SG531: Raised Bed Revolution with Tara Nolan

I'm a huge fan of raised beds - specifically elevated beds - because they offer so many benefits to gardeners - from space saving and accessibility to portability and drainage. Tara Nolan's new book, Raised Bed Revolution, invites gardeners to build it, fill it, plant it... and garden anywhere!

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“Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.”
― Robert Louis Stevenson.

Raised Bed Revolution by Tara Nolan 6ftmama blog Still Growing garden podcast

Interview Questions

I’m wondering if we are in the same gardening zone because you are almost due East of me in Dundas Ontario.

Time Stamp: 12:26

Who would have thought that the Cactus Capital of Canada would be nestled on the Western edge of Lake Ontario.  What do you do during the Cactus Festival – It’s coming up Aug 19, 20, and 21st? 

Time Stamp: 14;03

You’ve been the editor of an online gardening magazine – Canadian Gardening magazine. How did that come to pass and what was that like for you?

Time Stamp:  17:00

Did being an editor change the way you write?


Time Stamp:  19:03

Are you a fast writer?

Time Stamp: 19:40

What is the story behind the creation of Savvy Gardening - Who had the idea to create the website? 

Time Stamp: 20:31

Is writing a book something you always wanted to do or is it something that found its way to you? How does it feel to have your baby out in the world?

Time Stamp: 26:50

Now did you go into this process of writing a book prepared to give up significant chunk of your time spare time and it must have had some impact on other areas of your life - because you are involved in a ton of stuff including an active volunteer schedule.

Time Stamp:   28:17

Are there any other areas of the garden world that are a particular interest to you if you were going to write another book.

Time Stamp: 32:07

Give us a virtual tour of your raised beds – where are they situated, how are they constructed, and what are you planting?

Time Stamp:   35:23

You have a versailles inspired planter. Dish on that a bit.

Time Stamp: 39:20

You had some advice - some lessons really - from putting together your own raised beds that I thought were worth sharing so that people can avoid similar pitfalls. 

Time Stamp:  41:37

Do you have a favorite plant or a signature plant - something your garden is known for?

Time Stamp: 45:11

What are some common issues that people encounter with flat earth gardening that drive them toward raised beds?


Time Stamp: 47:08

The tagline for your book – which I love btw - is build it, fill it, plant it. But, it's not build it, fill it, plant it and forget it.  You still have to attend to raised beds

Time Stamp: 50:35

People should be inspired by the gallery of raised beds in your book which showcases innovative beds from all over tarnation. 

Time Stamp: 53:11

By the way, I thought the little garden that was on top of the doghouse was so dang cute. 

Time Stamp: 55:01

One of the photos that I especially loved was the 5 gallon buckets encased in old coffee bean bags.  Which I found on amazon in bundles of 10 – so those babies were put in my cart last night and they should be here tomorrow morning. That photo is something else isn’t it?

Time Stamp: 56:27

Another photo that caught my attention was the one with the dibber. I had no idea what that thing was – and I’m going to let you tell about it because you got this from Karen Bertelsen – the creative mind behind the blog The Art of Doing Stuff.  

Time Stamp: 57:53

I wanted to make sure that you got a chance to talk to little bit about some of the great fabric raised beds that are on the market right now.

Time Stamp: 59:52

Chapter 4 of your book is completely devoted to getting raised beds into small garden spaces. What are some of the standout options folks should consider?

Time Stamp: 1:03:03

Raised beds really help fight the messy factor of gardening for folks that want things to look tidy. 

Time Stamp: 1:05:31

One of the things we can't forget to address as were speaking about your book is compaction. 

Time Stamp:  1:07:13

In terms of soil for raised beds – I’m a huge fan of Mike McGrath - he is a big advocate of raised beds as well – he suggests using an mix top soil, compost and perlite.  What do you like for a soil mix in your beds?

Time Stamp:  1:08:51

You and I have something in common in that we are pretty handy girls. I absolutely fell in love with the repurposed lettuce table. Walk us through the whole project start to finish.  

Time Stamp: 1:11:14

I see you address drip irrigation as a way to really maximize raised beds. Are you a big drip irrigation gardener?  I am.

Time Stamp: 1:15:32

Your gardening friends really supported you in gathering images. Do you have any fun stories behind some of the images in your book?

Time Stamp: 1:17:12

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What listeners are saying...

I never write reviews but this is the best gardening podcast out there. Jennifer has interesting topics and guests and is not one bit annoying like some others are. I love that she involves her kids at the end of the podcast - usually with poetry or music. Really good podcast.

- Barbcfc, Mar 23, 2016

Still Growing is one of the reliably informative gardening podcasts from North America. The format consists of an intro (personal gardening status chat, seasonal remarks), an extended interview with a guest, and an outro with funny outtakes, side remarks, and some chatter (poems, readings) from the host's children. The podcast is focused on reliable knowledge - the guests are typically experts like academics, master gardeners, gardening entrepreneurs or public garden leaders. The intro and especially the outro give it a homey feel. Given I live in the high northern region, just a little below the Polar Circle, I'm always looking for more cold-weather oriented gardening information. Jennifer Ebeling is in Minnesota, so that's helpful to me! Vegetable gardening (my main interest) gets a good share, but is not predominant. Most topics transcend your specific gardening interest and are applicable to many styles: landscaping principles, vermicomposting, greenhouses. The episodes are typically an hour long, which is just fine for me.

- cwaigl, May 29, 2014

Best gardening podcast out there. Her preparedness leads to a good interaction with the guests and brings out the best in them. Very informative and yet personable.

- Corn bug, June 15, 2016

This is a great podcast. Really well produced and organized with good sound quality. I love the mix of information and personal touches. Jennifer has great guests and asks the best questions. You can tell she really does her homework. I listen to several gardening podcasts and this is my absolute favorite!

- So Cal Gardengirl, June 19,2016

Jennifer Ebeling
Jennifer Ebeling is a proud Minnesotan and U of MN alumni. Gooooooo Gophers! Each week, Jennifer produces and hosts Still Growing - a gardening podcast dedicated to helping you and your garden grow. The show is an in-depth interview format. Guests featured on the show share a passion for gardening and include authors, bloggers, professional gardeners, etc. Listeners and guests of the show can join the Still Growing community on Facebook. It's a place to ask questions, share garden stories, interact with great guests featured on the show, and continue to grow and learn. Jennifer and her husband Philip have four children, a big golden lab named Sonny, and live in lovely Maple Grove, Minnesota. P.S. When she's not teaching her four kids a new card game - or teaching them how to drive a car - Jennifer loves inspiring individuals and groups to maximize and personalize their home & garden.
Jennifer Ebeling
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