About the Crash Test Gardens
Accurate knowledge will always be the sharpest tool in your garden shed. But it's hard to come by!
Your own garden may not give you the feedback you need until next year. Or even five years down the road!
Plenty of "experts" are just passing on the same tired garden myths that will only waste your time and money.
The real, tried-and-true garden knowledge is often buried in obscure manuals and dry tomes.
I'm David Eyk, the Crash Test Gardener. I do the research, run the experiments, and share my hard-won gardening knowledge with you, so you can have a better, more productive, more efficient garden in less time.
I started gardening in 2007, in the west suburbs of Chicago, just when it looked like the economy was going to tank, and who knew what might happen. I bought Mel Bartholomew's seminal Square Foot Gardening, and loved his engineer's approach to gardening. My wife and I built a couple of raised beds, mixed up some Mel's Mix, and put the boxes on the patio of our rented duplex.
I immediately got to work wasting seeds and killing plants! It was exhilarating, putting seeds in the soil and watching them sprout and grow. The hard part, of course, was watering them regularly, harvesting them at the right time, and replanting the empty squares with the appropriate plant for the season. We didn't get a whole lot of yield out of that garden, but thankfully society didn't collapse and I kept my job.
I've gardened in some interesting situations. When our landlord didn't pay his mortgage, we moved our raised beds off the patio into a mosquito-infested yard at the next rental. When I got the opportunity to work remotely, we dumped the raised beds and moved 2,000 miles away to the Pacific Northwest and I tried my hand at container gardening.
Fast-forward to today. We own our very own 0.2 acres of God's green earth (or we will own it once we finish the mortgage payments). Every year, I read widely and try new techniques. I've tried permaculture and polyculture. I've dreamed of aquaculture and broad-acre agriculture.
I've done all the wrong things: I've planted discount fruit trees in the middle of a heat wave in June, and direct-sowed tomato seeds in the early Spring. Because why not? Part of the fun of gardening is trying new things. and learning new techniques. I tend to try things first and ask questions later, hence "Crash Test Gardens".
If any of that sounds fun to you, I invite you to learn along with me as I crash headlong into my next gardening project: