Jamila Norman from Magnolia’s Homegrown Talks Gardening Tips


Jamila Norman chose to give up her professional career and start her own farm – Urban patchwork farms – 12 years ago in Atlanta, GA, and she knows a thing or two about plants. Norman gained international fame for her hard work as an urban farmer, letting nothing stop her – not even a small 1.2 acre backyard in Atlanta. Norman is a busy woman, so when Magnolia Network approached her in 2020, it was the right place, at the right time. In fact, as Norman says, it was in her “year of yes”, and she got down to it! Norman is the star of the new Magnolia Network TV show House, which you can watch when the network launches on July 15.

In HouseNorman shares his knowledge of farming by helping people start farms in their own backyards. No matter the size, amount of light, or soil, Norman uses his years of experience – and Caribbean heritage – to bring these backyards to life. In fact, Norman’s legacy helped propel her through means of connection. “It is a link with memory, history and the perpetuation of this tradition”, a tradition that she shares with others. Whether it’s helping to revive fruit and vegetable plants or bringing unexpected plants to the backyards of Georgian residents, Norman works wonders. So who better to ask for gardening advice than the miracle worker herself? In an exclusive interview with POPSUGAR, Norman shares his gardening tips, challenges and suggestions. And if there is anything to remember, it’s A. the floor is the key; and B. patience is a virtue!

Host Jamila Norman poses with crops on an Atlanta farm, as seen in Homegrown Season 1.

When you start your first garden

“I mean, just to start off, I’ll say start small. Research, learn, explore. I learned a lot of what I know about farming and gardening from reading gardening books, googling. , at YouTube University – it was just something in the back of my mind, I was passionate about it, so I read a lot. ”

“So know that there will be a lot of failures … the most important thing that I think people underestimate is not to skimp on the floor. So whatever you are [gardening] in containers, or you fill a [garden], definitely buy the best land you can afford, because if you go for cheap produce you will not grow good vegetables. Then too, if you are growing in the ground and using the soil you have, take the time to really compost and cultivate your soil, because that’s the base. “

On the best companion plants for your garden

Worry : “People always plant marigolds with tomatoes, which have a very strong scent. They help repel insects, because bad insects like to attack tomatoes. Marigolds also bring a lot of pollinators … these are just beautiful ones. flowers. So it attracts butterflies and bees and stuff, and so you want pollination in your garden because that’s how you’ll get more fruit, you know; they circulate the pollen and fertilize the garden. “

Basil: “Basil is also a good companion for tomatoes; they go well on a plate and the basil helps the tomatoes to be tastier. ”

Nasturtiums: “Another great companion is nasturtium, which is another flower. It’s a bit spicy. It works great with anything like pumpkins, cucumbers or squash. They are all from the same plant family. , and they tend to be attacked by the same insects and nasturtiums repel them. ”

Plants of the Allium family: “One final is to grow things in the allium family, which are garlic, onion, galleons, ties, leeks.. Leafy greens, like kale and broccoli.”

On containers against raised beds against in the ground

“I think that’s really what you have access to. And then also, what budget you have, right? When you make containers like you’re on a balcony, have a porch, or you have a very small space. , or, you know, you’re in the concrete jungle, you’re going to make containers, right? Just because that’s what you have access to to fill it up with good soil. you that these containers – like potting soil – are made to drain well and not be too compact. As for raised beds… if you are outdoors or have access to a yard. back and you’re wondering “should I go into the ground? Should I make raised beds?” It’s more expensive initially to do raised beds, near woods, ground and all that , but it makes the job in the back much easier … But if you are budget conscious and want to use the ground that e you have on earth, you can certainly do it – just change this soil. So it is really the budget statics that determines where you are going to go. “

Bounce back from the hardships

“This season I grew a bunch of romaine lettuce, and they were gorgeous! It was the best romaine lettuce I have ever grown. So the first thing that happened, I have two sites that I’m farming on, and the deer ate every romaine, so like hundreds of romans. So it’s one thing, is that parasites can catch you. And then my second turn of romaine, I’m like “OK, this one is going to be good”, and then it got super hot, really quick, and the lettuces do what they call bolts, so I went from creating beautiful lettuce with a style: “oh my God, I have to grow seeds now”. … It’s just important to understand that farming is a dynamic process and to be ready to pivot. “

Image source: Courtesy of Magnolia Network


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