Better Gardening Through Experimentation – David The Good








Great Big Ideas & Takeaways:

  • How to become a backyard scientist – and let your garden teach you!
  • Why you should worry LESS about your gardens.
  • Letting nature and experiments lead you to success.
  • New, lazy ways to compost.
  • How to build garden beds for FREE!
  • Why planting fruit trees from SEED is a good idea.
  • Why you should test a wide variety of crops.
  • David’s recipe for “fertility tea” – to supercharge plant growth!
  • How raiding your pantry makes you a better gardener.

About The Speaker:

David The Good is a naturalist, author, and hard-core gardener who has grown his own food since 1984. At age five, he sprouted a bean in a Dixie cup of soil and caught the gardening bug.

Soon after, his dad built an 8’ by 8’ plot for him and David hasn’t stopped growing since. David is the author of four books, writes a regular column for The Ag Mag in North Central Florida, is a Mother Earth News blogger, and has also written for outlets including Backwoods Home, Survival Blog, The Prepper Project and Self-Reliance Magazine.

David is a Christian, an artist, a husband, a father of seven, a cigar-smoker, and an unrepentant economics junkie who now lives somewhere near the equator on a productive cocoa farm.

QUESTION:   What gardening experiments have you tried? What were the results?


  1. Fabiola

    Thank you so much for the inspiration as I am a starter that soon will be living off the grid…

    1. David The Good

      Sounds like a dream, Fabiola. May it be a great success!

  2. Meredith

    My kids are going to LOVE taking some watermelon and other types of “smashables” out into the field!

    1. David The Good

      Do it and film it!

      We are about to harvest the canteloupes in the video… they are loaded. Having good clear soil before the smashing really helps ensure success.

  3. Vin

    Fantastic Presentation:

    Hardcore gardening!

    1. Marjory WIldcraft

      Yeah, Dave’s the best!

    2. David The Good

      Awwww yeah! Glad you got to watch, Vin.

  4. Anne

    Fun, unique, humorous, presentation. A real inspiration. Thanks so much

    1. David The Good

      Thank you, Anne!

  5. Bellen

    Always love videos by David the Good – they’re fun and full of very useful information. I’m in SW Florida and have had great luck following his suggestions. For everyone – experiment, experiment, experiment.

    1. David The Good

      Yes indeed, Bellen. Nice to see you here. Thank you.

  6. Natalie

    This was an awesome video, thanks so much for the inspiration!

    1. David The Good

      Thank you for watching, Natalie. Glad you’re here.

      1. Lynda Way

        How do you use the metal monster and where do you purchase one?

        1. Lynda Way

          What is stratification? Why do you do it? For how long?

        2. David The Good

          I demonstrate it on my YouTube channel here:

          It’s a lot of fun.

        3. David The Good

          I bought mine right from the makers –

          As for seed stratification, it’s a chilling period that triggers the seeds to leave dormancy.

  7. CeAnne @ St. Fiacres Farm

    Love the sense of humor, keeps it entertaining! I’m ready to experiment some more, right up our alley here on the farm!

    1. David The Good

      Thank you, CeAnne. Every year we get better and better at gardening… one experiment at a time. Sometimes ten experiments at a time!

  8. Kelly Lowe

    I love how he makes gardening so much fun !!

    1. Marjory WIldcraft

      Me too! And it makes me want a cigar

    2. David The Good

      Thank you, Kelly. It IS fun!

  9. Thomas morgan

    Nice to see a video from someone in my neck of the world. I live in the caribbean and there are plenty of organic farms here. So finding what grows here is easy. Love this guy’s energy and will be following him on YouTube. Thank you!

    1. David The Good

      Thank you, Thomas. Welcome. Glad you found it helpful. I love the tropics.

  10. Iris

    Great. sense of humor. Thanks for the tips

    1. David The Good

      Thank you, Thomas!

      1. David The Good

        That should have been responding to Iris. Thank you IRIS!

  11. Erin

    David is awesome and I love his video style of presenting so much better than the voiced over power point presentations. Keep the great ideas coming DTG! I have a fleet of seed grown apple, mango, and avocado trees that are a few months old thanks to his excellent instructions on the YouTube channel. My peach and pecan seeds are stratifying in the fridge right now. Thanks!

    1. David The Good

      Thank you, Erin. I’m going to post another video on all the trees I transplanted from the compost bed this week. I love free trees.

  12. Adam

    I want to present in the next summit. My finger’s on the way, Marjory! 😉

    1. Marjory WIldcraft

      Hi Adam – whew that David and his sense of humor. Hey I sent him a photo of a finger and told him he could have it back.

      1. David The Good

        That was the grossest thing… I laughed.

  13. Kay

    This was a fun and super video! Makes me want to experiment.
    What did happen to your finger?

    1. David The Good

      Machete accident – the ridiculous reenactment is here:

      Cut through two tendons. Praise be to God it’s healing up well now.

  14. Jean-Guy

    Now ,….that was fun and most interesting ! TY 🙂

    1. David The Good

      Thank you for watching – much appreciated.

  15. Kathy Lee

    So you eat the grain corn?

    1. David The Good

      Yes – I find the flavor to be richer even as corn on the cob. More full and “corny” and not as sickly sweet as sweet corn. And the grits we get… unbelievably good.

      1. Lisa Johnson

        I love field corn also. Farmers are harvesting right now. Maybe I will go out and forage for some spilled grains this weekend.

        1. David The Good

          Sounds like a plan!

  16. Elizabeth

    Fantastic video! Thanks for the inspiration and laughs!

    1. David The Good

      You bet – thank you, Elizabeth!

  17. Melissa Varone

    This is my favorite video of the summit thus far.

    1. Marjory WIldcraft

      Yeah, Dave is awesome. But hang on! We’ve got lots more coming!

    2. David The Good

      Thank you, Melissa. There are some really good ones coming up, too. I love being in the midst of such brilliant folk.

  18. Barb Herron

    We must be kindred souls. I cleaned up my tomato plants in October, threw them in my compost bin. A couple of weeks later I noticed a tomato plant growing. I am still harvesting tomatoes! They are smooth, some are still green, but they are still growing the first week of November in Wisconsin!! We have had several nights of frost! Great huh??

    1. Marjory WIldcraft

      Wow Barb, save some seeds from those puppies!
      Barb’s Wisconsin Cold Girls

    2. David The Good

      Perfect! Compost pile tomatoes are always the best. Better than the ones I try so hard to grow.

  19. Donna

    David IS THE BEST!

    1. David The Good

      You are too kind, Donna. Thank you.

  20. kathy Lee

    I just have a little raised bed garden 4×6 in my backyard of a city house. Asked my husband if I could take up more of the backyard to grow more of our food. What is wrong with that?
    I am now going to start throwing my kitchen stuff in that raised area instead of bypassing it and taking it to the compost pile in the back corner of the yard! Can’t wait to see what comes up!! Thank you, David!

    1. David The Good

      You bet. Take over the whole yard! My previous house had a front lawn that was almost completely converter to a food forest. You wouldn’t believe how many delicious things were growing out there. Every day was like Christmas.

  21. Terry

    I am a relative novice but using a variety of grow mediums just to learn and experiment so I found your comments interesting. I’m doing a small garden in the soil that doubles as a cold frame, a substantial bale garden, a couple of raised beds, a good size greenhouse and a small hydroponics greenhouse. Not everything has worked but I’m learning.

    1. Marjory WIldcraft

      Terry, that is the way it is – we are all always learning.

    2. David The Good

      That’s the way to do it, Terry. I’d say almost half of my experiments fail, but sometimes I’ll have something that just utterly blows me away… and I keep mining that idea for more success. You’re on the right track.

  22. Pam McDermott

    You just validated my own experimental nature! Thank you so much! I have my compost piles in garden beds so my heart is aligned with the concept. Thank you!

    1. David The Good

      Rock on, Pam! Thank you.

  23. Anna

    no closed captioning. glad I didn’t pay for this because without closed captioning it is useless to me.

    1. Marjory WIldcraft

      Anna, send in a request to ‘’ and we will get you a set of transcripts. Yes, closed capitoning is on our wish list, but we really are a small team and can’t do everything.

  24. Craig

    Another great video by David & Rachel. Really enjoyed.

    1. David The Good

      Thank you, Craig. I had to laugh at Rachel continuing her delivery of the story despite the surprise monsoon. She’s awesome.

  25. Joysmithing

    Another entertaining video from David the Good! I love his YouTube videos too. I’ve lived all but 3 years I the Midwest, and always figured things like apple trees would grow better down south. I’m definitely going to try the seed trees. I buy sticks with roots from the extension, but I am a lazy gardener and the only the ones hardy enough to survive without my help actually do, so I’ve just bought my trees bigger. How long before you actually get a fruit crop with seed trees, from planting time?

    1. David The Good

      Thank you, Joysmithing!

      It depends on the tree and the length of your growing season. Apples can take a long time – 8-10 years. Yet I got a peach to produce a couple of fruit in less than 2 years… from a pit. That blew my mind. I had a dwarf pomegranate produce in three years. Citrus can be fast (I got a calamondin to fruit in about 3 years) or slow (grapefruits take longer).

  26. Inge Leonora-den Ouden

    I love experiments and David is always funny. Every time I see one of his videos I want to move to a hot climate, that’s the reason why I do not often look them 😀

    1. David The Good

      I feel your pain. I lived in Tennessee off and on for 8 years. Pined for the tropics most of my life, then finally made the jump.

  27. Dara Martin

    Mr. and Mrs. The Good are the best!! I am never disappointed with their content.

    1. David The Good

      Thank you, Dara – you are a born encourager.

  28. Hans Quistorff

    If you really want to know what happened to his fingers you will have to go back in his You Tube channel to when it append. Hint there was a brief clip of him carrying it through the jungle.
    My experiment for growing pumpkins:
    Has worked great for three years. Harvest proof:

    1. Marjory WIldcraft

      That Dave is crazy… I think this is proof.

      1. David The Good

        I have some crazy friends, too. Especially ones named after culinary herbs.

    2. David The Good

      Thank you, Hans. I think a lot of folks don’t realize how powerful weed suppression can be. Those pumpkins are beautiful – I haven’t seen that variety before. Glad you posted!

  29. Nancy Haberland

    Very nicely done. Thank you for doing this.

    1. David The Good

      I appreciate it, Nancy. Thank you for the kind comment.

  30. Amy Delpiere

    Thank you for this contribution to the summit. I just have to tell you that your comment about buggin’ out with the broad fork was the best laugh I had today. 🙂

    1. David The Good

      Thank you, Amy. I love that thing. It’s a monster.

  31. Tessa Hudson

    Love this video! and especially the hat

    1. David The Good

      Thank you very much. I love that hat.

  32. Jamin Jacobson

    I stopped at combining compost and grow bed.

    Sorry, but animals enough in my garden.

    1. David The Good

      Let the fear flooooooow through you!

      It doesn’t work everywhere, but I have a little fence around our current gardens and no trouble. Back when we lived in racoon/possum infested Florida, I used to bury it all under the beds and plant on top.

  33. Barb

    13 Bean Soup garden! How fun!

    1. Barb

      Left his finger behind like a lizard drops its tail… bwa-ha-ha! Glad I watched this. New fan and I love experimenting and doing veggie trials in my garden.

      1. David The Good

        Hehheh. Thank you, Barb.

  34. Al

    My family always told me you CAN’T get fruit from trees that grow from seeds,but,to me,as a little kid,that made no sense: I mean,how long ago have humans started grafting,and,besides,how could fruit trees exist,if not by replanting themselves?…
    One of my favourite games,as a 7y old,was planting zillions of maples;another was cutting branches off one of my grandma’s rosebushes and sticking them into dirt filled plastic cups and multiplying it;I wonder if she ever knew who was trimming the poor bush…
    Anyway,5y ago,I made a BIG batch of peach juice,and threw all the pitts and stuff on the compost…and this year we ate the 8 wonderful tasting peaches the biggest one gave us– almost no watering,and that’s pretty tough,considering we live in a pretty dry part of the Pyrenees…
    Also,2y ago,I did some figs from seeds…yeah,the tiny little things inside figs…belive it or not,once they get started,they grow fast! 1yard tall in 1,1/2y,again,very little watering:I’m impressed.
    So ,thanks for your presentation,wich confirms what I thaught…

    1. David The Good

      You got it. Growing trees from seed has fallen out of favor as we’ve outsourced much of our food production to commercial growers… and lost our love of experimentation in the process. I have lots of great “fruit tree from seed” success stories on my website now. I’ll never stop. GREAT work on the peach trees!

  35. Bonnie Krause-Gams

    You two “goods” are just what gardeners need. Some people get to hung up on rows and plants from greenhouses, and perfection. Gardening should be fun. For me, if something fails, I don’t give it a second thought and just keep planting till things don’t fail. I am 75, been gardening since I was a kid, but after I retired 10 years ago, I just started digging on my bare two acres and have not stopped since. I dig by hand, but the broadfork looks like a tool I should be getting.

    Thank you for a fun filled video. This summit is such a gift. Love you Marjorie, staff and guests.

    1. David The Good

      That’s great, Bonnie – thank you. I do love our broadfork, though still do a lot of spade and fork digging too.

  36. Jean

    LOL, a friend was asked how they grew such a wonderful strawberry bed. “Well, first bury the dead cat…”
    I think it was elberta peach which was the result of a little boy planting a seed from the peach he thought was the “best ever”. Every grafted variety started as a seedling!!

    1. David The Good

      That’s hilarious. The cat will live on through strawberries.

      And wow – didn’t know that about the Elberta. Perfect.

  37. Sue

    I really enjoyed watching your video on experimental gardening. I have experimented with growing midget melons out of planters due to limited amount of gardening space. To my surprise the runners climbed out of the pots and produced
    single serving siized melons. Your ideas about grafting and composting were all good to know including trying to plant unusual seeds like casaba. Great presentation! Thank you
    for expanding my knowledge about gardening

    1. David The Good

      Marvelous on the melons! And thank you for the kind comments. I have too much fun.

  38. BrendaM

    Loved the presentation. I have been watching David for awhile now and being at about the same zone as he was in Florida, I have been inspired to grow sub tropicals. I have turmeric, ginger, Okinawa spinach, Longevity spinach, yams, cassava, moringa, katuk, citrus trees. I have his books on my tablet and read them frequently for inspiration.

    1. David The Good

      Thank you, Brenda. Nice to see you here and I appreciate it.

  39. Onecia

    This was so nice and so much fun. Thank you for sharing your experiences.

    1. David The Good

      Thank you for watching, Onecia. You bet.

  40. Jean

    Enjoyed David’s presentation and making gardening fun and easier. Great tips I will try in the garden or have tried. thank you for the laughs

    1. David The Good

      Thank you, Jean!

  41. David The Good

    Nooooo! That’s the part where I show how to build a rocket ship from bamboo! Hope you can get it to reload.

  42. Allan

    David great presentation as always. BTW Botanist Allan & Lee located your finger. We found it half buried in the Food Forest here in Ocklawaha. LOL. Thanks for all your help and wisdom here in Florida. Wishing you and the family all success in your new home. We miss you all. A

    1. David The Good

      Allan – so nice to hear from you! Please dig up my finger and put it in milk. Maybe it can still be fixed.

      1. Rachel The Good

        Um, if they put it in milk, it might grow roots.

  43. Yolanda

    Wonderful presentation….can’t wait to visit his web site.

    1. David The Good

      Thank you, Yolanda! It’s here: I also post at, thanks to the wonderful Marjory and her encouragement.

  44. Christina

    What a fun video! Thanks for sharing. I can’t wait to try some of your composting ideas. Scatter method worked for me this year when I took out all the left over squash and smashed them in the garden. I had scads grow. Fun!

  45. Jacqui

    What a fun video, loved this. You both play it, and grow it from the heart. Thank you.

  46. Cathy

    Thank you David for the info and encouragement. We live in the high desert of CA and have had a very difficult time with the drought, strong winds and insects. But, we shall prevail! Currently reading your book Grow or Die….and, of course, it’s a wealth of info. Looking forward to watching your videos on YouTube. Thanks Marjory and Grow Network & Mother Earth News.

  47. Teresa

    Hadn’t heard of this fellow before but so glad I watched him. I am a terrible, lazy composter but I will definitely give some of his ideas a try next year since our gardening season is done now until spring. Thank you for including him in the summit!!

  48. Laura Miller

    I love the out of the box thinking.Sent the video to my son, who will be majoring in the agricultural sciences at University.He will appreciate your attitude toward the compost pile. It is very entertaining and encouraging,as a not so successful desert gardener.

  49. Peter

    Great inspiring presentation…thanks!

    1. J

      Do you have a problem with rodent attracted to compost piles and rats eating the decaying food thrown into the garden amongst the veggie garden?

      If so, what natural ways do you deter rodents?

  50. J

    Do you have a problem with rodent attracted to compost piles and rats eating the decaying food thrown into the garden amongst the veggie garden?

    If so, what natural ways do you deter rodents?

    1. David The Good

      They aren’t much of a problem here but animals were sometimes a problem at my previous homestead. I bury meat and scraps in “melon pits” a couple of feet deep when there are animal problems, then plant on top of them later.

  51. J

    Please help, I’m dealing with a rat infestation in the community garden. Possibly due to rotting food that has’t been picked.

  52. Lyd

    Very good from Mr. The Good. I just subscribed to your U-Tube, and I have your book “Compost everything”.
    The best tomatoes I ever grew were from a plant that came up from where a compost pile had been. It came up in early spring and survived late frosts.I saved the seeds. but the plants from the seeds in following years were never as good. Maybe the quality had more to do with where they grew rather than genetics. Also they never had shock from transplanting.
    Thanks for the fun and informative video.

  53. Jon

    Search Drake on youtube for natural farming/korean farming

    Also search master Cho natural farming.

    Next level and the answers most are asking.

  54. Jay

    Oooooh, I like this guy! “Whaddaya mean I can’t do that!? Watch me!” About 5 years ago I began experimenting loads every year. I was hearing to much that just didn’t sound right. I uploaded several videos that busted a lot of beliefs. People still came on my videos arguing that it can’t be done in spite of the proof I had just shown.

    1. David The Good

      Yes indeed. I once had a master gardener see the papaya trees I was growing in North Florida (where it gets too cold for them) via some zone-pushing tricks. She looks at them and says “It’s really too bad these don’t grow here.”
      And she was serious!

      1. Jean

        “Expert: X- an unknown quantity
        spurt- a drip under pressure”
        Amazing how blind some folks make themselves. Sometimes “education” can be a handicap. I hope you didn’t tell the papaya trees.

  55. Summer

    My Dad (85) has been telling me to skip the compost pile and just dig the kitchen scraps right into the garden area. Old wisdom! Thanks for recommending the meadow creature, I bought it because of that, and it rocks, just amazing tool. Thanks for the video, very encouraging. You rock!

  56. Aubrey

    Hi David the Good, I’m really enjoying your talk. However, I am wondering if you ever have problems with predators digging up the dead animals you burry in the ground under the pumpkins? We have a lot of coyotes and bobcats where I live. We we leave deer caucuses around, the coyotes are on them immediately. I don’t want to give the yotes a reason to jump the fence into my garden…or to attract them near our chicken coop for that matter. What are your thoughts on this? How far are you burring the dead animals, because if I put them deep enough I might not have issues.

  57. Debra

    I’ve been trying to catch the webinar presentations as I can. I have to say that this is the best of the presentations so far. I don’t know if it’s because it’s a live presenter, rather than slides and a voice over, or if it’s because David the Good does such a good job of presenting the material. To think, I almost skipped this presentation! I think I enjoyed it because I’m a bit of an experimenter myself. I’m in the AZ desert, and I have been planting things that I’ve been told, “they don’t grow here”. So far, I haven’t been completely successful, but David has inspired me to keep trying. THANK YOU! I definitely will be subscribing to the YouTube channel!

  58. Susan

    I laughed so hard at you planting all the beans!!! I have that thought every time I go into my pantry and pass the jar of soup beans!!! I am planting them now! Thanks for the inspiration. We are trying to get nectarines and peaches, and lemons to grow from seed now. I’ve sprouted one, but it faded to black(died), but it gave me hope that it can be done. Strawberries have sprouted from seeds, I’m holing my breath they don’t fade to black. Hey we bought them to eat, so trying to sprout them doesn’t cost us anything.!!! Hope that hand gets better!

  59. Onecia

    I just LOVB this.

  60. Megan

    Interesting about the white jackfruit. I got 25, 1.5 foot jackfruit trees growing in my one bedroom apartment. Started growing them just to see if they will grow. There all health and green. Now I have to many. Need to transplant them and move them soon. Just got to figure out where. There not the only plants I have either. 😀

  61. Donna Nielsen

    Love your fertility soup. I’ve been rotting my bindweed and quack grass in buckets or barrels, but hadn’t thought to add all the other stuff to it. It is a great way to get some good out of something you don’t want in a compost pile. I also love the idea of extending the compost or manure you do have and to spread it over a wider area.

    Thank you for this video. It has really opened my mind to some new possibilities for my garden.

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