How to Build an Urban Garden with John Kohler – The Renegade Health Show Episode #340

Monday Jun 29 | BY |
| Comments (72)

When John Kohler told me he had a garden in his front yard, I didn’t know what to expect.

Today, we get a tour of John’s urban gardening project and he’ll explain how to build your own urban garden where ever you live… and grow enough food to feed your family and your 30 neighbors!


Take a look…

Your question of the day: Do you garden and how big is yours?

Click here, scroll down to the bottom of the page and leave your comments now!

Please check out the Raw Health Expo in Santa Rosa, CA on July 25-26th.

If you want to sign up use this coupon code for the first 50 people and save $10: “renegadehealth”

Click here…

Listen to John talk about his expo here…

MP3 File

Also, check out his videos here…

Live Awesome!

Kevin Gianni

Kevin Gianni is a health author, activist and blogger. He started seriously researching personal and preventative natural health therapies in 2002 when he was struck with the reality that cancer ran deep in his family and if he didn’t change the way he was living — he might go down that same path. Since then, he’s written and edited 6 books on the subject of natural health, diet and fitness. During this time, he’s constantly been humbled by what experts claim they know and what actually is true. This has led him to experiment with many diets and protocols — including vegan, raw food, fasting, medical treatments and more — to find out what is myth and what really works in the real world.

Kevin has also traveled around the world searching for the best protocols, foods, medicines and clinics around and bringing them to the readers of his blog — which is one of the most widely read natural health blogs in the world with hundreds of thousands of visitors a month from over 150 countries around the world.


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  1. Sunny says:

    Yes, I garden! Currently growing:
    Lettuce, onions, Swiss chard, cabbage, chinese cabbage, strawberries, beets, cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes; winding up their season are kohlrabi, spinach and broccoli.

  2. DELANEY says:

    I have one pathetic little Kale plant still in the container. It sits on top of my fence post. Very sad.

  3. Pamela Holt says:

    Gosh yes we garden, in raised beds for carrots, beets, tomatoes, beans, radish, lettuce, cabbage, basil, thyme, onions. We also utilize a slope on the north side of the house for large footprint plants such as zucchini, butternut, cantalope, watermelon. We also compost

  4. gilles st. george says:

    i bought an earth box an put 1 row of 4 of corn an 3 tomato plants on the deck. organic rock dust an ocean water. a start it is growing great. will check tast test with a friends an see which tast better. would love to have his .

  5. Linda Miller says:

    My husband has a rather large garden. He has already picked 91 qts of strawberries and now he is picking blueberries and wild black raspberries.We have wonderful lettuce, green onions, radishes, kale, peas, basil, green and purple cabbage. Next week we will have gree beans and later corn, lima beans, peppers,potatoes, and tomatoes. Wish we could grow this year around.

  6. Cheryl Holt says:

    WOW! COOL! TOTALLY COOL! WOW! THAT WAS THE COOLEST SHOW EVER! What a COOL DUDE! I so want a garden like that I am rippen up ALL OF MY YARD!!!!!!!

    I am learning about permaculture and started small this year with a wine barrel and have a bunch of heirloom tomatoes that I am eating at present and bell peppers and some peas.


    Cheryl : )

  7. Rene Oswald says:

    We have 1/3 of an acre (backyard) in South East Florida, my husband Allan does most of the gardening. See our slideshow at and go to #44.

  8. Yes… much much smaller than John’s but we have chard, kale,romaine lettuce, tomatoes, squash, parsley, eggplant… a few others…
    Thanks John.. That was very informative.
    See you on July 25th &26th if not sooner..

  9. K L Gifford says:

    yes, i just built a 26′ growing dome. It came as a kit and it was great fun to put together with a couple of friends. Here is the link:
    I originally found out about this dome because I took a conscious gardening course from Tree of Life in Patagonia, AZ and the class was mainly in the dome and I felt that I could make it happen if I had something like it at home. I also have 80 acres of land so I have raised beds outside as well. I am pretty much growing every vegetable and herb you can imagine. I live in Missouri so you can throw a seed into the wind practically and it will land and grow anywhere!

  10. Kimber says:

    Hey Kevin & AnnMarie!!
    I really loved seeing John’s Garden! I have so many acre & garden photos on my vision board. I will one day have abundant land to play on, live off of, and share the joy of nature’s food.

    Every place I have ever lived in Calif, I have had a green thumb that amazes my guests with my creativity with limited space to do so. My best to date had 4 different fruit trees, grape vines, garlic, herbs, tomatoes, squash, strawberries, (even a coffee tree inside my place) and a few I am sure I am forgetting. I am a bit limited in my current space (till I move AGAIN! : ) I have Aloe Vera, Goji’s, Basil, Rosemary, Chives, and Thyme at the moment. A few of my favs.

    There is a nearby garden for the community to buy some square footage of garden space. It is off a trail I hike from my place. I’ll pass through to see what is being grown and speak to a few of those who are there attending their garden. That alone is rather fun.

    Good to see your journey! Thanks for sharing.

    Big hugs to you both!
    Hope to see you on the road soon,

  11. Anthony says:

    how exciting, oh my gosh john kohler is on top of his game telling people about, agave and yakon, being someone that is trying to let people know that when eating raw foods dont just follow the big people like the monarchs and wolfe man, eat what is alive and what is vibrant for you, we can be excited to follow the energy surges around the movement, i dont have a garden i do have wild anise growing in my back yard some has grown to about 10 or 11 feet tall, the anise is growing right next too a giant blackberry bush where i was actually picking tons of blackberries and eating them right after i picked them, i love the energy i feel surging within me while i pick them then consume them oh so fresh i take them off of there life source root and then put them into my consumption portal.
    i would love to say raw health expo for everyone and love for everyone and consciouss choices for you.

  12. Kiani says:

    I don’t garden, but there is already more than enough growing here as it is for me to live off the land.

  13. Rosa says:

    That brought back memories! I had (pre-divorce)a 17X20′ with 13 raised beds garden. One year it was converted into a green house because my son brought home 3 adorable chicks who would have frozen to death here in the NW Chicago Burbs in the winter! What a blessing that was because those chickens,their poop & the compost bin kept the temps above freezing and I could grow all year!
    Today, I live in a house that is all shade except for the driveway. This is my first time attmepting to grow on the driveway. I am using those cool upside down bags and they are hanging from a contraption I designed (4X4 & shephards hooks-super easy!)If it is successful, I shall build more for next year.
    Thanks for all you share with us

  14. Kathy says:

    I have 5 raised beds (2 feet high and 6 to 10 feet long, 3 feet wide.) Two of them are in a greenhouse with supplemental grow light. I currently have several varieties of tomatoes, cucumbers, and squash, mixed salad greens, sugar snap peas, snow peas, rhubarb, artichoke, and various herbs including stevia. I have grown and will be planting again carrots, kale, spinach, swiss chard, radishes and broccoli (am in the process of rotating beds.) I attempted corn, but won’t try that again (takes too much space) and beets (can’t convince anyone else in our household to eat them.) On the property we also have blackberries, raspberries, and several other varieties I have yet to identify (we live on the Oregon coast and the berry vines would grow over the house if we let them!) We also have an apple tree that needs to be replaced and have just added blueberry bushes. I’d like to add asparagus and strawberries, as well as a couple of varieties of apples and a pear tree to two… I may even attempt peach, nectarine and plum trees in the greenhouse.

  15. Erin says:

    Hi Kevin and Annmarie,
    I am a fairly new subscriber, and just wanted to say how much I love watching your show. No TV and boyfriend is in Alaska – so you guys are currently the highlight of my day. Heck, you still would be even with TV. Anyway…No, I don’t have a garden right now but aspire to have one in Alaska soon. I was planning on doing a raised bed, but was hoping to cement together the ubiquitous gravel and cobble on our property to make the walls. John, I noticed you eschewed the landscaping rocks when redesigning your garden. Do you think cobble walls are a bed idea as well?
    Thank you guys for all the valuable info you pass on.

  16. Geri says:

    my feed isn’t for good for this video.

  17. James says:

    Great topic.

    If they get a scale they could weigh how many pounds of food they produce in a year.

    The Dervaes Institute has gotten as much as 3 tons of produce out of their urban garden on a 1/5th acre lot

  18. debra says:

    Yes. Herbs, kale, chard, peppers, squash, melons, tomatoes, edible flowers, beans, strawberries, asparagus.

    Looking forward to learning more from John.


  19. Rivka says:

    We sure do garden! We live out in the country but we do not do conventional gardening. We container garden mostly; self watering at that. Our goal is to become more food independent. How much of what you eat could you obtain independently? There IS a learning curve to growing a garden but it is so rewarding and I know for sure there are no pesticides on my tomatos!…Our small garden is actually an attempt at “sustainable health!” We are even studing WILD greens gathering also. Check out “Green Dean” on YouTube for loads of ideas on that topic too! The bottom line is if your diet items are dependent on trucking industry, then, IMHO, you’re dependent on a non-sustainable system!

  20. Cathy Frank says:

    I am a passionate gardener and mix veggies and flowers to confuse garden pests.
    Veggies: green beans, crooked neck squash, zucchini, basil, thyme, oregano, red swiss chard, cucumbers small and large- kale and other greens doing okay – got local organic seeds for a “mixed greens” plant and boy was that cool as all five species of plant come up connected (weird, but good, anyone else try these?) tomatoes, trying cantaloupe on our hill and brussell sprouts. Question: Our township gives away “black gold” which is composed fall leaves – Is this a good choice? I gathered that it would not have much nutrient value so added org. fertilizer – I dress the beds with it for weed control – works like a charm! Seems like this is a topic that we an further explore on future hows. Thanks so much for sharing John’s garden!!

  21. Marsha says:

    I do garden, and it’s “square foot” at that! I am in a very dry area, Abilene, TX, and I am not used to dry. I have peas, beans, sugar snaps, brocolli, squash, tomatoes, eggplant, beets, turnips, cantaloupe, watermelon, lettuces, herbs, and pumpkin, and I have some fruit: pears, cherries, nectarines, apples, and figs. It sounds like an eater’s oasis but I have just recently learned the tremendous amount of water everything needs so most has struggled to survive. BUT I am learning and I LOVED seeing what you have done!

  22. Doreen says:

    I live in the city, and I sooooo wanted to do planting in front of the house on our “lawn”, but the husband refuses to allow it! I agree that it is a waste of space and it makes me up set, but I have a small garden at the side of the house that gets a few hours sun, with Italian beans, cucumbers, lettuce, hot peppers, green peppers, carrots potatoes, tomatoes, and strawberries. I also have a celery leafy plant, it is not celery it looks like large flat parsley but taste like celery! Yummy! I have squash and leeks up near the front of the house and growing out of a large planter on the 1st level porch. I also have various herbs; sage, parsley, rosemary. I live on the second floor and have a sunny second floor porch, that I have several different mints growing, along with morning glory’s, marigolds, and a few other plants. We have had a lot of rain, so no drought here! The garden is close to the house and the rain has been coming hard off the house pounding the plants down! My cucumbers plants are puny so far! I don’t think they are getting enough sun! I know where I will put them next year! Thanks for the show on the garden! I love the work you are doing!

  23. Eva says:

    How much rock dust do I add? I’m planning on starting a planter box!! :o)

  24. Melody says:

    I have a large Circular garden. I am growing tomatoes, peppers, beets, spinach, thyme, parsley, oregano. I have my rows going out like spokes in a wheel, and have sections set up like segments in like pie wedges. I have a small area where some flowers grow and have some wild herbs growing behind my house. There is some wood sorrel, shepherds purse, and lambs quarters growing in one of the flower beds as a ground cover, and there are some morning glory vines climbing up a trellis.

  25. DebB says:

    Good question Kevin and I thoroughly enjoyed today’s show – right up my alley!

    It’s our first year with 5 (3×6′) raised beds. Filled with compost and topsoil. Our plants are going CRAZY!

    Peppers, herbs, stevia (a first), tomatoes, zucchini, yellow squash & cukes. Plus tons of volunteer tomatoes and mystery plants from our compost.

    Thank you for this show – I can’t wait to check out his website.

    Debbie *Ü*

  26. Natasha says:

    I’m learning how to grow food sustainably in the smallest possible area using Grow BioIntensive method. I’m working on a 12 bed unit (1,200 sq. ft). In this small arean, I’m growing lots of veggies and fruit, but also grains to eat and for compost. I’m really glad that Jonh is growing his own food. If everyone would grow thier own food, the world would be in a better place. :~)

  27. Sharon says:

    I also use the square foot gardening method and love it. Preparation for each growing season is so easy! I have very little space and this allows me me to grow so much. I have 32 sq. feet in two beds. Right now I have tomatoes first and foremost, several lettuces and spinach, chick peas, green beans, peppers, zuccini, cucumbers and honeydew, onions, beets, radishes and…think that’s it. Can’t wait to eat it!

  28. Perry K says:

    Yeah, I have 6 garbage cans growing 3 different varieties of potatoes. They are 5′ tall now. We just got a 10’x20′ community garden plot this year, so we are starting to grow onions, beets, carrots, radishes, 2 varieties of kale, 2 varieties of spinach, 3 varieties of peas, 3 varieties of beans, pumpkins, zucchini, winter squash. I also have 7 varieties of tomatoes that I will be transplanting into bigger pots soon. I also have strawberries and rubarb and kiwi fruit and figs, and herbs. This is all in addition to all the other plants I have. woohoo

  29. Patrina says:

    Loved seeing these garden beds in the front of the house. I have 2 rectangular raised beds out front of my house, and have been asked if I’m Italian – I’m not ;>) No lawn at my house, front or back!

    At the moment all my garden beds front and back have leafy greens (winter in australia and no frost where I live) – 2 different kales, 3 different spinaches, 3 types of collards and chards, Italian green beets, 3 types of cabbage, lambsquarters, sorrel, cress, purple and green sprouting broccolies, freckles goldrush and oakleaf lettuces,3 types of Asian greens, a couple chicory types…. think that’s about it.

    In approx. 3 months when they all get replaced with tomatoes that I’ve bred for my Dwarf Tomato Project, I’ll rip out all the greens and wash, chop and freeze them in vacuum packs ready for green smoothies, enough to last several months.

    One day I hope to have a garden with fruit trees, grape vines, and lots of room for garden beds to grow edibles and flowers as well.


  30. Mary says:

    John Kohler is wonderful, articulate and a raw food rock star.
    A couple of pathetic looking herbs grow on my city balcony. Front yard gardening takes me back to my father’s day. We ate fresh corn, tomatoes, chard, leeks, berries, straight from the garden. This was before toxic fumes, polluted earth, genetically modified seeds, and all the poisons out there that you’ve got to be alert to now. Eat and grow intelligently–new motto.

  31. Kathy Thompson says:

    Yes, mostly in raised beds, horseradish, onions, flat parsley, basil, bee balm, garlic, beets, carrots, Italian beans, Kentucky Wonder beans, Rattlesnake beans, chard, 2 mustards, marigolds, dill, cilantro, lemon cucumber, turban squash, 1 volunteer potato, and whatever those cucurbits growing in the compost are. In containers, tomatoes, spinach, lettuce , and tried to grow wheatgrass outside (not working very well). On the north side of the house, some mint, and foxgloves (basically a weed), comfrey, and rhubarb on the south side. Flower beds in the front. Oh, almost forgot–also lambs quarters, purslane, and amaranth, growing as weeds. I don’t pull them, they’re food too, and while growing the purslanes serve as living mulch!

  32. carolina says:

    No garden as of yet 🙁 I want to start one soon, I think I’ll check out John’s website and see what tips I can get from him. Thanks for the info. We’ll try to make the trip up to Santa Rosa…sure would be nice to meet you and Annmarie.

  33. Brenda says:

    Yes, I garden. I love it. 11 vegetable plants in my front yard, 11 vegetable and fruit plants in my backyard. 11 lavender plants as well. Hmm, didn’t realize all the 11s. Almost forget about the fig tree. I’d like to expand next year.

  34. Liz says:

    Right now our garden is 2 beds of 4×20 ft. each along with 2 Earth Boxes & 2 self-watering trough planters. Oh, & a cherry tree. Since you’re in California you might want to hit Pasadena & check out Jules Dervaes’s garden. You can check it out here: Pretty cool.

    There’s a link in the article to Jules’s website.

  35. Irondoll says:

    I was really impressed with John’s garden. I used to make fun of the old Italian-American folks who grew veggies in their front yards in Carroll Gardens in Brooklyn. Space being at a minimum, in retrospect, it was ideal. I also had my own backyard garden back then (’87-’91) that was totally organic with what I knew…ground up bones and dry blood…peeuuu..that would smell up the condo when the wind blew toward the sliding doors. It was an incredible first. I had successfully grown tomatoes supplementing them with expired body building vitamins/minerals that I processed into powder. I grew horseradish and peppers next to a 500 gal. pond we put in and by the fence, I grew a mixture of lettuce seeds half the length of the fence; I called that area the salad bar. Oftentimes I’d tell my honey I was going to hunt for his dinner and come back with basil, tomatoes, and whatever was pluckable. I also grew corn unsuccessfully. Got 1 ear out of 6 hills, however, I taught my now-ex to enjoy the one right off the stalk. He was amazed at the sweetness, juiciness and lack of starchiness that comes from eating it raw quickly from the stalk. On the cyclone fence on the other side, I also grew bean pods. It was truly a wonderful experience, one I haven’t had in a couple of decades, since I rent where gardening space is not available… 🙁 One day, I hope to tale a tale about the here-and-now…

  36. Donna says:

    That was one very cool garden! I only grow herbs, but I really should give it a try.

  37. Cathy says:

    Our 18 year old daughter has been managing our garden for 3 years now. We have about a 1/2 acre garden, plus several raised beds.
    Here is her blog that has some pictures….
    I will tell her to take some more recent pictures, so keep checking her blog.
    Thanks for all you do!!

  38. Linda says:

    Really enjoyed this show! It brought back memories when I used to live in CT as a child.

    My Dad used to grow stringbeans, bush & pole, cukes, lettuce, tomatoes, carrots, cabbage and some greens (I don’t remember which ones) it was probably swiss chard and collards. My Mom loved swiss chard. We also had a HUGE purple grapevine that he rebuilt and we had a smaller green grapevine.

    I live in an apartment now in NY but I’m considering trying to see if I could do some hydroponics in my kitchen! LOL. I have to do some research as to what would grow successfully, etc. Its not quite the same as growing your food outside but at least I’ll know what’s in it.

    There’s nothing like growing your own veggies and having control over what’s actually in the soil!

    Thanks you Kevin, I’ll be taking a look at John’s site!

  39. nick says:

    Put a few blueberry bushes but let everything else just grow wild dandelions, lambs quarter and american violets all more nutritious then most farmed fruits and veggies and you donot have to take care of them they grow themselves.
    Wild foods are the way to go:)

  40. Jes says:

    All the ground around our house is a garden. Nearly all of it is edible (save the bulbs). I am filling the yard with fruit trees and prennials and evergreens. I let the annuals go to seed so I can plant again and again.

    As far as garden methods go I like permaculture, forest gardening and Four Seasons Gardening.

    The last is an option for everyone who wants to eat fresh food all year around no matter where they live!

  41. Annabelle says:

    Always love gardening info. Saw some nice plants on John’s site that I’d love to have. Wonder if he will have any plants or seeds available at the raw expo? I’m still in the begining of the learning curve. Doing lots of experimenting, especially with permaculture concepts like plant guilds, companion planting, etc..

    As soon as we moved in to our small place, we put in several dwarf/semi-dwarf fruit trees and edible perenials aroudn them. One Green World nursery has a nice catalog with lots of fun and unusual edibles.

  42. HY says:

    I love to grow vegetables. I have cucumbers, celery, kale, spinach, swiss chard, pear tree, bush beans, runner beans, kale, zucchini, butternut squash, cilantro, carrots, peas, blueberries. I also own a front yard vegetable garden

    I may start using compost tea which will greatly increase the yields. It is a method that can yield record breaking giant vegetables and boost disease resistance. I hope that it’s not too late!

    It also increases the brixxe content.

  43. Jen Bing says:

    I have a small pea plant. My very first (albeit half-hearted, accidental) attempt at growing veg. When I saw pea pods on it I was so thrilled. Will defenitely be starting a veg garden when I move house shortly. Really enjoyed the show. Thanks

  44. Didiydi says:

    Amazing video, loved it!
    Delany, lol, that was so funny!
    I grew up with a garden, but now I live in London, and rent a room in a flat, the kitchen is so small I have to sprout in my room. I would so love to have my own little piece of land so I could pick my own tomatoes and not the poor tortured ones from the supermarket.
    Thanks Kevin and Ann Marie, as always

  45. karen (england) says:

    Just thought I would share what I grow in what I think is a similar sized plot, I have a coppiced orchard, 3 x apple 1 x pear 1 x cherry 1 x peach, tayberry, blueberry, goji, cranberry, borrage, camomile, asparagus, spinach, sorrel, rose, sage, feverfew, marjoram, herb robert, evening primrose, rocket (algurulla? i think u say) leek, marigold, lavender, kiwi, beans, peas, grapes, and I hope a whole host more, every inch counts! and I am trying permaculture. To permanently culture my land, to leave a legacy for my family.
    Even just planting a tray of herbs can make a huge impact, and empower you to grow more xx

  46. christina says:

    Though she wanted a garden, when we tore up a 15X 20 section of lawn in my daughter’s backyard she was so upset! Now that her 3 year old helps me in the garden she is really enjoying the it. We planted zuchini, summer squash, cucumber, spinach, watermelon, bib and romaine lettuce, celery, basil, tomatoes, and corn. All are cominf along nicely. My daughter and her husband have 4 children under the age of 5 and one has autism. My hope is to have the children participate as much as they like and enjoy the whole, fresh food that they helped top grow.

  47. Anita Manuel says:

    I live in a third-floor apartment but I put a worm bin in my kitchen this winter and bought a couple of self-watering window boxes and tall wire shelving for in front of my bedroom window. I have cherry tomatos, mesclun and other lettuces, chard, bok choy, chives, cilantro, basil, parsley, pineapple mint, kale, Chinese radishes…I water with grey water from my shower and occasional pee mixed in for nitrogen and have added my first worm compost. The plants are loving it and I am getting wonderful greens now. I will put up lights on the shelving for winter growing to see if I can keep some of the plants going year round. I’m in Seattle.

  48. Genevieve says:

    Wow! What a wonderful garden! Great example to anyone passing by.

    We have a large lot by city standards and have two vegetable gardens — one for garlic, onions, tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, chard, peppers, eggplant — and the other for root veggies. Also have 6 fruit trees,a raspberry patch and a herb garden, and several flower beds. I live in Canada, so we have ample rain here and don’t need to water much. We also compost and use a rain barrel irrigation system.

    Love your show, and enjoy reading other people’s comments. We can always learn more.


  49. Mary L says:

    This was a really awesome show. When my husband and I had to put in the yard after buying our new home in a Seattle suburb nearly six years ago, we made the decision to try ‘edible’ landscaping, and it has been so much fun. We have a mini orchard with apples, plums, peaches and cherries, as well as garden beds with strawberries, raspberries and rhubarb. We also have a blueberry hedge and a grape arbor. Last year we built our first raised bed in the back yard which we have used to experiement with growing vegetables. It is so fulfilling to harvest food from our yard. I love it!

  50. mark e says:

    This is my second year to have an organic square foot garden. Started small last year with on 4’x4′ garden bed. This year we added three more beds for a total of 64 square feet (plus a few planters). We’ve been growing carrots, spinach, romaine, salad greens, onions, strawberries, cilantro, basil, corn, eggplant, cucumber, zucchini, yellow squash, tomatoes, stevia, mint, snap beans, bell peppers, asparagus, and various flowers. Unfortunately a lot of it has died in the Midwestern heat the past few weeks. We’re still learning how to do this. But it is SO GREAT being able to walk right out my back door and pick greens and veggies for a smoothie, a salad, a stir-fry, etc!

  51. We bought a new home last summer and we took out a hot tub from the middle of the back yard and moved it onto a stone patio. I turned over all the grass in that area and put in a circular path with a small pond in the center and my garden around the edges. I have a large variety of herbs in one section, berries and trees in another, lettuce and kale in another and vegetables in another. I am growing cauliflower, brussels sprouts, beets, onions, carrots, bell peppers, celery, green beans, sweet peas, tomatoes, grapes, cucumbers and mini pumpkins. Next year I would like to add asparagus and garlic. We live next to a river and use the river water to feed our sprinkler system, so the garden gets some good organic water to feed it. I wish I could add a picture; I’m proud of the little oasis I created! 🙂

  52. Marie Bulfinch says:

    I have been growing sprouts.
    This past winter I had my first successful outdoor garden of a variety of lettuces and kale. I also have two orange trees, a fig tree and 2 peach trees. It is so hot here down south and such a drought that I thought all the leaves were going to fall off of my orange trees. The leaves were curled and very dry looking. Not good. Then I remembered Kevin’s previous show on music. So
    two different times in the evening I went out and played my violin right in front of my orange trees for a while. The next morning BOTH times the trees looked normal again. Astounding stuff. I’m a believer now.


  53. Karen Jackson says:

    Thank you so much for this gardening show. I have two square foot gardens. I wish I had more room to grow more. I can hardly wait for my summer tomatoes – they taste soooo much better than store bought. I just got my own composter, so next year I’ll be using my own compost (it takes awhile to decompose).

    I think it is very important for everyone to consider growing some of their own food. What with global warming, and every level of government bankrupt, etc., our system of buying mostly toxic products in the supermarket is not sustainable. Grow your own organic fruits and veggies!

  54. chai says:

    BEST show Ever! JK rocks–he is taking raw vegan to the ultimate by growing his own food. i try, but my garden does not compare to his! i love that he conserves space and water. thank you so much for this show!

  55. Meri says:

    Wow, what an inspiring episode. That was exactly the sort of example I needed to see. I don’t garden as I live in a flat, but seeing what John’s done with just his front yard has totally encouraged me to find a way to grow something other than just sprouts.
    Really great episode. Thank you!

  56. Chris & Sara says:


    Wow! So glad to see some gardening info on the show. We just started the box for our 1st Garden together the other day! We will post a little video on our page on the Inner Circle (Mr & Mrs Smith)

    We just have the box and liner, going to add dirt today hopefully! We will post updates as we go, so you can watch our garden grow~

    We are going to grow lots of leafy greens, cucumbers, zuccini, herbs, flowers, squash, tomato, etc. Whatever seeds I can get my hands on!

    We already have papaya trees, avocado trees, bananas~ So lucky!

    Lots of love- and happy gardening to everyone

  57. the sheeks says:

    we have a small garden this year. tomatoes, asparagus, onions, collars, kale, cabbage, and turnips. these along with our herb garden of thyme, basil, oregano, chives, parsley, rosemary, and mint. we try to garden by the bio-intensive method which is very similar the the square foot method.

  58. mommaspncr says:

    Wow, John! Fantastic! I’m an old lady with picky young children and a picky hubby. But everyone will eat the TOMATOES, SWEET PEPPERS,CARROTS, and CUCUMBERS that grow in my front-yard square foot gardens. Mine are not raised, but I love that idea. Also, my gardens are in the front yard, because my back yard (much bigger) has many,many trees. Here in northern Illinois we need all the sun we can get for the few months we can produce. Thanks for sharing your garden ideas with us.

  59. Brent says:

    Im jealous. I live in concrete city London where the summers are 3 week heat waves and the rest of the year cold…gotta move to the med:)))

  60. Maria Shere says:

    Thanks for this last episode! It is just what I needed to boost me up!
    I sold my home along with all my fruit and nut trees and my 60 by 20 foot veggie garden space. I now live in a town-home overlooking a field and have become a sprouter and deck gardener. Just now I have yellow pear, chocolate cherry and traditional tomato vines. I plan to grow Kale and chard and now that I realize that cucumbers can grow upwards, I will want to add in cucumber. In the fall, when I am more settled in, I will plant more. If I stay long-term in my Santa Rosa town-home I would like to find windows that tilt inwards so I can garden on some of my roof areas. I may also convert some of the driveway space, by adding in raised beds. Also, I think it would be great if I could talk the association into developing a community garden!

  61. Mark Powell says:

    No garden space outside.

    As for inside, we have 2 kittens (Oblio & Tiberius) who are extremely avid gardeners, effectively disbarring us from doing same. Their ultimate creative vision, relative to gardens, diverges significantly from ours. It involves the soil being exuberantly distributed throughout the apartment.

    They rule us with an iron paw.

    It is very pathetic.

  62. John Kohler says:

    Thank you for all your comments! I have so much going on here, and Kevin only showed a fraction of what Im doing.. He missed the backyard tour… Have fruit trees in the backyard, and more things planted.. Visit my website for more of me and my garden.

    There was a question about using cement (or bricks) as garden walls. they work great.. they can get a bit expensive, Also consider using “rip-rap” which is broken up concrete when they remove a driveway or walkway. Often times its availalbe for free. You will have more “free form” with that. I wanted my beds to look good in the front yard, as the scale of my project is so large, and uniformirty is a criteria. Also check with your local zoning laws and CC&Rs (neighboorhood restrictions) before ripping out your lawn. I know in some areas, what I did would not be allowed.

    There was another question regarding how much rock dust.. Short answer… as much as you can afford.. Suggested application amounts 22lbs for 100sq ft.. or for planter boxes- 8tbsp per 1 gallon of soil.. top dressing existing plants.. 4 tbsp per 1 gallon of soil… I want to experiment in growing 100% rock dust… I think I will get something growing in the greenhouse today.. in 100% and see what happens..

    Im striving to focus on growing more perrenial greens that do not need to be replanted.. Tree Kale is excellent.. must be propogated by cuttings.. Also focusing on ‘exotic’ or ‘uncommon’ foods that you cant buy at the farmers market or store..

    I hope I have inspired everyone to plant at least one thing and watch it grow and reap the harvest! You’ll be hooked.

  63. Frances says:

    I tried once, but it was 12 miles from the house and I had to haul water to it. Some of the best tomatoes and most awesome peppers we’ve ever eaten, though! Slowly working up enthusiasm to try again.

  64. kerry says:

    we have a 1/2 acre garden that’s a mix of veggies & flowers. we have one raised bed w/strawberries with 4 kinds of lettuce, 3 kinds of carrots & 2 kinds of onions planted in-between the berry plants. in the ground we have nasturtium & pansies for adding to our salads, rainbow swiss chard, spinach, 2 kinds of cucumbers that are climbing w/morning glories, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, 2 kinds of carrots, bush beans, pole beans growing on teepees (made from neighbors’ tree branches that fell in an ice storm this weekend), 5 kinds of tomatoes, jalapenos, bell peppers, zucchini, yellow crookneck squash, acorn squash, butternut squash sunflowers, giant cosmos & thumbelina cosmos. then we have 20 little hills, 1/2 w/watermelon & 1/2 w/cantaloupe. on the back side we have 25 little hills w/4 different kinds of pumpkins. all of the little hills have petunias planted on them, too … inviting the bees to come & work their magic! oh, and we also have indian corn, popcorn & 5 kinds of sweet corn. we have the space, so we figured we’d plant an abundance so we’d have plenty for our family and many, many other families! : )

  65. Eva says:

    thanks for this show, I will be starting a front yard garden. Eva

  66. Tammy says:

    Yes I do have a garden.Just a regular but we definitly need to expand.I want to add something cool next year.I thinking of planting goji berry bushes,and a peach tree.We also have very beautiful flower gardens. And very large sculpted spirial bushes.I have known about the raised gardens all my life up in canada.You make the most of your growing seasons,also it makes it easier to weed. Thanks,Tammy.

  67. Betoman says:

    We have a 40’x40′ garden in Central Texas with a combination of traditional and raised beds. We did corn and got a few so sweet and tender raw; then the squirrels destroyed them. Then the 100+ temperatures for three weeks straight pretty much did in everything that was in raised beds because, I’m learning, it’s too hot here in the summer for raised beds. Thanks for keeping your shows interesting and relavant. More gardening stuff would be great, because so many of us are trying to grow our own.

  68. tomatotaster says:

    I was reading your post and just wanted to see if you’ve heard of the Grow Box? I’ve tried it and it’s actually a bit better and a whole lot less expensive! They hold about a gallon and a half more water. Check it out at
    Happy Gardening!

  69. Valerie LaLonde says:

    I love hearing stories like above! Here is another..The Dervaes family in California have even a more amazing growing yard…sell their produce, etc.

  70. Tara Burner says:

    I wish I had a yard!
    I do container gardening in my 3rd floor apt on the patio though

    I’ve added more cucumbers and tomato plants since the update on my blog though and cucumbers took off down the patio to apartment below too! Complex not too happy about that! lol

  71. John says:

    My garden is roughly 8 feet by 15 feet and I am currently growing 4 different types of pepper plants, 2 different tomatoes, cocozelle (green squash), cantaloupe, and watermelon. So far I have gotten some peppers and squash and hopefully tomatoes and melons will be coming soon also.

  72. Josh and Lillie says:

    Yes we garden. We learn more every year. This will hopefully be the year we gat harvestable beet and radish greens. Over time we’ve had cucumbers, rfishes, carrots, shallots, onions, cabbage, broccoli, beets, lettuce greens, herbs, tomatoes, strawberries, currants, squash, kale, cauliflower, and potatoes. We’re considering doing the front yard too so that we can grow more fruit in the south facing areas. In Bend, OR we have a super short season and we’ve been learning our land.

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