How You Can Garden if You’re 16 with No Money & More Organic Gardening Q&A

Alright! This is John Kohler with,
today we have another exciting episode for you coming from my front yard winter garden.
As you guys can see it’s doing really well, got a nice bed of mostly red colored lettuce,
actually I like to be different. You know I eat so much green lettuce all the time I
figured I’d grow red, and not only does it look beautiful, it also tastes beautiful
too. Behind that we got some onions and shallots growing, and in this bed we got a mixture
of radishes, arugula, broccoli, cauliflower and kale. All the delicious winter greens
that I encourage you guys to grow and eat. In any case, today’s episode is about the
Q&As, we got more questions and answers for you guys, and the first thing I want to say
is I apologize if you do send me an email or a message through any outlet, I apologize
I can’t answer each and every person. I get an enormous amount of incoming emails
and I just can’t answer everybody. So if you do have a question you want to show up
in an episode such as this one, the best place to post it is actually through the YouTube
email system, what you’re going to do is you’re going to go to my channel page, which
is, and I think you click the “About” and then there’s a
little thing that says “Contact,” or you could actually go to
and click on the discussion tab, and then you could actually enter a question there,
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of that, and then I’ll actually give you a call anywhere in the United States for a
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know if you do have a question and want to support me and the campaign to get my videos
transcribed so that more people could have access to them and start growing food at home,
please click below. Let’s get into today’s questions, first
question is from Wendy Mija, “Okay I’m learning how to garden and I’m doing a lot
of wrong things, but oh well. Question – I live in North Carolina and it has been raining
a lot. I need a portable greenhouse. I rent an apartment, need to take it with me when
I leave, I need something good but cheap, I saw one at Big Lots for 50 dollars, but
I’m afraid to buy due to reviews online. I think it is a one you got for 17, I don’t
think it will get that cheap over here, what brand do you recommend? My plants need real
sun, they’re dying inside but need to protect from too much rain. I would like something
five by five or so, maybe the size you got for 17 or a little bigger, please help me.
Thanks, Wendy.” All right Wendy, so most of the greenhouses in general that are under
100 dollars are cheap POS – that’s pieces of poop [laughter]. And I don’t necessarily
recommend them. While they are better than nothing and they may work a season or two,
they’re disposable, and as a culture I believe we use far too many disposable items, and
if I could get a good deal on a disposable item such as my 17 dollar greenhouse that
was normally 70 bucks, I’m going to be there. So far it’s actually worked good, actually
one of them actually had an issue where I had too much weight on the shelves because
of all my seedlings that were filled with water, and it actually collapsed. So you get
what you pay for. So that being said, I would encourage you to spend more money, invest
money now if you renting now, a greenhouse or something you can pack up and move with
you and take with you for when you move, and you’re going to have it as long as it’s
a nice durable one it’ll last you many years and be a much better investment unless you
get it on clearance. As to the brand, there’s a video I made actually, and it’s called
“Greenhouse Assembly with No Tools,” and actually that greenhouse I show in that episode
I got on clearance also at Home Depot for relatively inexpensive. But Home Depot and
Lowe’s carries that particular brand which I don’t exactly know the name of at this
time. But basically what it is, it’s a more heavy-duty greenhouse with window flaps and
nice heavy-duty zippers and it was around $179, 200 dollars, and it’s set up kind
of like those portable carports. So they’re like nice big steel rods like much more heavy
duty than the cheap vinyl POSs that you can get for under $100. So I’d strongly encourage
you guys to get one of those. If you’re handy at all I do recommend checking Craigslist
for old window panes and getting some wood and building a frame, putting together a little
green house or even seedling tray. All right so the next question is from BC123132123132,
“I use pure peat moss as a seed starter mix for my tomatoes and melons, I forgot peat
moss has a low pH. Will my plants die? Should I supplement it with MiracleGro fertilizer?”
All right, I don’t know if your plants are going to die, every plant is a little bit
different, and I’m not there to see what’s going on, and believe it or not I’m not
necessarily a plant whisperer although I can tell how my plants are doing generally. So
let’s see, “Should I supplement it with MiracleGro fertilizer?” I do not recommend
it. So many seed starting mixtures are sterile mixtures without any nutrition. Once the plant
starts to put out its true leaves then it’s going to start needing to absorb nutrients
from the soil that it’s planted in. So as soon as it sprouts up, gets a little bit stout,
I do recommend taking it out of the seed starting mixture of peat and then just plopping it
in with a good potting soil mixture that contains some good compost, make sure you put the rock
dust in there, and you’ll probably be good. And if it messes up, it doesn’t work, that’s
all right, start over. All right next question is from Dave1273.
“So I put leaves on top of my raised bed this year for the winter to help break down
and add organic matter to my soil. I planted some seeds already, can I add rock minerals
and Boogie Hummus to the soil anyway? Thanks.” Yes Dave you absolutely can, so I would scratch
in, like just scratch the soil a little bit and kind of like top dress it in carefully
near where the plants are, not to disturb the plants or the seedlings where you plant
them. And if you can’t remember, just apply over the top, water it in, call it a day.
All right next question, Dillon Cunningham. “Hello John, I will make this as short as
possible because I know you’re busy. I’m 16 and have parents that don’t agree with
my plans to start a major garden project this spring. I plan to have two raised beds 6 ½
feet by 10 feet and one feet tall, this comes out to 130 cubic feet of soil I will need
to buy alone without any funding from friends or parents. I plan to do one third ratio of
vermiculite peat moss coco core depending on cost and compost. This I’m sure you know
is incredibly expensive, and I just couldn’t afford to buy this much soil. I want to have
a productive garden capable of feeding me and my friend’s family organically, but
I don’t have the experience in gardening much like you to configure a cost-effective
plan of achieving my feat. To cut to the chase, I want an organic garden here in Dallas, Texas
that has plenty of room to feed me and my family with delicious greens, I don’t have
hardly any money but want some raised beds this spring. What size raised beds should
I have to make it more cost-effective, yet still practical to even have. Also is there
a poor man’s ratio of these ingredients, I can maybe use half compost, half vermiculite.
Honestly I don’t know. I do have enough money to buy the rock dust, and will buy that
because you have convinced me it’s essential. Anyways get back to me, I love to hear back.
Cheers, Dillon.” All right Dillon, so what I recommend is start small and grow big. I
know your parents might not agree with your gardening thing because everybody always thinks
like “Why are you growing food man, you could go down to the store and buy it for
cheaper.” Those people just don’t realize the benefits of growing a garden. Number one,
the exercise, number two, keeps your mind off things, you know? Keeps you out of trouble.
Number three, you’re going to grow much higher quality food than the store number
four, man it just tastes so much better than the store—the stuff at the store tastes
like crap man. I’m like so spoiled now, especially in the winter time all the greens
man, they taste so good. Those are just a couple reasons. But you know, it’s going
to be hard to get them on board until maybe you grow tomatoes in the summer time, and
then give them one of your tomatoes homegrown that’s picked ripe with the rock dust, heirloom
variety that’s especially sweet, compared to just some POS you buy at the store that’s
still pink and they had to ship them pink because otherwise they’d rot before they
sold them. Then your parents might start to understand, because usually, above all else,
people understand like wow – they understand taste, they understand when something tastes
good, a lot of people are like “Wow, that’s really good, maybe I should do more of that.”
So start small no matter what you do, don’t try to convert half the backyard at once,
they’re not going to be on board, they’re probably not even on board with even a smaller
garden. I would recommend something more sustainable. You had said you’re going to do a 6 ½ feet
by 10 feet and one feet tall, and two of them? I would probably recommend one bed 4 feet
wide so you can reach in from both sides as mine are here, and then a 10 feet long. My
beds that you’re looking at here are 15 feet long. And just start out with one, that
way you’d be able to get the funding hopefully to do this. These beds actually are filled
with 100% compost, I was able to do that because the compost here is actually quite a high
quality compost, but I can’t necessarily recommend that. All you guys out there in
YouTube land do the same thing because compost quality can vary widely, and I’ve seen stuff
that I would use in some of the places I’ve visited straight like I did here, but I’ve
also been to many places where I would not even use the compost and/or not use it straight
and/or want to dilute or mix it with other things for sure. So a safer bet is to use
the Mel’s Mix, it’s a much more easier mixture where you can’t mess up as much
and you can’t get a bad soil mixture. So I mean I’d just leave it at that. Another
thing is you’re 16 now man, get a job man, get a job, start working, save some money
to put into your gardening habit, you know? Another thing you can do if you don’t want
to get a job is start seedlings, and start a service for people. Start seedlings, start
plants that you’re going to end up planting in your garden, and it’s cheap for seeds,
cheap for some little six packs or some flats and some seed starting soil. Start those and
then put an ad up on Craigslist and sell little tomato plants and start extra ones. You know
some for you and then a lot of extra ones to sell on Craigslist, and put them on Craigslist
and sell them for like a dollar a plant or whatever your local market will bear that’s
still a good affordable price, and also provides some unique and rare varieties that you’ve
researched that will grow well in your area and people are going to get good results with.
And that way you could start making some extra money from your gardening habit, and then
once you get paid and people pay you money for the little plants, then use that money
to buy all the stuff you need to plant out and build your raised bed. So that’s probably
my best question for you man, start small, grow bigger, next year go for the second bed
or the third bed. But yeah start out with one for now man, don’t bite off more than
you can chew, especially if you don’t have the funding at this time.
Let’s see, next question is from Vin Yemen Colepper, “Hi John, two questions. I’m
considering adding red worms to my EarthBox Self-Watering containers as well as my regular
old buckets, do you think this would be beneficial? Second question is, do you empty out the soil
in your Growums EarthBox containers at the end of each season or take a no till approach.
Do you treat the soil in your Growums boxes the same as your raised beds and leave the
soil in place year and year amending the soil as needed? Thanks.” So, let’s see first
question, easy question first, adding red worms to EarthBox self-watering container.
You know I have never really added worms to my EarthBoxes or any containers, but I’m
just cleaning out containers today in the back yard and there’s a lot of earthworms
in the containers. I personally like containers that have holes in the bottom that actually
the earthworms can find their way out if they need to get out, because if the EarthBoxes
you know, it gets too wet, too dry, they might not like it, and I always want to give them
guys a way out to do what they want to do and be where they want to be because they
might not want to be in the EarthBox. The main benefit of having worms in the EarthBox
in my opinion are two things, number one, aeration, so that’s really good, they’re
in there aerating. Number two, they’re going to be pooping out worm castings as long as
you have some good organic matter that they’re going to be digesting and pooping out that
matter so they can stay alive too. So what I might suggest is you might want to try it.
Try it in some EarthBoxes as an experiment and see how it works for you. I don’t necessarily
do that and I necessarily wouldn’t recommend it but try and see what happens, I don’t
know what’s going to happen. It’ll probably be all right but it depends on your specific
situation, your specific soil mixture, and I don’t know—like I know in Las Vegas
where I have the EarthBoxes or the Growums, like the worms would fry in the summer time.
They’d be gone. I’d be wasting my money to even put worms in there, it’d be sad
because they’d lose their lives, so I’d rather put the earth worm castings in there.
So your next question is about do I empty the soils out of my Growums containers at
the end of each season. So at present time yes, I have been doing that actually. While
I do do a no till gardening approach in a raised bed where there’s earth worms and
all kinds of different friendly bacteria and fungi and everything in there, I treat my
EarthBoxes more as a closed system, and while sometimes I do grow in them year after year
without taking that, I usually dump out all the soil, re-amend it, and then I could use
that actually in a raised bed and make a new soil mixture up for the EarthBoxes or just
take out what’s in the EarthBoxes, add more compost to it, add more trace minerals, rock
dust, earth worm castings, all the different things I put in, re-mix it up and then put
it back in for a new growing season and ensure that I’m going to get the successful results
that I do. Of course it’s totally up to you, some people and probably the EarthBox
people actually recommend keeping the same soil and just adding fertilizer, fertilizer,
chemical fertilizer, fertilizer. You know, depending on how much you’re producing in
there you could get away with actually keeping the same soil, I just prefer to take it out.
But yeah, if you do keep the soil in there I do recommend adding the rock dust, the worm
castings, the compost teas regularly to keep your production up.
All right next question is from Daniel Gothier, “A racetrack in town might be able to ship
a few truckloads of fresh horse manure hay. Does this smell much, also would it be too
soon, not mature enough to put at the base of tomato plants and other garden items. Appreciate
your feedback, Daniel.” All right Daniel so, I’m not a big fan of any animal manures
due to the possible contamination of bad bacteria, also antibiotics and different drugs and things
that could be in there. Also, depending on whatever the horse is eating that’s what’s
coming out the other end, the residues of that, so for example in the case of a factory
feed lot, they’re feeding them GMO corn and soy, and you’re getting cow shit that
has remnants of GMOs, which I don’t like. On the horses, if it’s a racetrack they’re
probably treating their horses pretty well because they want them to win. They also might
be drugging them up with who knows what kind of stuff. So I would be cautious. Also you’ve
got to remember that the hay that they’re eating, and it’s actually fairly hard to
find organic hay, has been sprayed with things, that’s been running through the horse and
some of the remnants of the pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides that were actually on the hay
may end up also in your garden that way. So, it would not be my first choice, if you had
other options for compost like a plant-based compost based on food scraps and yard waste,
I would much rather do that. If you don’t have any other option, this is your only option
then I might try it to see before I got a shitload literally, and then it messed up
everything. And what I would do is I do not like to add uncomposted manures in any case
to my garden. I want to make sure it’s fully composted and fully broken down so it has
the highest probability of working properly and the least probability of burning and messing
up everything. So yeah I would take the shit and then I’d pile it up, I’d mix it up
with the bedding material if they’re going to give that to you also, or add in a bunch
of wood chips, let it compost down further until it’s fully broken down, and then add
it to your garden for the best results. Next question is from Ozarkhiker23, “Hello
John I have watched many of your videos and appreciate the hard work you put into them.
I can’t seem to find the name of the company that you’re working to help the hearing
impaired by putting text on a screen.” So it’s,, and if
you just go to and do a search for transcribe video or transcribe YouTube
you’ll find plenty of people in the community there at Fiverr that’s going to be doing
transcriptions for you. Let’s see, next question is from Colinga
S, “My question is this year I started my pepper and tomatoes using straight coconut
core. I feed them water from my turtle tank and molasses once a week. Will I have a problem
with transplant to soil, what do you suggest?” I have no idea. [laughter]. I mean if they’re
doing good now, just keep it up and then transplant them into soil and see what happens. I mean
honestly that’s the truth. I mean I don’t really get fancy with my starts, I just put
the seeds in, water them, and they grow. Many times I get lazy and just kind of like, you
know things are seeding up here, like these guys here, it’s actually called miner’s
lettuce. I never planted them there, but they’re just coming up and then I’ll actually, if
I don’t want them there I’ll just actually transplant them out of there and put them
where I do want them. So I let nature do all the work, this year I transplanted so many
Swiss chard plants that I didn’t even plant. The plant went to seed, it dropped seed, I
saved some of the seed, but also it dropped seed and they totally sprouted and came up
and then I plucked them all out of the raised bed and now I have a ton of chard plants to
plant where ever I want. I always encourage you guys to make gardening as easy as possible
for you guys so you guys can grow the maximum amount of food, and that brings us to the
end of today’s questions, hope you guys enjoyed this episode, once again my name is
John Kohler with, we’ll see you next time, and remember keep on growing.


  1. to the 16 yr old. raised beds are nice but i wish people would plant in the dirt and improve their own soil. step ONE – make a dag-on compost pile, collect yard/kitchen scraps, and NEXT YEAR you'll have a ton of great soil. year one, you should plant in the ground and add what your soil needs, peat, manure, compost(purchased if you don't have one), and just plant what is happy in that type of soil/environment. 

  2. Your videos are excellent! Thank,s John. (btw, you have a typo in the title…"If Your 16…" "If YOU'RE 16" 🙂

  3. Young people taking care of our EARTH…..Young folks are waking up fast….we grow things     love to all

  4. To the 16 years old. I would suggest making a raised bed 4×10(or what ever is available). You also need to do some research to see if their is a local compost center were you can get good quality compost( you could also possibly strike it rich like i did in my area and find a good quality compost center with a nice owner who will sells it for $40 for 4 cubic yards if you bring your own trailer or truck). When it comes to rockdust and compost tea has the least expensive best quality products i have ever seen(and don't forget to type /gyg at the end of the url). If you don't have any money after that their are colleges that will send you free seeds. I have forgotten what college it was so that will require some research on your part. I hope that you have as much success in your garden as i am having.
    ps- I'm so happy there are other 16 year olds like me interested in how to grow their own food.

  5. if one have a big raised bed and not enough mix to fill it he can put some logs and branches first at the bottom. will be kind of hugelculture.

  6. we have about half an acre of land and I am trying to grow food for myself, my husband, my parents.  Is there a number of plants to grow that will provide us all with food year round?  I am in zone 7.  I eat a lot of leafy greens but hubby is more fruits and veggies.  We dont' plant to be vegan and we still eat meat but try to grow our own chickens for consumption.  Anywho, I have no clue how large to make the garden to support 4 people or how much of what to put up.  Is there a source I can use?

  7. For Wendy from NC,

    Wendy, look into community gardening! It's either free or really cheap. Many churches and community volunteering organizations have community gardens now. Here in Houston there's an org called Urban Harvest that does these types of gardens all over the city. Very cool. Good luck.

  8. Spending little to no money on my garden makes it even funner. Takes extra work of course but that's not really work. Being 16 would make it easier. Less heart attacks and broken hips. 🙂

  9. I would think building one might be cheaper ,, but those kits scare me the store bought green houses 

  10. I would clean my barn and put it in a pile and when the pile was 3 yrs old it would be perfect for the garden, like the best dirt possible

  11. For the beginner gardener, I highly recommend getting johnny's Select Seeds out of Maine.Their catalog is like an encyclopedia, and for FREE! You can learn alot just from their catalog.

  12. Most hay , atleast all the ones I know in Texas ,and that's alot.,  don't spray nothing , not even fertilizers, most don't even water either.

  13. I just tried to signed up for the 10 minute session and it's saying it's processing my order but it's been 30 minutes, will I get a call?

  14. Really liked your comment at 18:46. Just proves to me that you know the limits of your gardening knowledge…

  15. Regarding Manure, Horse Manure will have viable grass and grain seeds, that if not composted above 140°F will germinate in your garden.  It works, but always compost for a year or two first. Ruminant manures (Sheep, Goats, Cattle) is more digested, containing few to no surviving seeds. Use that instead.  

    With regard to sourcing, GMO feeds have little impact on manure quality.  The plant genetics are not carried on through soil.  However, if uncomposted, GMO seeds may sprout, but you shouldn't be using it that way anyway.  It's your choice if you want to support those feeding practices by dealing with companies that feed their stock GMOs. .  It's more of an ethical consideration, which people need to answer for themselves.

    Easy solution: Make your own manure.  Grow some rabbits.  They'll convert your garden scraps in to top quality, seed-free manure that doesn't need composting.  You control what goes in, and what comes out of the rabbit. They don't take much room. There aren't any diseases that can be passed between rabbits and humans (though mold and bacteria if they are kept unhygenically could lead to human illness, but that is true with any animal).  Worms love rabbit manure.  If you don't want it on the garden directly, use it to feed a worm bin, and the castings will be richer than ever, and your worms will definitely grow and multiply faster.  Rabbit manure is to worms what worm castings are to plants.  In my experience, one rabbit provides all the fertility needed for a 100²ft planting space. Also, as they are fed from your garden, you're closing the loop on nutrients added.  If you use minerals (rock dust etc), a lot of it ends up in parts of the plant we don't eat, but the rabbits do.  They benefit from those minerals, and return the surplus back to the garden in manure.

    They also kill most pathogens in plants.  If there is blight, conventional wisdom is to burn the plant. Don't put sick plants in the compost, or the disease may return and spread next year.  When you feed it to an animal, the plant disease dies off. Just don't feed moldy or rotten food. 

    Animal manures if properly managed are a huge asset to the garden.  The only way to ensure proper management is to be in control of the animals and their manure production.  Rabbits can be kept even in a small apartment.  Chickens work well too.  Fish manure is the essential component for aquaponics.  If you have the land, larger animals produce more.  I use sheep, and 2 sheep can fill a 4' x 4' x 10' raised bed with compost every year, in addition to fertilizing their own pasture. Even a worm bin is manure production. You can even compost your own manure, but I don't advise it.  

    You really don't need it by the truck load, unless you're planting acres of land. A ¼" of manure scratched into the soil surface each year before planting is all you need.  Beyond that, there are diminishing returns and other potential problems are introduced. The good news is, anyone (short of large scale agricultural producers) can produce it on a sufficient scale as to never need to buy or import it from another location. 

  16. To the young kid looking to start out:  Try fruit trees.  They take years to establish, and therefore are the first things to go in.  Consider future garden siting so you don't shade it with trees.  Work to a plan, don't just put stuff in the ground haphazardly. 

    To sell the parents on the idea, fruit trees look nice in the landscape, and can add to the value of your (their) home.  The fruit is incidental, but an added bonus. They can help shade the house and reduce the cooling costs. 

    You can get them inexpensively online, but be aware, the "discount" trees that are 4/$10 will be the size of pencils and need to be grown out in pots for a few years. $10-$50 will get you a good size tree from a local nursery.  I would do a mix of both.  Put some bigger trees in this year while starting smaller seedlings in pots for planting in subsequent years. 

    You can root your own cuttings.  Down south, there are lots of citrus tress grown in public areas.  A small shoot from one of those would grow into a full tree. 

    Keep the driveway area clear.  Your parents won't enjoy driving over spoiled fruit, or have mulberry purple bird crap on their cars. 

    I assume your location is more suburban. If you were in a rural area, it would be odd for you not to have a garden. In the suburbs however, people are insane. They will spend thousands of dollars every year mowing and watering a lawn, and then don't want to walk on it, for fear it may ruin their hard work.  It's a money pit, completely stupid. However, there are more stupid people in the world than you might imagine.  That desire for a nice lawn or functionless landscaping drive home values.  Even sane, rational people compromise here.  If your parents ever need to sell their house, it's easier (even preferable) to find a stupid buyer. That means function takes a back seat to "orderly appearance". St. Augustine grass, uniformly colored in dark green, 4000 blades per ²ft, mowed in a criss-cross diagonal pattern, exactly 3½" tall, twice weekly. An unnaturally round or pyramid shaped boxwood shrub, and a couple of plastic pink flamingos… But if that's what sells, it can make a huge difference in the price of a home.  

    Realtors who sell houses don't make much money. A house is 4 walls and a roof, with a toilet in it.  It's essentially an outhouse you can put a bed and TV in. People don't pay much for that. Effective Realtors sell memberships to communities.  Buy a home in this neighborhood, and this is lifestyle can be yours. When they pitch from that angle, conformity is worth more than function or extravagance. Your parents know this, and a few heads of lettuce isn't going to compel them to dig up their yard. With that in mind, use smaller, movable planter boxes. It can be a bit more challenging that way, but it keeps the peace at home. Besides, challenges are good things. 

    My real advice, find some employment, keep a clean credit record, and keep the long term goal of home ownership in sight. Then you're in control of the land, and you can do whatever you want.  If you need employment, there are plenty of Farms that would pay a 16 year old to come and do some labor.  Then you can practice your hobby on their land, and get paid doing it.  You'll learn and earn at the same time. You may decide this is something you want to pursue professionally, and begin studying horticulture. If you made an effort there, parents have to be supportive 🙂

  17. A small container herb garden would be a good idea for a starter garden.

    Start with a few pots, some herbs, and a bag or two of decent potting mix. Pretty cheap and easy.

  18. Hey john I love your videos and have been really inspired by them I have a couple of questions. Do you know of any good hydroponics shops in Vegas I'm moving there after the school year, also you sell your seeds and cuttings right. where could I buy those do you have a website i would buy them from or what. Keep up the good work bro

  19. Interesting tidbit regarding SunFlowers…….

  20. Found a couple things that might help for container gardening at the dollar store. Hanging flower hooks, the kind you stick in the ground – and child's digging bucket (like for the beach) to use as the container to hang on the hook. Drill a few holes in the bottom, for drainage, and hang from the hook. They aren't the biggest containers but for $2 looks nice.  Also, if you are into Air Pruning but not so much into drilling all the holes. I found some small baskets – looked like small laudry basets – if you line them with landscaping fabric (also at the dollar store) – it will make a nice small container you can try air pruning on.

  21. Totally agree with John on the "start small" approach. If the 16yro starts small and shows his parents what he can produce in a small space, they might reconsider and support him more. He might want to look into getting a job at a local nursery that is into growing organically. We have a few nurseries in our area, but I support the small organic one. I have learned a lot by just chatting with a couple of the people that work there. Good people that are eager to help.

  22. those racks (shelving) with the vinyl covering are really not bad for starting out if you can find them cheap.  Can always use the racks later after the vinyl starts cracking in 2-3 years.  Bring the whole thing indoors for the winter add a grow light and a drip pan (washing machine type) under it.  Keep the heavier items away from the top shelves.

  23. For the 16 year old- maybe look into compost giveaways in your area- the city often does them in the spring… Also maybe ask around and see if you can get donated supplies from garden clubs, neighbors colleges, farms etc- never hurts to ask. And yes start small because it takes a while to get the hang of things anyways. Raised beds no wider than 4feet so you can reach in and pick. Good luck!

  24. hay is commonly not sprayed with anything becuase it is not a monoculture and more a mixture of legumes and grasses. so there is less problems with pests

  25. Hey John! We LOVE your channel and I have been watching it for over a year now. I just wanted to give you a shout out and say keep up the good work because we appreciate it and love your enthusiasm, we are vlogging our garden season this year on our channel too and upload all the videos to a playlist once a week! Thanks for the encouragements!

  26. Am I not allowed to subscribe to your channel? I've tried to subscribe on every video I watch, and then when I click on the next video, it says I'm unsubscribed.

  27. Great advice to the young man that wanted to start a garden there, John.
    Scale back and start small.

    He could also walk or bike the neighborhood for bags of leaves and grass clippings to make free compost.
    Starbucks gives away big, FREE bags of coffee grounds that are good for soil building or making compost, as they are high in nitrogen and micro nutrients. He could compost teh coffee grounds and leaves together, or just dig them into the soil and wait a few months for it all to break down.
    I'm making free compost from cardboard boxes and coffee grounds. Check my channel for the video. Hope this might help some of y'all.

  28. The young man could also try some self watering buckets like the ones that Larry Hall has on his channel.
    Improvise, adapt, overcome.

  29. I love the 16yr old story!! I convinced my family by buying store bought carrots and then organic carrots. I did a taste test on them. The store bought was really bitter and of course the organic was so sweet. Convinced! Great ideas John on the "get a job" or be your own entrepreneur!! 

  30. Props to 16 year old Dylan for wanting to grow! I wish him the best of luck, can't believe the parents are not on board! It's gonna keep him out of a world of trouble and no good that the average 16 year old is seeking out LOL!

  31. The kid from Dallas should consider setting up a little grey water system from his washing machine or sink even. Water is very expensive!!! 🙂

  32. I'm 14 years old and my parents pay for my garden as long as I provide them with a certain amount of vegetables.

  33. It would be simple and cheap for a new gardener to take advantage of the usable soil that's under most lawns in the US. You can buy a soil test at your local county extension office for under 20 dollars, that will tell you what nutrients, if any, you need to add to the soil. Starting a garden in the eastern half of the US is often as simple as, dig up the grass, mix in some compost, and plant. Sure, your garden won't look as awesome as John's, but it will be good enough.

  34. Gardening Ideas on the Cheap- just in case another 16 yr old sees …or anyone who might be overwhelmed with costs:

    -collect grass clippings, leaves, kitchen scraps, cardboard-torn to bits, etc to myi compost
    -rake leaves in fall and store in black trash bags in the sun, the break down through winter is pretty good,especially if moist and worm-laden when placed in bags
    free worms throw a board or other large object on the ground in a moist area for several days, pick up and wallah!- worms in the top several inches for your digging and vermi work delight!
    -collect seeds during winter from organic kitchen wastes to seed in egg cartons in spring to sell to neighbors or FMs
    -check local college/high school for ag dept (perhaps even call your local county ag extension, just to ask) that might help you, either with wastes, or work for a teacher who can donate supplies
    -check with local farmer's (especially those who do large green house/for csa through winter) and see if you can work through the winter for supplies, knowledge, or money to start up. If you hang around a FM, you can get TONS of info and help.
    -ask for supplies or gift cards for your b-day and Christmas to Lowe's or your local outlet
    aged manure can often be gained completely free (for those who desire to use) from local farmer's simply by offering to rake it out of their barns. No truck? Take out the seats and line your car with a free sheet of plastic that can be picked up on your way out of the door at Sam's (there for covering mattresses, "complimentary") and one piece is huge. You could get some plastic now, split $1 hoola-hoop or pvc and dig out a spot (dig out about five+ inches in about a 3X3 area, fill with whatever free or frugal amended soil you can gain) practice through winter for lettuce, gr onions, etc. Be sure to weight plastic down well. (I used free large rocks collected from a local creek area.)
    -A friend once told me, if you only have $1 to spend, use ten cents for your seed and the other ninety for your soil. 'Tis true!
    Also, $1 to $2 in seeds can yield up $75 and more in produce. So, consider a winter "box" and/or the as-early-as-you-can, spring sprouts to sell. (Have a friend who does this in her spare bathtub every year.) You may not can sell as "organic" at first, but even "chemical free" and/or org. seeds is a good sales tool, but in my area there are not as many as concerned with that, as a "sale" or a "good bargain" or in my experience just a friendly chat.

    Good luck! You CAN do it! (I have:)

  35. for your veiwer whos 16 and parents not on board smaller is better to begin, as a parent something i see all time with my kids is thier interests come and go every few monthes so its a battle you will also be seeing with your parents showing them your down right serious and commited to this starting small will help them watch you grow with your garden and thats something all parents will respond to gl hun and go get them vegies

  36. for the 16 year old… Dillon, have you looked into community gardens??? they only charge you a monthly fee for water (I've seen from $6-18) plus some will provide all your seedlings and compost, etc. Some community food banks have a garden if you qualify to plant in. good luck.

  37. Tbh… A garden saves money if you use your own dirt. I have nice dirt, so I'm mixing it with compost, some nice dirt I'll buy, and pretty much back to Eden gardening. Bought some granulated azomite. Buying perlite and some boogie brew. Made some activated biochar. You don't need neem oil. Just grow some bat shit hot habaneros and make a juice out of them and some garlic and spray that shit on your plants. It'll kill most bugs that crawl, but flying bugs will survive. This might keep the bees safe cuz they have that fuzz and they don't crawl on the plants so pollination won't be affected too bad. Fungus is more important than bacteria cuz You could take a shit in your garden and have all the bacteria you need tbh😆. You don't have to by spores, just throw mushrooms on wood chips or leaves.

  38. Microgreens can be grown indoors, for very little amount of dirt, sprouts require none. They also don't require any grow lights. You just use old jars. If you still prefer to do conventional gardening outdoors, gardening centres often collect empty containers for recycling, any size, with a surprising number of 5 gallon pots, and they're free to collect. Saves money on raised beds and you can even stack them to make a strawberry tower type thing to save space. You can join a horticultural society and meet people who have seeds to share for free or go to seed exchange events. Dollar stores also have inexpensive seeds and seed prices in USA drop in autumn and, no, they are not GMO. Canadian libraries also lend out seeds.

  39. I love your videos man. You are a huge inspiration of mine. If you do any more of these videos could you explain why you started gardening?

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