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Extreme Weather Conditions Garden | Volunteer Gardener

October 19, 2019


(cheerful music) – It’s been a while
since I’ve invited you all out to my garden. I think the last
time we were here, there were just empty beds
and white lines on the ground. So things have
changed a little bit. We have just come out of
two of the driest months and three of the hottest
weeks that I can remember in almost 20 years of
living in Nashville. And so I thought
I would show you a little bit about
how I sort of, my garden sort of survived
that period of time, and what I do to keep
things looking lush and healthy and
full, and of course one of the answers
is I water a lot. I have the luxury
of being on a well, out here in the country,
a really good well. So I don’t have
to worry too much about being able to water
or how much I can water. There is no irrigation
system here. It’s all hand watering
or sprinkler watering. And so I keep the hoses
at the ready all the time. No matter how much
water is in the soil, no matter how much
moisture is in the soil, sometimes it is
so hot and so dry, the air is so dry,
that the plants still can not pull enough water
up through their roots. Especially when they’re
big and lush and full. For example, this elephant ear really suffered
during the drought. And it’s not because
it wasn’t well-watered. It was because the
leaves are so big, and they lose water
at such a rapid rate, the roots can’t take up the
water in the soil fast enough to keep the leaves from
actually burning and scorching. One of the things that I will do now that the weather
has broken a little bit, that the heat is giving us
a little bit of reprieve, we’re back sort of
to normal weather, which is still hot and humid, but not nearly like
we’d experienced. I will go through and begin
lightly fertilizing things, to encourage the roots to
kind of get a jump start. We’ll keep watering the
same way that I have been over the last few weeks. It’ll really keep
the plants saturated. I also will use
all of my organics. Any kind of liquid compost,
or liquid compost teas, anything to encourage the
biological activity in the soil. Because it suffers also. And keeping your soil
healthy is just as important as keeping the plants
themselves healthy. So that all of those
systems work together and your garden
stays looking great. There are a few plants that
haven’t fully recovered from this heat and drought
stressing, and they may not. This grass actually
looks pretty good, but you can see
here in front of me that it actually has kind
of split open in the middle. And what I’ll have
to do is go in and put some stakes on this
and actually tie it back up. It is so weak down at the base, and has split open so far, that it probably will not
stand back up on its own. So I’ll have to go in and
help it out a little bit. You know, coming into my
little vegetable patch, I didn’t plant a lot this year, but I do love to
have fresh tomatoes during the growing season. And I have everything from
really good cherry tomatoes, to nice, big slicers. And late in the
season, we may even do a little canning
if I have enough. I picked this beauty yesterday. Really a big one. Probably weighs a pound. It’s not quite ripe, but I
actually like to pick them a little before they’re
completely ripe, because it’s a contest between
myself and the critters who gets them first. And if I let them get
completely ripe on the vine, a lot of times the chipmunks
get to them before I do. Or the raccoons. So I pick them just
a little bit green, and let them ripen up
on the screen porch, and they’re just as good. Now, this tomato actually came
off of this plant next to me, which you can see is
almost seven feet tall. What happens during the hottest and driest part of the summer, and especially when
we have weather like we’ve had the
last few weeks, the tomatoes actually
will stop setting for a period of time. When the night
temperatures don’t drop below 78 or 80 degrees for
several days at a time. So what you’ll see
on these tomatoes, if you were really to look
under the leaves and get inside, there are lots of tomatoes
up to about this point. And there really are not
any more beyond that. Because this plant
has gotten so tall, and because these
tomatoes are so big, I’ll probably come in
in the next week or so and prune a lot of
these branches back, and force a flush of new growth further down inside the plant, so that when these
big tomatoes set, they’re not hanging out here
and breaking these stems off, but that they’re
down inside the cage and actually have some
support behind them. The other thing I wanna mention, very briefly, is that it’s
not too late to plant. A lot of us don’t consider
planting in mid-summer during the hottest
part of the year, but I actually lost a
plant here a few weeks ago, and I have one to replace it. So what I thought I
would do is just show you real quickly how I
go about doing that. I have, I found a great
little replacement for it at the garden center
the other day, that still looked
nice and healthy. I have a hole that was
already sort of pre-dug, so I’ve kind of shallowed
my place out again, so that I have a nice well
here that will hold water. I’m going to scatter
just a little bit of organic fertilizer in
the bottom of the hole, so that the plant has nutrients
available to it right away. We’ll stir this in
just a little bit. And then, as you’ve seen before, I’m gonna remove the bottom
leaves from this plant, and I’m going to plant it
pretty deep into this hole. We’ll get it… Able to dig down in
there nice and deep. I actually dug this
out with a shovel and chopped the soil
up really nicely. So we’ll plant it two or
three inches up the stem. Got my watering can here. We’ll water it in good. And what will happen
is this little plant will take off and
grow very quickly. Tomatoes like the hot weather. They grow really quickly
in the hot weather, even if they’re
not setting fruit. We’ll put its cage back over it, it will grow right
up inside there. It will grow tremendously fast over the next six weeks. It will fill this entire cage. And what I’ll have is a
nice late crop of tomatoes, that probably won’t start
ripening until mid-September, and I’ll have tomatoes
all the way ’til frost. So if some of your plants have, especially very
vigorous growers, like cherry tomatoes and things, get a little tired looking
at the end of the season, or the middle of the season, or if you happen to
lose a plant like I did, you can always replace it and get a really nice crop
of late-season tomatoes. Well, none of us
want to be out here when it’s 109 degrees outside, and we haven’t had any
water in weeks and weeks. We suffer just the same
way the garden does. So remember, early morning,
later in the evening is the best time to water,
because it keeps the water off the leaves of the plants, or it keeps the
sun and the water off of the leaves of the
plants at the same time. Remember to keep yourself
just as well-hydrated as you keep the garden, and I think we’ve all managed
to survive this pretty well. (gentle music) – Today we’re at a Bells
Bend neighborhood farm, that grows hops. Humulus lupulus has
been grown for centuries for its medicinal qualities
and for making beer. Here to help us
learn more about hops is Linus Hall, a local brewer. – Hey, thanks Jeff. Yeah, this batch of hops
that we’re growing out here is destined for a beer
that we make once a year, called Bells Bend
Preservation Ale. We take the hops, we make
up a big batch of about, hopefully about 500
cases of beer this year. – [Jeff] 500 cases. – [Linus] Yeah,
and then we donate part of the proceeds back
to the CSA for the farm. – [Jeff] Oh, that’s great. – [Linus] This particular
patch, this is the third year that they’ve been growing it. We started with a row
along the fence line there, and then transplanted that
into this bigger field here. I put up these trellises,
which are about 18 feet tall. – [Jeff] Oh my gosh. – [Linus] And we’ve gonna
have about 150 vines to harvest in about
two weeks here. – [Jeff] So you say you
started with a smaller patch, and then you
propagated the plants? How do we propagate? – [Linus] Well, hops
grow from a root stock. It’s called a rhizome. – [Jeff] So that’s
not grown from seed. – No, you would cut
the root stock up into different segments,
and transplant that in order to grow more and more of the same varietals.
– Oh. – I get a couple shooting
off here and here. – You see the little
bud right there? That is an advantageous bud
that will make a new hops plant. All you need is just a
small piece of the root. Like like that right there. As long as it has one of
these little buds on it, that’ll make a new plant. Linus, run us through
the cultural techniques, starting this spring,
for growing a hops crop. – Well yeah, once you’ve
planted your rhizomes in the early spring, not much will happen for a little while. You’d go ahead and
get the soil prepared. What we did here is we put
cardboard over all the rows, cut a hole out where we knew
the rhizomes were gonna pop up, and then just put a shovel
full of manure over that. But in early March,
April, you’ll start seeing little shoots start popping up. And what you’ll do is you’ll run a jute twine down to the ground, anchor it there, and
try to get three or four of the strongest shoots
popping up to twine align that. And you can actually take, cut the ones that
are the weaker ones, and a lotta people will
saute them in butter, it tastes a lot like asparagus. – You can eat ’em. – Yeah, you can eat ’em too. – I’ll be darned. I didn’t know that. – And then,
throughout the season, they’ll grow pretty
aggressively. Sometimes in the early summer, probably as much
as a foot a day. – A foot a day.
– A foot a day, yeah. Me growing up in Mississippi, they remind me of kudzu a lot. The leaves are similar, and
they’re very aggressive vines. And then what you’ll do
is you wanna cut back the first three feet or so
of vegetation off the ground. That’ll keep the
mildew from coming up off the ground and
into the plant. – So you have more
airflow in there. – Right, right. And then, in July, August,
you’ll start seeing the little immature hop
cones start popping out. – This is one that’s not ripe. – So this is one that’s not
ready to be picked at all. You can see, when
we break it open there’s really nothing
into the interior of it. A ripe cone, like some
of these we see here, these are almost
ready to be picked. And you’ll see that
nice bright yellow – Oh yeah.
– lupulin resin there. Once you pick these and throw
them into a batch of beer and boil it, you’re gonna
start getting all those great, those resins will be
boiled into the beer, and you’ll get that
nice kinda citrusy bitterness into the beer. So–
– Okay. – We’re gonna rush these
back to the brewery and use them right away,
but if you don’t wanna use them right away, you
need to dry them out. And so yeah, traditionally,
they’d put these in what’s called a hop house
or an oast house in England. And run hot air through
them to dry them out. And then they’ll be preserved
for the rest of the year. Because you only
pick ’em once a year. And if you’re a
typical home brewer, one or two vines of these size would be enough for a
10-gallon batch of beer. – Oh, great. So hops is an ancient
crop, used for many years to help people as
an herbal remedy and is great for making beer. – [Linus] Sure is. (cheerful music) – [Narrator] For
inspiring garden tours, growing tips, and
garden projects, visit our website at
volunteergardener.org, or on YouTube at the
Volunteer Gardener channel. And like us on Facebook. (guitar strums)

2 Comments

  • Reply Monica Salter October 13, 2019 at 7:27 pm

    When was this video filmed? I’m in Alabama, I thought it was too late to plant tomatoes.

  • Reply Joy Lewis October 18, 2019 at 8:19 pm

    A lot of my trees were showing signs of stress and I heard that a lot of trees got damaged. You didn't mention watering your established trees and I think a lot of people think because they have been fine in the past that they will always be fine but that is not the case. One of the Texas Arboretum's lost over 40% of their tree canopy from the higher temperatures & extended drought season. I think it would be helpful for you guys to talk more about planting for warmer clients, the larger nursery's are talking about it and so should we. Thanks for all your great videos, you guys do an amazing job.

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