Gardener Interview #4 (Tiny Garden Habit)


Hello gardeners – I’m back with the 4th in this series of interview posts. I set out to talk to gardeners who have blogs or YouTube channels.

I wanted to learn more about them, their interests, what kind of content they create, how they got started with gardening, and more.

Below, you can read our fourth interview with Adriana Sim, who runs the blog Tiny Garden Habit.

Enjoy!


1. What is your name and location?

Hi, I’m Adriana Sim, I live in a quirky mountain town at the base of the Carpathian mountains in Romania, Europe.

2. What is the name of your website, and what topics does it focus on?

I’m the proud owner of a gardening site called tinygardenhabit.com which focuses on growing vegetables in a small garden using the no-dig method. My small team of passionate gardeners and I cover multiple topics from growing guides to long-term storage methods, focusing mostly on temperate climate zones.

Adriana Sim - Tiny Garden Habit - image 1

3. What is an interesting fact about you?

I gave up a career in dentistry to dedicate blogging full-time and become location-independent. It’s been a fulfilling journey and I’m grateful to spend time at home with my family.

4. What is an interesting fact about gardening that not many people know?

I was surprised to learn that you can squeeze multiple crops in a raised bed over the course of a year and never leave a bed empty if you don’t want to. So this means I can have potatoes followed by leeks, onions followed by carrots, etc, and get a ton of vegetables from the same bed.

That’s not AT ALL how we do things in my country. My parents sow the main vegetables in spring, and that’s it!

Now I enjoy sowing root crops in spring AND in summer, and I then store them in the root cellar. I haven’t bought carrots or root vegetables since 2019!

5. What is your favorite topic in gardening? What got you interested in that topic?

If you ask me, it’s definitely starting your own seeds. I love how much control this gives you, both over the location and timing of when to transplant your seedlings outside.

I realize not everyone has the time or resources to do this, but it makes gardening so much easier and more successful. I used to have terrible luck with germination, leaving me with lots of empty patches in my garden.

6. What is your favorite plant? Why?

I don’t think I have a favorite plant, I love eating what’s in season. Writing this in winter, I’m a big fan of beets, but that might change.

I love storing food because I get to eat organic all year long and I don’t have to buy chemically laden vegetables. Here’s a list of all the goodies I have in my root cellar:

  • Potatoes
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Beets
  • Carrots
  • Swedes
  • Celeriac
  • Leeks (Yes, raw)
  • Cabbage
  • Daikon radishes
  • Black radish

7. What is your gardening nemesis?

I battle with flea beetle every spring and aphids every summer. Flea beetle is the worst for brassica seedlings, but aphids are manageable if I stay on top of neem applications.

8. What is the biggest gardening mistake you have made? What did you learn from it?

I failed to prune my tomatoes the first year. Now I prune rather excessively and still mess up my tomatoes. Growing tomatoes outdoors in my climate is tough, but I’m hoping to get the hang of it.

9. What is your favorite gardening gear? Why?

I like my trusted dibber. It’s a simple and overlooked tool, but it’s so versatile. I use it for its obvious purpose – poking holes for seedling plugs – but it’s also great for transplanting leeks, or making shallow drills in the soil.

The dutch hoe is also high on my list. You just quickly run it through the topsoil and it removes any baby weeds. It saves a lot of time and keeps you from bending over too much.

10. What is your favorite gardening article that you have written on your site?

I don’t know if these are my favorite articles, but since it’s winter and I’m enjoying the benefits of stored vegetables, here’s how I prep them for storage:

11. Are there any gardening blogs, apps, YouTube channels, Pinterest pages, etc. that you like?

I like the no-dig classics: Charles Dowding and Huw Richards. I’ve learned so much from them and still do. It’s a joy to follow them because they’re pretty close to my climate and way of doing things. Simple Living Alaska is also high on my list.

12. How many posts do you have on your website?

So far, I have upwards of 200+ posts on my blog. It’s growing slowly but I’m doing my best. I connected with some amazing writers who have been gardening their entire lives and they’ve now become part of Tiny Garden Habit.

13. How many posts do you write per week/month?

It varies, I either write or outsource 8-10 posts per month, sometimes more. Hoping to create more engaging, useful content this year with the help of my team. I also have a small YouTube channel, but it’s been on the backburner ever since I gave birth to my baby girl.

14. How long have you been interested in gardening?

I’ve always had a thing for gardening but I only took it seriously 3 years ago and actually started my garden during the 2020 lockdown! Best time to start a garden, wasn’t it?

In fact, here’s a before and after of how my small garden looked when we moved in and a couple of years into gardening. The second shot was taken in September, and the garden was still full of veggies.

Before Lockdown:

Garden (Before) - image 2

After Lockdown:

Garden (After) - image 3

15. How many different types of plants do you have?

I never stopped to count, but I’m guessing I have a couple of dozens of annuals and perennials in my garden every single season. I have 11 raised beds and three large perennial beds, so I have plenty of space to go crazy every year.

I’m absolutely in love with berries, so I must have every type of berry you can imagine in my garden.

16. Is there anything else about gardening or your website that you would like to mention?

Yes! I’d say start small but keep going. Whether you’re planning to grow your first vegetables or you’re thinking of starting a blog, start small and be consistent.

My very first garden was a 1-meter square following the “square foot gardening method”. I learned the basics there for a year, and then scaled fast.

The coolest thing about gardening (and blogging, why not), is that it’s not the end of the world if you fail. You just try again next year! 


Adriana, thank you for taking the time to do this interview!

If you want to check out Adriana’s posts, you can find them here.

You can also find Adriana’s gardening videos here.

I hope you enjoyed this gardener interview, and I hope you learned something interesting today. Check back soon for more interviews!

You can find our previous gardener interview here.

You can find our next gardener interview here.


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~Jonathon


Jon M

Hi, I'm Jon. Let's solve your gardening problems, spend more time growing, and get the best harvest every year!

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