My first vegetable garden tour or well… grow closets and show set for 2018. It is still winter. I show you my grow closets, my herb seed starts and provide some useful tips for growing transplants indoors. And I show you were I shoot my long format video shows.

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This is how I build a Hugelkultur raised bed vegetable garden or in other words mound culture/hill culture whereby soil is mounded over logs, sticks, and other organic materials to create a superior growing area for fruit and vegetables.

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Self Sufficient Me is based on our small 3-acre property/homestead in SE Queensland Australia about 45kms north of Brisbane – the climate is subtropical (similar to Florida). I started SSM in 2011 as a blog website project where I document and write about backyard food growing, self-sufficiency, and urban farming in general. I love sharing my foodie and DIY adventures online so come along with me and let’s get into it! Cheers, Mark 🙂

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John from shares with you the Newest Gardening Tech products that can help you to have a green thumb to enable you to grow your own food.

Highlights include the World’s first Intelligent Planter that automatically waters your plants and recommends what you should plant and when and a self-contained personal spirulina farm that will allow you to harvest 20 grams of spirulina a day.

In this episode, John attends the International 2018 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, NV to share with you a handful of tech gadgets introduced at this years CES that will enable you to grow food easier indoors or out using automated systems to take some of the labor out of growing food. You will discover many gardening tech gadgets unveiled in this episode filmed at CES 2018.

You will learn about the following items in this episode:
03:45 Insight Sensor – Artificial Intelligence Chat Bot to answer your gardening questions and plant sensor that will provide data to Chatbot. (sensor available in Europe first)

06:52 Plantario – Self-watering Low Tech enclosed growing chamber with LED lights to grow at home. Expensive for what it is. From Brazil.

08:45 Grow – World’s first intelligent planter with multiple sensors and root pruning. The Grow Container planter senses when your soil is dry and will water your plants automatically. This container with Sensors will sense moisture and temperature and gives you guidance on the app so you will know to do in your garden. Can hook up to rain barrel (with pump) or standard irrigation system. Use coupon code GYG for 20% off (for a limited time)

17:10 Opcom – Indoor Hydroponic growing systems that you can control with an App on your phone. Both vertical and stacking systems to maximize growing in your space. The new Grow Pod is a complete hydroponic growing system. Opcom Farm Cube to grow lettuce commercially. Opcom is also helping to educate kids (and adults about hydroponic growing. Wave clip emits microwaves to increase plant growth. Use coupon code OPCOM2018CES for 20% off
Download free Hydroponics for education book

29:45 Smart Tabletop Veggie Grower and grow up to 17 plants within 30 days hydroponically. Contains nearly 10 sensors and different spectrum of lights that can be monitored and controlled with an app. Sensors include Water level, Humidity, and Light + more.

35:57 Plantmaker – A self-contained growing appliance for plants inside your home. Growing plants in soil with wicking pots and energy efficient LED lighting that rotates like a Ferris wheel.

38:15 Spirugrow – Fully automatic personal spirulina farm. Easily Grow your own spirulina at home – will automatically feed nutrients and co2 and you can harvest 20 grams a day of fresh spirulina.

41:57 Kuvings Vacuum Blender – Artifical Intelligent Vaccum blender to preserve the most nutrients in your smoothies or other blended mixtures. You will discover why vacuum blending is one of the best innovations in food processing in the last 100 years. This is the blender I use in my kitchen to maximize nutrition in my blended smoothies.

Referenced Episodes:
CES 2015 Gardening Episode

CES 2017 Gardening Episode

Growing Spirulina at home

How to Grow Microgreens and Make $100,000 a year

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Today we will look into – what is wood ash and what is Bio Char and charcoal ash, what are the uses of wood ash in your garden as a fertilizer and other benefits and details like How to use it and how much to use it. I will also demonstrate the effect of wood ash on the PH of your soil using a Soil PH Testing Gadget. Wood Ash is a very cost effective organic fertilizer used commonly in nurseries which is the top secret for healthy plants you see in plant nurseries. Also At the end of the Video, will also tell you how to make ASH TEA for your plants. Then Finally on very important DONTs and precautions for using wood ash.
What is Wood ash: the residue powder left over after the combustion of wood, such as burning wood in a home fireplace or an industrial power plant. It is used traditionally by gardeners as an organic fertilizer and it’s very a good source of potash. The PH value of wood is between 8 and 9.
One more point to remember is – there is something called Bio-Char – those small pieces of wood that have burnt completely but not converted into powder. These biochar pieces are excellent material to mix in a succulent soil mixture. But for soil amendment, when it comes to charcoal ash – that’s obtained by burning coal pieces, its better to avoid this for plants as this comes from burning of coal and it contains higher amount of metals which might harm your plants.
Wood ash, has a very high potassium carbonate content, which makes it an excellent choice as a fertilizer. In addition to potassium, wood ash is a rich source of phosphorus, calcium and magnesium. Additionally, it contains small amounts of useful micronutrients like: Molybdenum, Manganese, Copper, Sodium, Boron, Zinc and Iron.
It is a purely organic fertilizer – natural fertilizer, because it’s created through the combustion of plant materials that is wood. Its been used by gardeners and farmers since ages as a natural soil amendment.
We will list out the best uses of wood ash in your garden and how to use and how much to use in descending order of its value.
5. Deter Many Surface Feeding Pests like Aphids and Whiteflies and also soft bodies surface feeding insects like Slugs and Snails
4. Control or slow down the growth of algae in your water plants and also on the top soil of your plants.
3. Improves Compost Quality: Adding wood ash to your compost bin can enhance its nutrients, especially potash which is a key nutrient for flowering plants.
2. AS A FERTILIZER: The main component of woodash, that is potassium is important for photosynthesis, plant vigour and overall growth of the plant.
a. First benefit as a fertilizer is to fertilize your lawn.
b. For Calcium Loving plants like tomatoes and other veggies: though you can use eggshells effectively, sprinkle very small amount around these plants can be very effective.
How to use wood ash: Before sprinkling rake the soil well and sprinkle a thin layer around the plant and then water the plant.
Here am using a Soil PH Testing Gadget bought online. Though it’s a low cost gadget, its really handy when it comes to testing Soil PH, Soil Moisture and light conditions. Here for demo purpose – watch the video for demo.
#woodash, #soilph, #compost,
Now Lets quickly learn How to make Wood Ash Tea:
You might be already aware of something called Compost Tea, similarly you can exclusively make woodash tea or you can even mix it into your compost tea.
There are many ways you can make compost tea. For now, to Make Woodash Tea, depending on the size of your compost bin, you can pour some amount of woodash in a cloth bag or any cloth like a small pillow cover or anything and tie it up and suspend this bag into your bin and fill with water and leave for about 1 week. Then use this water as Wood Ash Compost tea.

Now One BONUS Benefit – watch the video.



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-~-~~-~~~-~~-~- Vegetable gardening fans, time to plant! Loni shares some tips & tricks to getting the most out of an urban vegetable garden. Fertilizer. Planting. And tending to your little veggie babies… all here on this Stark Insider TV episode.

DIY! Free Vegetable Planter Box plans: visit to download the Internet’s most downloaded plans!


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