GardenRant Airwaves

Where are the Gardening Podcasts?

It's been a while since we reviewed gardening podcasts, so it's time for an update and hopefully, your recommendations – I need more for the little iPod Shuffle that keeps me company in the garden. 

It may just be that there are really very few American podcasts about gardening.  I know Amy and lots of others love Wiggley Wigglers but sorry,
English farm life is just too unfamiliar to me.  Who and what ARE they talking about?  And why
are they laughing all the time?

Moving on, here are the gardening podcasts I listen to and actually understand.

Screen Captures

Real Dirt with Ken Druse

Garden writer Ken Druse has done what garden writers everywhere are finding is easier said than done -  found sponsors for his podcast and blog.  So right there, kudos!  But more importantly, it's real garden talk from and for real gardeners.  Plus, I usually know or at least know OF the folks he interviews – like Margaret Roach, Saxon Holt, Stephanie Cohen, and yours truly (I couldn't remember names of plants but laughed a lot and it was fun.  I'm sure somebody in Cornwall is asking "What IS that woman laughing about?")

Ken's blog provides news of each episode, like this post about a recent tour of his own garden that included a visit by a BEAR.  In New Jersey, mind you.

A Way to Garden with Margaret Roach

I assume you're all aware of the ex-Martha Stewart Living editor Margaret Roach and the wonderful blog A Way to Garden she launched two years ago, after which it quickly rose to become a top traffic-getter.  (A sign that readers really do recognize quality.)  But did you know she also has a weekly gardening show, listed here on iTunes?  I was discouraged to discover that Margaret doesn't just excel at writing but also at casual repartee.  (Seems unfair.)

Funny story about her June 7 broadcast, which I was listening to while driving to the Bay to visit Robin Ripley.  Near the end (20:16 minutes) Margaret's interviewer asked out of the blue: So what's all this about trouble between you and Susan Harris?  This is what happens when bloggers start even good-natured arguments with other bloggers, as I had here when I read – to my shock – that she identified my primary lawn replacement plant as a different creeping sedum than I had for years been identifying it.  I believe I called her a "known troublemaker".

I won't make you listen to the podcast to find out how Margaret responds to taxonomic challenges. She revealed on the radio show that when she read my post (sent her via a comment on her sedum page) she went out into the garden at 10 at night to grab some of the stuff.  Then back to her office to consult her taxonomic reference books, which allowed her to leave a really geeky comment on my post.

So the next time I make any assumptions about New York garden writers in the flashy world of magazine publishing not being real gardeners passionate about the subject, I'll just shut my mouth.

That's it for gardening podcasts on my iTunes subscription list, so can anyone recommend any others?

Nongardening podcasts – coz a girl's gotta listen
Now to veer off-topic a bit, are there any nongardening podcasts you guys love?  Here are my faves, but I could use some more: Bob Edwards Weekend, Fresh Air, On the Media, PRI Arts and Entertainment, To the Best of our Knowledge, Real Time with Bill Maher, Slate Culture Gabfest, This American Life, Studio 360, and the nonpolitical episodes of DC's Kojo Nnambi Show.  Make that the nonpolitical episodes of ALL of these shows – coz when I'm in the garden or on the treadmill I want entertainment and enlightenment, not news, especially the political kind. 

Posted by on June 21, 2010 at 3:44 am, in the category GardenRant Airwaves.
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36 Responses to “Where are the Gardening Podcasts?”

  1. Shira says:

    NPR’s All Songs considered – if you’re a music lover.

  2. Tee Riddle says:

    I have listened to a podcast called “Good Enough Gardening” a few times on iTunes. The hosts are Jean Ann Van Krevelen and Amanda Thompsen (I believe I have heard other hosts on there as well).

    I haven’t listened to Ken Druse nor Margret Roach. Thanks for mentioning them, I will have more gardening podcasts to listen to.

  3. Radio Lab! Absolutely the best thing NPR has EVER done. Addictive, in the very best possible way.

  4. I love to listen to gardening podcasts while watering my garden, while sitting on the back porch looking at my garden, while going to sleep at night (My wife has informed me that while possibly entertaining and informative, gardening podcasts are not what she would call romantic atmospherics to go to sleep by)….Here are a few I really like: ‘Central Texas Gardener’ with Tom Spencer……’Garden Success’ with Doug Welsh……’The Gestalt Gardener’ with Felder Rushing….’Master Gardener’….a podcast from a couple of Sandy Springs, Georgia Master gardeners……and the ones already mentioned, Ken Druse’s and the one with Margaret Roach. I can think of several bloggers that I have seen contributing to Garden Rant that I wish had podcasts of their own.

  5. Lois, Zone 5 says:

    I haven’t listened to this, but here’s one that hasn’t been mentioned: Dig It Magazine Audio Garden
    http://www.dig-itmag.com/columns/audio

  6. Susan, I recently started a WebTalkRadio show at http://webtalkradio.net/shows/gardening-with-confidence™/. I plan to recored some shows while in Buffa10.

  7. susan harris says:

    Keep those recommendations coming, and Helen, can we act crazy on your podcast from Buffa10?

    Also, I didn’t know where to say this in the post but I love the juxtaposition of driving to visit one gardenblogger I met in Austin at a meet-up with hearing on the radio from another blogger I hadn’t even met yet. This will sound sappy, but I was struck by the friendliness and friend-making potential of our gardenblogger community.

  8. I don’t listen to any gardening podcasts, but since you said on Twitter it was okay to recommend non-gardening ones…our two favorites are Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me and Kevin Smith’s smodcasts. The smodcasts in particular are great for long drives. But if you’re not into raunchy humor and pop culture, don’t bother, you won’t like them.

  9. Thank you for this, I like Big Blend Garden Gossip.
    http://southwestblend.com/Garden-Gossip/index.htm
    I am not digging Mike McGrath lately, he jokes too much and not enough info. anyone down with that.

  10. Matt N. says:

    I also was trying to compile more podcast links, it’s a great way to pass the time on my train commute! I have been enjoying Margaret Roach’s immensely, and her hosts on the show are very endearing. Before I knew it I had listened to all of them. Groundworks, Inc. has the We Dig Plants podcasts, which I like very much because of the guests they manage to wrangle onto their show. I also have been listening to Brent and Becky’s Bulbs’ podcasts, some of which are very fascinating, but other times it is hard for me to get into. I assume that it is because my actual experience with bulbs and bulb varieties is quite limited.

    I did not know Ken Druse had a podcast – I love his books, especially Making More Plants!

  11. Hi Susan,

    I’ve recorded about 70 gardening and green issues podcasts, but have taken a break during my year-long book tour. I’ll get back to doing more in the fall. Here’s the link: http://www.sky-bolt.com/garden/#garden

  12. Genevieve says:

    Good Enough Gardening and Nest In Style are both good new podcasts.

    Ken Druse and Margaret Roach both are producing their podcasts for radio (I believe) and then being kind enough to make them available to the general public for download.

    That is awesome and I like to listen to both, but I might make the distinction that actual podcasts offer a greater chance that you’ll find something you LOVE rather than just like.

    Radio demographics are wider – they have to appeal to a wider audience, which means they can’t really dig in to deep gardening info that average home gardeners wouldn’t understand, or say anything that might risk offending anyone.

    Online-only podcasts are usually self-published and so they can be rougher and more amateur, but at the same time they have leeway to discuss anything they like in any way they like.

    Of the individual podcast episodes that really made me think or taught me something new, it has been the online-only ones.

    Even when I’m annoyed by the occasional misinformation (which is actually fairly common on the slickly produced ones too), there are enough strong opinions and new takes on things that I stay actively engaged in listening. Some of the slicker podcasts/ radio shows out there are very fun to listen to but maybe aren’t aimed at the pro or really passionate gardener.

    As for non-gardening podcasts, I haven’t found many that I like, but I love to download audiobooks from audible, and I also purchase a lot of information products online that come in MP3 format. Seth Godin is particularly good at reading his own work, and I loved Animal Vegetable Miracle on audio.

  13. Liza says:

    It’s not exactly gardening, but Zan Asha over at http://therenegadefarmer.com/, does really great interviews with farmers and cool people on her radio show.

  14. Laurie says:

    Other Podcasts for listening while gardening:
    The Moth–live telling of true stories.
    Desert Island Discs–famous people tell their life stories through the songs they’d like to be stranded with on a desert island.
    TBTL daily pop culture from former radio host and current “wait, wait don’t tell me” personality.

  15. Johanna says:

    I love Tales from Terry’s Allotment, a BBC entry. It only appears every 4-6 weeks, though.

    For non-gardening, try A Way with Words. It’s linguistics at their best!

  16. There aren’t many gardening podcasts that I would recommend. That’s one of the reasons Amanda and I started Good Enough Gardening. That said, I like Felder’s show (Gestalt Gardener), Nest in Style, GardenFork TV and GardenFork Radio and Coopette.

    Non gardening casts, my fave is Stuff You Should Know.

  17. The good news here is that I moved up in your estimation from “known troublemaker” to a slightly better description (tee hee).

    I thank you for your fun and provocative nudges, as ever. It isn’t everyone that gets me out into the night on a garden search and rescue mission.

  18. Just have to say that Amy will be on Central Texas Gardener starting 7/10/10!

  19. vicki says:

    The garden podcast I won’t miss:
    Garden Conversations with Amy Ivy via NCPR. I agree with Craig Cramer, who calls it “the meatiest gardening podcast around”.
    http://www.northcountrypublicradio.org/news/newstopics.php?tid=46

    Also, must listen to podcasts of “Wait, Wait,Don’t Tell Me” and Leonard Lopate.

  20. Michelle D says:

    There is just too much noise going on 24/7.
    When I have the opportunity for quiet I embrace it and savory it.
    Hence I don’t have an Ipod and when working in the garden it as a meditative experience or blissful quiet ,… well as quiet as it can be when you live right in down town suburbia.
    I just don’t get all this chatter or the need to hear someone chatter or the need for that chatterer hear themselves chatter so much all the time.

  21. Kermit says:

    GardenFork on Itunes or online at http://www.GardenFork.tv

  22. I like Southern Gardening, from Mississippi State University. It used to be Norman Winter, now it’s Gary Bachman.
    http://msucares.com/news/radio/southerngardening/index.html

  23. Amy Stewart says:

    I just have to jump in here and staunchly defend Wiggly Wigglers. They’re speaking English, not Chinese. Sure, they use a few different terms and may have different issues (or have a different perspective on the same issues) but they are smart and scathingly funny, as are most things British.

    Check out Geek.Farm.Life for hipster homesteader talk.

  24. Katie says:

    I don’t listen to anything, ever. And, I rarely watch videos unless they are really funny.

    I like to read. period.

  25. gail says:

    I haven’t had as much time to listen to anything this summer! But when I do it’s often TED http://www.ted.com/. You can listen to speakers on subjects important to gardeners: like E. O. Wilson, who spoke about saving the earth and Deborah Gordon who studies ants.

    …and Wiggly Wigglers is a funny and delightful podcast.

    gail

  26. Katie says:

    I lied, I listen to LIVE presentations!

    I just don’t download and listen to podcasts.

  27. Laura Bell says:

    This is so timely ! I’ve been looking for good podcasts to fill my workday – the work I’m doing of late is very repetitive & requires nearly no brain power so I need something engaging to keep from nodding off.

    Most of my faves have been mentioned already – Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me, Stuff You Should Know, The Gestalt Gardener, Fresh Air, Ken Druse …

    Another non-gardening podcast I like is Stuff You Missed in History Class, from the same group that brings us Stuff You Should Know. Simply fascinating !

  28. Layanee says:

    For New England gardening, you can listen to The Garden Guys Podcasts: http://www.garden-guys.com

  29. Is there room for shameless self promotion? Teresa O’Connor and I are excited about the guests we’ve interviewed so far on the Nest In Style podcast, and we’ve scheduled more for the rest of the year. There are just too many awesome people out there. We want to reach everyone!

    Since I travel less these days, I don’t listen to podcasts as often, but when I do, they are: Good Enough Gardening, Suze Orman, Jamie Oliver’s Ministry of Food, 60 Minutes and Ted.com

    I will have to check out everyone’s suggestions and update my list. Thanks!

  30. Patty says:

    Stuff You Should Know with Chuck and Josh is informative and funny. http://electronics.howstuffworks.com/stuff-you-should-know-podcast.htm

    Check it out!

  31. Judi says:

    I listen to many Garden Podcasts on my commute. In addition to the many listed, I also recommend Davis Garden Show, Greendays Gardening Panel, Gardening in the NorthWest, Get Growing with Farmer Fred, WHYY You Bet Your Garden. Good Enough Gardening remains my favorite.

  32. Laura Bell says:

    … oddly enough, I just listened to a Gestalt Gardener podcast & heard my sister (who lives in Mississippi) on the show. She’s apparently something of a regular caller ( her words).

  33. Layanee says:

    Podcasts available of The Garden Guys radio show at http://www.garden-guys.com/

  34. Liz Stein says:

    I like KUOW’s greendays gardening panel–based in Seattle, they broadcast every week, with a native plants expert, an organic vegetable expert, a mostly-decorative expert, and a nice vibe, plus the speakers aren’t full of themselves. I downloaded a a whole bunch once, and most of them are painful. Oh, and I like Alternative Kitchen Garden, she’s always interesting and pleasant to listen to.

  35. I love listening to podcasts as I garden, and as an englishwomen, Wiggly Wigglers is hugely funny, but I can understand how you might be perplexed, as I often am when listening to Ken Druse and Good Enough Gardening, – both of which I like, but don’t always understand, – we are nations divided by the same language. – Just shows there is need for more gardening podcasts

  36. Barry says:

    Wiggly Wigglers is a great gardening/farming podcast and you have to listen to the 225+ shows to get a sense of their real depth. And Tales From Terry’s Allotment is beyond stunning (and the Welsh accent is exceptional). The best gardening podcasts are coming from the UK but there is no shortage of good shows. Want more?

    Gardening podcasts that are imaginative, entertaining, able to make you smile and laugh… Want still more?

    Alternative Kitchen Garden. (UK)
    BBC Gardener’s Question Time. (UK)
    The Garden Show (Canada)
    Gardening Tips from Tatton Park. (UK)
    Gardening With Tim and Joe. (UK)
    Scotland’s Gardens. (UK)
    BBC Gardening Illustrated Magazine. (UK)
    Gardener’s Corner (UK)

    Going to farming…
    BBC Farming Today.

    There is something exceptional about the UK shows. They entertain while informing, can make you laugh by not taking themselves too seriously. And you get a chance to hear John Cushnie (he died this year) in the Gardener’s Question Time archives. He was/is a treat.

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