By Tom K.
November 09, 2021
In this episode of Frugal Living, host Jim Markus chats with Megan Gilger, gardener and blogger at The Fresh Exchange. You can listen to Frugal Living with Jim Markus here, on Apple Podcasts, on Spotify, on Amazon, on Anchor.fm, or wherever you go to find podcasts.
Advice for new gardeners
Gilger says his biggest tip for new gardeners is to start small. “It’s easy to have big eyes. People get burned out when they try to do too much and too quickly, and it’s best to let your garden grow with your experience. She also adds that she loses produce every year and learning to accept that is essential, because losing some of what you grow is part of the process. She explains that her first garden was a 4 “x 8” raised bed. She used it for three years before getting bigger.
Gilger explains that one of the advantages of a raised bed is that it is easier to control the quality of the soil. This is especially important in a city, where you will have no control over the surrounding land and groundwater. She chose a 4 “x 8” bed for her garden because she could reach the middle of either side, and it still allowed her to grow a fair number of plants.
Polyculture and Irrigation
Most plants grow best when growing in close proximity to other plants, says Gilger. Some combinations are more beneficial than others, and a few combinations are not ideal as plants end up competing for the same nutrients. She recommends the Carrots Love Tomatoes book for information on beneficial combinations.
One of Giliger’s first lessons was gardening with proper irrigation. She says that while gardens initially need a lot of watering, established gardens can go weeks without watering.
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For more on Megan Gilger, check out the latest episode of Frugal Living. Frugal Living is a podcast for smart consumers. How to spend less and get more? The show, sponsored by Brad’s Deals, features interviews, stories, tips and tricks. Jim Markus hosts season three, now available.
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