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Going Viral with Veggies: Inside TikTok's Blooming #GardenTok World

TikTok is sowing the seeds for a gardening revolution, drawing enthusiasts from all walks of life with a passion for lush, thriving greenery

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By House & Garden South Africa | October 17, 2023 | Gardens

In light of International Garden Day on 15 October, TikTok is sowing the seeds for a gardening revolution, drawing enthusiasts from all walks of life with a passion for lush, thriving greenery.

From transforming tiny balconies into verdant oases to nurturing organic vegetables and crafting exquisite floral displays, TikTok's #GardenTok community has blossomed into a haven for garden enthusiasts, accumulating over 3.6 billion views to date.

In a harmonious blend of education and entertainment, creators on TikTok showcase their gardening prowess, offering innovative tips, sharing DIY projects, and extending a green thumb to aspiring horticulturists from all corners of the globe. Among these creators, one stand out figure is Noma Awusi, known to her followers as @gardentopot. As a devoted home gardener, Noma champions sustainability and organic gardening with the aim of cultivating an abundant harvest to sustain her family throughout the year.

@gardentopot Guys don’t sleep on composting! It will feed your garden, save you money, & it’s your little part in saving our beautiful earth 🌍 One thing I love about composting is reducing waste in my home. I generally try to add 50% brown materials e.g: cardboards or dry leaves. And 50% green materials e.g: veggie & fruit peels & cores. But it’s not the end of the world if you don’t get the ratio perfect 😌 In return I get free nutrient rich compost that feeds my plants and attracts garden friendly worms 🤩![CDATA[]]>🤩![CDATA[]]>🤩 . . . . . #zerowaste #ecofriendly #earthday #earthmonth #gardentok #gardentiktok #backyardgardening #gardeningtips #gardeningtipsforbeginners #gardening101 #composting101 #southafricangarden #saveourearth ♬ Food - eas Ratta

Noma, a dedicated mother of three and a devoted wife, has a compelling vision to inspire people to cultivate their own gardens. She began documenting her gardening journey on social media, initially for personal reflection. In her own words, she "didn't expect many people to be interested in 'gardening,' especially not on TikTok." To her surprise, her first TikTok post exceeded her expectations, and she discovered that the journey of growing vegetables becomes more satisfying when shared with a community.

@gardentopot Life got hectic and I took a break from the garden… I think it’s time to come back now 🥰 #homegarden #backyardharvest #gardentok #gardentiktok #southafricangarden #gardenappreciation ♬ Einaudi: Experience - Ludovico Einaudi & Daniel Hope & I Virtuosi Italiani

For Noma, Spring and Summer are the primary growing seasons, and she dedicates her efforts to cultivating her garden during this time. Her favourite crops to nurture include tomatoes, spinach, lettuce, potatoes, ginger, sweet corn, beans, cucumbers, and hot peppers. Her sage advice to fellow gardeners: "Plant what you will eat. As gardeners, it's easy to get carried away growing foods just for fun, and then you're left with a bountiful harvest you'll never consume. Grow what you love."

She continues: “Of course, a Summer garden is not complete without flowers. I love to grow marigolds and nasturtiums because they help with pest control. Many of my garden’s flowers are also edible and great for adding to salads, like pansies, sunflowers, calendula and dianthus.”

@gardentopot If there’s one thing our family loves it’s hot chilli peppers 🔥![CDATA[]]>😋 In this video the Habaneros are the hottest, I can only eat them in stews and they are incredibly tasty 😋 Cayenne is a staple that I can eat with anything including eggs & salads. I tried the Chilli Thai Dragon for the first time this year and I was surprised that it’s hotter than Cayenne which is great for when I want an extra kick in my food 🔥 What’s your favourite hot chilli pepper? . . . . . #hotpeppers #chillipeppers #growpeppers #pepperharvesting #chilliloverssouthafrica #chillilover #gardentok #gardentiktok #homegarden #growyourownfood ♬ Cough (Odo) - Kizz Daniel & EMPIRE

In her approach to pest control, Noma prefers organic solutions to chemical methods. “A quick homemade recipe I use in emergencies is a drop of dishwashing liquid and water in a spray bottle. I spray this concoction directly on aphid infestations, and then about 30 minutes later when they are all dead, I spray it all off.”

Pruning your garden is like keeping your house clean. Just as neglecting to clean your house leads to chaos and mess, failing to prune your garden can result in unruly plant growth and a messy garden filled with dead or dying branches, Noma explains. “These neglected branches can attract harmful insects and diseases, further complicating the health of your garden. However, as an avid gardener, I always find joy in attempting to revive struggling plants. Providing them with good soil, bone meal, finding the right location with adequate sunlight or shade, watering them appropriately, and showering them with love makes it possible to breathe new life into a dying plant,” she adds.

@gardentopot “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with very much.”🌼 Not only is the Calendula flower pretty, but it’s edible & medicinal🌼 . . . . #calendula #calendulaflower #seedharvest #saveseeds #edibleflower #medicinalflowers ♬ Fairy Dust - Abaco Music Library

TikTok extends an open invitation to all, beckoning them to join the flourishing #GardenTok community and embark on their own gardening adventure. Whether you're a seasoned horticulturist or just discovering your latent green thumb, TikTok's vibrant and diverse community stands ready to nurture and inspire your journey.