#621 Unlocking the Secrets of Successful Gardening with AI

#621 Unlocking the Secrets of Successful Gardening with AI

621 – Unlocking the Secrets of Successful Gardening with AI

Have ever struggled to turn your dream garden into a reality? What if we told you that there’s a new secret weapon that can help you achieve gardening success like never before? That’s right, we’re talking about the incredible power of AI!

Join Kathi and her partner in life and gardening Roger Lipp on this episode as they dive into the world of AI-assisted gardening. They’ll share all the prompts and tips that transformed their gardening game, and you’ll walk away feeling empowered and inspired to create your own oasis of abundance. Listen in as Kathi and Roger guide you through using AI to:

  • Plan the spacing and layout of your garden
  • Determine what plants are best for your growing zone
  • Research companion plants for a healthy garden ecosystem

As promised, here’s the Garden Prompt that Kathi and Roger use to direct AI to plan their dream garden:

“I’m trying to create a planting/gardening activity calendar for our home in the 7b zone of 95684 for our 16×48 foot harden and our 8×8 greenhouse and various potted plants on our patios. Can you create a monthly calendar and make some suggestions about the best fruits and vegetables to grow – along with planting instructions?”

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The Accidental Homesteader: What I’ve Learned About Chickens, Compost, and Creating Home

Homesteading [hohm-sted-ing]
1. an act or instance of establishing a homestead.
2. the act of loving where you live so much that you actively ignore the fact that your house is trying to kill you on a regular basis.

For Kathi Lipp and her husband, Roger, buying a house in one of the most remote parts of Northern California was never part of the plan; many of life’s biggest, most rewarding adventures rarely are.

Kathi shares the hard-won wisdom she’s gained on her homestead journey to help you accomplish more at home, gain fresh perspective, and give yourself grace in the process. Here’s a handful of the lessons Kathi shares:

  • Prepare before the need arises
  • Everything is always in process, including us
  • Your best household solution is time and patience
  • You don’t have to do everything the hard way
  • Be open to new and better ways of doing things
  • A lot of small changes make a huge difference.
    Highly practical, humorous, and inspirational, The Accidental Homesteader will encourage you to live with more peace, joy, and contentment.

Order your copy of The Accidental Homesteader: What I’ve Learned About Chickens, Compost, and Creating Home here.

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Meet Our Guest 


Roger Lipp

Roger is a productivity and quality engineer for a Fortune 50 company.

Roger helps teams reach their full productivity potential by teaching them the practical and simple steps to reach their goals. Roger and his wife, author Kathi Lipp, teach communicators how to share their message through social media and email marketing.

He and Kathi coauthored Happy Habits for Every Couple with Harvest House Publishers.

Tonya Kubo Picture
Kathi (00:00.198)
Well, hey friends, welcome to Clutter -Free Academy where our goal is to help you live every day with less clutter and more life. And let’s talk about more life because if there was ever a metaphor for life, it would be the garden. And we’re gonna talk about.

Gardening an AI and you may think how do those two things to go together? Well Roger and I are gonna rock your world Roger. Welcome back to the podcast So we got into playing around with AI It at the beginning of 2023 you may have been doing things before that but you and I as a couple that’s when we started and I started doing little things and I got so excited and then I’m like

Roger (00:32.879)
Thank you, good to be here.

Roger (00:55.151)
We actually, we challenged ourselves to do something with AI every day when it first came out. And we didn’t even know what that meant. We just said, hey, we’re just going to use this every day. Yeah.

Kathi (00:55.238)
We were planning a… Go ahead. Yeah. Yeah.

We want to learn. We want to be smart. And boy howdy. And so what I would say, one of our most successful AI endeavors early on for sure was planning our greenhouse and our garden with AI. And so you measured the greenhouse, you measured the garden.

Roger (01:10.639)
I’m sorry.

Roger (01:26.447)
Yeah. Yes.

Kathi (01:33.542)
We came up with a list of things we wanted to grow in the garden and in the greenhouse and we fed all that information into AI and we doggy. So I want to talk, go ahead.

Roger (01:51.887)
It, yeah, yeah, I think it was, you know, the first time out we understood our growing zone and we knew how much square footage we had and we knew whether it was outside or in a greenhouse and we wanted to know spacing and just some basic things that we had some questions on.

Kathi (02:21.542)
Mm -hmm, yeah. And we were novice gardeners before we moved up here. You had never really gardened before. I had done some gardening, but not super successfully because squirrels.

Roger (02:38.031)
Well, yes, that’s our example, right? We had a beautiful tomato plant in our back patio in San Jose. It was gorgeous. And then nature took over. And yeah, the one beautiful tomato that we grew ended up with a squirrel on the side of the fence. Yeah.

Kathi (02:51.782)


Kathi (03:01.926)
and the squirrel did it right in front of me and took a bite and threw it away. And I am not a yeller. I yelled at that squirrel. I yelled at that squirrel. But we have since learned how to use AI to help us be better, smarter gardeners, right? And so let me just talk about some of the things that…

Roger (03:05.839)

Roger (03:21.519)

Kathi (03:26.47)
We figured out and how we kind of put this all together now roger how big is our greenhouse? How big is our garden? and we now have orchard too. So like we’ve got it all going on

Roger (03:37.807)
Yeah, we do have it all going on. I’m sorry. I don’t have the exact numbers. Our greenhouse is, you know, about eight by eight. And the garden, the outside garden is 20 by 60. 20 feet by 60 feet. We got some space. Yeah.

Kathi (03:43.846)
Give us a rest.

Kathi (03:54.246)
Yeah, so we’ve got some space and we needed some plans. So here are, so let’s talk about, if you haven’t listened to our discussion of meal planning and AI, that’s gonna give you a lot of background to help you with this. But we’re gonna talk about some prompts. And can you just give us the one minute explanation of what a prompt is when it comes to AI? And why do we use cloth?

Roger (04:19.919)
Sure. So let me start with Claude. Claude, that’s C -L -A -U -D -E dot A -I. We’ve switched over to that. You may have heard of ChatGPT. Claude isn’t quite so well known out in the wild. You may have heard of ChatGPT. That’s a great one as well. That’s at chat .openai .com. And both of these are free. They both also have a paid account. We use a paid account.

Kathi (04:23.398)

Roger (04:49.551)
because it gives us better access and access to all the latest stuff. A prompt for any of these tools, you can think of it as just a way of initiating a conversation with the AI. So you can think of it similarly as you would with doing a Google search. So if you type into Google, you know, whatever you’re looking for,

In a way, you’re prompting Google now to go out and do that internet search for you. Similarly with Claude, except in Claude’s case, you’re going to give it more of a sentence or a paragraph. You’re going to have a conversation with it. We like to think of Claude as an assistant. So however you might talk with an assistant, you could type that in as if you were interacting over text message with an assistant and

Claude can look up that stuff and pull it all together for you. And just like with an assistant, you can go back and say, well, OK, that wasn’t quite what I was looking for. I need something a little more like this. And Claude will update things and respond accordingly.

Kathi (05:51.174)
Yeah, it’s

Kathi (06:03.622)
Beautiful. I love it so much. And so we will share some of these prompts with you to help you as you’re thinking through your garden and all of that and get you to the next spot. But also, look at this as a blueprint for other things you want to do. Maybe it’s a woodworking project. Maybe it’s a craft project or something like that. AI can help you with those things as well. So.

One of the most important things to know is your climate and hardiness zones. So if you give it, Claude, your zip code, it can tell you what your USDA hardiness zone is. Now we live in a very weird place. So I gave it longitude and latitude because, yes, because our zone is not really our zone. It’s.

Roger (06:49.903)
I was wondering how you got around that. Yeah.

Roger (07:01.807)
Our zip code, yes, we have very dramatic microclimate change just from a couple of hundred feet, you know, because we’re on the side of a mountain. So as you go up the mountain, the zones change rapidly.

Kathi (07:02.15)
We live in microclimates.

Kathi (07:12.71)

Kathi (07:16.966)
Yeah, and another really important question is what are the average first and last frost dates in your location? So yeah, so super, super important. So that’s climate and hardiness. Two, space and layout. I have a good, yeah.

Roger (07:26.127)
Super important. Yeah.

Roger (07:34.832)
So we should probably give, okay, so what is that prompt? We’ll include them in the show notes, right? But you’re actually typing in what is the USDA hardiness zone for zip code XYZ, yep.

Kathi (07:41.382)

Kathi (07:48.582)
Your zip code, yeah. Yes, you’re asking as if you were asking an expert that question. I think that’s the best way to do it or an assistant, depending on what you’re doing. So number two, space and layout. This is where we started with our AI gardening adventure. I have a garden plot that is 20 by 60. Can you suggest a layout? Now, what we said was, and here are the plants we would…

what first we started off with what plants grow best in this in our area, can you suggest how many plants of each and so we were able to do seed starters and things like that. Here’s another prompt you okay yeah.

Roger (08:33.871)
Now that was, I mean, that’s no small feat right there because that involves some math and knowing the spacing of the plants. So that is super valuable because each plant has its own spacing requirements. Some things can be really close together and other things have to be very far apart. So being able to ask, okay, how many cucumber plants should I have if I also have tomatoes and zucchini and pumpkins? Because.

Kathi (08:37.702)

Kathi (08:43.302)
Mm -hmm. my goodness. Yes.

Kathi (08:53.67)

Kathi (08:58.214)

Kathi (09:02.15)
Right. Yeah, we’re gonna try again this year, yes. Here’s another beautiful thing about space and layout. My garden gets full sun in the morning and partial shade in the afternoon. What plants would work well in this situation? What incredibly valuable information to have. Yeah, so go ahead.

Roger (09:02.831)
we’re gonna have pumpkins.

Roger (09:24.431)
And if you’re doing along those same lines, if you’re doing an outdoor in -ground garden like we’re trying, you also can give it soil conditions. We have very acidic soil. Now we try to combat that, but the soil out here is naturally acidic because of all the pine trees.

Kathi (09:41.254)
Mm -hmm.

Kathi (09:53.334)
is it the pine trees? Yeah. Okay, okay, that makes a lot of sense. We’re going to take a quick break. And when we come back, we’re going to give you a few more we’re going to rapid fire some prompts for you. So we we will take a quick break, listen to our wonderful sponsors and come right back.

Roger (09:54.575)
Yeah, they add a lot of acid to the soil.

Kathi (10:23.654)
Okay, guys, we are back and we’re gonna give you a few more prompts that have been especially helpful for us in this whole gardening situation. Okay, so plant selection, I love this. I wanna grow tomato, basil, and lettuce. What are the growing requirements? So it’s gonna tell you, you know, what kind of soil does it need? Is it a container plant? Is it the…

it’s going to give you everything you need. Or it may say it’s not going to work in your space. So you know, buy your lettuce at the store. These are all good. This is all good information to have. What are some easy to grow vegetables for beginner gardeners? So it’s going to give you a list and you say, okay, would these work in my conditions? And you know, this is great. If especially if you don’t have gardeners around you, you know,

It’s always best to get that information from somebody who’s been gardening for 40 years. But if you don’t have that person in your life, and we kind of don’t up here, this has been a great substitution. Wouldn’t you say, Raj? Yeah.

Roger (11:31.639)
yeah. Yeah, and getting back to the chat concept, you know, if you started your conversation with Claude about trying to figure out your growing zone, and then you went in, in that same conversation, you said, great, here’s the size of my garden. And now in that same conversation, you ask, what are some good starter plants? It…

Kathi (11:36.294)
Mm -hmm. Yeah.

Roger (11:56.943)
will remember that entire conversation and give you starter plants for your zone that would work well in that garden space. So this is one of the beautiful things about this kind of conversation. It really is like talking with an assistant or an expert. And it’s just sort of keeping track of everything that you’ve said in that conversation and pulling it all together for you.

Kathi (12:21.766)
Brilliant, brilliant. Okay, couple of other interesting categories, companion planting. What are some good companion plants for tomatoes? So that is, you know, you wanna grow tomatoes, but you wanna have other things near it that are going to, that are good to grow together. Plants like friends.

Roger (12:42.799)
A lot of it is, yeah, yeah, and a lot of it has to do with pest control as well. So, you know, this plant repels the pest that would be a problem for this other plant, therefore they should grow kind of close together. So a lot of subtleties in planting a garden that we have no idea about as we’re starting, or even intermediate.

Kathi (12:48.134)
Mm -hmm.

Kathi (13:05.222)
Yeah. Well, and you know, you could even say, hey, when planning the layout of my garden, keep in mind companion planting, my zone, these are the things I’d like to grow. Like put all those conditions in and then this genius brain is going to take all that information and give you to optimize all your conditions and what you want to accomplish.

Succession planting. How can I plan for successes, hard harvests of lettuce throughout the season? Like it may say in spring, you’re going to start with this kind and then you know, fall, you’re going to transition to this. What are some vegetables with different maturity dates that I can plan for a longer harvest? And we do this as well. We know which ones we’re going to plant in February, you know, start in February in the house. Go ahead, Roger.

Roger (14:00.879)
Yeah, I think this year we’re we’re paying attention. This is kind of the growing edge for us this year is to get this down because otherwise your garden is kind of one and done and when you know that that tomato plant is is done, it’s it’s kind of done. But if you can think about things from a longer. Period of time, well OK, what does work in the fall and how can I get that little plant started?

at the right time. Maybe it’s in a in the greenhouse or we even turned our upstairs, my office upstairs, one of our spare bedrooms into a growing nursery for the for the plants. We had light stretched across between two beds that we have in the room and it was pretty interesting. But you know that that’s just a way of trying to figure out how to have.

Kathi (14:46.278)
Room. Yeah.

Roger (15:00.911)
plants for longer period of time, how to have more vegetables for a longer period of time. So AI can definitely help lay that out and create a plan for you.

Kathi (15:06.438)

Kathi (15:13.734)
I love it. Roger, as we finish up here, and we’ve got more prompts, we’re going to put those all in the show notes, so you’re definitely going to want to check those out. Why would you encourage somebody to try gardening with AI?

Roger (15:31.151)
So we’ve used some of the specific tools for this as well that are purpose built for gardening. And you can draw your garden space and gardening apps. Yeah. And they’re good. They’re good. So there may be an instance where that is the preferred thing that you would want to do. But here,

Kathi (15:43.046)
Gardening apps those kind of thing. Yeah

Roger (15:56.495)
With AI, it’s a general purpose tool. We’re recording sessions about cooking with AI. We’ll have others going on as well. It’s a general purpose tool that can help you in so many different areas of your life as an assistant, as an expert, as just something to bounce ideas off of, to enhance your own creativity. It helps in so many ways. And it’s available.

Kathi (16:05.19)

Roger (16:25.775)
for free if you want, or as we’ve done, you can pay 20 bucks a month. It’s such an amazing tool to help in so many different areas. So I think that’s why I would encourage folks to give this a try. If gardening is something that you’re interested in and you’ve had trouble getting started, or you have specific problems that you’re trying to overcome in your garden, maybe you’re an intermediate or even an advanced gardener, AI has a place there as well. So I think it can help.

Kathi (16:56.07)
Yeah, guys, I would really encourage you, you know, to use this in every aspect of your life, because when you get better with AI cooking, you’re going to get better with AI gardening and AI, you know, chores, you know, meal planning, all the there’s so many aspects of this can help with. Roger, thanks for being here.

Roger (16:57.135)
Because it’s helped us.

Roger (17:16.911)
my pleasure.

Kathi (17:18.342)
Friends, thank you for being here. You’ve been listening to Clutterfree Academy. I’m Cathy Lip. Now, go create the Clutterfree life you’ve always wanted to live.