Gardening Basics

Gardening Basics

gb1
To succeed at gardening, you must understand your natural surroundings. Learn the usual dates of the first hard frost and the springtime thaw in your area. What you can plant and harvest depends on when your specific planting and growing season begins and ends and how long it lasts. Also, you must know where the sun rises and sets in relation to your planting beds. For example, you need to know how many hours of direct sunlight your plants can receive and where the shadows, if any, fall in the afternoon.

Next, you must attune yourself to the annual and seasonal weather patterns in your area. Gardeners love a comprehensive weather report (rain, wind, high and low pressure and temperature extremes) because it helps them plan their activities. Note when seeds germinate and when insects (and which ones) begin to appear. Invest in good quality soil and air thermometers to give yourself an edge in living with the elements.

Gardening Basics is a nine part series outlining how you can get a healthy and beautiful garden the organic and natural way

How to make your Garden Organic

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Phasellus hendrerit. Pellentesque aliquet nibh nec urna. In nisi neque, aliquet vel, dapibus id, mattis vel, nisi. Sed pretium, ligula sollicitudin laoreet viverra, tortor libero sodales leo, eget blandit nunc tortor eu nibh. Nullam mollis. Ut justo. Suspendisse potenti.

Sed egestas, ante et vulputate volutpat, eros pede semper est, vitae luctus metus libero eu augue. Morbi purus libero, faucibus adipiscing, commodo quis, gravida id, est. Sed lectus. Praesent elementum hendrerit tortor. Sed semper lorem at felis. Vestibulum volutpat, lacus a ultrices sagittis, mi neque euismod dui, eu pulvinar nunc sapien ornare nisl. Phasellus pede arcu, dapibus eu, fermentum et, dapibus sed, urna.

Morbi interdum mollis sapien. Sed ac risus. Phasellus lacinia, magna a ullamcorper laoreet, lectus arcu pulvinar risus, vitae facilisis libero dolor a purus. Sed vel lacus. Mauris nibh felis, adipiscing varius, adipiscing in, lacinia vel, tellus. Suspendisse ac urna. Etiam pellentesque mauris ut lectus. Nunc tellus ante, mattis eget, gravida vitae, ultricies ac, leo. Integer leo pede, ornare a, lacinia eu, vulputate vel, nisl.

100 plants you can grow and eat

100 Plants you can Grow and Eat

All Life begins in the Soil

All Life begins in the Soil


humanhealth

“He who owns land possesses the greatest potential to live the longest life, for he has the ability to grow his own food and determine the ultimate control of his health, thus, his destiny.”
-Milo

By: Milo Shammas, Founder & Formulator
I remind myself every day that we are all going to die at some point, which is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking I have something to lose. I came into this world naked and I am leaving naked. There is no reason not to follow my heart and do what’s right because it’s the ultimate truth and my purpose in life.

What is vital for life? Your health. The future of your health is imminent. To live a long life full of joy and vitality, your lifestyle choices today determine the state of your health tomorrow. This is true, whether we think about those choices or let ignorance and apathy make them for us.

The great news is you control your own destiny, because you control every decision in your life. Healthy eating and living are personal life choices. In your own backyard you can find the potential to create a future of good health for yourself, your family and the entire planet. This is the start of your journey to a better life.

To create an environment that nurtures you and provides you with enjoyment and health, you need a detailed plan similar to a road map. My mission is to help you plan and take this wondrous journey.

Being healthy is simple if you understand how to garden in your own backyard. Growing your own healthy food right outside your door will make you look at your home in a new, wonderful way. With so much excitement running through your veins, your enthusiasm may push you to act too soon. Before you grab a piece of paper, scribble many ideas, run down to your local plant nursery, and buy as many seeds, plants, soils and fertilizers as you can load up, let me guide you from my 20 years of experience and leadership in gardening. I want to teach you what I know that is true and effective.

Let’s Get Dirty First!
Some people think of soil as nothing more than an anchor that holds plants in the ground, a dark, dusty place that critters crawl in that makes our hands dirty. Soil is not just “dirt” but the basis of all life. Healthy soil is alive with billions of microbes that feed all living things on our planet. Your body needs it to be healthy. It provides you with the sustenance you need to generate the energy for everything you do. Everyone who is alive today and everyone who ever lived, needed the benefits of soil to survive and prosper.

Soil health is the fundamental basis for the health of all plants, animals and people. This book shows you the link between soil and human health. The connection is simple: Healthy soil creates a healthy garden, which produces healthy plants to provide nutrients for us, for the animals we love and care for as pets, as well as the plants we consume as food.

Why should you grow a vegetable garden? Food is so cheap and easily accessible if you live in a modernized country. Much of what we can buy is more convenient to prepare than cooking garden produce from scratch. I can run down to a fast food drive-through and grab a value meal (for about $5) that is 2,500 calories of deep fried, grease-laden, processed food. You can get your fill of genetically modified, processed meat and potatoes for far less than one-tenth of a penny per calorie.

Maybe you do not care if that hamburger came from a cow fed with genetically modified grains and was shipped 2,500 miles to get to you. Maybe you believe it makes no difference if your fries are processed and grown with genetically modified potatoes. Your 32-ounce soda was full of simple sugars that went down smoothly with those salty fries.

Is a bargain meal a bargain if you pay for it with your health?

Why you should garden: It’s good for your health. Besides giving you the best nutrients you can get, gardening is healthy work. You have to cultivate the soil, amend it, plant seeds or cuttings, fertilize, water, weed and mulch. Finally, you must harvest and preserve your crop for future use. Is eating healthy from your own garden worth all that effort? Yes!

If you read this book with an open mind and the attitude of caring about your health, the health of others and the well-being of our only home—the good earth itself—it will open your eyes to the importance of creating your healthy backyard garden. You will learn why eating food you nurture and harvest yourself is one of the most rewarding things you can do.

This book is also unique in taking the approach of starting from the ground up, explaining how human health begins in the soil, then providing clear examples of what to grow, how to grow it, and the nutritional benefits to you and your family, your friends and your community.

I know thousands of gardeners and have interviewed hundreds of them over the past 25 years. I have also met with many medical doctors, soil scientists, plant biologists, nutritionists and master gardeners. All this involvement and research has more than convinced me that a healthy garden will give you joy and bounty.

I live the organic lifestyle, and it all starts in my backyard. Even the smallest thing you do will make a huge difference toward living a long and healthy life and raising a healthy family. A garden can help you to achieve these goals.

Americans are on a new journey, seeking natural and organic solutions to their health problems. People from all backgrounds are on a personal quest to be healthy while making the right environmental decisions in the process.

I hope Dr. Earth will inspire you and benefit you in the same way. – Milo

– Milo

Healthy Soil, Healthy Plants, Healthy You

Everything in every cell of your body was once a biological or elemental part of your environment, originating in the soil, air, and water. You came from the earth. Like all living things, your life is supported by the earth, and one day your physical body will return to the earth. While you are alive, the food you eat is inextricably linked to soil particles that existed millions of years ago, part of a food chain that was here before mankind even appeared on the scene.

We must eat to live, but for some, eating amounts to nothing more than an arbitrary act, simply a way to fill their stomachs and avoid the sensation of hunger. The best way to live, however, is to eat consciously, with awareness, and with the intention that everything you allow into your body must be healthy and pure. That isn’t always easy. The food available in most grocery stores and restaurants might not be as healthy as you think it is.

hshphy1

Making your own wise choices about the source of your food

The only way you can have ultimate control over the quality of the food you consume is to acquire it from an organic farm, a farmers market, or grow it yourself in soil you know to be untainted and healthy. Yes, “healthy.” Soil is alive! It has vitality, a word defined as “of, or manifesting life.” Every cubic inch of healthy soil is a miniature world of beneficial living organisms carrying out nature’s amazing processes to break down organic matter, making it available to plants’ roots. Those roots take up these life-giving elements to nourish the plant that nourishes you. Soil innovation is what Dr. Earth® is all about. Our patented ingredients like PreBiotic®, ProBiotic™ and ProMoisture Hydrate® all came about as a result of our company’s thorough understanding of the nature of healthy soil and how to nurture and preserve its life-giving properties.

Applying the concept of “organic” to your home garden

hshphy2

Commercial agriculture supplies our grocery stores with all the produce we can imagine, certified organic or not. Some is grown locally, some on the other side of the nation or even the other side of the world. Although certification programs exist for organic farmers, your home garden has no policies or rules. We have no manual to follow. Instead, we must have some common sense. If you use your neighbor’s leaf litter as compost and are positive they don’t apply any chemicals to their soil or plants, you don’t need to worry about the quality of the leaf litter. Certification is more important to commercial growers who must prove they are growing by accepted public standards or a set of rules in order to truthfully label their produce organic. For the home gardener, certified is a useless term, but you can make the choice to set your own high standards and use products and practices that will give you peace of mind and the assurance that your food is wholesome. If you are not 100% certain that the soil in the location where you have, or plan to have, a garden is completely safe, don’t take chances. Consider a new site or create a garden of raised beds and add good soil. Dr. Earth® bagged soils will give you complete peace of mind and allow you to grow the delicious, nutritious produce you will never find in a store.

hshphy3

Grow as much of our own food as you can

The rest, buy from local farmers markets or a good local produce market that stocks organic produce, where organic certification actually matters. At home, trust your own good judgment and the excellent products made by Dr. Earth®, made with the intelligence of nature. Look deeply into your particular situation to understand how and why the practices you choose meet your needs while protecting yourself and your soil. In any agricultural endeavor, whether a small home garden or a massive corporate farm, we humans need to focus our energy on nurturing the soil which serves as the basis for healthy sustainable growth of our bodies, economies, nations, and planet. By practicing organic gardening on a personal level and supporting others who do, we can hope to someday change practices on a global level and make a real dent in the universe. Healthy soil is the cornerstone of the prosperity of nations.

Nutrient density is very important

All over the planet, human health relates directly to soil health. Healthy, living soil gives life to everything that grows in it and is the main source supplying our plants with the sustenance they need to properly develop into naturally thriving, insect-resistant, nutrient-packed produce. When we eat a piece of a living plant that came out of living soil, our body draws out the nutrients we need to stay alive and be healthy. Looking at this life process in reverse, we stay alive by extracting the life from living plants that depend on living soil. When you think about these facts, you can realize what an important resource our soil is and why we should all be concerned about the way it is being polluted and destroyed through mankind’s carelessness and abuse.

Local, backyard & home grown

Your home garden is a better source of produce than commercial agriculture. When it comes to the large corporations that control most of our food supply and farmland, the concern is profit, not human health. Chemical fertilizers and pesticides might give quick results but they do nothing to maintain the balance of nature, actually killing the life in the soil over time. Likewise, fertilizing with sewage sludge – or “bio-solids,” the concentrated end product of wastewater treatment plants – has the potential to pollute soils with pathogens, heavy metals, thousands of chemicals, and other impurities that survive so-called “treatment” of waste that merely concentrates what heat cannot destroy. Rest assured that Dr. Earth® soils and fertilizers have never and will never contain any bio-solids or cheap fillers like chicken manure.

hshphy4

Gardening Basics #1: Know your own local environment

gb1
To succeed at gardening, you must understand your natural surroundings. Learn the usual dates of the first hard frost and the springtime thaw in your area. What you can plant and harvest depends on when your specific planting and growing season begins and ends and how long it lasts. Also, you must know where the sun rises and sets in relation to your planting beds. For example, you need to know how many hours of direct sunlight your plants can receive and where the shadows, if any, fall in the afternoon.

Next, you must attune yourself to the annual and seasonal weather patterns in your area. Gardeners love a comprehensive weather report (rain, wind, high and low pressure and temperature extremes) because it helps them plan their activities. Note when seeds germinate and when insects (and which ones) begin to appear. Invest in good quality soil and air thermometers to give yourself an edge in living with the elements.

Gardening Basics is a nine part series outlining how you can get a healthy and beautiful garden the organic and natural way

Gardening Basics #2: Microclimates

Your garden is likely to have small yet important microclimates. Shadows can cause a cold pocket, and a hard surface facing the sun can reflect too much heat. These areas will not only change daily but also with the seasons. Summer might be too hot for lettuce but great for tomatoes. Anticipate these changes when you decide where to grow your garden.

You may have at least four different microclimates around your home:

  1. A hot side facing south
  2. A shadowed, cool side on the north
  3. A warm western side with afternoon sun
  4. An ever-changing eastern side that may be warm or cool depending
    on trees, high fencing or the time of year

 


Carefully observe heat and light to know where to create your garden. Position your raised beds, rows or plots to run north and south so plants will receive more sunlight in winter and not shade each other. In winter, keep tall trellised plants against the north wall and the shorter plants to the south. In the summer, do the opposite. These are the basics of microclimates.

Gardening Basics is a nine part series outlining how you can get a healthy and beautiful garden the organic and natural way

Gardening Basics #3: Plant Zones – What To Grow Where

Your geographic climate zone will determine which plants can thrive in your garden. The USDA publishes the most commonly used hardiness zone map, which divides the continental U.S. into 11 zones derived from the average annual minimum temperatures. You can find a copy of this map online, at a local library or university, or in gardening books.

Another good zone map comes from the editors of Sunset Magazine. They divided the United States and southern Canada into 45 climate zones, considering many variables such as area temperature extremes, humidity, rainfall, local topography, elevation, and even proximity to large bodies of water.

You can also just visit your neighborhood nursery. Nurseries want to offer plants that will thrive for their customers, not those that might fail. Your success is also their success, so they are unlikely to even carry plants that won’t do well in your zone.

Click the image to download the Plant Hardiness Zone Map

Gardening Basics is a nine part series outlining how you can get a healthy and beautiful garden the organic and natural way

Gardening Basics #4: Sun and Shade—a defining factor

Plants that produce fruits require plenty of sun. Allow at least six hours daily for tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, peppers, beans, corn, eggplant, summer squash and cabbage. In general, the bigger the fruit, the more sunlight it must have.

On the other hand, many vegetables and herbs do well in shaded areas, needing only about four hours of sun per day. Try carrots, beets, chard, cauliflower, chives, lettuce, chicories, radicchio, arugula, basil, mint, parsley, spinach or winter squash in these shadier areas. For leafy green vegetables, less sunlight is fine.

Gardening Basics is a nine part series outlining how you can get a healthy and beautiful garden the organic and natural way

Gardening Basics #5: Drainage

Sandy soils drain too quickly and clay soils too slowly. Adding organic materials helps to correct and balance both types of soil. If you have a good balance between sand, silt, clay and organic materials, you have a solid foundation for good drainage as well as moisture retention in the space between soil particles. When you improve your soil’s drainage, you reduce the level of fungal pathogens. You also improve root development and nutrient availability in a healthy aerobic environment.

Do a simple test to see how your soil drains and whether you need to make changes to correct your drainage. Dig a hole about 1 foot deep and 6 inches wide. Fill the hole with water and let it drain completely. When the hole is empty, fill it again with water to the very top. If it takes more than 10 hours to empty again, you have a drainage problem. The good news is that this problem can easily be solved by adding organic materials or drainage pipes.
You can also grow plants in raised beds.

Gardening Basics is a nine part series outlining how you can get a healthy and beautiful garden the organic and natural way