Get a Discount to Celebrate Fall Edible Gardening

We are offering our biggest discount ever to help get folks into fall edible gardening. That’s right, many of the veggies and herbs you grow in spring and summer can also carry over or be grown again in the fall.

Act soon because most zones need to begin planning (and even planting) now! You will love having an extended growing season and probably save some money on produce too.

We want to help get you started by offering $4 off the $14 price of our edible garden planning guide book. You can only get this discount by buying direct from our eStore. Enter code W84YWAVZ to get the $4 discount. Offer expires 08/31/2016.

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Plan Your Garden, Garden Your Plan!!!!!

Happy shopping and great growing!

Avoid A Common Edible Gardening Mistake

Have you been to a local garden center yet this spring? If so you’ve likely seen the amazing spreads of vegetables and herbs lined up in flat after flat just waiting to come home with you. Maybe the rows of fruit trees and berry shrubs caught your attention too!

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Exciting and Overwhelming Simultaneously

Getting excited about edible gardening is great. Buying more plants than you could possibly use is not! However, that is exactly what happens to edible gardeners who fail to plan. One of the most common mistakes I see is the failure to plan out an edible garden before actually going to the store to buy plants and seeds. If you do not have a plan you could be setting yourself up for difficulty or even gardening failure. You will likely waste a lot of money on unused plants too!

So before you go out to buy plants and seeds you should…

Plan Your Garden and then Garden Your Plan!

Writing Neatly

So Easy A Kid Can Do It

My edible garden planning guidebook is a great for learning the basics of edible gardening. It even contains edible garden planning worksheets to help you design a successful edible garden. I hope you will check it out. Then you can have a garden like this (see below)

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Well-Planned Edible Gardens

Don’t “Mess” With Me

Are you suffering from spontaneous bursts of flavor across your taste buds? Having dreams of being engulfed by the smell of freshly picked tomatoes? Maybe you can’t stop thinking about the satisfying crunch of the season’s first asparagus?

Relax, unless you have a greenhouse or geodesic dome you’re likely just suffering from edible gardening withdrawal. I know we are! Why else would we take turns dutifully carting out our remaining boxes of culinary herbs each day?

 

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Herbs On Wheels

Depending on where you live, you might have experienced a recent warming in the weather. The soil might even look workable. Stop!

The whole point of this message just hit home! Your soil is trying to trick you into playing with it. Resist young grasshopper. For if you don’t you might be toiling in the mud and setting yourself and your garden back by days and maybe weeks.

Your soil is lonely. Little to nothing has been actively growing in weeks. It wants to play! However, just like a young child, it needs a little guidance. In this case gardener guidance. If you start playing with the soil too soon in the season you will likely just turn over a top inch or two of brownie mix-looking mud. The next few inches down might be frozen solid or totally water logged from rain and snow melt. Trying to work the soil too soon will potentially disturb the structure of your soil and create more work for you later on.

Wait unti the soil is defrosted enough to be worked. An easy test is to grab a handful of soil and form it into a ball with your hand. Next, try breaking the soil ball apart with your hand or dropping it to the ground from a few feet up. Does the ball break up into small pieces when dropped or tapped with your hand? If your soil ball remains intact or only breaks into a few large clumps than it is probably too wet to work with. The soil should be more crumbly. Is crumbly a word?

So, be patient while you wait for your soil to be ready. It will come along soon enough. Spend the extra time and newly found gardening energy planning your garden, organizing your seeds, buying seeds, starting seeds and cleaning your tools. You could also read our book!

You see, there is plenty to do right now!

The Best Way To Improve at Edible Gardening

Even experienced farmers and edible gardeners need to take notes. Growing seasons can be long and the observations a gardener or farmer makes or the tips and tricks one learns can easily be forgotten.
I was reminded of this tip yet again as I reminisced on our 2015 cilantro season. Tomorrow is Taco Tuesday and there is no cilantro to be found! As a result, I headed to the local farmers market yesterday to pick some up. $3 a bunch! Ouch!

At that price I had to get some extra value out of my trip. I asked the local farmer for some tips on growing cilantro. He seemed to enjoy sharing his wealth of knowledge with me and spent a few minutes away from his busy market table explaining some of his best cilantro growing practices.

First, the wise farmer told me to harvest the whole plant instead of just picking off the sprigs the way I was doing it. Apparently, Cilantro is best harvested all at once for best results. I was doing it sprig by sprig and always wondered why the stubborn plants would still bolt!

Next, he explained that I need to be planting all season long on a weekly basis. I already knew this tip, but a few weeks into the spring I started to miss a week here and there.

Lastly, the farmer told me to make sure the plant is not getting too much heat in the summer months. Cilantro will bolt early and taste better if the soil gets too hot.

I have also heard that it sometimes helps germination if you split the seed husks and then soak them in water for a day before planting. I will be trying out that tip in 2016.
My edible garden planning guide is a great book for beginner and intermediate edible gardeners. The included notes pages are very valuable for even the most experienced edible gardeners!

garden planning, cilantro

2016 will be the best cilantro season ever!

 

Book Review – Henrietta’s Guide to Caring For Chickens

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An interesting children’s book on chicken keeping that covers the basics in a fun, engaging way. Both of my children read it and retained some of the basics. I would recommend this book to parents and grandparents to give to kids who are interested in chickens or who will be keeping chickens at home.

We were planning on keeping a small flock of chickens and this book helped to engage and educate the kids. Just like edible gardening, with chicken keeping it is important for the kids to be part of the activity.

Both of my kids did their own book reviews as well. Read on for their take.

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My daughter was inspired to draw this after reading the book.

What did you like about this book?

The pictures were my favorite part because they were very funny and made me smile and laugh.

What did you learn from this book?

I learned that keeping chickens as pets or for food can be hard work, but also fun too.

Would you recommend this book to other kids?

Yes I would if the kids were also interested in chickens or learning to keep chickens.

Our 9 year-old son was inspired to draw this

Our 9 year-old son was inspired to draw this

What did you like about this book?

I liked learning about how fun chicken keeping could be. I also liked to image all the things the chickens would do in my yard.

What did you learn from this book?

I learned foxes like to eat chickens so a person should be careful to protect their chickens. I also learned some fun facts:

  1. Chickens are related to dinosaurs!
  2. Chickens really like to eat worms.
  3. Chickens like to take baths in the dirt.

Would you recommend this book to other kids?

Yes I would!

A Top Tip For Edible Gardening Success

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I love free stuff as much as the next person. Here on the DIY Backyard Farm we often joke, “if it is free it is for me!”

With this post I am offering a free peek inside our book, “DIY Backyard Farm Edible Garden Planning Guide, 2nd Edition“.

Below is an excerpt taken right from the book. It contains a top tip that I have found is  key to edible gardening success. If you like what you read you can buy the book here.

Taken from chapter 2 of the book:

“Start small, but leave room to expand later. When it comes to edible garden planning the urge will probably be there to GO BIG or go home. Resist this urge young grasshopper! Edible gardens require more work as plants mature.

My family and I made the mistake of going too big more than once. It is just so easy to either plan too large of a space or over plant a once manageably sized edible garden space. In fact, we have had seasons when even the usually fun and pleasing task of harvesting became a dreaded chore.

In addition, you will likely learn more from a manageable garden because you’ll have more time to properly observe the garden. During this “downtime” you can take notes on what is working, what you would change, and how you feel about the endeavor overall. In our gardens, such observations happen during leisurely strolls around the paths. Instead of stopping to “smell the roses”, we stop to taste the tomatoes or the first delicious snap peas of the year. Pure enjoyment!

So start small, leave room to expand and eventually you will find the perfectly sized plot of land to satisfy your edible gardening needs and desires.”

How to Get Started with Backyard Edible Gardening

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New Book Cover

Over two years ago I set out to write an edible gardening guide book that could get people started with edible gardening without overwhelming them. My overall mission was and still is to get people to reconnect with their foods by growing their own healthy, delicious produce.

Last month marked the launch of the 2nd Edition! New cover, added content and more tips! The book still contains my popular garden planning worksheets too. Early feedback has been excellent and press coverage has been flattering.

The book is available for purchase from the DIY Backyard Farm eStore for $14 + applicable taxes, shipping & handling. I hope you will check it out and tell everyone you know too!

Happy Gardening!

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Click Here to Purchase

Don’t Do This For Better Peas

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Purchase The New Book For More Tips and Garden Planning Worksheets

That is right, a “don’t” recommendation at a time when many folks have planted their spring pea crop. Lots of people are talking about best ways to sow the seeds, optimal trellis methods and best times to harvest. Those are lots of “do” recommendations. However, I have not seen much talk about one particular “don’t” recommendation that I find a lot of folks ignore.

Ready for the payoff pitch? It is simple and will even save you money!

Don’t fertilize your peas. That is right, peas often do best in less fertile ground. In fact, peas that have been fertilized will often produce vigorous leaf growth, but produce far less pods than their less spoiled pea friends. What do you want more of, leaves or pods? I rest my case.

Here are some other DIY Backyard Farm tips on playing nice with your peas:

Tee-“pea” Trellis

Planting Peas With Kids (they usually love snap peas)

Tips For Starting Pea Seeds Indoors

Two Avoidable Reasons Some Edible Gardeners Fail

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New Book Cover

The DIY Backyard Farm Edible Garden Planning Guide was written to help people get started growing their own healthy, delicious produce. Basically, I was getting too many request to help family, friends and acquaintances set up edible gardens. I wanted to help everyone, but I did not have the time! Writing a book outlining my methods for edible gardening seemed like a natural solution to my situation.

Below is an excerpt from the book to give you a flavor for what it is about. I hope you will get a copy for yourself and tell others to check it out too.

Copies can be purchased here.

From The DIY Backyard Farm Edible Garden Planning Guide, 2nd Edition:

“Now back to that original question. What have I done right and where do some edible gardeners go wrong?

The answers: planning and keeping edible gardening as simple as possible!

Yes, not keeping it simple and failing to plan are major reasons so many aspiring edible gardeners fail to grow great crops. In this book I will show you how I learned to grow delicious, healthy edible plants by following a simple planning and gardening method that lasts all growing season. I call it “plan your garden and garden your plan.”

As you will read, my edible gardening methods are based on keeping things as simple as possible, working with nature instead of trying to control her too much, taking notes on garden observations, and having a clear, manageable garden plan. If you let them, edible gardening and/or farming can become very complex endeavors. Most of that potential complexity comes from the pure human desire to control everything we encounter. Throughout this book I will frequently remind you to enjoy the “natural” aspects of working with Mother Nature. Losing the desire for a perfect garden is an important first step in that process.”

Special Announcement!!!!!

Hello DIY Backyard Farm Fans! You are among the first to hear about the exciting release of the 2nd edition of the DIY Backyard Farm Edible Garden Planning Guide. Now is the perfect time to plan your 2015 edible gardens and the new book can surely help. In fact, I hope I can lots of messages telling me it was the best $14 (+ tax) that you spent all season long!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

February 23, 2015

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New Book Cover

What’s the Simple Secret to a Thriving Edible Garden?

Reading The DIY Backyard Farm Edible Garden Planning Guide!

Last year, Greg Carbone of Backyard Enterprises LLC authored a book to help novice gardeners plan and start their own thriving edible gardens. Now his book is being released as a 2nd Edition. The new edition has a gorgeous cover photo taken in his very own edible gardens. The latest edition also contains additional content and even more useful garden planning worksheets.

The DIY Backyard Farm Edible Garden Planning Guide provides the guidance and tools needed to simply, easily and effectively plan and track edible gardens. The book provides information and tips to guide “budding” gardeners without overwhelming them. The worksheets included in the book are critical tools to help people avoid one of the biggest mistakes many edible gardeners make–failing to plan.

Greg is the “Head Farmer” and Managing Partner of Backyard Enterprises LLC. The company runs the website www.diybackyardfarm.com, which is dedicated to providing simple and easy tips to help regular folks grow their own healthy, delicious produce. Greg is on a personal mission to reconnect people (especially kids) with their foods. He believes edible gardening is one of the best ways to do it!

People have expressed a lot of initial excitement for the website and book. One might say, “the topic of edible gardening is really growing!”

Greg will be speaking and signing books at local New Jersey garden centers and libraries throughout the spring and summer growing seasons. Check out the website or the DIY Backyard Farm Facebook page for details. The book can also be purchased on Amazon.com or through the DIY Backyard Farm website (www.diybackyardfarm.com).