Using YouTube in the Garden

I’ve been on Facebook since 2008. Before that, I had a profile on MySpace. I’ve tweeted, snap-chatted, and once I even used Skype to call my mom from the jungles of Costa Rica. While I’m not the most social person in real life, I’ve always been an early adopter of social media and connectivity apps…except when it comes to YouTube. I can’t tell you why, but for the longest time I practically loathed the platform. Maybe it was Justin Bieber or the plethora of videos of people doing really stupid things, I don’t know. I always thought of YouTube as the Craigslist of social media – a place where people just posted junk.

Then I found Tiny House Tours. It was on YouTube, of all places! And I wanted to watch it. So I did. And that led me down a rabbit hole of discovery – from vanlife videos to beginner beekeeping. Both YouTube and I have come a long way in the past 15 years and I’m okay admitting that it’s pretty much my go-to site now when I want to learn something new. I’ve used other people’s experience to help me fix a vacuum cleaner, change the oil in our lawn tractor, create a sourdough starter, plant garlic, prepare more recipes than I can count, cut Angie’s hair, and DIY my way out of so many situations it’s not even funny.

I’m sharing this little story right now because I was about to sit down and write a post about seed starting and building a raised bed garden when I realized that 100% of the things we’ve done this week on both those fronts came directly from YouTube. I’d love to take credit for these lovely ideas, but alas, they are not mine, so I will credit the folks I borrowed them from.

Self-watering Mason Jar Planters

On Saturday, we restarted our lettuces and a dwarf kale in self-watering mason jars on the windowsill. We borrowed this idea from Kevin and Sarah at Living Traditions Homestead and adapted it a little to save money. The tiny pots came from Dollar Tree (8 for $1) and I drilled a few holes in the bottom with a Dremel. The “wick” is an old cotton t-shirt. So far, the dirt has stayed moist. Lettuce pray that the seeds germinate and we have an entire windowsill full of greens! You can watch the full video here.

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A $10 Raised Bed Garden

On Sunday, we ventured outside to get started on our $10 raised bed garden. This idea was borrowed from Stivers Homestead, and honestly, neither Angie or I had thought of using fencing for the sides of a raised bed before. But…it was perfect! Each piece cost $1.60 and is 6 feet long, which worked out great for hauling them in our tiny car. The result – 18 square feet of additional garden space! We put our own compost on the bottom of the bed and covered it with topsoil. When we get ready to plant, we’ll add some additional gardening soil to the bed. You can watch the full video here.

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Recycled Seed Starters

And then there’s this nifty little idea that we borrowed from Thrifty Fun – recycling toilet paper tubes into seed pots. You can watch that short video here.

We started all of our tomato, pepper and cabbage seeds in these little pots and parked them under the grow lights. Hopefully, they grow! If not, I guess I can blame it on YouTube.

What YouTube channels do you enjoy watching? What cool ideas have you found there?

Let’s Get this [Garden] Party Started!

Our Baker Creek Seed catalog came last week and we immediately started dreaming and scheming for our 2020 garden. After a few days of list-making and doodling on napkins, we finally had to call a halt to the planning and get down to the business of ordering some actual seeds.

If you’re new to our blog, we usually have a small garden in my mom’s yard every year. Last year, we had about 48 square feet of garden space. This year, we’re nearly tripling that! My mom moved her roses so that we could have this whole bed. It’s 44 square feet.

We plan on adding a new raised bed in the backyard and will also have 3 smaller beds, a space near our blackberries (which is full of garlic bulbs right now), and a row by the front walk for growing tomatoes. Oh, and 4 containers! My best guesstimate is that we’ll have about 150 square feet of garden this year.

Our garlic bed – January 2020

So what will we be putting in these beds? Good stuff, that’s what! We ordered:

  • Bonny Best Tomatoes
  • Minibel Tomatoes
  • Blue Berries Tomatoes
  • Clemson Spineless Okra
  • He Shi Ko Bunching Onion
  • Royalty Purple Pod Bush Beans
  • German Chamomile
  • Tom Thumb Dwarf Pea
  • Purple Plum Radish
  • Cherry Belle Radish
  • White Icicle Radish
  • National Pickling Cucumber
  • Red Acre Cabbage
  • Bibb Butterhead Lettuce
  • Italian Striped Zucchini
  • Early Straightneck Squash

We ordered about half of our seeds from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds (rareseeds.com) and half from MIGardener (migardener.com). We also saved seeds from last year so we will have about 7 varieties of peppers, Cherokee Purple tomatoes, Beefsteak tomatoes, and cow peas. You might say, we’re pretty excited to get this garden party started!

Are you already planning your spring or summer garden? What plants will you be growing this year?