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Carmen Perr: How To Build An Extraordinary Garden From Zero

Carmen Perr is a passionate and talented garden and food enthusiast who has been sharing her love for homegrown cuisine with the world for almost a decade. She’s built an incredible following on TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube by sharing impressive dishes, cooking tips, and gardening advice. She is trusted for her practical tips and recommendations, and her readers are inspired by her innovative use of homegrown ingredients.

In this episode, Brooke interviews Carmen, discussing her journey from how she pivoted from a prospective law school student to a gardening sensation. Carmen shares her experiences, challenges, and tips for both new and experienced gardeners that make gardening approachable and fun.

Key Takeaways:

  • Starting Small: Begin with manageable projects like potted herbs or a small raised bed. (07:33)
  • Soil Health: Focus on composting to improve soil health for better plant growth. (16:16)
  • Patience and Consistency: Gardening requires regular attention and patience. (32:12)
  • Common Mistakes: Avoid overplanting, ensure consistent care, and manage watering appropriately. (32:54)
  • Gardening Hacks: Use felt grow bags for potatoes and understand your USDA growing zone for better plant selection. (23:00, 37:01)
  • Importance of Zone Knowledge: Understanding your USDA zone helps in selecting the right plants for your area. (37:01)
  • Herbs and Leafy Greens: Herbs like oregano, thyme, and basil, as well as leafy greens like kale, are great for beginners and versatile in the kitchen. (38:54)
  • Tomato Tips: Stake your tomatoes early, prune regularly, and harvest when they start to blush. (41:14)
  • Enjoy the Process: Embrace the journey of gardening with its ups and downs; it’s a hands-on learning experience. (44:12)·   Homegrown Satisfaction: Growing your own food provides a unique satisfaction and better taste. (11:01)

Notable Quotes:

  • “Gardening is really not as hard as people think it is. It’s super fun, and you just have to start.” – Carmen Perr (44:22)
  • “There’s something truly satisfying about growing your own food and knowing where it comes from.” – Brooke Eliason (10:19)
  • “The first meal that I fully sourced from my own garden was the best feeling ever.” – Carmen Perr (45:49)
  • “Embrace the journey— there’s going to be ups and downs. There’s going to be a lot of successes and some failures as well.” – Carmen Perr (44:22)·   “You just have to start. I think a lot of people trip themselves up being like picking the perfect thing or the perfect time or anything like that.” – Carmen Perr (44:22)

Click here to listen!

Resources:
Sunset Western Garden Book
Follow Carmen in the Garden on TikTok
Follow Carmen in the Garden on Instagram
Subscribe to Carmen in the Garden’s Substack Newsletter
Follow Female Foodie on Instagram