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How to Grow Anything: Food Gardening for Everyone

How to Grow Anything: Food Gardening for Everyone

Melinda Myers,
Horticulturist and Certified Arborist

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How to Grow Anything: Food Gardening for Everyone

Course No. 9721
Melinda Myers,
Horticulturist and Certified Arborist
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Course No. 9721
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Course Overview

Can you imagine walking out your back door to snip a few fresh chives for your baked potato? Or the satisfaction from growing that potato in the first place? Or how about plucking blueberries for your morning cereal from a container on your balcony or deck?

Growing your own food is one of the most rewarding things you can do. While starting a garden may sound intimidating to some, nearly everyone can grow a few herbs, fruits, or vegetables. And as gardening pros know, nothing beats the freshness of a crisp vegetable right off the vine, a sweet fruit plucked from the tree, or a savory herb from your window box. When you grow your own food, not only do you get the freshest food and most delicious flavor, you also get a lower grocery bill and the satisfaction of a job well done.

Best of all, gardening is something you can get started on right away:

  • Grow micro-greens and sprouts year-round in a matter of weeks.
  • Start growing oyster mushrooms—in your basement!
  • Jump-start your local growing season by planting seeds indoors.

Whether you live on rural acreage or a city lot, virtually anyone can grow a simple garden—regardless of your skill level and busy schedule. How to Grow Anything: Food Gardening for Everyone is a practical guide for cultivating fresh produce from seed to harvest. Taught by renowned horticulturalist Melinda Myers, these 12 hands-on lessons are chock full of tips and tricks for novice gardeners and green thumbs alike. Here, you’ll discover everything from materials and preparation to maintenance and harvesting, giving you all the practical knowledge you need to:

  • Enjoy windowsill herbs such as chives, basil, rosemary, dill, and thyme.
  • Harvest garden staples such as tomatoes, peppers, squash, pumpkins, and potatoes.
  • Learn to grow nutritious and beautiful vegetables, including kale, Swiss chard, and rhubarb.
  • Cultivate fruits from strawberries and raspberries to pears and plum trees.

Ms. Myers shows you the ins and outs of designing a beautiful garden to fit your space, and shares a wealth of examples to give you an idea of just what’s possible. For example, if you just want a few plants on your patio, consider the “thriller, filler, spiller” method of container gardening. Or if you live somewhere with a shorter growing season, consider planting seeds indoors and transplanting them outside when the weather warms.

Prepare Any Space for a Lush Garden

Whether you’re growing indoors or outside, preparation is the key. Ms. Myers walks you through every step of the process, including:

  • Soil preparation
  • Sunlight requirements
  • Proper watering
  • Spacing
  • Pruning
  • Harvesting

You’ll discover how to repair damaged soil, convert grass to a garden, build raised beds, or simply boost the nutritional value of your growing space. She shows you eco-friendly methods for fighting pests such as hornworms, beetles, aphids, and other bugs that might munch on your fruits and veggies. Also, see how to prevent plant diseases through good watering habits and proper airflow.

Once you have your space prepared, it’s time to decide which plants to cultivate! Whether you’re interested in growing from seeds or selecting young plants from your local garden center, you’ll find out all the do’s and don’ts to maximize your garden’s productivity. You’ll get a comprehensive guide to:

  • Topsoil and mulch
  • Fertilizers and pest management
  • Composting and other sustainable gardening practices
  • Water wise gardening strategies
  • Row covers, cold frames, and greenhouses to extend the season

Throughout the course, you’ll unpack key terms you need to know, including “indeterminate” versus “determinate,” “heirloom,” and more. Ms. Myers also provides a dazzling array of creative solutions to build the ideal garden for your space—including ways to tap into a neighborhood co-op or community garden.

Practical Tips and Hands-on Tricks

As she guides you through the process, Ms. Myers offers enthusiastic, can’t-go-wrong advice to get novice gardeners started—as well as professional tips and tricks that will surprise and inspire experienced gardeners. For instance, everyone will appreciate her time-saving tips, like a five-minute plan for weeding, to keep gardening fun rather than a chore.

Along the way, she gives you the case study of her own garden, filmed on location in Wisconsin. As an added bonus, she brings some of her projects right into the studio. You’ll see demonstrations of planting micro-greens, learn to build a worm composter, and more. In keeping with the practical, workshop nature of these lessons, the course guidebook is a handy resource you can take into the field to help with your own gardening efforts.

In no time at all, you’ll experience the myriad benefits of gardening, which feed your body and soul. Whether you simply want to grow herbs for your homemade spaghetti sauce or you dream of cultivating a dazzling orchard, How to Grow Anything: Food Gardening for Everyone offers everything you need to grow fresh food right outside—or inside—your home.

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12 lectures
 |  30 minutes each
Year Released: 2015
  • 1
    Jump-Start Your Edible Garden
    Get started right away! From sprouts and micro-greens to windowsill herb gardens and other edible container gardens, you can begin growing your own delicious foods any time of year. Discover the many benefits of growing your own fresh food, and learn what supplies you'll need and how to arrange your plants. x
  • 2
    Planning for Gardening Success
    Scope out your growing space. In this lesson, a wealth of inspiring ideas will show you what's possible, whether you have a spacious suburban backyard or a city apartment. A few basic tips on spacing and designing your edible landscape will set you up for a successful growing season. x
  • 3
    Building Your Garden Foundation
    Every successful garden begins with a good foundation. Here, you'll find out what makes an ideal soil composition, and you'll learn several techniques for quickly repairing your soil and preparing your garden bed. The instructor's own garden provides a case study you will follow throughout the course. x
  • 4
    Starting Plants from Seeds
    One of the best ways to extend your growing season is to start plants from seed indoors. Explore the materials and techniques for starting such common plants as tomatoes, peppers, melons, cabbage, and more from seeds. Tips for watering, lighting, and transplanting will ensure a successful migration to your outdoor garden. x
  • 5
    Planting Vegetables and Herbs
    Whether you start from seeds or buy young plants from your local nursery, vegetables and herbs are easy projects the whole family will love. See how to prep the soil and plant seeds for onions, corn, carrots, potatoes, and more. Then turn to transplanting and growing different types of tomatoes, peppers, and squash. x
  • 6
    Low-Maintenance Garden Tips
    Consider ways to reduce your maintenance time and increase the success of your garden, no matter how busy your life may be. This lesson offers a blueprint for low input gardening, revealing time-saving strategies like proper weeding techniques, mulching for weed control and water conservation, and more. x
  • 7
    Small Fruit Cultivation and Care
    For some gardeners, the shift from growing vegetables and herbs to growing fruits may be overwhelming, but in fact, the same basic maintenance and care principles apply: plant selection, soil prep, and pruning. To boost your confidence, this lesson provides some easy guidelines for growing small fruits, including strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, grapes, and more. x
  • 8
    Growing Fruit Trees
    Once you've tackled vegetables and small fruits, moving to large fruit trees can be an exciting step. Because there are so many varieties available, from apples and peaches to pears and plums, Ms. Myers gives you some general guidelines for selecting and planting trees, as well as invaluable guidance on training and pruning your plants for greatest productivity. x
  • 9
    Eco-Friendly Pest Management
    When you grow your own food, you'll likely tolerate a few more imperfections than you would with food from the grocery store. But you'll still want to mitigate the harm from pests and diseases. Here, you'll look at many of the most common pests and how to manage them in order to maximize your garden's productivity. x
  • 10
    Food Harvesting Tips and Tricks
    All parts of gardening can be fun, but nothing beats harvesting the fruits of your labor. To boost your garden's output, there are a few harvesting tricks you may want to consider. After reflecting on some differences between fruits and vegetables, learn about when to harvest many of the most common plants in the garden. x
  • 11
    Composting and Vermicomposting
    Plants come with a good bit of debris, including weeds and leaves and overripe fruit. Composting is a great way to turn those scraps back into organic matter for your garden. After going over the basic process - which is much easier than you might think - Ms. Myers builds a worm composter right in the studio. x
  • 12
    Extending the Growing Season
    No matter what part of the country you live in, the growing season inevitably will come to an end. To squeeze out a bit more yield from your garden, delve into several ways to protect your plants from frost. Explore cold frames, hot beds, greenhouses, and more, and then shift your attention to preserving your herbs over the winter. x

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What's Included

What Does Each Format Include?

Video DVD
Video Download Includes:
  • Ability to download 12 video lectures from your digital library
  • Downloadable PDF of the course guidebook
  • FREE video streaming of the course from our website and mobile apps
Video DVD
DVD Includes:
  • 12 lectures on 2 DVDs
  • 112-page printed course guidebook
  • Downloadable PDF of the course guidebook
  • FREE video streaming of the course from our website and mobile apps

What Does The Course Guidebook Include?

Video DVD
Course Guidebook Details:
  • 112-page printed course guidebook
  • Photos & illustrations
  • Container gardening tips
  • Suggested readings

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Your professor

Melinda Myers

About Your Professor

Melinda Myers
Horticulturist and Certified Arborist
Melinda Myers is a horticulturist, certified arborist, gardening expert, television/radio host, columnist, and author with more than 30 years of horticulture experience. She earned her B.S. in Horticulture from The Ohio State University and her M.S. in Horticulture from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Before launching her own business in 2006, she was a tenured associate professor at the University of Wisconsin...
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