Behind the Scenes in Martha Stewart's Vegetable Garden

In episode one of Martha Knows Best, Martha Stewart, along with her gardener, Ryan, focus on sharing ideas and advice for vegetable gardening, including prepping the soil, preparing the beds and planting the seeds.

August 13, 2020

Good Loam Soil

The first episode of Martha Knows Best is all about the first rule of gardening: Take care of the soil, and it will take care of your plants. Here, Martha shows the ideal soil called loam, which she compares to a good pie crust dough, or pate brisee in French — both crumble but will hold together when pressed.

Martha and Ryan

By Martha's side in this series is her gardener, Ryan McCallister. Here, he hands Martha the phone so she can answer call-in questions. One question comes from a couple looking for vegetable gardening advice. Martha's advice? "The couple that gardens together, stay together." (Of course, there are exceptions.)

For More: Get to Know Ryan McCallister, Martha Stewart’s Gardener and Sidekick in 'Martha Knows Best'

Impress Martha

In each episode of Martha Knows Best, she takes a call from someone who aims to "Impress Martha." For the first episode, Elise from Florida shows Martha how she collects condensation from her AC unit and diverts it to a rain barrel. The rain barrel is outfitted with a pump so the water can be used in Elise's vegetable garden. Martha is impressed.

Learn More: Save Water (and Money!) With a DIY Rain Barrel System

Tilling Methods

Martha and Ryan demonstrate different methods of tilling soil to prepare for planting. Martha takes the power tiller while sticking Ryan with the broadfork — a traditional tool that's a lot of hard work. As Martha says, it's good exercise: "Keep young, keep gardening."

See More: Prep Garden Soil Like Martha Stewart With This 3-Tool Digging Set

Advice for New Gardeners

“Remember, gardening is something to be learned," Martha says in this first episode. "It doesn’t come naturally to everybody. But once you learn the basics, if you have a little plot of land or if you have a big piece of property, you can enjoy a garden.”

See More: The Hori-Hori Knife Martha Stewart Uses in 'Martha Knows Best'

Garden Fashion

True to form, Martha gardens in the latest looks, like her olive green jumpsuit that's very on-trend. She recommends always wearing a hat while gardening to protect your skin. We also love her cute-but-practical clogs.

Planting in Raised Rows

Martha preps the soil for a garden planted in the French intensive raised bed style. In this method, raised areas of soil are created just with a shovel instead of hard sides like wood or stone.

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