The Stopwatch Gardener

A gardening blog from Sheila M. Averbuch

A good gardening podcast is hard to find

February28

Click for larger imageIf you hunger for good gardening podcasts as much as I do, you know they’re hard to find. Here’s my list of favourites, from the unmissable at number one to the merely OK at number eight. I’ve given the web address of the feed; I hope this will let you track down the show and subscribe to it with whatever podcast tool you use. I use Google Listen on an Android phone, and I’ve created a folder in Google Reader called “Listen Subscriptions” that lets me add any new podcast if I know its Web address.

I know that all sounds a bit technical. If you have any questions, let me know, and I’ll try to help you. (By the way, I’m now doing my own rather stumbly Stopwatch Gardener podcast, which you can subscribe to here for iTunes or another podcast player.

  1. Gardeners’ Corner with Cherrie McIlwaine
    Feed URL: http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/northernireland/garden/rss.xml
    My all-time favourite. Host Cherrie is a true radio talent, painting evocative pictures of the gardens she visits, making everything sound magical and intriguing. It’s the one podcast I really miss if it’s not available immediately after its usual Saturday recording date. The show, broadcast by BBC Radio Ulster in Northern Ireland, has also hit on the perfect mix of phone-ins, visits to stunning gardens, chats with experts, road shows, and on-site help with listeners’ gardens. About 22 minutes per episode.
  2. The Greendays Gardening Panel with Steve Scher
    Feed url: http://www.kuow.org/rss.php?program=garden
    KUOW radio in Seattle has put together an excellent Tuesday gardening panel which takes questions by telephone and from its Facebook page, hosted by Steve Scher with advice from Willie Galloway (perky veg expert), Greg Rabourn (conservationist and tree guy) and Marty Wingate (the one who uses Latin plant names). I love their no-nonsense approach and the satisfying 50-minute format, and their knowledge about what works in the Pacific Northwest and their willingness to share it is evident. I wish they’d use more Latin names; I once spent a half an hour googling for the ground cover plant “kinnickkinnick” (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi).
  3. Gardening with Tim and Joe – Tim Crowther and Joe Maiden
    Feed URL: http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/leeds/gwtj/rss.xml
    This folksy advice show from BBC Radio Leeds is notable for its insights on growing fruit and vegetables, as well as routine care of garden plants like roses, chrysanthemums and more. I like the “back to basics” feature, and gardener Joe Maiden’s decades of experience shine through, although I wish he wouldn’t call every plant of the week “absolutely fantastic”. Short and sweet, just 12 minutes per episode.
  4. A Way To Garden with Margaret Roach
    Feed URL: http://am1020whdd.com/rss/individual.php?id=119&title=A%20WAY%20TO%20GARDEN%20WITH%20MARGARET%20ROACH
    This US gardening luminary writes the “A Way to Garden” blog and has just published a new book, “And I shall have some peace there,” about the New York garden she commuted to for two decades and now lives in permanently. Host Jill could do with sounding more in charge, but I like Margaret’s insights on seed sowing, managing a mature garden, and why going organic is worth it. About 20 minutes per episode.
  5. Gardeners’ Question Time with Eric Robson or Peter Gibbs
    Feed URL: http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/radio4/gqt/rss.xml
    This weekly BBC radio broadcast is a must-listen for the range of unrehearsed questions the experts can answer, and although I like Peter Gibbs, I wince at episodes hosted by Eric Robson, who manages to be jolly and disdainful in the same breath. The conflicting and/or bad advice given by the expert panel can become wearing (why did they just advise listeners not to bother doing a big tidy up of last season’s fallen rose leaves? David Austin experts told me the February clean-up is a golden rule for preventing ills like blackspot, and I believe them.) I do appreciate many of the insights from panellists like Bob Flowerdew and pest expert Pippa Greenwood, despite her recent broad slur against gardening blogs. About 50 minutes per episode.
  6. HearSay with Cathy Lewis and Jim Orband
    Feed URL: http://www.whro.org/home/html/podcasts/hearsay/podcast.xml
    This podcast from Virginia would be much higher up the list if it were more frequent, but Jim Orband only joins Cathy once a month, and their chat doesn’t have its own feed, so you need to keep an eye on the episodes and download the ones with Jim. He takes phone-in questions from listeners, and his willingness to share knowledge (and gardeners’ hunger to learn) is wonderful to behold — listen and marvel as he gives out his e-mail address for people to send in extra questions. I do like the banter between Cathy and Jim; she’s a truly likable host.
  7. North Country Public Radio – Cooperative Extension horticulturist Amy Ivy talks to Todd Moe
    Feed URL: http://feeds.feedburner.com/TopStoriesFromNCPR
    Amy’s interviews with Todd are too new to me to rank higher on the list, and like the Cathy Lewis podcast, this is another one that doesn’t break out its gardening into a separate feed. But I’m now watching out every Monday for Amy’s segment, which gives practical, seasonal advice I appreciate. About 10 minutes per show.
  8. Dean of Green
    Feed URL: http://www.wglt.org/podcasts/Dean_of_Green.xml
    Sultry-voiced Laura Kennedy speaks to Don Schmidt of the Illinois State University School of Biological Sciences. Laura’s incessant station identification (WGLT) is irritating, but Don Schmidt is incredibly knowledgeable and his enthusiasm is infectious. I’ve picked up a few useful tips on everything from moving peonies to the biological inner workings of plants. Super short, only about seven minutes per episode. Don takes questions from anyone, anywhere, just submit yours online at — yes, you guessed it — WGLT.org.

Attention broadcasters and bloggers – we want more, quality gardening podcasts. Why has the Scotland’s Gardens podcast has gone off air? And someone tell me why the otherwise useful and veg-centric UK online gardening community GardenersClick.com has made its GC podcast unsubscribable-to. (You can only listen to it within the walled garden of GardenersClick. Must do better, GardenersClick.) There must be hundreds of thousands of gardeners out there who, like me, would love to listen more and learn more, and would certainly be disposed to remember the names of sponsors who back such podcasts.

Do you know any other good gardening podcasts I could listen to? Do tell.

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21 Comments to

“A good gardening podcast is hard to find”

  1. On March 2nd, 2011 at 4:30 am allanbecker-gardenguru Says:

    Thanks for cataloging the garden podcasts. Most appreciated.

  2. On March 2nd, 2011 at 9:23 am The StopWatch Gardener Says:

    Thanks Allan, I’d love to hear about more, if you come across any.

  3. On March 4th, 2011 at 8:25 pm VP Says:

    I have a couple for you:

    The Alternative Kitchen Garden podcast – most informative and looks at the ‘greener’ side of gardening

    http://feeds.feedburner.com/akg

    and the Gardens Illustrated podcasts are well worth a listen:

    http://www.gardensillustrated.com/podcasts

  4. On March 7th, 2011 at 8:50 am The StopWatch Gardener Says:

    Thank you VP — I will check out AKG. I enjoy some of the the G.I. podcasts but they’re too infrequent; and while I liked the editor’s specials at Chelsea, the ones from the Garden Museum in London last year sounded like a load of industry folk breathing their own fumes, if you know what I mean. Thanks for much for the steer, I will definitely look at the other one you mentioned.

  5. On March 13th, 2011 at 10:33 am Celia Says:

    Excellent list, plenty I haven’t heard of before. Will be checking them out, thanks!

  6. On March 25th, 2011 at 7:12 am The Stopwatch Gardener | A gardening blog for time-poor plant fanatics » Blog Archive » Grow plants from seed and let the healing begin Says:

    […] number of the experts on some of the US gardening podcasts I listen to have been saying recently that they prefer to buy “starts” (young plants) […]

  7. On July 3rd, 2011 at 4:06 am Blossom Says:

    I really enjoy the UK podcasts. For a change of scene/scenery/climate you could try a couple of Aussie sites:

    http://www.abc.net.au/adelaide/features/garden
    or
    http://www.abc.net.au/local/podcasts/perthgardening

    You might have as much fun with the accents as I do with the UK – and it is fascinating to see how UK gardeners cope with winters. Summers are the hard time for us over here.

  8. On July 6th, 2011 at 11:54 pm The StopWatch Gardener Says:

    Thank you Julie, I will seek those out!

  9. On November 23rd, 2011 at 1:46 pm linda Says:

    I have a podcast which should be downloadable from Itunes – The Potting Shed Podcast or from the blog – http://www.talesfromthepottingshed.wordpress.com.
    Each episode has a seasonal topic, news of what I’ve been up to in my garden in Surrey and a profile of a Plant of the Moment.
    It’s quite new so any feedback welcome thanks
    Linda

  10. On February 27th, 2013 at 2:27 pm Steve Says:

    Absolutely spot-on. I couldn’t agree more with your assessment on the current state of gardening podcasts. I continually seek them out and have floundered through countless attempts by so many. At the end of the day, my list is just as sparse as yours. When it is done right, like Gardener’s Corner, I think it sounds so easy that there should be MANY MORE good gardening podcasts. But then I listen to the other 1000 attempts and realize it is much harder than she makes it seem. The only other podcasts that I love that are missing from your list are Tales From Terry’s Allotments and Carrot Tops: An Allotment Podcast. Both are U.K. podcasts and both are, unfortunately, VERY infrequently updated. But the great thing about gardening podcasts are their timeless nature so even though most episodes are over a year old they are still available freely on Itunes. It is just such a shame that they seem to have been abandoned. The last good gardening show in America was the old Victory Garden with Roger Swain and crew. Too bad this country does not have the tradition of Britain with regards to gardening. Anyway, off my soapbox…
    Have you come across any other podcasts since this post?

  11. On February 27th, 2013 at 4:20 pm The StopWatch Gardener Says:

    thank you Steve for your comment – the only very large change is that Away to Garden with Margaret Roach has become 100 times better, because she has left the old informal set up behind (no more Jill) and is now emceeing her own podcast which is very effective.

    Gardens Illustrated has the occasional podcast but not nearly frequent enough

    I’d love to hear if any more you discover – thank you very much for steering me to those others.

    Best regards

    Sheila

  12. On February 27th, 2013 at 5:16 pm Steve Says:

    I forgot one that might interest you. It is pulled from a radio show in Texas. It is called Gardening Naturally with John Dromgoole. You might get a kick out of the accent. Interestingly, they are in a similar climate zone as the U.K. yet are in a VASTLY different climate and latitude. Even though I am in zone 5 Indiana and cannot grow much of the stuff they talk about, it is still very interesting and makes me appreciate the plants that I can grow here with the chill hours and moderate summers.

  13. On March 29th, 2013 at 12:46 pm Great gardening podcasts are easier to find » The Stopwatch Gardener | A gardening blog for time-poor plant fanatics Says:

    […] long time ago, when the earth was green, I wrote a post listing my Top Ten gardening podcasts. For The Guardian newspaper’s gardening blog I’ve just done a reprise of my Top Five […]

  14. On July 7th, 2013 at 5:34 am Jennifer Ebeling: 6ftmama, Master Gardener & Blogger Says:

    Still Growing… is an hour long weekly gardening podcast dedicated to helping you and your garden grow. I just launched the podcast this June.

    I interview gardening experts from around the country for an in-depth conversation about them and their particular topic. I love doing the show and I hope you check it out.

    Let me know what you think…
    Still growing…
    Jennifer (6ftmama)

  15. On March 6th, 2014 at 7:31 pm Richard Farrar Says:

    I’ve started doing a gardening podcast with a friend of mine, I’d be really interested to know what your critical appraisal of it is.

    You can find it at: http://www.plantadvice.co.uk/podcast/

  16. On March 6th, 2014 at 10:03 pm The StopWatch Gardener Says:

    Hi Richard, I know your podcast and enjoy it. I would like to hear it even more frequently! Keep podcasting, you are a good team.

  17. On March 7th, 2014 at 12:38 pm Richard Farrar Says:

    Thanks very much, it’s nice to know it’s appreciated.

    Doing more regular episodes would be nice, but unfortunately I think time constraints would prevent us as each episode takes about 8 hours to produce at the moment with the preparation, recording, post production and editing and the show notes. I suppose if I wasn’t such a perfectionist we could hack it out a lot quicker.

  18. On March 8th, 2014 at 9:02 am The StopWatch Gardener Says:

    Yes well your production values are very high, mine is a little more informal! Keep up the good work.

  19. On March 8th, 2014 at 12:18 pm Richard Farrar Says:

    Every podcast has its own style I guess. I’ll have to check out your podcast too.

  20. On February 8th, 2015 at 1:07 pm Dave Ledoux Says:

    Sheila your blog is excellent. Thanks for the list of podcasts, I will check them out. I have been producing a 3x per week show called Back To My Garden. Having UK guests like Michael Perry has been a treat!

    Sheila, would you be interested in being a guest on the show?

  21. On November 17th, 2016 at 10:27 am Richard Says:

    While I see this post is from a few years ago I’ll like to add my podcast to these comments which can be found at Theveggrowerpodcast.co.uk as well as on iTunes etc. Appreciate any feedback in order to grow it too

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