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Organic Garden Pest Control ft Jill McSheehy

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Show Notes

Join Nicole and Jill McSheehy from the Beginners Garden podcast as they talk about organic pest control for the garden!

Our Guest

Jill McSheehy is the host of the Beginner’s Garden podcast and seeks to help beginning gardeners get the most basic information to help them be successful, no matter their space or ideals for how small or large they want their gardens to be. She lives on 3 acres and has chickens, and enjoys food preservation.

Jill is offering a Complete Garden Planner (printable) that has been popular with gardeners to help streamline their planning.

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    Announcer: Welcome to the Backyard Bounty Podcast from where we talk about all things backyard and poultry, beekeeping, gardening, sustainable living, and more. And now here is 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, Jill with Journey with Jill. And today, we're going to talk about gardening and focus on some organic pest control options because it's about that time of year that we need to start considering that. So Jill, thank you so much for joining me today.

    Jill: Thanks so much, Nicole. I'm so glad to be here.

    Nicole: Yeah, so we did a podcast actually a couple weeks ago on your show, which was super exciting. We talked about chickens. So your emphasis on your podcast is gardening. And so to me, you're definitely an amazing gardening resource, but can you tell my listeners a little bit more about yourself?

    Jill: Yes. I have a podcast, like you mentioned, The Beginner's Garden Podcast, and the focus is really on helping beginners to get started. And I've also noticed that a lot of people who may have had a garden or two in the past that they just want some tips to level up their gardening efforts. I try to have enough resources for both sets of people. And honestly, all of us, no matter how long we've been gardening, can always get new tips.

    Jill: But, my whole garden journey started about seven years ago when I became a stay at home mom and I wanted to do what I could to help our family and I decided I could help the grocery bill by growing my own food. So I had never had any experience gardening whatsoever, so I was starting out from scratch trying to learn everything from the ground up. And I just learned that it was hard to find resources that didn't assume a beginner's or any kind of level of knowledge.

    Jill: So I wanted to create something for others as I got more into my gardening journey to be able to help others come and enjoy gardening for what it was in their own yard because a lot of us, I mean, I had, my mom gardened, but I never paid attention, so a lot of us didn't have years and years of experience to go on, but we still want to grow our own garden. So my hope with my website and podcast is to help beginning gardeners to be able to get the resources on a beginner's level, so that they can have a successful garden.

    Nicole: Well, I think that's great because like you mentioned, it almost seems assumed that everybody at least has a basic understanding of gardening. But in reality, a lot of people are starting from scratch and so the basic information is really needed.

    Jill: Yes, I found that to be the case. And of course, when I started growing in 2013 podcasting was kind of a thing, but not really. So there might have been one or two podcasts that were available and I listened to them religiously. But it seems like nowadays there is a lot more out there for beginners, which I love. So I think the more people that can learn how to garden and do it organically in a way that they can feed their family and feel good about it, I think the better.

    Nicole: Absolutely. And then as you mentioned too, there is always new information and room to grow as a gardener, so you can never have too much information.

    Jill: Yeah. And it's so much fun to learn those tips and tricks as you go along. I know I have a lot of people that will come back to me and say, "I've been gardening for years, but I had forgotten this," or "I never knew this," or a lot of people come to me that have been gardening, but they're starting to garden in an organic way for the first time. So it's like they're learning all of these new organic tips and tricks that they'd never done before, which is a shift for them, for their own mindset. And so I'm able to bring into the equation, here are some things that you can do from an organic standpoint.

    Nicole: Sure. And so where about are you located and what kind of things do you usually grow in your garden?

    Jill: I'm in Arkansas. In Central Arkansas, we are zone 7b. We have, very fortunate, we have a very long growing season in comparison to a lot of places. So our last frost date is usually the end of March, early April, and we can usually grow up until our first frost, which is typically late October, early November.

    Jill: And for me, I have pretty much three separate gardening seasons because I've got the early spring with the crops that can tolerate a little bit of cold, like your lettuces and onions and things like that. And then I've got my summer crops, which of course, green beans, tomatoes, squash, zucchini, corn, black eyed peas, cucumbers, all this good summer crops, the melons. And then in the fall, I start again with more lettuce and arugula and spinach and garlic, carrots, beets, things like that I'm growing in the fall.

    Jill: And I can usually grow a lot of that stuff through a good part of December. And then in January I'm starting again. So we don't get a whole lot of a break. But there is definitely different garden seasons in our area where we can grow different things because in the summer we're not able to grow a lot of those cool weather crops.

    Nicole: Sure. So what are some of the common pests that you find in your garden?

    Jill: Honestly, I think it depends on the year depending on when you're going to ask me. But typically, my biggest issue is the squash vine borer. And I say that because that's the one that's just so hard for me to manage and to eradicate. But of course this last year, I had a lot more squash bugs, which I hadn't had the last couple of years. So I think sometimes I think insects come in cycles to some degree. Sometimes you'll get a lot of them one year and then a not a lot of them another year.

    Jill: Cabbage worms always seems to be bad in the spring and in the fall here. And we do have tomato hornworms and aphids and bean beetles occasionally and things like that. So I mean, we have pretty much the most common pests. We end up having them in some degree or another down here.

    Nicole: Do you have much of an issue with the grasshoppers?

    Jill: You know, I saw some grasshoppers this year and I think maybe. This is what was so strange about this season is I've had a lot more bean damage in 2019 then I've had before, but I never could identify what was causing the damage. I'd saw a lot of stink bugs, so it very well could have been that, but a lot of people have trouble with Japanese bean beetles and I think I may have seen only one. But, I did see several grasshoppers, so part of me wonders if we did have a bigger problem with that then I realized.

    Nicole: I guess I just assumed that everybody had an issue with the grasshoppers. I'd say that here in Colorado, we're on the Southern part of Colorado, our main challenges would be the grasshoppers. Definitely squash beetles are another big one. And then other than that, I mean we do get some aphids, but in, at least in my garden, not enough that's been devastating. And really, really, that's probably about it. But I have issues like deer and rabbits and things that are a little bit more challenging than grasshoppers.

    Jill: Oh yeah, rabbits have been a huge issue here. Our deer, thankfully, have been able, they've stayed outside of the garden-fenced area, but rabbits have been my ongoing nemesis too.

    Nicole: So what are some organic solutions that you've found for some of your common pests?

    Jill: I think for me, it's a matter of me changing my mindset, honestly. I mean, I know that we all want the quick tricks when it comes to, what do I do if I have an infestation with this? But for me, I think the biggest solution was a mindset, understanding that before I spray anything I need to consider what will the collateral damage be.

    Jill: And I think I learned this in a more profound way than ever last year because I found that in a couple of my tomato plants, I had quite a few aphids earlier in the season. And I know just from the research that I've done that anything that you spray on aphids like insecticidal soap, or neem oil, or things like that, it could possibly, if you get it on some beneficial insects, their larva, that it could kill those beneficial insects and their larva. And those larva are what are actually going to pray on the aphids and that's probably why they're there in the first place. And I'd always heard about that.

    Jill: You know, you hear about how ladybugs are so great for your garden, but I actually saw that firsthand. As I went out in my garden every day, I was watching the aphids on this particular tomato plant. And I knew we had ladybugs out there and I was able to identify this ladybug and this ladybug larva, which doesn't look anything like a ladybug. You have to-

    Nicole: No.

    Jill: ... Google that. But I was watching it hunt those aphids. And then not long after that, I saw something else and I'm like, "I wonder what kind of larva that might be?" And I started doing some internet research and it was, I think it was a syrphid fly larva. And it was just amazing because every day I'd go out there and I would see these larva hunting these aphids. And within a couple of weeks, the aphid population was pretty much gone from those plants.

    Jill: And so for me, I learned that I think a lot of times our knee jerk reaction is to, oh, we got to get rid of these instead of, do I really need to step in or can I wait a little bit and depend on the beneficial insects that I've already tried to make a home for in my garden, wait for them to come? Because if the ladybugs don't see a food source, are they really going to lay their eggs in my garden? So I think there is some amount of toleration that we need to have for some insects in our garden when it comes to, what are we going to do?

    Jill: And then another thing too is my tomato plants were pretty healthy. I planted them at the right time. They weren't stressed and so they were able to withstand the damage that did occur. So don't get me wrong, there was some damage there, but they ended up being fine. I think for me the challenge is when do you need to step in because obviously a completely hands off approach sometimes won't work to your benefit. So that's been the dance that I've, I'm starting to learn how when to step in and when not to.

    Nicole: Yeah, I think that, that's definitely a consideration because there is a natural balance. And I think in a lot of cases, things work themselves out on their own, but people are so result driven and they want something done right now that it's difficult to take a step back and just let nature work itself out.

    Jill: And a lot of times it will. But like I said, a lot of times it won't. I decided to do an experiment last year. This was something else that was so fascinating to me. I don't like to treat for aphids in my garden because like I said, I want to feed my beneficials. But I was curious about some of the most popular aphid control methods, for example.

    Jill: My tomatoes were already in the ground, but my peppers weren't because my peppers go in a little bit later than my tomatoes, but I was bringing my peppers outside and back in to harden them off before I planted them in the garden. And during one of those times where they were outside, apparently some aphids got on them. So I noticed indoors in my grow room that my peppers were infested with aphids. And I thought, well, first of all, what am I going to do? Because these are inside, I don't have beneficials that can take care of them. But then I thought this was a really neat opportunity to do some testing.

    Jill: And so what I did is I segmented those peppers into four different groups and I applied a different organic pest control solution to each one of those, well to three of them, and then I had a control group. On one of them, I applied neem oil and this was the 100% cold pressed neem oil. And then on the other, I applied a homemade insecticidal soap. You can find recipes online, but it was Castile soap. And I think that was all maybe, just a little bit of Castile soap that was diluted in water.

    Jill: And then in the other one, I tried a tip that I was actually, I'd actually heard from The Wisconsin Vegetable Gardener Radio Show and they said if you put worm castings at the base and water them in, then once the worm castings get into the system of the plant and the aphids eat it, they'll die. And I thought that's really strange. Is that one of those old wives tales that may or may not work? But I thought, let's try it. So I tried that as well. And all three methods worked. The aphids were dead. And I actually documented this on a video, which you can watch on YouTube. But the progression, all three methods worked. The aphids were all dead within a few days on each of them.

    Jill: But the ones where the worm castings were applied, there wasn't any kind of damage to the leaves. I noticed that with the insecticidal soaps in particular, there was, you could just tell there was a little bit of collateral damage with the leaves. And part of that could have been because I sprayed it and they were under grow lights. And I know sometimes you have to be careful with direct sunlight when you're applying some insecticides like that. But I was just really impressed with the worm castings.

    Jill: And just to give you a comparison, the control group, the infestation had gotten worse, so it wasn't an outside factor that caused all the aphids to die. The control group had gotten worse. And then once I was done with the experiment, I added worm castings to them and all the aphids died and then had a great pepper year.

    Jill: So that was just so fascinating to me to be able to see if the aphids ever get to a point where I do need to step in, here are some things that I can do to possibly... Now obviously, I would probably try the worm castings first, but if that didn't work on a bigger scale, these peppers were tiny little transplants, then what's the next method that I might go to? So that was a fun experiment.

    Nicole: I never would have thought of worm castings with helping with pests, so I think that's really interesting. Did the aphids die or did the worm castings just make the plant strong enough to survive in spite of the aphids?

    Jill: That's a good question and it's one I asked too. And so I did some research online to figure out what in the world could the cause have been. And from what I was able to determine, worm castings have a chemical called chitinase. It's with a C-H-I-T-I-N. Apparently, this gets into the vascular system of the plant and then when the aphids suck out the juices, it does something and it makes them die. They were just pretty much dead on the plant. So I mean, I'm assuming based on my research that, that's what happened. But I was in awe. But, that's what apparently happens from what I've heard.

    Nicole: Well, that's really interesting.

    Jill: And worm castings are good anyway for your garden, so I thought that was just a really neat thing.

    Nicole: Yeah, it's ironic that you mentioned that because the, we're recording another podcast today and that one is going to be all about compost worm farming and making worm casting, so that should be the episode that posts after this one. So a week after this one posts. So that ties in well to that.

    Jill: Yeah, that's something I'm hoping to get into also. But for someone who just wants a quick fix, I bought them from Home Depot, so it was nothing special and it worked.

    Nicole: When you were talking about ladybugs earlier, I had to laugh because the first time that we found ladybug larvae on one of our trees, we panicked because they are horrifying looking.

    Jill: They look like baby alligators, or something.

    Nicole: Yeah, they do. That's exactly what they look like. And so I saw the baby larvae and I was like, "Well I don't know what this thing is but it's scary looking and I don't know if it can bite me or cause some sort of damage to me." So then of course, we went online and then figured out what they were. But we're able to buy adults ladybugs here. Is that something that's available in your area?

    Jill: I don't think so. I think most people that talk about buying ladybugs, they have to do mail order. And I think, if I'm not mistaken, I think a lot of those are harvested or farmed from your area.

    Nicole: Oh, really.

    Jill: But, I've just found I haven't needed to do that. I've been able to plant flowers and they've just come.

    Nicole: They're really available at pretty much all of our local garden centers. And the one thing that I always liked to tell people if they're buying the ladybugs, they're only about, I think it's like $8 for 500 of them, so they're super cheap. So I like to put them on as soon as I start to notice any sort of aphids or something.

    Nicole: But I always tell people, if you go that route, it's not so much the adults that you're after because eventually the adults, you're going to go through a lull after you put them out there that you're not going to see them anymore. But, just give it a little bit of time because those adults have laid eggs and it's the larvae that you want and within a couple of weeks you'll see a bunch of ladybug larvae on your plants and that's really what do the biggest damage to the aphids. So here, I like to pick them up because they're so cheap and it just boosts our natural ladybug population.

    Jill: Yeah. And yeah, like you said, it is the larva that makes the big difference. And what I noticed too with this syrphid fly larva is, it's very, looks very similar at first glance to someone who like me who doesn't have an entomology degree or anything like that. It looks very similar to some kind of a worm or like a cabbage worm or something like that. So that's another reason I'm working really hard to figure out how to identify insects that I see because I don't want to just assume that because it looks like a worm, is that really a worm? Is it really bad?

    Jill: And so I was able to do some research to just determine if that this was a syrphid fly larva because it was this little green worm and that way I knew not to kill it. And one thing that I have been able to see is I was looking around where that was and I saw was there any kind of munching damage like you would see with a cabbage worm and there wasn't. And that was another reason I was able to identify that it was actually a good bug. But I think sometimes, especially beginning gardeners, they see any kind of insect and they just assume, oh, it must be bad. And it might be, but it might not be. It might actually be good.

    Nicole: Do you have any good resources for identifying bugs? I know that I just will try to Google little green worm in Colorado, or something and our extension office is a good resource. But, it can be really difficult to identify a critter that you've found.

    Jill: It is difficult. I would love it if there were an app and maybe there is. But I remember last year, I was looking for it because there is an app that I use for plant identification. That has been really helpful and I'm like, "We need one of those for bugs." But so far, I haven't found one. And I do what you do, I just try to Google. But honestly, that's not always accurate and I've misidentified bugs before. I do have a handbook that I consult sometimes, but even then it's hard to find the exact one because some of those...

    Jill: I misidentified a bug last year because I thought it was a Mexican bean beetle and it ended up being a squash lady beetle, which is different than a squash bag. But I had never heard of that before and I just assumed it was a Mexican bean beetle. They're both bad, so killing it wasn't a bad thing. But, I realized that one of them has more spots than the other and just little details like that are hard to determine if you are not trained in it. So I would really love it if there was a better resource to be able to identify bugs because I think that the everyday person could access because I think it would be more helpful. But for now, I've been able to do a lot of stuff from Google like you were talking about.

    Nicole: Yeah, I agree. That would be a nice app. I know that if somebody lives close to their extension office, you can generally take one of the insects in and typically there is somebody there that might be able to at least get you started in the right direction in identifying it, but that's not always accessible for everybody.

    Jill: When I was trying to decide whether my tomatoes had either early blight or septoria leaf spot, I emailed a picture of it to my extension agent. And so that might be an option too if you live too far away from your county extension office, they might be able to do something like that with insects as well.

    Nicole: Yeah, that's something that we do here. Actually, I'm a master gardener through the extension office and part of being a master gardener is we have to do volunteer hours. So what I do to volunteer is the helpline, so people can either call or email with their questions and send pictures. And it's everything from bug ID to plant issues and everything in between. So I guess I didn't think that, that's probably a resource at other extension offices. But I know that, that's one at ours here in Polo County.

    Jill: Yeah. Yeah, and anytime I've needed help with my extension office, they've given me more than I've ever needed.

    Nicole: Oh, yeah.

    Jill: So, very helpful.

    Nicole: Definitely. So you mentioned that you had an issue with squash beetles there. That's an issue that we also have here and I despise them to say the least. What options have you found to control the squash beetles?

    Jill: Are you talking about the squash lady beetle or the squash bug?

    Nicole: I'm sorry, the squash bug.

    Jill: Okay. Well, I'm still open for suggestions on that. I have not been able, honestly, to find anything organic that I'm willing to try just because I know that a lot of even organic methods can harm beneficials. For instance, I know some people suggest diatomaceous earth. I've tried that, it didn't work all that great. But even that, you got to be careful not to get near the flowers. If a squash is blooming, you don't want that to be something that a bee might accidentally be exposed to.

    Jill: So for me, I've just changed the timing of my planting. Again, this goes back to mindset, I also plan that my squash is going to die one way or the other and it's either, usually it's from the squash vine borer. That's just one of those things that I've tried different things and nothing has been... Like, digging out the little grub sometimes works, but I can't always depend on that. It just depends on different factors.

    Jill: Last year, I planted a really early planting of squash and zucchini. I started them indoors with soil blocks. That way, it minimized the transplant shock. And I was able to get a lot of squashes and zucchini early in the season. And then I also, because we have a long season, I plant a second crop in late July to have a fall harvest. So for me, I ended up planning at least two successions of squash and zucchini in different areas in the garden.

    Jill: This year, when my squash and zucchini in that first planting just started getting overrun with the squash bugs, I ripped them out and I fed them to my chickens. Cross my fingers, I don't know if this is going to happen this way in 2020, but the last time that I did that and my chickens were able to feast on that infestation, I didn't have a squash bug problem for another, well, till this year. So probably two solid years, I didn't have a big problem with squash bugs.

    Jill: So I don't know if that was a fluke or if I really made a dent in the population by taking them out when they were so active and then letting my chickens take care of them. I guess next year I'll be able to see. But I think part of it, like I said was just I'm planning on different sowings. And then I'm also, I don't want to just hang on for dear life until the adults decide to go and complete their reproductive cycle and start all over again. I want to take them out at their peak.

    Nicole: We did an episode a couple weeks ago and it talked about squash beetles as well. And I haven't had the opportunity to try this yet because it's currently November, so I don't have any squash beetles growing. But in that episode, we talked about there is apparently a nematode that will work for squash beetles. I don't remember the name of it, but if you could just Google it, then it's there. So that's something that I'm excited to try next year.

    Nicole: And I also had a little bit of success with putting on First Saturday Lime in my garden. It's not a caustic lime. It's basically just a calcium powder. So in that episode we were talking about them and she was saying that the larvae for the squash bug live in the dirt over winter. So if you put the nematodes in your soil, if you put them on soon enough, then they'll kill the larvae before the larvae come out and then start to feed on your squash plants. I'm always looking for more advice for the squash beetles because those ones are definitely challenging and I haven't been able to try the nematodes yet.

    Jill: Hey, if that works for you, let me know.

    Nicole: I'm excited to try [crosstalk 00:24:06] it.

    Jill: That would be great. And I would be curious. Like I said, this year I had a lot more trouble with stink bugs. I just think beetles in general were worse for my garden this year than they have been in the past. But, I mean anything I could try to get those beetle populations down, but that are going to hurt my plants.

    Nicole: Yeah, definitely. So have you found any other techniques or solutions that have worked well for some of the other common pests in your garden?

    Jill: I think the only other one that is probably my go to as far as actually doing something to kill the insect is BT for worms is really good because I do have a lot of cabbage worms on broccoli and cabbage and lettuce, I mean anything like that. And I feel confident that BT is safe and organic. Also, for a lot of those plants there is not going to be any flowers, so I'm not worried about bees and things like that. But I found just spraying with BT is super efficient and helpful for worms.

    Jill: I know that a lot of people recommend using it for tomato hornworms. I don't have a lot of them. I mean, one can kill your plants, so you don't have to have a lot of them for it to be a problem. But, I found for tomato hornworms I just look for the damage and I pluck them off and feed them to my chickens. I feel like that's easier than having to spray all of my huge tomato plants down with BT. To me the BT, for me, it's more helpful for the smaller plants, just more convenient. But, if someone were to have a really bad infestation of tomato hornworms then that might be an option. And also BT comes in a powdered form. I just always have used the liquid.

    Nicole: Yeah, we use BT as well and just to be safe because we do have our beehives, I always spray it in the evening when the bees are home for the night. So that way there is just really no risk of somehow getting in it, on them.

    Nicole: But with the hornworms, do you have a tip on finding them? Because I do the same thing, I go out and I look for the damage. And you can see their little poops on the ground, so you know that there is a hornworm, but I cannot find them for the life of me.

    Jill: Yeah. I had not done this, but I have heard about it and it was on my To Do list this year and I just didn't get to it. But, I've heard really good things about taking a blacklight outside in the dark and finding them. And I think that would be so fun, but I just haven't ever done it. For me, I've just, I just hunt until I've tried to find them. And if I can't find them, then I'm usually sorry. But I'm kind of like you on that part.

    Nicole: I have a blacklight too and my husband can find them right away. And I feel so blind because they always evade me.

    Jill: So even with the blacklight, you can't see them?

    Nicole: Well, not for me, but I can't see them or find them either way. But, I remember looking it up on YouTube and it was supposed to be like, because they have their little stripes on them, and so the blacklight is supposed to illuminate their stripes. But I have not had it work for me. Maybe I don't have the right kind of blacklight. I'm not sure.

    Jill: Yeah, I don't know since I've never done it. But, I've had people and in my Facebook group, The Beginner's Garden Shortcut Facebook group, people did mention, I remember last year doing it and it seemed to be a lot of fun and probably really fun for kids too to do that. I just didn't get to it.

    Jill: This could totally be unrelated, but I'll share with you something that I'm very curious about. Not this past year, but the year before, we had more tomato hornworms than we've ever had before. And last year was the first time that, 2018, was the first time that I'd ever grown the Arkansas Traveler tomato. And my husband's uncle, who has lived and gardened in several different States told me that the times that he has grown the Arkansas Traveler tomato, he had more hornworms than other years. And I thought that was really strange. And it's just one of those things that, that's an observation. But this year, I didn't grow the Arkansas Traveler and I didn't have that big infestation like I had last year.

    Jill: Like I said, it could be completely unrelated, but I think that it's good for gardeners to observe things like that and then test them and see if that may have been a fluke or something else totally unrelated might have caused it. It might be something to consider that certain plants may attract certain insects at a bigger rate than others.

    Nicole: Well, I would think that, that would be reasonable because I know with our bees, they certainly like the salvias better than some of the other flowers. So while they might visit several of the flowers in our garden, they definitely will favor the plants in the mint family. So I would think that the hornworm, the sphinx moth or whichever variety that you have could be the same.

    Jill: Yeah, it could be. I don't know. That was just something in my garden that I observed. And it's fun to hear when people observe different things like that because you can test it and see what you get in your garden.

    Nicole: So if somebody wanted to get some more information and learn a little bit more about gardening, I would definitely say that your stuff would be a better resource than my website because mine is more chickens and bees and things like that, so where can people get more information about you and gardening?

    Jill: They can go to my website at and I have gardening articles from the last three or four years, I guess. But you can also, if you're listening to this obviously you're a podcast listener, I would love to have you over at the Beginner's Garden Podcast. And 2020 is my fourth season, so there is lots of back episodes that, different topics, that you can just thumb through and see what interests you. And like I said, I have, I really focus on making sure this information is accessible to beginners, but I've actually been shocked at how many veteran gardeners listen because I think we all need to be reminded of some of the basics sometimes and we're all out for new tips and tricks.

    Jill: And one thing that I am trying to do in the podcast is as I test things in my garden, like I talked to you about with the aphids, I share it in real time with my podcast. And that's always fun to see what different tests are going on and what I learned and things like that and I share that with my podcast audience as well. And that's at the Beginner's Garden Podcast.

    Nicole: Awesome. Yeah, that definitely sounds like a good resource. It's not just information, but things that have been tested and tried and true and that's always helpful.

    Jill: Yeah. And I [inaudible 00:30:28] be honest with not everything goes as planned and every season it seems like I've had specific episodes where I talk about lessons that I've learned in my garden and sometimes they're good lessons. Sometimes there are things that went right and I'm honest with some of the things that didn't go right and why and what I might change. And so I think that's important too because I think sometimes we have this idealistic vision of what our garden will be and then we get frustrated when it doesn't always turn out the way we expect. But then when we see that others struggle too and they have their wins and losses too, it just makes it more real that we can pull up, pull ourselves back up and we'll be okay and we'll just learn from our failures and we'll move on.

    Nicole: Absolutely. And you have a book coming out soon too, correct?

    Jill: Yes. I think it's going to be coming out in April, April 20th if I'm not mistaken. And it's a book on beginning gardening, so anyone who is interested in just the basics of getting started with the garden. It's going to be real heavy in raised beds and also some container information. And also, half of the book will have specific plants that I teach you how to grow, how to plant, what varieties are good for beginners, things like that. So if you follow along with me at I will be sharing more about that as it gets closer to coming out.

    Nicole: Perfect. Well Jill, I really appreciate you taking the time to talk with us today and to share some of your knowledge about gardening.

    Jill: Thank you for having me. It was a pleasure.

    Nicole: And for those of you listening, thank you so much for joining us for another episode of 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 at [email protected]. Also, find us on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube at Heritage Acres Market. All of the links mentioned in this podcast will be included in the description. See you again next week.

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