Renewable Farming

Foliar feed a no-till garden with WakeUP for fabulous taste and abundance!

Today’s explosive interest in home gardening reveals an opportunity to enhance your yields of vegetables, greens and fruit: Foliar feed with nutrients, biologicals and WakeUP. Fast-growing produce shows you how WakeUP dramatically accelerates foliar nutrient absorption and metabolism.

June 25, 2020 By Jerry Carlson — Three years ago, our grandson Blake took over crop management of our 20-acre research farm, where for 10 years we’d tested WakeUP with foliar nutrients on corn and beans. With help from family members and enthused friends, Blake transformed about 12 acres into an organic Eden of permaculture fruit and nut trees, exotic berry bushes, grapevines, flowers and no-till gardens. His specialty: heritage varieties of garlic.

A no-till garden? Yes. Blake imports truckloads of wood chips from several tree-service firms. This massive carbon cover mulches tree plantings and gardens. The weed-free chips are companion assets of Blake’s fast-growing firewood business. Blake’s website, Deep Root Acres on Facebook, shows a wide array of images and videos of our family campus and his operation. 

His enterprise is integrated with Renewable Farming LLC and our WakeUP manufacturing plant, run by Erik and Jeanene Carlson with help from sons Blake, Terry and Lane. (Grandpa Jerry and Grandma Jill enjoy the dramatic show, juice a lot of greens, and tend this website.)

Blake’s strawberry plants are dispersed throughout the garden. Birds don’t attack the berries.

That’s the overview. Our point: Your on-farm garden can be a dramatic demonstration of how WakeUP accelerates the benefits of foliar nutrients, and enhances sugar production of plant leaves. You can foliar feed garden crops with WakeUP Summer tank-mixed with NPK, micronutrients and biostimulants several times during the growing season. We say, “If it’s green, spray it.”

You can taste the difference in WakeUP-enhanced greens and veggies, compared with supermarket produce. For the most memorable taste test, eat some of Blake’s strawberries, versus the lest-taste ones from California or Mexico.

But… weed and insect control?  Blake doesn’t have to hoe weeds. A few weeds struggle to grow among the dense mix of edibles, but don’t impact yields. Nor does he spray pesticides. Blake observes, “There are no potato beetles or grubs on my potatoes. No significant chewing insects, or fungus on squash or melon leaves.” The photos below are typical.

We’ve long known that the most healthy plants don’t attract predatory insects. Sick, malnourished plants emit ammonia and other attractants which signal insects to attack.

Blake’s widely-used “secret” planting technique: He mingles a variety of crops close together, such as carrots interplanted with lettuce. Strawberry patches are scattered among the greens. Tomato cages are socially distanced among all the wide array of other crops.

If you search YouTube for videos of organic gardens, you can see this technique used widely and successfully. Chips are more than a weed barrier. Their high carbon content fuels a huge variety of beneficial actinomycetes and cellulose-digesting organisms. The chip layer also restrains moisture evaporation by breaking up capillary action near the surface. Despite having a high ratio of carbon to nitrogen, the chips disintegrate into an active humus, which clings to moisture. Gardeners using wood-chip mulch in lower-rainfall climates learn they hardly ever need to water a garden. 

Chips also reduce mud spattering on leafy edible greens after a hard rain. We’ve seen that advantage several times in downpours this season. Our family uses Angel juicers and drinks a lot of juiced greens, carrots, apples and other goodies. Oh, yes… should mention: We wash lettuce, kale and all veggies in a dilute solution of WakeUP and water. (One or two pump-bottle squirts of WakeUP in a sink full of water.)

Each spring, Blake scatters a layer of new fresh chips as needed. Another advantage of the thick chip mulch: You can walk anywhere in the garden after a rain without getting muddy feet (and tracking mud into the house).

I have a separate 400-foot-long berm of wood chips stored on another part of our home acreage. About 50 truckloads. After composting three years, 90% of the chips look like soil mingled with a few chip remnants. Fungi are powerful cellulose digesters!


High tunnel is used for hardening off started plants,
then growing out full-season veggies and fruit.
Interplanting two or more species somehow constrains leaf diseases and insect pests


Overview of part of the garden shows how many species are mixed throughout the garden,
yet there’s a logic involved and it’s easy to find the kale or lettuce when you want some.


Several colorful lettuce varieties add appeal
to salads. Blake has some commercial
customers for fresh greens.


It’s easy to clip fresh greens after a rain because
the garden is never muddy.
A few small weeds sometimes squeeze through the
closely planted greens, but they’re never a serious problem.



Varied species mingle in rows with an easy-access mulched strip
between rows. When planting seeds in rows, Blake rakes a furrow
through the top layer, sometimes adding dark compost in the furrow.
One gardener who raises veggies this way says his only garden tool is a rake.
Flowers add a bright touch. Blake also supplies fresh floral bouquets
for companies, churches and special events
(including Mother’s Day and Father’s Day).
My wife Jill and I make a glassful of “green drink” at least once a day.
The difference between aging kale and romaine from the store’s
organic section and Blake’s garden makes green-drink time welcome.
Not every guest has acquired the taste, though.
This photo shows lettuce growing alongside carrots. It must confuse the bugs.
Blake and family friend Holly Long foliar feeding Aronia berry bushes
late in the day. Either early morning or evening is a good foliar feeding
time, based on University of Nebraska research and our experience.
The family farm pond is a kind of accessory to the garden. Fresh veggies and fresh-caught bass are a tasty combination!
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