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gardening basics


This isn't a story about gardening, plant friends. This is an episode on plant friendship. Melody is a local gardener who lives 15 minutes from me and has one of the most unbelievable gardens I’ve ever seen! Her backyard is a whimsical garden oasis, with a gazebo, greenhouse, and a different flower or bloom everywhere you look. In this episode, I share the story of how I met Melody and Melody gives us a deeper understanding of soil, how it's alive, and how to make it the best soil for growing your own food. Hear all of Melody's great tips on keeping your soil rich and how plants teach us the importance of coexistence. Listen to our gardening story below!


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In this episode we learn:

  • [03:39] The changes to Maria’s gardening plans and a preview of her friendship with Melody
  • [07:50] The story of the attack rooster
  • [08:06] How Maria and Melody met and became friends
  • [09:23] Melody shares her rich horticultural background and how she became the plant lady that she is today
  • [11:11] How community-supported agriculture (CSA) helped address food shortage during the first months of COVID
  • [12:54] Store-bought vegetables vs homegrown and organic vegetables
  • [14:05] Melody discusses one of the biggest problems in agribusiness and food nutrition
  • [15:23] What is in Melody’s amazing live soil
  • [16:37] The three different types of soil and their characteristics
  • [19:41] What type of soil is best for the garden?
  • [21:01] Why you need the best soil for your plants
  • [25:14] How to keep weeds from growing in your garden with a collinear hoe
  • [27:07] Melody’s first year gardening
  • [28:28] How to keep your soil rich and how to format your garden
  • [30:12] Melody’s tips on designing an in-ground garden
  • [31:17] How to use compost in your garden
  • [33:28] A little trivia about sweet alyssum, and the importance of knowing your beneficials
  • [34:59] Bees in the garden and why you shouldn’t be scared of them
  • [35:55] How plants teach us the importance of co-existence
  • [36:36] Garden beginner tip: try square gardening!
  • [38:21] Why you should examine the roots of your plants and what they can teach you about your garden
  • [39:38] Maria and Melody’s plants this growing season
  • [42:35] Maria shares the wonderful things she’s learned from Melody about plants and about life

Thank you to our episode sponsors:

Espoma Organic

Espoma Organic is dedicated to making safe indoor and outdoor gardening products for people, pets, and the planet. They have an amazing variety of high-quality, organic potting mixes, garden soil, fertilizers, and pest control products that are organic and eco-friendly.  To learn more about their pet safe indoor and outdoor gardening products, visit to find your local dealer or check out my Amazon storefront of my favorite Espoma products here.


If you’ve got wildlife looking at your veggie garden, DeerBusters is here to help! DeerBusters strives to protect the gardens of companies and individuals through high-quality, easy-to-install, wildlife fencing kits that come in several different materials and sizes. No fancy hardware needed. Visit today to protect your plants tomorrow and use code BLOOM at checkout for 10% off.

Check out this video with 3 Ways to Add Compost to Your Garden!

Check out this video of Melody and I planting up ground cherries in a garden bed we made!


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