- [Announcer] A Fall vegetable garden needs planning and preparation. Annette Shrader visits an experienced grower to learn when to plant seeds, and how to enrich the soil. This garden may be on a shady hillside with rocky soil, but the plant pallette absolutely works. This backyard boasts 24 unique spots to sit and watch the many varieties of birds that come for a visit. And Tammy Algood has an option to keep gardening even after joint pain becomes an issue. Come along. For the Fall vegetable garden, you have to plan before you plant. - If you're driving down the road in Tennessee in the Fall, and you smell the smoke from the tobacco barns, and you wanna plant a fall garden, guess what? You may be too late. We're gonna talk to Tom Anderson. And he's gonna tell us how to plan what we're gonna plant. So Tom, talk about the vegetables and the timing. - The cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower, which you have right here. I plant those, start them inside so I can transplant. but I start them by the middle of July. When the whether starts getting cooler, and it get so many leaves on them, then I will put them out. I transplanted these about. Because it takes around 13 weeks from time you start seed, until time to maturity. - Yeah, that's what I was gonna say. A cabbage can take 80 days. So how do you time that? Because as we go into Fall, we lose sunlight don't we. The days are shorter. - That's right. But it also gets a little cooler. - The cool makes them grow. - That's right. But you don't have to have coolness for them to germinate. - All right. Okay. That makes sense. I had that wrong. - But I germinate them inside until, 'cause if you try germinating out here, then squirrels could dig in your garden, or whatever. So germinate them inside to get transplanting size, which is usually about three, four inches tall. And then I put them out here usually about, in August. - Well, Tom, you have taken away your Summer garden. It's quite obvious. Now you started out with some barren soil. What did you do to prepare these beds for your Fall plantings? - Right here with the peas, I had the tomatoes. I pulled the tomatoes out, and I just added compost. I'll add three to four inches of compost. And I make a lot of my own compost. A little bit I have to buy, if I run low. - [Annette] Well, you use a lot. - But I make a lot, and I've still got I've got compost bins sitting everywhere. And so then I just put compost in here. And I, the fertilizer I use. I like Jobes Vegetable and Tomato, actually. It has a high potassium number. - Yes, that's for the fruiting part. - And a low nitrogen. - Yes, so you have no plant. - That's right, if you use a lot of nitrogen, then you're just gonna have a lot of greenery and no fruit. - Exactly. - It takes Potasium. I use a little bit of vermiculite. I'll use it to lighten it up, lighten the compost up. - [Annette] It's a raised bed, so you have good drainage. - [Tom] Perfect drainage. - Well Tom, let's say you grew green beans here. What do you do with those plants? - When I get ready to harvest the green, take up the green beans, I cut the vine off at the ground. - Why is that? - Because legume, which is what the green beans is, they collect the nitrogen out of air, and forms onto the roots. And you see the little white nodules around on the roots. So you cut it off at ground level, and keep the roots in there, holding nitrogen in the soil. - [Annette] Well, that's definitely good to know. How long ago did you plant these peas? - [Tom] Last week in August. - [Annette] Well, and we still had lots of good warm weather, didn't we? - But that gave the roots time to establish. And now see that this last week we had cold weather. They jumped about six or eight inches during that one week. - Isn't that amazing? - Just 'cause. And now it's warm again. It's like I say, you can't control the weather. But if you don't get peas started, if you start trying to start them now, they ain't gonna- - They ain't gonna grow. Exactly. And it's evident, the methods that you are using to plant. You've planned, you've prepared, and you've planted. And so from what we see beside us and behind us, we can tell the things that you've sewn in the ground. And then obviously the collards. Is that collards? - [Tom] Over here is collards, yeah. - [Annette] Yes. Those were a transplant. - [Tom] That's a transplant. - And so they're already ready to be eaten. - Well, matter of fact, I've already harvested one set of leaves off of them. We got them in the freezer. - [Annette] We wanna take away disappointment. Whether you're a new gardener or a seasoned gardener, you wanna plan to be successful with what we do. - [Tom] That's right. - [Annette] And I think you've given tips that will help even the seasoned gardener this morning. - Well, I've learned a lot through my years from older people that talked how to, taught me how to garden. And I like to pass it along to everyone. - Well, you're very generous, both your physical labor and your mind knowledge. And thank you so much. - Thank you. Thank you. - A passion for gardening vegetables is something that I share with my friend, Pam Rice. So we are here in Nashville today, in your unique vegetable garden that I can reach. - That's the idea. - Tell, me Pam, because you know, the older we get, the more the ground becomes our enemy. - Hadn't heard it put like that, but that's very true. I had started out with raised beds that you see with just a landscape timber or two around the edge. But even that was not tall enough for me. So I bought these stock tanks. And I had a gravel bed put under each one. And then I had someone drill holes in the bottom of these. And they're just the perfect height for me. - Absolutely. So you've got them nice and stable with the gravel. And then you've got this full of dirt. That must have been fun. - Yes. Bag at a time. - Exactly. But it makes it so that you can get to your plants, and work with them. And what I like about it also is, that it's positioned correctly. I mean you can, you're not far away from where you're- - Right. Because I have an herb garden right across the way. And then I have my veggie garden right here. - And Pam, you've not only used these containers, but you've used wooden barrels as well. Do you have a preference of which ones you like the best? - Well, I like them both for different reasons. I like the barrels because I like a rustic look. I like the stock tanks. They're galvanized metal. They don't rust. And they don't disintegrate. In time, the wooden barrels have started to decompose just a little bit. - Do you see that your plants like one or the other better? - I have not seen that. Of course, raised beds warm more quickly anyway. But the ones in the stock tank, I suspect, warm up more quickly because they are in a metal, metal trough. - Well, you've made it so that continues, even though we don't want to- - That's right. - We don't wanna get on. And if you have to get on the ground, you got something very steady to get yourself back up, right? - That, and my little gardening bench. - Yeah, that's right. I love it. Pam. Thank you for the innovation. - Thank you so much. - It's fun. - One of the things that so many Tennessee gardeners struggle with is shade. Another thing Tennessee gardeners struggle with is hillside. Rocky slopes, clay soil. Well today, we're gonna look at a garden where this has all been conquered. Not only has it been taken care of, but it is just, this is a spectacular garden. We're in Brentwood, Tennessee, in the garden of Leon Olenick, who belongs to multiple societies, and is obviously a serious plantsman. Every plant here, Leon, is just beautiful. It's just spectacular. - Well, thank you. We work on it. The idea something doesn't thrive, there's a whole lot of other plants we can put in its place. - There you go. - So, that's part of what we work on. I used to try to save every plant, but I don't do that anymore. If it doesn't work there, I'll try it in a different spot. And if it still doesn't work, then it's probably not the right plant for this area. Even though it might be a Japanese Maple, and I've got lots of different Japanese Maples. - [Marty] You sure do. - [Leon] It may not work, depending on the species or the variety. - Sure. There's a lot of variation. Even in the same species, like Japanese Maples. Like Acer Palmatum, some work great. Some are much touchier. It pays to experiment. And I see, including you've got bonsai. You do that too. - Oh yes. Yes. I enjoy the small trees in pots. And I'm even now doing bigger trees in pots. That was a volunteer in my home in South Dakota, when I lived there. - [Marty] This particular tree? - [Tom] It's an Amor Maple, and it makes a great bonsai. They really can't grow Japanese Maples up there. So this is their kind of- - Yeah, it's too cold. - Small maple. - [Tom] The only thing is, I've re tried to reduce the leaves on it, and it keeps coming back with a vengeance. - Yeah, those are vigorous trees, actually, in nature. I notice. I mean, you have a real vision for this garden. It's not just sort of happenstance. You've designed it to, for enjoyment. - Yes, this is primarily a garden for people. I've got over 24 different benches and chairs in the garden, just, you know for. And it makes it harder for me to work now, because I get to sit down and rest. And the next thing I know, an hour's gone by. - Well, you know. And I see bird feeders everywhere. - Oh, lots of birds. - Oh, that's wonderful. - Over 50 different varieties I've identified in my yard alone. - Well, one thing I've I noticed is that you've just got a number of. I mean, it's like everything is just beautiful specimens. And let's talk about this, this maple right here, because this is an unusual tree in this area. - This is an Acer Japonicum. In the Fall, it's noted for its Fall color. Dancing Peacock is the name of it. The leaf size and shape is unusual. And the colors in the Fall is yellow, red, and orange. It's just an absolutely gorgeous tree. - Well, it's really beautiful. Most of the Japanese Maples that people put in are palmatums. This is japonicum, which is actually means Japanese. This is the other Japanese maple. And I love the way you've layered things. Because over this Japanese maple is this beautiful Blue Atlas Cedar. - [Tom] In terms of getting contrast for a garden, I think scale is the most important thing. And that has to do with size. And it's important that things be different in size, but not too different. I mean, they have to complement each other. - [Marty] They have to relate each other, yes. - [Tom] But this cedar is the one that catches people's eyes. And they either hate it or love it. A lot of people will look at it and say, oh, Charlie Brown Christmas tree. And they won't think about the color contrast, and the needle size, and everything else that goes on with this tree. - [Marty] You are obviously a really thoughtful designer of your garden here. And I'm noticing wonderful contrasts and sizes. Tell me about how you think that sort of- - There's four things that I look at, primarily. The first one is color. That's not necessarily the most important. The next one is form. What tree or plant, what shape it is. Is it unusual? The next one is size or scale. And then the fourth thing is texture. Whether it's a fine leaf, or whether it's a broad leaf, or a compound leaf. And if I can get three out of four of those things to contrast within my vignette that I'm working on, I'm gonna have an interesting garden. - So you look at a little space. - Right. And I do one space at a time. And then when I go to do the next space, I make sure it doesn't, it flows with the first one that I did. - And I noticed you use a lot of art objects and hardscaping. - Hardscape is really important. And there's natural hardscape, like the tree trunks- - And the rocks. - And the rocks. And then there's manmade, which are the statues and the lights. These lights are actually functional. And there's probably more of them than what I'd truly like to see, but it's. And then of course, you've got the chairs, the benches. - Sure, the human things. - All those things, but. And they all have some kind of meaning. I mean like this guy down here, the monk. He's traveling through. What kind of things has he seen and done? What does he think of the garden? And the cyclamen next to him. - Isn't that lovely? - I think that that's part of what makes a garden interesting. And then over behind you there, we've got the dragons. And the dragons symbolize, they're the protectors of the garden. They're supposed, they're kind of like our dogs. And you have a few. I have a couple of the Japanese dogs too, but. And then you've got hardscape like your bird baths, and your fountains, and that sort of thing. And your arbors, and your bird feeders, and your chimes. And all of that kind of adds to the enjoyment of the garden. Particularly, there's the sound, how does the garden sound? Later on we'll hear the stream. That's gives one kind of sound. And when the wind is blowing, the chimes give another kind. And when there's not so many people here, you'll hear the birds. And that gives another kind of sound. - And I'm seeing four seasons of thought here too, because you use a lot of conifers and evergreens. - I can come out to this garden anytime of the year, and find things of interest. - [Marty] Look at this gorgeous pine. - I don't buy things for their flowers. But I do have flowers the year round. I have stuff that flowers in the middle of Winter, Mahonia- - Do you have hellebores? - Hellebores, those things are just. A couple other things. They may be small, but it's sort of fun when you see the bees out pollinating these flowers. - And these beautiful forms just really adds so much. I love this pine weeping over this. - [Leon] That was manmade, the form. - [Marty] So you created this? - [Leon] I took an upright, and I pulled it down with ropes. - [Marty] Twisted it, helped it bonsai, basically. - [Leon] Kind of. We would call that niwaki. In the Japanese form, it's called niwaki. - It's really beautiful. - And it's doing an unusual form to what would be a standard- - This is just a regular white pine, an American White Pine. - It was collected at about six inches high. - Wow. That's beautiful. And I. In the Fall, this place must be awesome. A Parrotia? Oh my gosh, the color of those in the Fall- - [Leon] Persian Parrotia, yeah that's. The thing that's interesting now. And it's just coming into being, is the bark on it is starting to show up. Particularly at the base of the trunk, you'll see. And as the tree gets older, the bark on this tree will show up as modeled. And it'll, it's interest year round. - You have so many beautiful Japanese Maples. And I know you told me some of them are just volunteers that you've taken up. - I dig up the ones that seem to have an unusual form or leaf structure. - Yeah, I do the same thing. - And see if I can bonsai them. And if they survive in a pot, I know I can find a spot in the garden for them. I may plant them. - Oh, sure like this. Look at that. - That one is a real unusual one. That's like a tabletop. It's an Acer Palmatum. And I'm gonna have to look a little, Kiyohime Yatsubusa, something like that. - And then this one has these crispy curled up leaves. - Shishigashira This is the, Lion's Head is the common name. - That's a very famous one. - Beautiful Fall color. This is one of the last trees to color up in the Fall. It's almost Winter before this color's up, and really loses its leaves. And tell me about this maple. I've never seen if before. - This is a maple out of Iran. And we thought we could bonsai it, but it doesn't have much of a trunk. But the leaf structure is very unusual on it. I believe it's Acer Monitapilium or something like that. - [Marty] I've never seen this plant. It's remarkable. - It's real unusual. I got it from a bonsai guy, Randy Davis. And he's a true expert in bonsai, as opposed to me, that I kind of just piddle around with it. But it's very unusual. And it's been in the ground there for a long time. So it's very slow growing. This is another unusual form of this. - It's a Beech. Wow. - This is a Beech. American Beech. And it comes out of the ground down here, and it puts another root down here. And I planted that rock in the middle, and then we kind of hung it over the pond. - That is beautiful. - To add interest, and make it look natural. - [Marty] Well, your koi seem to like it, my goodness. That is a gorgeous Japanese Maple draped over the pond there. Tell me about. - [Leon] That's Inaba Shidare. That's a tree that, when I first got it, was more, it was lower, much lower. And it was impinging on my path. So I pulled it up and I had it up for a year. Now it's gotten a height that's probably pretty unusual for a tree. It's another way to change the form of a tree, is to. You can do it with wires. You can do it with poles. There's all kinds of things you can do to make things a little taller than what they would normally be, or a little shorter than what they would normally be. - [Marty] Well, I just love the form of it. It's really beautiful. And the koi really seem to enjoy being under there. - [Leon] Well, they like to eat the leaves that come down into the pond. - [Marty] Oh really? That's how it stays elevated. - [Leon] I don't have to get in there and prune that. This is Thunbergii, Pinus Thunbergii. And it's, it's a variety called Arakawa Sho. - [Marty] Yeah, That's the Japanese Black Pine. - [Leon] And not only is it has, is it an unusual form in that it's not straight upright, it likes to contort somewhat, but we've also pruned on it. And we do candle pruning in the Spring, and needle pruning in the Fall. And we just needle pruned it to bring it down better into scale, so it's not. - I can see your whole thinking here, and how you've made a vignette out of this space. It's really beautiful with the different textures of the carex, the sedge coming up, and the softness of that Inaba Shidare behind, and this beautiful angular, almost architectural pine. - One of the things that happens, particularly in ponds, is that the plant material, especially if you have a lot of fish, grows like crazy. And so your scale can get way outta whack. And you have to be very selective. Now I've got three different varieties of the sedge. They're all within scale for this size pond. - Yeah, that looks beautiful. - I used to have Water Iris, and it would grow so big. - Yeah, it gets like that tall. - It just didn't fit the pond right. And also had some other things in there that just, they just didn't look right as they got too big. - That thyme has had it. - Yeah, that's Elfen Thyme. - Oh, isn't that beautiful? - [Leon] And then there's Mother of Thyme in there too. - [Marty] They both look really happy. - [Leon] And it really likes it there. I tried. At one time I had six different varieties of thyme in here along the pond edge. And what survives we keep. What doesn't, we don't. - [Marty] That's another plant where some of it is really rugged and will grow anywhere. And the rest of it always dies. - [Leon] You know, sometimes things are the opposite from the way you think, too. I used to think that the skinny leafed Japanese Maples were gonna fry, 'cause the leaves look so- - Delicate. - Delicate, right. - [Leon] But I found it's just the opposite. The Japanese Maples that have the really big fat leaves- - They fry. They scorch. - don't do well in sun. - [Leon] And the skinny ones do fine in full sun. - There you go. With gardeners, we're always learning anyway. Always, it never stops. - This pine is a Scotch Pine on a standard. It's a North Scotch. - It's like a big muffin. - And we've pruned on it some, but not a lot, to keep it in this round shape. But look at the trunk on that thing, it is so- - [Marty] How old is that plant, would you say? - I got that from a box store about, probably 16, 17 years ago. And it was just in a five or 10 gallon bucket, it wasn't- - [Marty] It wasn't that big. - [Leon] No, no. But it's done very well here. - Yeah, it's happy. - [Marty] Leon, I really love this view. It is just a great example of the right plant in the right place, and just looking wonderful where it's situated. And tell me, what kind is this? - [Leon] I think it's Emerald Spreader. I bought several of them, and this one has done great. The ones in deeper shade, that are further up in the garden have really struggled. One of them is not looking good at all, but. And I'll probably wind up taking it out. But this one, it just loves it here. It gets a little more light, so. Like some of the Yews, we think of as a shade plant. I think this one really likes more sun. It gets afternoon sun, so it gets the heat of the day. And it really has thrived here. I've done very little pruning on it, trying to keep it in a natural form. I do occasionally take out any leaders that are kind of going straight up in the air. 'Cause I don't want it to grow that way. I want to be able to see the pond. At the same time, I like that it hangs over the pond, because that gives it a more natural look. That's what trees want to do. - [Marty] And it's evergreen. You've got a lot of deciduous stuff around, so it's there all Winter. - Well, and one of the things, even though something is deciduous. For instance, that Inaba Shidare that we were looking at, if you came back in the Winter and looked at that, you'd say what an interesting form on that, because the branches go everywhere, and this one too. This is a Garnet here. Up here on this side is a Garnet. And that's got a little different form than the Inaba Shidare. But they both are dissectums, and they're great. - I love this little path you've installed here along the edge 'of your property, it's charming. - Thank you. One of the things that we've tried to do is utilize the space and to try to hide this concrete ditch that's over here that I gotta work against. And by putting things of interest along the edge, like this spruce here. - I love this thing. - Yeah, it's got real unusual color and. - This is Skylands? - Skylands, yeah. It's real hardy here. It seems to like it in full sun. I've got another one that's in more shade. And it's not showing this pretty golden color, like this one is so it, it really needs to be in full sun if possible. - And I really like the way you've done this little channel here to get the- - Well, we had a little water drainage problem here. So we just put this in. - That's very decorative. - Dry creek bed. - [Marty] And a nice flat slab. - [Leon] It adds interest, and it makes it more of a stroll through type garden. - Here's another one of these little seating areas you've created, which is just charming beyond belief. I love this thing. - Yeah, the grandkids love it too. We sit here and we play tic-tac toe. And I'll sit here and watch the birds. 'Cause I've got bird feeders around. This is a one person bench. There's one spot on each of these which is real comfortable. - Well, you wouldn't wanna sit over here. - [Leon] No, it's not. It's a little bit. But it's an interesting, it's a natural form. - It's lovely. - It's recycled teak. - [Leon] It's the roots from teak trees that would've just been burned. And they've made them into benches. - And of course it's famous for weathering in this beautiful silvery gray. That's gorgeous. I just love it. What a lovely little setting that is. Oh, wow. Look at what you've done with the slope. That is just beautiful. - Thank you. That was a problem area when we first moved here. It was a slippery slidey slope of grass. And we had a timber wall in there that got religion, and became holey, and so we had to take the wall down. This area was designed by my son, who's a landscaper. It includes a lot of unusual specimens. This area sloped so badly that he brought in these big boulders, and did a wall here and there to kind of hold things in place, augmented the soil. And I think it turned out really nice. - Oh, it's beautiful. - I'm quite pleased with it. I like to sit in the patio area down here and just enjoy it. It's one of those areas that, it's a problem area, but if you do it right. And a lot of people in this area have slopes, have hills, and don't know what to do with them. And this is a low maintenance, easy care type of landscape once it's in. It's very difficult to put in. He used a machine on some of these boulders. - [Marty] Yeah, the boulders weigh tons. But once they're there, they're there. Yeah, they're not gonna rot. They're not gonna go anywhere. - [Leon] No. - So it's beautiful. I love the layers, and the different textures and shapes. - This area is a night garden too. We have lights that shine up through that. It just really is cool looking at night. - [Marty] Ah, it's just beautiful. Your whole garden is just beautiful. Leon, I wanna thank you so much for giving us this spectacular tour. You could spend hours here just looking. Every time you go around a corner, there's something else. - Well, thank you. - It's wonderful. - [Marty] 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.
September 15, 2022
Season 31 | Episode 06
A successful fall vegetable garden needs planning and preparation. Annette Shrader visits an experienced gardener who discusses seed starting, bed prep and crop rotation. Tammy Algood visits with a grower who is growing vegetables in stock tanks. Marty DeHart tours a garden that features Japanese maples, great bird-watching, and plenty of spots to sit and enjoy.