Finding Good Carbon Sources For Your Compost Pile

The art of composting consists of adding both nitrogen and carbon to a large pile and letting it break down over time. However, the rate at which it turns into compost, is greatly affected by the nitrogen to carbon ratio.

Typically, I add about 25% carbon to 75% nitrogen. Although this recipe varies greatly. To understand the difference between the two types, see the video here:
What to add and what not to add to your compost pile

If you’re like me, it’s very easy to find lots of greens. Rotting kitchen scraps pile up daily forcing me to take multiple trips to the garden daily to dump my compost bucket.
The real challenge for me, is finding brown sources to add so the stench doesn’t drive my neighbors away. (on second thought, that might be a good thing)

In this video, I will discuss how easy it is to find carbon, most often sitting right under our noses:

Carolina Reaper/Banana Pepper Taste Test

The results are in (maybe not). Is it genetically possible for two distinct varieties of peppers to grow on the same plant?
People have been patiently waiting for me to bite into the morphed red runt.
I’ve grown the yellow banana for years and decided to cross it with the extremely hot Carolina Reaper.
I was amazed to see this red pepper growing right alongside of the regular banana. So what are the results?

Watch the video and see.

Dealing With Difficult Soil & Why Are My Tomato Skins Tough?

In this video, I will answer the following questions:

1. Are snow peas the same as Mange Tout
2. How to improve bad soil
3. Why are my tomato skins tough
4. You shouldn’t degrade people. Two wrongs don’t make a right
5. You must till in the compost to make it work
6. Will you send me some seeds


Fertilizing My Plants and Pelleted Seeds Q&A

fertilizing plants

Today I will answer the following questions:

1. When it comes to large scale farming, you can only really plant in soil, right?
2. What’s the difference between soil and potting mix?
3. What are pelleted seeds?
4. What ever happened to your potatoes in the bucket I looked for a harvest video and I didn’t see one?
5. Do you fertilize your plants?
6. Have you ever tried growing the Carolina reaper?
7. Are there any disadvantages to compost?

Soil vs Compost, What’s the Difference?

I was watching a discussion on a popular garden forum between two well known seasoned gardeners. They were discussing the difference between “soil” and “compost”. One gentleman said that “soil” was anything consisting of decomposed matter. The other gentleman argued that “soil” was rocks and minerals.
Well, for arguments sake, I’ll have to disagree with both of them.
The second gentleman was only partially right.

What is the difference?

Soil is basically the top 6 inch or so layer of the earth. It’s made up of sand, silt, rock, minerals, gases and even decomposed matter like plant material and dead carcasses from animals and insects (compost). It also includes microbes and fungi know as the food web. All of this matter is considered “topsoil” and sits on the TOP of the earth (hence the name)

Unfortunately,  the earth is being rapidly depleted of this resource as commercial farmers scrape the top layer off to remove weeds and level the land. This results in a dead, dry and parched earth. This is where farmers like to plant. But the sad reality is, they are depriving themselves of the best growing medium on the planet. They are then forced to till in fertilizers to replenish what was lost. And then this vicious cycle starts over again year after year.

Compost is basically decomposed plant matter like kitchen waste and rotting plants. It also includes dead shrubs, tree branches, and basically anything living thing that falls to the earth and dies. It is broken down slowly over time and turned back into what many would call dirt. It turns into one of the richest organic fertilizers that money can buy.

So when you hear someone say “I added soil from my compost pile to my raised beds”, what they are really saying is, I added compost to my raised bed from my compost pile 🙂

So to simplify things, You can amend your topsoil with compost to increase its mineral content or to make the soil more loamy for planting, but you never amend your compost with soil. Topsoil will contain compost, but compost does not contain topsoil.



The Best Time To till Your Garden and Drinking Weed Killer Q&A

In this video, I answer the following viewer questions:

1. How is the lasagna bed doing?
2. When is the best time to till in compost?
3. What kind of soil do you put in your raised beds?
4. Are you growing indoors this winter?
5. Where do you get most of your seeds?
6. You need to let your potatoes sit. You really are an amateur
7. You drank weed killer, gasoline and turpentine?
8. Your shirts are really distracting

Impossible Coconut Pie Recipe

This recipe has been in my family for decades. I remember my Mom making 2 or 3 at a time as it was so delicious, we as kids would gobble it up.
The beauty of this pie is its simplicity. No need to make a crust. You place all the ingredients in a blender and pour it into a pie pan. As the flour settles to the bottom, it makes its own crust.

Impossible Coconut Pie
4 eggs
1/4 lb. butter
1/2 cup flour
2 cups milk
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup coconut
2 tsp. vanilla

Place all ingredients into a blender. Blend until well combined about 15-20 seconds.
Pour into a greased 9″ pie dish. Bake at 350 deg. for 1 hr. or until set.

Serve hot or cold.

Do You Sell Seeds & What Planet Are You From? Q&A

In this week’s Q&A I answer the following questions:

1. Why are you wasting your time on bolting lettuce? Yank the crap out and throw it away
2. Why did you have the seat belt on?
3. Why don’t you sell seeds?
4. You ramble way too much
5. If you lay wood chips, you’ll deplete the soil of nitrogen

Why Is My Lettuce Bitter & Is Cardboard Bad For The Compost Pile? Q&A

Weekend Q&A. In this edition, I will answer the following questions

1. What is the advantage of starting seeds in cells instead of trays. Do you really have to spend the extra money?
2. I have heard that cardboard is bad for the compost. is this true?
3. Every time I grow lettuce, it’s bitter when I pick it. how can I prevent this?
4. In a facebook post, some people were recommending foliar feeding. What are your thoughts on it?
5. I heard you say that you don’t use animal manures on your property at all. Can you explain why?

Watch the video:

Lasagna Gardening – The No Till Composting System

If you hate digging and turning your compost, then lasagna gardening just might be the ticket for you.  I’ve done it a little on a small bed, but this is the first year I’ve tried it on a larger bed (3’x10′).
The system worPreparing Lasagna Bedks by layering (hence the term lasagna) your browns and green, alternating each layer until you have a stack that’s way above the top of the bed.

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