Shawn King

Over Cognac

Relaxing in my garden gives me a great sense of pride knowing that dedication and commitment has paid off. Now I can light up a nice cigar and have a nice cup of coffee or glass of cognac and sit back and enjoy the fruits of my labor.


Italian Carmen Sweet Red Peppers

Italian Carmen Sweet Red Pepper Harvest


Banana Peppers, Jalapeno Peppers, Green Peppers

Habanero Pepper Harvest


Banana Peppers, Cheyenne Peppers, Pepper Mint, German Oregano, Parsley, Thyme

Romain Lettuce  Grown  On Racks


Romain Lettuce Harvest


Kale Grown in Retainer Wall


Kale Grown in Pots


Broccoli Harvest


Cabbage Harvest

garden 777

Romain Lettuce, Red Romain Lettuce, Leaf Lettuce, Kale, Cabbage Leaves, Beefsteak Tomato




Strawberry Harvest

cherry 4

Cherry Tomatoes

Cherry 2

Cherry Tomato Harvest


Beef Steak Tomatoes 1


Beefsteak Tomatoes 2

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Beefsteak Tomato Harvest 

Beefsteak Tomatoes


Beefsteak Tomato  Harvest


Beefsteak Tomatoes


German Oregano

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urb 4


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Aloe Vera


13 Feet Tomato Plants


Black Berry Plant

Mix Lettuce – Crowd Planting


Advantages of Home Patio Gardening

There are a few advantages a novice home patio gardener can benefit from that can lead to yielding a great vegetable and fruit garden harvest. The number one advantage of home patio gardening is – convenient access. I can access my patio garden from my kitchen back door which conveniently allows me to inspect my plants every day throughout the day. Two steps outside my kitchen door and I am standing in my garden. This easy access has increased my knowledge and interest in gardening which have led to a great harvest. No walking in a big back yard, farm or planting fields. 

Retaining Wall Ledges

Fenced in Patio

Patio Garden Racks 

Fenced in Patio

Having a 5-foot fenced-in patio is another great advantage to patio gardening. The fence plays a major role in reducing varmint invasion from devouring my garden.

Note: The convince of a retaining wall provides additional space where plants in pots can be placed

Garden racks

Garden racks are another great advantage for Home Patio Gardening. Not only dose garden racks increase planting space, but they also decrease the creeping crawling insect that invade plants leaving you with dealing primary with winged invading insect. Racks also presents a good eye view when inspecting your plants.  

Fresh Herbs

My family love home cooking and we love to dabble and experiment in creating many different dishes for our enjoyment. We also love the convivence of stepping out on our patio and harvest some of the great fresh organic herbs that enhance the awesome flavor of our creative dishes. Cooking daily with excess to natural oils of fresh herbs absolutely takes our favorite meals to a more enjoyable experience.

There are 4 basic conditions that play a major role in successful gardening: weather, water, plant nutrition and insect control. Considering these conditions when gardening will apply to what type of plant you want to grow; which will require some research to assist in yielding a great harvest.

Kale & Weather Conditions

Kale is a cool weather plant that can survive temperatures as low as -10 degrees Fahrenheit, but the ideal temperature to grow kale is between 55-75 degrees. I have grown kale in the spring/summer months and in the fall/winter months. Both planting seasons yield different results. 

Kale- Spring & Summer Harvest

There are a few key factors a novice gardener may consider growing kale in the spring/summer months:

  • The cool temperatures of spring can yield a great tasting kale harvest; but get ready for a challenging insect battle as temperatures warm up heading into the summer.
  • As temperature’s rise above 75 degrees heading into the summer months kale becomes a bit tough and a bit bitter to taste. 
  • Fluctuating high temperatures can cause watering challenges. Over watering in high temperatures can lead to plant disease or root rot that can kill your plant. 


Kale- Fall & Winter Harvest 

The best time to grow kale is in the fall/winter months:

  • The cooler the temperature the sweeter kale taste.
  • Cooler temperature greatly reduces insect battles.
  • Cooler temperature greatly reduces plant disease.
  • Cooler temperatures greatly reduces watering challenges.  Kale grows fast and is a heavy drinker so be sure to keep soil moist. 
  • There are several soil meter options gardeners can choose from to help monitor soil moisture. I have had great success with the soil meter presented.

Plant Nutrition       

Garden vegetable plants and fruit plants need nutrients to flourish and there are so many different methods and products gardeners use to yield a great kale harvest it can sometimes be confusing. I have been gardening on my patio for 2 years now and my first year of gardening was filled with trial and error.  I discovered that in order to yield a great harvest no matter what I was growing I had to do some research. That research led me to one conclusion; different vegetables and different fruits demand specific nutrients and specific conditions to thrive.

Weather planting in pots or a retaining wall, garden plants requires consistence maintenance to flourish. Replenishing garden nutrients(fertilizer) over a plant life cycle is key to an unabundant harvest. Consistent plant observation(how is your plant growing)is key to developing a great maintenance schedule.    

If conditions are good, kale can be simple to grow and you can be sure to reap the benefits of a bountiful kale harvest for several months. Weather I grow kale in pots on my patio or in my patio retaining wall, I have been quite successful yielding a great kale harvest using these organic products presented below. Note: I add all products to soil when planting.


Over Cognac

Curly Kale is considered to be one of the healthiest leaf vegetables a person can consume. This leaf vegetable can provide a range of health benefits for the human body. It is packed with vitamins and minerals A, K, E , Calcium, C, Magnesium, Potassium and many other nutrients that can help prevent health problems. Kale can be eaten cooked or raw and has a great taste.

Growing Kale In Limited Space

It dose not require a lot of space to grow kale. You don’t need a huge back yard or a farm to grow this nutritious plant. I don’t own a farm and I don’t have a huge back yard, so I grow my kale garden on my home patio.

As an novice gardener, I have discovered that creative gardening dose not require a lot of space. On my patio along my back fence, I have a 20 foot long brick retainer wall that is 1 1/2 ft. in height and 10 inches in width; this space has been great and convenient yielding a great kale harvest. 

Enjoying the great taste of Kale

My family loves curly kale and we consume this healthy plant in many different ways. Adding kale to our smoothies makes a great nutritional drink. We also like to boil kale to tenderness stove top in a pot of water with added favorite seasonings(for additional flavoring add a smoke turkey drum in the pot). Kale salads are also awesome and is one of my family favorite dishes. Kale is also great on sandwiches and sautéed in a skillet stove top. 

What I really love about kale other than its great taste and great health benefits is that, kale is a very vigorous plant that grows really fast and if conditions are good(weather, water, soil nutrients and insect control)you can be sure you can harvest kale for several months.

Growing Kale in Small Containers

If space is really a concern you can always plant kale in small containers and still benefit from the health properties and great taste of kale. Depending on the size of the container may very well determine the size of kale growth(leaf size). Though leaf size may be smaller when grown in small pots, smaller leaves are great for a quick smoothie or sandwich. 


When is the best time to grow kale? What are the conditions kale thrive in?. Lets discuss in Part 2-Growing Organic Curly Kale On My Home Patio.

Over Coffee

Crappie Fishing

When the topic of discussion is about fishing, anyone can make a sure bet that I will jump in and engage in conversation. As a figure of speech, I guess I can say fishing is in my blood; and the fish I crave for more than any other fish is Crappie.

I would not by any means claim to be a professional angler, but I have been fishing all my childhood and adult life. Throughout my fishing years I have gained a great deal of knowledge fishing for crappie. What I find interesting is that I have spoken to many people who love eating fish but have never eaten Crappie. So I would like to share a little knowledge about crappie that may peak a fish lover Interest.

Crappie is a freshwater game fish(fish of sport and not sold in your local grocery stores). This feisty pan fish can be found in many lakes across North America. 

There are two known species of crappie (Black & White) which are very similar. Weather it is white or black crappie on your dinner table, fish lovers can be sure to enjoy a great meal.

Black Crappie White Crappie

Crappie great taste has led anglers to a great deal of poaching. Poaching crappie can warrant expensive fines, suspension of fishing license and permanent confiscation of angler’s fishing gear that can result in the loss of hundreds of dollars.

Rules and regulations vary in different regions when fishing for crappie, so be sure to follow guidelines that will keep you out of trouble and money in your pocket when fishing for this great wonderful  tasting fish. 

The Crappie Spawn

The best time to fish for crappie is during the spring when water temperature reach 50 degrees. This time of year female crappie move in close to the banks and begin to lay their eggs in 1 to 2 feet of water(known as the spawn). The spawning period is vigorous and last approximately 2 weeks. This is also the time males move in close to the banks to protect the eggs the females lay.

There are 3 great opportunities an angler can experience doing a crappie spawn:

1. Plenty of fishing action.

2. Catching their crappie limit.

3. Anglers are hoping to catch that big trophy male.

Crappie Fishing, Tackle & Baits

There are many different baits, methods and preferences that anglers choose when fishing for crappie success. Listed below are popular basic and successful bait and tackle I use when fishing for crappie. These common crappie baits and tackle are inexpensive and can be found at local fishing baits shops and sporting stores. I find shopping at amazon for crappie fishing gear is quite coinvent; but if you really want to indulge in crappie fishing gear the Bass Pro Shops is a great place to consider. 

Lew's Fishing Mr Crappie Slab Shaker Jig Troll Spinning Combo MC7512G Combos
Live Minnow
Crappie Jigs