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Practical Gardening Series; Chapter 3, More on Medium and Styles.

Jan 03, 2024

With this chapter we will focus on the main styles and the main mediums that most people
would be able to best work with in most situations.
The main one here is when you look at actual food production, the whole idea of the
sprouting of seeds and using the seeds is one of the best methods for year-round food
production, no matter the environment you are living in. The pay back, IE; the money
invested when paired with the return, this is likely the best route to go with.About the only
real investment that you will have is some seeds, which based on the amount of food those
seeds will produce, makes for a low cost food source. Plus, one must not forget that the
seeds are highly nutritious. A seed has all the nutrition that it needs to go from the very
beginning point of its life cycle, to a point to where it has grown enough to take root and
begin the process of obtaining its food from an outside source. I am sure that everyone is
aware of the egg, most of us are familiar with a chicken egg. From the moment that an
embryo is triggered to grow inside of a chicken egg, the egg has the nutrition to sustain the
developing embryo for the 21 days, when it hatches and passes on a certain amount of
nutrition to sustain the chick for at least another 3 or 4 days. At that point, the chick has to
start providing for its own nutrition. This is similar to what you see with the seeds. So in
concept-theory at least a chicken egg and a seed are very much alike. So going back to the
seeds, just trust me that you have a great deal of nutrition that can be obtained from that
seed, for your benefit.
So when you consider the amount of money invested, basically a class jar or two with lids,
maybe a small towel and maybe 10 dollars at the most for seeds, you are set and off to the
races. Oh, and the horse you bet on here, well, a pretty sure payoff will be coming your way.
The next one that I really like is the used tire planter or container. I stopped by the big
commercial tire joint where my step brother works, he just had 4 big farm tractor tires that
were recent take offs from tractors that he gave me. I kind of want to get a half a dozen of
them for this next summer. The one set has wide side walls, since I don’t want to take the
effort cut the side walls, I will just take a cut 4, 2X4 boards about 2 feet long on each one,
then prop the tires open with those 2x4's, then fill them up with soil, then plant in those.
This would work real well as the center ring will be about 6 inches higher than the outside of
the tires. I can plant in the soil, then cover the top with plastic and have an instant
greenhouse. I can get the plants going in the actual soil that they will be growing out their full
cycle in. When you do the growing this way, you will have much healthier plants and you will
avoid the transplant shock that will take place by purchasing the starts and then transferring
them to the finished growing out medium. Then by the time the plants reach the plastic
covering, it will likely be time to remove the protective covering and let them have full sun
access and allow them to do their thing.
Remember back a few paragraphs when I was talking about the seed and the egg? Let me
share with you a dirty little secret. You know when you go and see all of these plants being
sold at every store than can sell them??? Just beckoning for you to take them home???
Well, this is a really good example of that concept of the egg and the starter seeds. These
seeds that get started that are sold at the stores, well, they are just growing from the stored
nutrition in the seed. The growing medium that they are growing in is providing no nutrition
whatsoever to the plant. Have you noticed what happens when the plant after they have

sprouted after a while, they start to die. Then you buy that plant that has already gone into
transition mode, transitioning over to the death cycle. So you then take it home and try to
rescue the plant and usually it doesn't go very well. Maybe you get some things that
resemble the production that the plant would normally produce if it was grown in a proper
medium and under the right circumstances. I know, I know someone will say, but I buy plants
that are already started and they do just fine. Yes, that does work at times. Just keep in mind
that isn’t an either or situation but one of a fluid transition from beginning starvation to the point the death
process was stopped. Most of the time this type of a deal is what experienced gardeners will
sometimes experience. We must keep in mind here that we are talking about the life cycle of
the beginner gardener. Here, we are focusing on the beginner.
When it comes to growing plants, everything has a name, that includes the soils. But I want
to use general terms here. When looking at soil to grow your plants in, you do not want an all
compost soil. In reality the typical compost is there for nutrient available services, mostly
enzymes and such. It does not hold nutrients. Most nutrients are tied to the clay in the soil.
The most critical aspect to the soil is this, are the nutrients there? Are the nutrients available
to the plant’s root system? Is there oxygen present in the soil? Is the soil hydrated, IE; is
there water there and does the soil hold water? Usually, black colored soils make for the
best garden growing soils. The color simply indicated what is there, mainly and including
enzymes and microbes. Generally you will have better results when the bulk of the soil you
are using is from an alluvial plain source. But this does not mean that other soils are not just
as good, I am just saying the alluvial plain soils are the easiest to work with for the beginner.
When it comes to a general nutritional program for your plants, it will depend on where you
are living and just what kind o f soil that you are working with. In my area, which is a higher
pH, a heavy clay type soil, This soil compacts easily. So we have to follow some unique
protocols to make for a successful garden. In addition to that we have to make sure our
natural soil is “fluffed up”, as opposed to compacted. It makes for easy fertilizer application
as we have to use a tiller or other tool to fluff up the soil. We can incorporate the fertilizer at
the fluff up time and be in good shape. The normal fertilizer that we typically use is a 16-16-8
mix. Plus a few others depending on the individual needs of the plot of land. This means, 16
units of Nitrogen, 16 units of Phosphate and 8 units of Potassium. It is also known as the
NPK grouping. You have to have the NPK triad working. If not anything else you might do or
not do, will not give you a positive outcome. But your needs will vary, not might, but will, vary
depending on where you live. So a good place to start would be to talk with the local
extension office or other gardeners/farmers in your local area to begin with. Or you can be
adventurous and just do it and learn on the fly/process. In most any case, it is always the
safe thing to do and that is to just follow the label on the nutrient additive and seed packet.
Once you get some experience, then you will be able to make good and logical decisions.
I hope this gives you some insights to what good that can come to you and allows you to see
miracles take place in your life by growing plants. Really, you will see miracles.


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