacterial wilt with them. They're attacking our squash plants, and then suddenly they just die. Well what happens with both squash beetles and cucumber beetles, they pupate in the soil. So I come back to what I said in the beginning, which is soil biology. If you can get soil microbes that attack, or interrupt the life cycle of the cucumber or squash beetle, that will reduce their population, and so you won't have as big of a problem. I do research into what predator nematodes, or predator fungi, or whatever, that exists in the soil or can be imported, because sometimes you can buy beneficial nematodes that go in and fight those guys. That's where I start. I always start with the soil. And then the second line of defense is physical barriers. Sometimes it's recommended to put down plastic, or a root barrier or something and plant your plants through that. And that helps prevent things from getting up through the soil to the plant mass itself.

    Christy: And other times it's about floating row cover, or bird netting, used on top of the plant to cover it, to keep them from getting in as well. Those are my first lines of defense, before I ever reach for a bottle of spray, an insect spray or anything like that. And a lot of times these critters are nocturnal. If you go out really early in the morning, you can spot them still in action, before the sun hits the plants. For example, I find cucumber beetles inside the flowers, and so I will squish the flower and squish them inside, and that will kill them, but leave the pollen available, for the bees to come and take care of it.

    Nicole: Good tip that. I'll have to look that up. I know I've used nematodes in my worm bed when we had gotten some critters in there, but I've never used them in the garden. I didn't know that there was one for squash beetles.

    Christy: Well, there might be, and I might be mistaken and about specifics of which microbes are good for those things. Because, for example, I always in my mind, my brain goes immediately to good nematodes to combat the root feeding nematodes, like root knot nematodes, and actually I have not found anything aback set up. I always have to double-check my research. But there are things you can do for nematodes like, planting Golden Guardian Marigolds, and adding shrimp shell meal, which is hard to say, more than once, quickly to your soil. And that the Golden Guardian Marigolds, put off a toxin in the roots that kills the nematodes.

    Nicole: Oh, interesting.

    Christy: Yeah. There's stuff like that available out there. And I've done that, and it works. There's a company called Arbico Organics, that sells a lot of beneficial nematodes, and other things that you can help inoculate your soil with. And I sell on my website several products from custom biologicals, which is a combination of either five strains of bacteria, five strains of fungi, or both, that help populate your soil with the good guys who help fight off the bad guys.

    Nicole: Oh, perfect. And we will mention it again later too, but what's your website?

    Christy: It's And there's one N in gardenerd, although I do on the domain for two Ns, just in case.

    Nicole: Good idea.

    Christy: And we'll put a link to that in the description.

    Nicole: Cool.

    Christy: And just as a quick aside, I Googled it real quick and I won't mention the website because I haven't dealt with them, so I can't speak for their legitimacy, but it does look like there is, I call it nematode whatever, tomato tomato. And I'm not even going to try to pronounce it, but Hb for short, nematodes that says that they target squash bugs.

    Nicole: Yes, that's right. The hetero something or other blah blah blah.

    Christy: Yeah. That one.

    Nicole: Yes, yes. Them. And I had that memorized for a time because I had done my research around it, and I was very excited that I could remember the name. But then, too many files in the brain means you have to push something, out in order to make room for the new stuff. So it's gone.

    Christy: I always say I've leaky ears. It just leaked out of my ears and I have no room for it to anymore.

    Nicole: Exactly.

    Christy: All right, moving on, once you decide that you want to grow these plants, I know that you mentioned planning them by height from North to South, but what about square footage? Do you do any sort of garden planning with graphs and things like that?

    Nicole: I always use graph paper when I plan out my garden, and I use a combination of two biointensive methods, square foot gardening, and grow bio intensive. Square foot gardening, most people are familiar with its Mel Bartholomew's system that uses square feet instead of rows, to plant things and then grow biointensive is John Jeavon's work almost 50 years now of research based, on biodynamics and French intensive gardening, that's pulling those different modalities together, and his system uses hexagonal planting or offset rows that puts things close together. So if you're growing a lot of one thing, you can use that. Everything has a specific spacing, and I usually go by the space after thinning a number that's on the back of seed packet. For example, lettuces, it says plant them a couple of inches apart, but then thin too, or space after thinning is six inches apart.

    Nicole: I plant things a lot more closely together than most people, because we have relatively dry weather most of the time. If you have a lot of rain through the summer, or a lot of fungal issues in your garden, you may want to give them a little more space. But again, fungal infestations are due to an imbalance of fungi in your soil. If you get the good fungi in there, they'll help balance out the bad.

    Christy: Sure.

    Nicole: It all comes back to soil.

    Christy: Yes. Soil health is very important.

    Nicole: Very important.

    Christy: Then of course, the healthier your soil is, the healthier your vegetables are going to be for you to eat too. And the bugs don't come as much, or if they do, they're inconsequential. Did I answer your question about spacing? I don't know if I fully answered that question.

    Nicole: No, I think that's helpful. I always get super excited and plant way too many once I plant...

    Christy: Well, that's what's so cool about square foot gardening is because, Mel came up with the idea of like, "Why do we waste all of our seeds and then not thin them out and then the plants don't grow very well." He starts with the final spacing, the maturity spacing, and just plants a couple of seeds in each hole, so that you really don't have much to thin. It's a lot easier and your seeds last a lot longer because you're not losing them to thinning. It's cool.

    Nicole: Sure. I know there's a shift of power at my house when it comes to gardening because I always try to plan things out and say, "Well, we're going to put tomatoes here, and this here, and whatever." And then my sweet husband, will buy a six pack of tomatoes. He says, "Well we have four more and we have to put them somewhere."

    Christy: Yes. Well if it makes you feel any better, I do plant my tomatoes a foot apart. I do that.

    Nicole: That's about how ours are.

    Christy: Yeah, that's fine. As long as you prune, just so that they stay on one main stem, you're fine.

    Nicole: We don't do that. We probably should.

    Christy: It'll help you keep the craziness under control a little bit more.

    Nicole: Sure. What are some other considerations for planning your garden?

    Christy: All right. Crop rotation is something that's really important, because some plants leave behind diseases, or they can take up certain nutrients or a lot of them. And so, I tend to plant my plant families together, in one bed so that it will be easy to rotate them, to a new bed the next year. For example, in our cool weather season, crops we're talking about like all your brassicas, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, kohlrabi, Brussels sprouts, those all go in the same bed.

    Christy: And then next season I'll be allowed... it'll be so much easier to move them, to the next bed because they're all together. Whereas if I put broccoli over here, and a cauliflower over, there a kale over there, then I have to remember that. And that's too hard, so I don't. Keep your plant families together, beans, tomatoes, peppers and eggplant, are all in the same family. They're Solanaceae, and then I keep my spinach, chard and beets together. Those are in the same family, and if you do grow orach mountain spinach, that's also in the same or amaranth and quinoa, those are all in the same family. And so it makes it easier to rotate crops if you do that. Also, the second part of crop rotation has to do with heavy feeder, versus heavy giver or light feeder.

    Christy: So a heavy feeder is something that uses a lot of nutrients in order to produce a fruit, and that's going to be pretty much anything that does produce a fruit. Whereas your greens, are light feeders, they don't take much out of the soil. And then heavy givers are your cover crops and your leguminous families. Things like peas and beans put things back. They put specifically nitrogen back in the soil, and cover crops, which can be a combination of seeds that include beans and peas, but also hairy vetch, which is nitrogen fixing oats, which helps create biomass and dive down and aerate the soils. And clovers and that kind of thing, those are cover crops that help build soil structure, and put nutrients back in the soil. I usually dedicate one of my beds per season, to a cover crop, and that rotates to a new bed every year. And if you can follow a heavy feeder with either a heavy giver or a light feeder, so that you're not taxing the soil too much.

    Christy: Talking about feeding, do you use any sort of fertilizers or other nutrients?

    Nicole: The first thing I do is, add about an inch of compost, when prepping the beds before planting, and then I sprinkle on worm castings because worm castings are more nutrient dense than compost is. And it has a pest control element, in that it has what's called chitinase. It's an enzyme that actually wards-off sucking insects. So I like to put worm castings in. And then if the soil needs nutrients, I will use a balanced organic vegetable fertilizer like Dr. Earth, or Eby Stone, or FoxFarm,or Gardner & Bloome. I tend to stay away from companies that started out selling nonorganic or synthetic fertilizers, who've just added an organic brand to their lineup, because they're just trying to capture the organic market, but they're still poisoning everybody out there. So I don't do that. I try and stick with companies that have always been organic. And that's a philosophy of mine.

    Christy: That's good advice. I know that that stuff is becoming more readily available. A couple years ago when I was gardening, it was impossible to find anything. And now, especially in Colorado with the increase in cannabis farming, one of benefits is that you can find these supplements really easily. They're just down at the store now. The importance of organic nutrients, seems to be of paramount interest in that field, so-

    Nicole: Yes, yes, it is. Which is good. I think so.

    Christy: Wherever it needs to happen, great.

    Nicole: Yes. I think it's good though, that it's opening up that stream of consciousness. What do you do at the end of season care, once your winter shows up?

    Christy: Right. At the end of the season when everything's dead, I pull plants that have shown signs of disease, and I put them in the city green bin to compos, because I do compost, but I don't want anything diseased in there, because I don't guarantee that the temperatures are going to get hot enough to kill diseases.

    Christy: So I let the city do that, because their stuff gets up to 160 degrees.

    Nicole: Really hot.

    Christy: And diseases die, and weed seeds die at 130 degrees, which my active batch thermal compost piles, will get that hot, but I'm just not taking any chances. Now there's this really interesting philosophy around leaving your garden over winter looking like crap. If you close down your garden for winter, because I just got this from someone I interviewed on my podcast, is that if you leave stuff growing or you know dead things, like if you grow asparagus, the foliage dies over winter. And there's always a difference in school of thought over whether you should cut it down before winter comes, or leave it until spring. I always left it because it becomes habitat for critters, like the good kind over winter. And I had ladybugs breeding in my asparagus patch all winter long, and then in spring they would just chow down on any aphids that would show up. It was kind of cool. But it's up to you. I pull diseased plants, and then do bed prep again before planting new crops.

    Nicole: I know we leave our asparagus, and that seems to be a prime location for the praying mantis. I'll find egg sacks in there.

    Christy: Nice. Yeah. Yeah. And it's habitat. Its important habitat for wildlife.

    Nicole: I'm lazy too when it comes to gardening.

    Christy: See, but laziness is a benefit to the...ya know. Utilize that benefit of nature. I think that's a great idea.

    Nicole: Yeah. Is there any other considerations, or things to think about when planning a garden, now that we've talked about what a calendar year for gardening looks like?

    Christy: There's so many things I guess that you could add to this, like succession planting for people who want to get the most out of their space in the least amount of time. One of the techniques of French intensive gardening, is that the very second something comes out of the ground, you amend that soil again and plant something new. And where I think we, regular people get somewhere around three, maybe four crops out of the same square foot per year, the French intensive folks would get up to nine crops per year. If you're really on it and you're amending your soil well, and it can support the growth, you can keep planting things one after the other after the other. Or you can do something that is called inter-planting, or a polyculture, where you're planting things that take up different space. For example, my sweet potatoes come back every year, but I can't give them the bed perennially. So they pop up in spring, but I'm planting my corn there first.

    Christy: So I plant my corn, and then they grow, and the sweet potatoes show up in that bed, and they form a living mulch over the top to protect the roots of the corn. And so I'm getting two crops out of the same space. You can do things like what I've done with watermelons, where I plant watermelon, but it takes a while for it to take up a bed. So in between, but when I plant the watermelon, I will scatter either radish seeds or cilantro or rugala. Those things grow really quickly and within 30 days they're pretty much done. By the time the squash or the watermelons fill in the space, I've already harvested another crop from that space.

    Nicole: Those are really good tips to maximize your area, and get the best possible harvest.

    Christy: Right. I'm all about using as much of the space as I can for everything.

    Nicole: Getting sidelined again, what do you do with the excess? Do you ever produce more than you can eat? Go you give it away or how do you store it or, what do you do with the extra?

    Christy: It's an excellent question. There are so many things that you can do. I recently upgraded from a water bath canner to a pressure canner, and I'm so excited about that, because pressure canning allows you to can things more in their natural state without adding sugar or vinegar to it. It's more like buying something off the shelf at the grocery store. And so I'm excited to dive into that next season, but I certainly can tomatoes, and I freeze a lot of stuff, and I also dehydrate. So I have a solar food dryer, that I built with some help from my father who has... He has the table saw and he cut the pieces, and then I assembled it at home, and my husband did the electronics where we installed some light bulbs inside, so you can plug it in at night, and the ambient heat from the light bulb keeps it at a certain temperature overnight if you need to.

    Christy: But, I digress. Most people have a plugin food dehydrator and you can dehydrate pretty much anything, and it will be shelf stable, which is great, because if your power goes out, you have dried things on hand. You don't have to stuff your freezer, which is my problem. I have way too much stuff in the freezer. So I like to chop up celery, and onions, and freeze them. I like to dehydrate shallots for using in eggs in the morning for breakfast. I will can beans and I pretty much... anything, I can't eat fresh... I belong to this group called the West side Produce Exchange, and you can start one of these in your community if you don't have one near you, and it's a monthly thing, where people sign up, and they get on a mailing list.

    Christy: And once a month, the date is chosen and everyone gets together, they drop off their produce, their excess, whatever excess they have, and it gets divided equally among all the bags that everybody... Everyone brings a bag and it gets divided equally among the bags, and then you come home with a stash of stuff, and it's free. It's all free. For example, somebody makes jam and brings it, someone has a ton of extra lemons, someone else has a lot of kale, someone else has maybe some interesting herbs that they've been growing, that sounded weird, but an interesting something that they grow. Like I grew goji berries, and I brought them to the produce exchange once and it was like, "Ooh, cool." Or sometimes I bring honey from my bees, or eggs from my chickens. And everybody's contribution has the same value, and nobody thumbs their nose at it, and you come home with like a little bit of a whole bunch of different things, and it's pretty cool.

    Christy: That's one thing I like to do is participate in this produce exchange, and it helps me use up my excess, and then fill in the gaps in my garden with stuff from other people's gardens.

    Nicole: Yeah, that's a great idea. I hadn't heard of anything like that around here, but maybe I can talk to some of the local groups to have a part of, and see if we can get something like that started.

    Christy: Yeah, it's really easy, and free and fun. And for those who don't have a garden, they can participate. The way that we used to do things is, the bags you could have delivery to your door. And so people who didn't have a garden, could contribute by delivering the bags to people's houses, and then they would get a bag for themselves. So it all works out. It's just this little kind of neighborhood volunteer thing and it was cool.

    Nicole: Yeah, that's great. I like that. Obviously you have a lot of resources online and a book coming out. Can you tell us more about where we can find you, and about your book?

    Christy: Sure. I am at that's, and we have a Tip of the Week Podcast, which airs every two weeks, we have a YouTube channel, which has videos whenever I can get one done. There's a host of blog posts, and newsletters from dating back to 2005, and so there's a search box. If you want to look anything up you can. There's also a way to write into Ask Gardenerd, if you want to send a question in, and I will choose questions to answer on the blog, or the podcast, or the YouTube channel. That's one way.

    Christy: I also have a couple of books, Gardening for Geeks was my first gardening book that was published in 2013, but it's out of print, and I've updated it, and it's going to be coming out in February 2020. That should be hitting shelves by the time this Podcast airs. And the other book I have is digital only, and that is because it is a compilation of 10 years of Tip of the Week Podcasts, in written form has links to all the cool resources, and seed companies, and awesome gardening supplies, and organizations that I ever talked about during the early format of my podcast.

    Christy: That is called 400 Plus Tips for Organic Gardening Success, and it's divided by Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter, and you can jump in and get that from Kindle. It's a Kindle book on Amazon, and you can get a free Kindle app for your desktop computer or any mobile device, or your laptop and then get the Kindle book that way. And social media-wise, I am gardenerd1 on Twitter and Instagram, and we have a Facebook page has all my website, all the links are up in the upper right hand corner and we are on Pinterest and Instagram and Facebook and Twitter and YouTube and all of those things.

    Nicole: And everywhere.

    Christy: Everywhere.

    Nicole: That's the best place to be. It's everywhere.

    Christy: Uh-huh (affirmative). Yes.

    Nicole: Wonderful. Well, I really appreciate you taking the time to share all this great information. I know that I walked away with some little tidbits that I am going to definitely incorporate into my garden next year, because our garden is done for the year. I really appreciate it Christy, and thank you for your time.

    Christy: Thank you. It's been a pleasure.

    Nicole: And for those of you at home, thank you so much for listening to Backyard Bounty, and we'll see you again next week.

    Announcer: Thank you for listening to Backyard Bounty, a podcast by Don't forget to subscribe, and leave us a review. If you have a question you'd like us to answer on the show, please email us and ask Also find us on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube, @heritageacresmarket. All the links mentioned in this podcast will be included in the description. See you again next week.

    Edited by PodSugar Audio Production & Editing

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