Julie Thompson-Adolf, Master Gardener

Julie Thompson-Adolf

Julie Thompson-Adolf is a Master Gardener and author with over 30 years of experience with year-round organic gardening, seed starting and saving, growing heirloom plants, perennials, and annuals, and sustainable and urban farming.



A lifelong gardener, Julie began her career by planting pansies and petunias and raising maple trees from seeds. She began Garden Delights during the recession after listening to friends worry about how they would feed their families if they lost jobs. She began growing organic heirloom plants and teaching friends how to garden, which she then shared nationally through her website, speaking engagements, and articles. Empowering people to grow from seed to garden to table became her mission. 

Julie’s suburban “microfarm” is often a site for tours and teaching. She’s a Master Gardener, served on the National Garden Bureau’s Plant Nerds team, and joined with television host P. Allen Smith for Garden2Blog. Julie is a member of Garden Comm: Garden Communicators International, Slow Food, Carolina Farm Stewardship Association, and many other environmental and gardening groups. She is a columnist, writes articles for many publications, and manages social media and content creation for horticulture clients.

A Word From Julie Thompson-Adolf

“Grow something. Maybe it’s just one tomato plant or a pot of basil, but I promise: gardening changes you. Start small, and grow something you love. Don’t get frustrated by beginning too ambitiously. Just a few radishes or a bit of arugula homegrown and harvested for dinner can give you a sense of accomplishment—and then you can add more crops next year. Grow flowers if you love pretty bouquets. Grow plants that attract butterflies and birds. Grow anything that gives you pleasure, because you’re more likely to take care of plants that you love. Nothing makes me happier than meeting new gardeners and helping them learn to grow, which is why I'm so excited to be working on The Spruce's Gardening and Plant Care Review Board.”


Julie received her Master Gardener certification in 2007 through the Spartanburg County Master Gardener Program, provided by the Clemson University Extension, and received her Bachelor of Science from Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois in 1988. 

Awards and Publications

Starting and Saving Seeds: Grow the Perfect Vegetables, Fruits, Herbs, and Flowers for Your Garden: October 2018, Cool Springs Press/Quarto Homes

Expertise: Year-round organic gardening, Seed starting and saving, Growing heirloom plants, Sustainable and urban farming, Growing perennials and annuals, Raising backyard chickens
Education: Clemson University, Bradley University
Location: Moore, SC
Title: Master Gardener

About The Spruce

The Spruce, a Dotdash Meredith brand, is a new kind of home website offering practical, real-life tips and inspiration to help you create your best home. The Spruce reaches 32 million people each month. Learn more about us and our editorial process, and our commitment to ensuring we are providing you with the most trustworthy advice by certified experts for your home and garden.

More from Julie Thompson-Adolf