This is John Kohler with GrowingYourGreens.com.
I’ve have another exciting episode for you today. I’m here in Las Vegas, Nevada and
before I even started growing in Las Vegas, I did a lot research and did my due diligence
and as a gardener, I want you guys to do your due diligence as well. Now what is due diligence
when it has to do with gardening? Well ,that means get yourself educated before you start
gardening at least a little bit so that you’ll have a good starting point. Growing in the
desert can be particularly hard to grow in, but you know, with the right tips you can
be ultra successful, as I’m gonna actually to share with you guys today. So as I was
saying, one of my first times when I came out to Vegas to learn how to grow in the desert,
I came to this place right here that we’re gonna see. Now I have a video, probably, I
dunno, about two or three years ago when I came out and visited Leslie Doyle, also known
as “The Tomato Lady.” She’s been gardening here in the desert successfully for many many
years. So besides just actually showing you all her tomatoes, she has been growing a lot
of varieties of different things that I’m gonna be able to give you guys a tour of her
garden today, show you some of the cool things that I learned about and also she’s having
a special class today. So you wanna be sure to get on her email list if you’re not already,
if you definitely live in the Las Vegas area you wanna get on her email list above all
else to get her emails, to know what’s going on, to know what she’s doing and attend
one of her classes, be able to come by her place and see this amazing backyard and even
front yard garden. So anyway, next let’s go ahead and check
out her front yard and see what’s growing on.
Now we’re standing at the front entryway to Leslie’s place and you can see it’s
right here and she has a few fruit trees and actually a few non fruiting trees as well
But she has fruit trees such as hychia, persimmon, pistachio. I saw almond and a plum and even
a meyer lemon tree. So that’s the first tip I wanna give you guys: if you wanna grow
in the desert, you gotta grow what’s gonna grow well. Don’t try to experiment, don’t
try to like, “Oh, I wanna grow a pineapple bush in the desert.” Well, you know that’s
probably not gonna work unless you have a climate controlled greenhouse or are growing
it inside and have some good ample sunlight. So if you follow what Leslie’s doing and
what she teaches, you will have success. Besides all the fruit trees that she has planted
out, she also has vegetables planted in the front yard too. So let’s take a look and
see what’s growing and how she’s doing it.
Now we’re gonna walk into her front yard and upon entering you’re gonna be greeted
by a nice huge tree. It’s a hychea persimmon tree and you can see there: it’s definitely
got some hychea persimmons on it. It’s not quite as loaded up as my persimmon tree in
California but it definitely has some fruit on it and looks like it’s been growing well
for many years nonetheless. And she has her front yard kinda landscaped out. She has a
nice curving pathway up to her door here, walkway…And she just has a whole nice large
raised bed that has some nice concrete edging and she’s filled this up with two things. Number one, she’s filled it up with her
own Tomato Lady soil. She has been gardening here in the desert for a long time and she
put together her own soil mix that is basically guaranteed to grow and is going to grow really
well for ya. The other thing that you see that she’s put in her front yard raised
bed are irrigation. So she’s using the Netaphim irrigation here and aside from the soil here
in Las Vegas, the most important thing is the water. The soil, you know especially native
soil, tends to dry out fairly fast and plants like a constant source of moisture. So you
know besides investing in your soil, you wanna definitely invest in your irrigation and also
your water control valves and your timer. Definitely get good ones and don’t get the
junk at Home Deport necessarily. So aside from that, she also has it filled
with many different plants. And you know she’s growing tomatoes a little bit differently
than most people would or at least conventional gardeners. Check this out. Blinded by the
light here. And this is the first thing she’s using that’s a little bit different. She’s
using this mylar film and you know if you don’t live in the desert or a really hot
climate, you know, forget about the mylar film. This is a specific thing that you need
to do only in the desert where it is really hot. One of the problems in the desert is
that it gets really hot and just this past week it got to be 114 degrees, but check it
out: most of her tomato plants look really well with barely any yellow leaves. And that
is because of her reflective mulch and constant watering. She actually waters nine times a
day, in the morning, afternoon, and the evening. Three times at each session for seven minutes
each. Besides the constant watering she’s got the reflective mulch.
Keeping the soil moist is very important for a reason. Because the plants transpire, just
like I’m perspiring right now, and we’ll show you—just like I’m perspiring right
now. You can see the beads on my forehead. The plants also transpire, but what they do
is they pull the nutrients or the pull the water up from the soil, through their roots
and through, you know, the stems and the leaves of the plants. And that keeps them cool because
the water underneath the soil is 75 degrees. Nice and cool and especially when helped by
this mylar that’s keeping the soil moist and also reflecting off the heat and not heating
up the soil. And if we just look under here, check it out—this is just a mound of tomatoes.
Now because the weather has been so hot, the tomato plants aren’t necessarily setting
new flowers or fruit right now, but what is happening is, before it got too hot, the tomatoes
have set a lot of fruit and now they are in prime condition for ripening. Check it out—this
area is just totally covered with tomatoes that are yet to be ripe.
Another thing besides growing tomatoes and you can see a lot of them here in her front
yard. I mean, this is why she is called the Tomato Lady and not the Asparagus Lady. She
has a few other things growing and let’s see here. So it looks like she’s got some
squash growing. She already has gone through one round of squash. In Las Vegas and in many
other desert climates, you may have a long season. So you could actually get in two crops
of squash. So you could have an early crop, plant them early, and then now you’re gonna
plant new plants just now and they’ll produce for the rest of the season. And there are
some of the squashes here. Next let’s head along the walkway and see
if we could find what else is growing on. The other thing that she is doing that is
really nice and that I would encourage everybody to do is actually label your plants. I have
a really good memory and usually remember where I plant what things, but with many different
varieties and hopefully you guys are growing heirloom varieties with unique and different
names that you haven’t heard of and maybe will never hear of again if you don’t continue
to grow them and save your seeds. She’s actually marking her plants, so she’s
using—it’s actually very simple—an ENT electrical conduit, which is actually fairly
inexpensive and also some aluminum roof flashing with a paint pen from an arts and crafts store.
And this one’s actually clearly labeled: Waltham Butternut. So I’m assuming this
is a Waltham Butternut squash and it’s growing. Looks like she just planted it for the late
season and it looks like it’s growing really well. It even has some fruit on it. Further
down the pathway and this should be a yellow brick road but it’s not—is another plant.
This is actually called a Hannah’s Choice melon. So as you can see here, once again,
this is a later planting so it hasn’t been in for months and months like the tomatoes,
but they’re just starting to form some nice little melons to eat later in the season.
One of the citrus trees that she has growing here are more like a bush. This thing is like
almost twelve feet tall and just a mass, not even growing like a tree, is a Meyer Lemon.
So if you guys wanna grow some citrus in the desert, you know, forget about oranges—they’re
probably not gonna do too well here. But this improved Meyer Lemon is probably gonna do
great, as evidenced by her nice huge bush and she’s got a lot of little unripe lemons—no,
those aren’t limes, those are unripe lemons that are gonna be ripening later up this year.
There’s literally hundreds on this entire bush.
We’re right next to Leslie’s front door and even next to her front door she’s growing
more food in some nice big redwood barrels. Not quite wine barrels but pretty close and
she has some Sherlin Melons here that are growing out of the container, just into the
walkway which looks nice and beautiful. There’s a nice huge melon here.
And on this side she’s got a black olive and I believe this is a black olive pepper.
Never seen such a thing. Looks really cool. It’s got really dark leaves, veragated black
and green, and also some nice, dark, rich black stems. So this is probably some kind
of small, some round, black pepper, probably more for ornamental than edible uses, but
guess what? All peppers, even if they’re still those “ornamental,” they’re absolutely
edible but there’s probably not enough flesh on it to make it worth it.
This is probably the coolest thing in her front yard garden by far. I mean, I’ve seen
tomatoes grow in Vegas, I’ve seen melons grow in Vegas, but I’ve never seen this
guy growing in Vegas and I actually was wondering how it would do cause I wanna grow it myself
here in Las Vegas and I would encourage all my viewers that live in the Las Vegas and
actually even the desert to now start growing it, because guess why: because now we know
that Leslie’s grew it successfully here. I mean, that’s how we learn: we try to grow
new things. If it works, than just keep on doing it and more importantly, share that
with others. This is called—well, she has it labeled as: Mallow Bar Spinach. More correctly,
this is called Malobar Spinach. And this amazing, succulent, edible leafy green from the tropics.
I mean, you could wrap me around it! But don’t tell her I ate it.
But this is one amazing vine! This is a tropical edible summer leafy green crop that you can
grow even in the tropics or where it’s hot in the desert and, by the looks of it, it’s
doing amazingly. The leaves are actually quite large, not quite as large as some of the ones
I’ve seen in South Florida that grow year-round but it looks like, with proper moisture, this
is gonna do amazing here in Las Vegas and here’s just one of the nice big succulent
leaves. Now you could pick these leaves and add them to your salad. I like to just eat
em straight up. Nice texture. Now, due to the heat, they’re not quite as sweet—or
maybe that’s because she doesn’t use rock dust, but she does kelp to add the trace minerals
back in the soil. Not quite as some of the ones that I’ve tasted out of my California
garden and I have found the leafy greens particularly in the summertime with all the heat, they
tend to get a little bit more bitter. But nonetheless, I’m gonna be growing some Malbar
Spinach next year and I want to encourage you guys to do that as well, in the desert
or wherever you live. The last thing I’m gonna show you guys today
in Leslie’s front yard is this tree. Now, besides the almond tree that she has, she
also has this tree, and between almonds and this tree nut, I’d be preferring to grow
these guys here in Las Vegas and I wanna encourage you guys, especially if you guys are a prepper,
to grow something like this or a nut crop at your residence. Why? It’s very simple.
You can grow fruit trees and they’ll produce an amount of food for you in the summer and
if you can dehydrate it or use other preservation methods such as canning, you can preserve
that into the winter. But another great thing to use in the winter are these guys, are the
nuts. These guys are pistachio nuts that are not quite ripe, but when you grow pistachio
nuts, you’re gonna harvest them and then they’re gonna be preserved naturally by
the sun and then you’ll have a nice concentrated source of calories and also nutrition for
the winter time. Man cannot survive on just vegetables alone. You should also eat some
nuts—a handful of nuts every day, in my opinion for optimal health.
So if you guys thought her front yard was pretty impressive with all the fruit trees
and tomato plants and other crops she’s growing, wait until you guys see her secret
garden in the backyard. She’s even growing even more things, growing vertically, and
actually has new plants coming up. Once again, in the desert, in Las Vegas, you have two
growing season—well, in the summertime anyways. You have the early summer and the late summer
and now that the weather’s gotten so hot and it probably fried some of you guys’
plants, like your zucchinis, now you can start your seeds and crops for things like melons
and squashes now and plant them in the garden for another late crop. Now I wouldn’t necessarily
recommend planting things like peppers or tomatoes at this late point unless you’re
starting from a plant itself. Now let’s head into the back and show you guys what’s
growing on. One of the first things you’ll notice when
you enter Leslie’s backyard test garden is this big huge pile. Now this big huge pile
is the tomato lady soil that she uses everywhere in her garden and this is one of the reasons
why she is getting amazing results here in the desert. She has personally reformulated
this to work really well in this desert climate and this is probably the best soil in Las
Vegas to be growing in. Now I do need to repent on one of my previous videos. Now I have to
repent on one of my previous videos where I set up my garden using some stuff out of
Home Depot and after a year of growing, I’ve seen the error in my ways. Now, next time
I get soil, I’m gonna be getting the Tomato Lady soil. So if you live anywhere in Las
Vegas, don’t get the Home Depot crap people. Get this stuff right here. You could get it
at various places in the valley, but if you call her directly, you guys are gonna get
the lowest price and the cash discounted price. So maybe at the end of this video we’ll
even get to talk to Leslie herself to share some of her secrets of growing in the desert
for ya. So aside from the soil that you’re growing
in actually that might be more important than this one, or this one might be more important
than that one, is this guy. What we’re looking at is an irrigation control box with the irrigation
control. So besides the soil where you wanna put your money and you also wanna put your
money into a good irrigation system in the desert. You know, over-watering or under-watering
if probably the number one reason why your plants actually don’t make it or why you’re
purposefully killing them—because you’re over-watering or under-watering. Many people
don’t understand that plants need water like we need water and if we get too much
water we can actually choke and if we get too little water, we’ll become dehydrated
and actually may have some illnesses because of dehydration. If you’re actually interested
in learning more about how dehydration causes illnesses in people, I can tell you what book
to get—actually that’s called “The Body’s Many Cries for Water” and I don’t know
the book that corresponds with the plants’ water needs and what it does. I could probably
tell you it probably makes brown leaves and it doesn’t fruit well, it doesn’t grow
well—things like that. So watering’s very important.
Now I can tell you what Leslie does here. At this present time, she’s watering nine
times a day. At six, seven, eight, at noon, one, two, and at six, seven, eight, all at
predetermined lengths of time that are gonna do well for her. Keep in mind at this point
in time, her plants are in full production. They’re nice and large and they’re gonna
need more water now than they needed in the year when they were little small babies. Now
how will you know how much water your plants need? Well, I don’t know; I’m not the
expert on what your garden needs. You guys need to learn how to do it. It’s really
simple. Maybe I’ll have a future episode. What you’re gonna do is there is many tools
that’ll help you do this, the simplest of which is the standard bamboo barbeque skewers
and you wanna get those at a Wal-Mart in the barbeque section. They’re actually fairly
long. You’re gonna stick em in the soil and pull
em out. The bamboo will absorb some water. You can put it up to your cheek to see if
it’s wet or not. If your soil’s moist, then you don’t need to water; if your soil’s
dry then you need to have a watering cycle. So what you’re gonna do is basically take
a full day, stay at home, and check your soil every hour after you water it in the morning
for maybe five minutes or three minutes or two minutes and that also depends on your
irrigation system that you have and how much the flow rate is and how much the water pressure
is. So there’s many different variables. The good thing is if you live in the Las Vegas
area, you wanna call Leslie Doyle. She has an irrigation expert that works with her that
could set you up on the right watering schedule that you need so that you can have optimal
growth. The next area I wanna show you guys is this
little area here, it’s under a patio and under a shade cloth and that’s because these
are the baby starts and they’re all in little containers growing and she has things like
cabbage and turnips and broccoli—all kinds of things. These are getting planted out now
for the fall garden so you know that’s what you guys wanna always focus on is the next
season. Don’t get totally concerned about what’s growing now, but start your plants
in seeds now, even in the middle of the summer when we have 114 degree days—you can do
it! Just like Leslie does to have a successful garden. Anyways, next what we’re gonna do
is just go over some of the fruit trees. Now what we’re gonna do is we’re gonna
cover just two of the over a dozen fruit trees she has growing in her back yard and the one
right here is probably the one that I’d recommend for you guys to grow. If you’re
only gonna grow one fruit tree in your backyard or your frontyard in Las Vegas. And this is
the pomegranate tree and you can see here it’s just filled to the brim with pomegranates.
The reason why I’d recommend you guys grow this is because, number one, it’s really
easy. It really is adapted to this kind of climate so you’re not gonna be fighting
it. They’re pretty low maintenance; doesn’t get a whole lot of bugs or anything like that.
And number three—grows prolifically! This thing is like ten feet by eight feet. I don’t
know if it’s one tree or just a big giant bush. And there’s literally hundreds and
hundreds of pomegranates. And the final reason why pomegranates are good to grow is because
it’s very high in antioxidants, which can be very beneficial for your health.
Next let’s talk about that next tree and it’s right behind me. It’s actually quite
huge and let’s go up on it and show you guys the fruit or, actually, the nut that’s
growing on that tree. Now we’re walking up to that almond tree
and this thing is just loaded up with all kinds of little fruits, which are actually
contain the nut inside. And I wanna show you guys today and teach you about almonds. So
almonds grow on the tree. They look like a little small apricot but there’s no edible
flesh inside that humans could eat. Maybe microbes eat it in your compost pile or maybe
some other insects or bugs or something like that. But that’s not really edible to us;
what is edible is the seed so like an apricot—if you crack open the hard pit of an apricot,
there’s actually a little seed in there that you can eat. And it’s high in B17 or
leatro, which is reported to be helpful against things like cancer. And the almond here has
that fruit and these fruits are still green. Green almonds—in some cuisines and in some
cultures, they actually use the green almonds. I’m not so interested in them at that state;
I like I when they’re fully ripe so let’s go ahead and show you guys a fully ripe one.
And here it is when the almonds are ripe, they’ll sure as heck let you know. They’ll
actually open up on the tree and reveal themselves. So what I’m gonna do now is I’m actually
gonna grab a little almond fruit and show you guys more about it.
So I just picked a little almond and here it is. This is the little fruit thing itself.
This is just like the husk and this is the nonedible part. On an apricot, this is the
flesh we would eat. You open it up to reveal the nut that I have already taken out. So
this is the in-shell almond and if you don’t have an almond tree, then I would encourage
you guys to purchase your almonds in the shell. Number one reason why is they’re gonna be
less treated. Number two is that they’re gonna stay fresher longer. This can be very
important if you’re into prepping—you know nuts that have been outta the shell don’t
tend to last as long but if they’re in the shell, they’re gonna last much much longer.
Once you’ve got them in the shell, depending on sometimes the shell is really hard if they’re
picked a little too green. This one is completely ripe and when they’re ripe they actually
wanna split on ya—I don’t know if you guys can see that seam on there. You can almost
get in there with your fingers and crack it open to reveal the little nut inside. And
there it is—and there it went! This buggers are slippery actually—just kidding.
But anyways, the reason why you wanna start growing your own almonds and your other foods
is because now the government is messing with you guys’ food. Did you know that even quote-on-quote
“raw” almonds from the bulk bins or if they’re labeled in the store “raw” from
California, they have to be mandatory treated before you get to eat them. They’re either
treated with chemicals or steam pasteurization to kill all the harmful bacteria that are
on the almonds or all the potentially harmful bacteria on the almonds. And you know, just
like almonds, other foods in the future will be started to be treated before we get to
eat them. This is gonna reduce the nutrition in the food, but also, may cause us to ingest
things that maybe aren’t so healthy, like the chemical treatment of the almonds before
you’re eating them. Yet another great reason to start growing your food because now you
know what’s in the soil and what’s been spraying on them and you’re gonna get the
freshest highest quality and actually best tasting food ever. I’m gonna go ahead and
try this almond. Now that’s a real almond! It’s not completely dry. When they’re
dry you lose all sense of that bitterness, but actually I like that bitterness flavor.
Tastes quite nice—more like a Spanish almond. That being said, if you do get imported almonds—so,
almonds from Spain or Italy—they’re not actually treated before selling them to you.
Only the ones from California and, as you know, California produces most of the almond
crop here in the USA. Leslie has a variety of different beds actually
in her backyard, mostly concrete block beds, but in addition now she has these plastic
beds and one of the things nice about these plastic beds is that they are very assemble
and get set up so you can start growing today in your garden. And if you guys are one of
the viewers that have been watching my videos for a while and are not yet growing in Las
Vegas, then what you need to do is you need to get on the phone and call Leslie. She’ll
actually get these set up, get the soil put in and even install your irrigation and get
you growing today without even lifting a finger in the garden. So that’s if you have more
money than time, but if you have more time than money, then she’ll actually sell you
the kit so you can actually build it yourself. And once again you can buy the soil from her
at definitely the lowest price here in the Las Vegas valley.
So now what we’re looking at is basically a small little raised bed. This is just one
foot by two foot, so even if you have a patio in the middle of New York City, if you have
a one foot by two foot area, build a small little raised bed, fill it with some soil,
and you can grow four watermelons. In this little bed here there’s four watermelon
plants called “Oh So Sweet” and these are just planted really recently and they’re
growing up the trellis and this is a really easy trellis to make also. This is made out
of standard plastic construction fencing. It comes in that really bright obnoxious orange
color also you can get it in this green color that works perfectly for growing things vertically
such as beans and, as we can see, even the watermelons.
You just saw the watermelon being grown up the trellis and that’s one way you can grow
watermelon. If you’ve got a lot of space, you might as well do what Leslie is doing
here and just plant the watermelons in the ground and let them sprawl out. Now these
are sprawling into her walkways, but that’s alright because she made her walkways extra
wide to provide some space for plants to grow into them. And once again this is the Oh So
Sweet watermelon. We got two nice examples right here and besides being oh-so-sweet,
they’re oh-so-large. That’s what my ex-girlfriend used to say about me too, but anyways these
watermelons can grow up to being like 20 pounds and in Leslie’s garden because of the soil
and because of the kelp and the minerals she’s adding, they can get up to 40. So once again,
I wanna stress the importance to you guys of having good soil and adding the trace minerals,
whether you’re using kelp or rock dust or something else to get the minerals back in
the soil, because when the soil has what it needs, the plants are gonna get what they
need and they’re gonna grow a lot larger. Maybe that’s why I’m so big.
Now I have yet another plant to show you guys in Leslie’s amazing garden. Now one of the
things I really like about Leslie is she constantly runs tests for Organic Gardening Magazine
and Rodale (sp?) to find out what is growing well in the desert here. So she publishes
her results in actually those magazines and actually here’s one that she tested a few
years ago and she found out that it really does well in the desert. This one is actually
called Gretel Eggplant and they actually yes have Hansel and Gretel eggplants. And the
reason I like this eggplant—check it out, just below, if you go undo some of the leaves
here, you’ll see that this thing is loaded with nice size little eggplants. And you know,
if you take a couple of these, put em in your pocket, and your wife walks up to ya, she
might say something like, “Is that an eggplant in your pocket or are you just happy to see
me?” And as a matter of fact, it would be an eggplant in your pocket.
But nonetheless, the reason why I like this eggplant is because it produces a lot of little
small eggplants, so whether you’re growing eggplants or peppers or tomatoes, I always
encourage you guys, for the biggest yields or most quantity yields that’s edible during
a long period of time, to grow the smallest fruit as possible. In addition, it’s usually
easier to manage plants that grow smaller fruit because they’re gonna yield more longer.
This is Leslie’s main growing area and you can see there’s a multitude of raised beds.
I mean, there’s a 10 by 13 foot raised tomato bed behind me here with 67 plants. There’s
actually a chicken coop where she has some of her own chickens that she feeds some of
the food scraps to that produce eggs for her. She has cucumbers growing, things growing
up a string on the trellis over there, some beans…She has all different areas and most
of these areas have edible plants growing. So what we’re gonna do next is we’re actually
gonna show you her namesake—she is called the Tomato Lady and we’re gonna show you
some of the tomatoes she’s growing this year, how she’s doing it, and how she’s
getting amazing results in the desert. Now we’re doing a close-up on her tomato
bed and, unlike most people in the country, she’s actually not trellising her tomatoes
and it’s actually really important here in Las Vegas where it’s really hot, you
want have enough foliage where the leaves actually shading out all the tomatoes because
the tomatoes will get burned if they’re not shaded out. So that’s another thing—she’s
got these guys, she’s got the shade cloth all over the garden, just spread over the
top, doubled over to protect some of the tomatoes from the scald. This will happen to tomatoes
and peppers if you don’t protect them or if you don’t have even leaves covering them.
So growing up a trellis? Not a good idea in Las Vegas. As you saw earlier also, the other
thing she does is she uses the reflective mylar on the ground so the mylar increases
the transpiration of the crops to pull more water up into its plants and keep it cool
but also at the same time bring in more nutrition into the plants as well.
So what we’re gonna do now is actually we’re gonna show you the specific varieties that
she grows in the desert successfully. There are certain varieties that you actually don’t
wanna grow in the desert. And the ones here are the ones that are time proven except for
one new test variety that she’s growing this year which is another really good idea
for you guys to do. You know, every year, grow the crop that you know are gonna do well
in your specific environment. So if you haven’t been growing yet, ask other gardeners or farmers
in your area. Ask them what specific varieties grow best in your area and then grow those.
Then pick a few wild cards or some new varieties to try to see if they grow well. Maybe they’ll
grow great, maybe they won’t, but at least you have all the crops that you know are gonna
do well in your area. So in the Las Vegas area, the crops that grow well: number one,
Hawaiian Tropic. Actually, this year I’m growing Hawaiian Tropic that I got from Leslie
herself. They’re nice and large and they’re really oh-so-sweet and they’re still putting
on fruit, even in this hot weather. Next, let’s go around this whole bed and share
some other varieties with you. Another tomato variety that I wanna share
with you is actually the Juliet tomato and this is probably Leslie’s favorite tomato
in the whole wide world and actually does quite well here. Let me go ahead and pick
one for you guys. Here it is—it’s a nice little red, Roma-style tomato. She says the
flavor is absolutely incredible and I’m actually gonna try it and let you guys know
what I think. Wow! For a Roma tomato, it’s actually quite sweet, quit delicious, and
if it grows well in Vegas, I’m all in. So the last tomato that I wanna share with
you guys today is the Indigo Rose Tomato and this is actually a tomato that I’m growing
this year and I got one on a wild root stalk and one on a regular root stalk as well. And
it looks like her plants are far out-producing mine, but she might have started a little
earlier. This thing is just loaded up with tomatoes and this is looking like it’s actually
yielding more tomatoes per piece, maybe not per poundage, than the other varieties that
I just showed you guys. And the thing that I like about the Indigo Rose is it actually
has a nice purple color when they’re ripe—they’re actually kind of this purple-ish and they
start turning red from the bottom up. And I don’t know if I can see any ripe ones
in here, but I had one earlier and it’s actually quite delicious. So those are the
top three tomatoes that I share with you today to grow in Vegas or if you live in a desert
climate. They’re gonna do quite well in the heat if you grow them properly.
This is probably my favorite edible leafy green in Leslie’s whole backyard and check
it out: it’s totally beautiful. If you saw my episode from about a week or so ago, you’ll
know what this stuff is. Alright—yell it out loud right now as you’re watching this
video! I didn’t hear you! It’s called perslaine. Perslaine is an amazing leafy green
and with her soil and the nutrients she’s doing, looks nice, lush and full. Looks like
it grows well here in Las Vegas. It’s quite good too. You can use this stuff in salads
and sandwiches, blend it up in the blender. It has a little bit of a mucilaginous taste,
but it’s really high in Omega 3 fatty acids. Based on my research, most Americans eat a
diet too rich in Omega 6s and not enough Omega 3s. So eat more perslaine to knock your balance
back into a better ratio of higher Omega 3s and less Omega 6s. Omega 3s are anti-inflammatory;
Omega 6s are inflammatory. I asked Leslie why she’s growing it; she said she’s growing
it for her chickens. I love this stuff and I told her, hey! Maybe you should eat it too!
It’d be good for ya! The other reason why I like that she’s growing
it like this in this fashion is because this can give you a living ground cover, or a living
mulch. I wanna encourage you guys to grow edible, living mulches. Instead of mulching
with tree bark or leaves or grass, grow something that’s gonna cover the ground that’s also
gonna be edible. Once again, because there’s so much green area here, the sun’s not able
to hit the ground to evaporate the moisture but what the sun is hitting is the leaves
that this plant can grow like a weed that it is and produce more food for you or at
minimally, for chickens, to eat. So next we got a special treat for you. We’re
actually gonna talk to Leslie herself and she’s gonna share three tips with you for
how you can successfully grow in the Las Vegas desert or actually any desert in the world.
Now we’re here with Leslie Doyle herself, the gardener extraordinaire here in the desert.
Now Leslie’s been growing for 60 years of her life and actually she doesn’t even look
that old so I don’t know how that’s possible. But she has been successfully gardening for
15 years here in the desert and her garden that you guys just saw really shows it. And
I’m in admiration and every time I come here I always learn one thing new and if you
can learn one thing new in life every day, in my book, you’re a success, so I’m a
success today, thanks to Leslie. Leslie Doyle: Only one thing?
John Kohler: I mean, you set the rules—you set the hurdles small so you can easily learn
one thing a day and then you’re a success. Because everybody should see success every
day and not a failure. So I wanna set you guys up for success and not failure in life
and also in gardens. So anyways, let’s ask Leslie: what are the three top things to do
in the desert to have a successful garden. Leslie Doyle: You have to have full sun, good
soil, and ample water. You need the same things that you need in New Jersey. It’s true.
John Kohler: Wow. That was really—I mean, things are so simple but we try to make them
so complex. You know, we wanna try to shade our plants. Oh, it’s so hot! We need shade—sitting
in her awning here and it’s almost 100 degrees outside so we’re staying a little bit cool
but you know, some people think, ‘I need to shade my plants’ but that’s not exactly
true, right Leslie? Leslie Doyle: No, no, no, no! Plants are not
people! Plants need full sun. They need full sun so they can sweat like we’re sweating
right now, but the sweat they do is at like the ground temperature, the water temperature,
and that makes the whole temperature around the plants like a micro-climate. And in the
case of the desert, it makes it 75 degrees and in the case of tomatoes in the desert
and that’s the perfect temperature for tomatoes, isn’t it? Yeah.
John Kohler: Wow and that is one of the reasons why she’ll be harvesting 100 pounds of tomatoes
a day and pretty soon several hundred pounds of tomatoes again, right?
Leslie Doyle: That’s right. We harvest 100 pounds a day off of 17 plants. Our flush has
just come in and in a couple weeks, when all our plants are producing, likely hope we’ll
be doing six or seven hundred pounds a day and we’ll need help.
John Kohler: Now how long are you gonna be harvesting those for? That’s not gonna last
for the whole season, is it? I mean, you’re gonna run out of tomatoes because they’re
not still setting because it’s too hot? Leslie Doyle: Oh no they’re setting just
fine right now. They’re increasing as a matter of fact, because we choose the right
varieties and we treat them well. They’ll continue to produce until frost kills them.
They’ll slow down a little bit. They’ll be tired and they’ll take a little bit of
a break, but they’ll still produce a few tomatoes and then in fall when it cools off,
it’ll be that big problem again. Tomatoes, tomatoes, tomatoes.
John Kohler: So what do you do with all your tomatoes Leslie?
Leslie Doyle: Well, we sell them at the farmer’s market. We give them to John, to the neighbors.
We pass them out to the poor at certain events. Feed them to the chickens. Lots of—we don’t
ever have to throw a tomato away. John Kohler: Yeah a tomato is a terrible thing
to waste, much like your brain on drugs. Seriously. Leslie, I know you do a lot of work with organic
gardening and actually I wanna share some with my viewers right now. You were the technical
reviewer on this book—The Organic Gardener’s Handbook to Natural Pest and Disease Control.
Leslie Doyle: One of them. There were three other PhDs besides me.
John Kohler: Oh you’re a PhD? Leslie Doyle: No.
John Kohler: You’re not a PhD? Leslie Doyle: No, I’m a gardener. That’s
a little bit better. John Kohler: I’m a gardener too, I’m not
a PhD. But you know I think the best way to learn is to learn by doing and not necessarily
go to college. Leslie Doyle: We keep the PhDs in line.
John Kohler: That’s it! But yeah so she was a technical reviewer of this book and
you know I get a lot of questions all the time about, ‘John, what do I do about this
pest or that disease.’ Well, hey! Buy the book people! This is the Bible that you need
to know all the answers for organic gardening and how to treat your plants without use of
chemicals. So also Leslie works for Organic Gardening
Magazine as a writer and also organic test gardening in the desert. And so that’s why,
you know, a lot of the plants that she is growing here are test varieties that she’ll
have an article about in the Organic Gardening Magazine. But aside from those resources,
probably the most valuable one that she could offer to you guys, especially if you live
in the desert, are her books. I personally own both of these books and they are worth
their weight in paper. I mean, there are no other two books that you’ll find that has
all of the information that you specifically need to know to grow in the desert without
all the fluff. Leslie Doyle: Worth their weight in gold.
John Kohler: Gold? I thought it was paper. Leslie Doyle: Gold. Diamonds, girls, diamonds.
John Kohler: So Leslie tell us about your books and why you came up with them and how
long they took to write and all that good stuff.
Leslie Doyle: Well the first book I wrote is out of print. But this is the second and
this is specific directions on how to grow desert tomatoes—tomatoes in the desert.
And which is done differently here. If you grow them this way, you’ll have the same
results I do. See those tomatoes? Beautiful—Hawaiian Tropics.
John Kohler: 600 pounds a day at the height of the season.
Leslie Doyle: Yeah, yeah. And then this here is a planting guide that is developed from
how I garden here in the desert. Specifically, when I put what plants in the ground and I
can harvest food every day of the year following my guide, which I wrote the book and then
printed this up and put it in it so you can do the same thing and right now a lot of people
are using this in the desert. Some people are using it as a handbook for teaching gardening
here. There’s no fluff in it, no filler pages of things that aren’t necessary and
it’s like $13, I mean, it’s cheap. John Kohler: So this would be good for people
in the Las Vegas or in the desert southwest, right? Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada here, South
Nevada…or even in other countries in the desert right?
Leslie Doyle: Yep. Any place that is hot and dry. Desert in Colorado, New Mexico, Texas—got
a lot of customers in Texas. John Kohler: So Leslie if someone wants to
get a hold of you to purchase your books, how would they do that?
Leslie Doyle: You can phone me. Area code 702-490-5217. That will ring you here at Sweet
Tomato Test Garden. You can send me an email to [email protected] Simple enough. There’s
no ‘e’ at the end of tomato. And I’ll write you back! And if you wanna buy my books,
this one is $10 and the other one is $13. I’ll send you a Paypal invoice—just tell
me and you’ll get the invoice and when you pay it I’ll mail you the book.
John Kohler: Wow Leslie, that’s great! So I guess the last thing that I wanna mention
is that you just started a brand new Youtube channel to share all your desert gardening
secrets with the world. Leslie Doyle: Yes and it’s going to be very
difficult for you to find me on Youtube because John’s videos of me come up first. So if
you send me an email to tomatotomato, I’ll send you the link. Hopefully you can find
me as Leslie Doyle, Sweet Tomato Test Garden, on Youtube. You might have to type in all
those words. John Kohler: If you just type in Leslie Doyle,
hers will be the second video that comes up. Or the second result.
Leslie Doyle: And there’s also a bull rider named Leslie Doyle so, have a good time. He
enjoyed his time visiting me here today and I enjoyed having him too. We’re just finishing
up Tomato Fest in Las Vegas here at the Sweet Tomato Test Garden and it’s been a hoot.
I wish you could have been here. John Kohler: Should have been here—oh and
also! Join her email list! Email her and get on her email list if you live in the Las Vegas
area or even in any desert climate. She has a lot of good information on growing in the
desert and next time she has an event here, you definitely wanna come out. It’s an amazing
place to visit and there’s always something to learn. I’ve had a great time and hopefully
you guys did too and you can now be harvesting 600 pounds of tomatoes a day if you do it
like Leslie does. Once again my name is John Kohler with GrowingYourGreens.com! We’ll
see you next time! Leslie Doyle: And I’m Leslie Doyle at the
Sweet Tomato Test Garden. Nice to see you! John Kohler: We’ll see you next time and
keep on growing. Leslie Doyle: Bye!
John Kohler: Alright we’re here in Las Vegas with the gardener extraordinaire—oh! She
kissed me! That’s gonna be an outtake actually. Leslie Doyle: He’s cute girls, he’s cute.
Don’t let him get away. John Kohler: Thank you! That’s going in!
Leslie Doyle: He keeps saying that. John Doyle: It is going in. This is in. Mark