760: Pro Gardening Tips.

A Garden Chat with Zach Loeks.


On the last Tuesday every month we host The Urban Farm Garden Chats where Greg Peterson has a relaxed conversation in a Zoom room with a special guest to cover useful gardening topics, and they answer questions from the live listening audience.  To join us for the next event, go to www.GardenChat.org or
Click HERE to register for the Monthly Garden Chat with Live Q&A

In This Garden Chat:

This month we will chat with our friend and author Zach Loeks about his tips and tricks for getting the most out of your garden. He is willing to share some of what he learned managing his award-winning farm


Our Special Guest:

Zach grew up on a permaculture homestead in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Working alongside his family, he was immersed in a permaculture design and started his own edible landscape company. He started an organic market garden in Ontario, Canada serving over 300 community supported agriculture (CSA) vegetable baskets, for over a decade and is a three-time Agra award-winning grower. Zach is an innovator of edible ecosystem design, a unique system for organized biodiverse land management. Zach has also published three books, on food system design, and is working on his fourth.



– Tips to help mitigate heat in the garden with integration of perennials and annuals

– Protecting the moisture and adding moisture properly

– Why sprinklers are a no-no

– Food Forests and Edible Ecosystems

– mimicry such as of prairie landscapes 

“How do you put in less to get more, and to get more in a more resilient fashion?”

– Putting in a design that will self-manage

“Darwin would roll over in his grave if he thought that we were going to go and nurture and baby that poor little unfit, pear tree, that really is not site-suitable”

Using Annuals and perennials together to build a self supporting system

putting more work up front to get 

Seven layers of food forests? Maybe just three

“And it’s all about patterning of different sizes of plants based on their suitability to your landscape”

Walking around your neighborhood and city to see what is working

Zach’s impromptu walk that led him through a neighborhood in Erie, Pennsylvania to find a few new friends and an amazing tree.

rooting new plants from existing ones

things you can OBSERVE to help plan your garden and spaces

“Decision delayed is a decision better made”

What to do in a garden that is fried from a heat wave

micro and macro pore spaces – we need both in the soil

raised beds and large pots in the garden

raised earthen beds and lowered earthen beds

ecosystem ratios and plant density



Here’s the link to the Audible book mentioned in this episode:

The Edible Ecosystem Solution: Growing Biodiversity in Your Backyard and Beyond


Zach’s other books:

The Permaculture Market Garden: A visual guide to a profitable whole-systems farm business

The Two-Wheel Tractor Handbook: Small-Scale Equipment and Innovative Techniques for Boosting Productivity



Some of the links in our podcast show notes and blog posts are affiliate links and if you go through them to make a purchase, we will earn a nominal commission at no cost to you. We offer links to items recommended by our podcast guests and guest writers as a service to our audience and these items are not selected because of the commission we receive from your purchases. We know the decision is yours, and whether you decide to buy something is completely up to you. 

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