The Organic Gardening Podcast

The Organic Gardening Podcast

By Garden Organic

Inspiration to help you garden the organic way, with advice, tips and interviews from the UK's leading organic gardening organisation, Garden Organic. Hosted by Sarah Brown and Chris Collins.


S2 Ep45: August - Organic Allotment Special with Rekha Mistry

This month sees the return of the National Allotment Week, an initiative let by the National Allotment Society, so we’ve got an allotment special for you. Chris updates Fiona on how his Mediterranean veg are growing down on his allotment – turns out his gamble on hot weather has paid off! The runner beans are not doing so well unfortunately. Chris also shares his experience as an allotment holder, balancing the demands of his London allotment with his busy work life. And of course no discussion on his allotment would be the same without mention of his nemesis – horsetail! Fiona is treated to a tour around the allotment of Rekha Mistry - garden journalist, passionate organic grower, seed saver and volunteer Seed Guardian for our Heritage Seed Library.  Rekha’s inspirational allotment is bursting with life and produce, including Texas Wild tomato, pea bean, Cyprus climbing French bean and Mother’s Six Week been from the Heritage Seed Library collection. Rekha explains how she cultivates such a biodiverse haven on her allotment and shares her solution to overcoming flooding, which happens regularly on her plot/. Finally, Chris and Anton answer listeners’ questions on how to deal with a new allotment that may have been treated with pesticides, where to start with a new plot that has no water supply and what to sow in August.
01/08/2252m 47s

S2 Ep44: July - time to take it easy?

July is here and it's time to take your foot of the gas a little. But not too much - there's still plenty to do! Chris updates Fiona on his allotment and shares his approach to planting, influenced by years of working in parks. They also touch on the different summer growing conditions in Chris’s London home compared to his training days in Scotland. As Chris and Fiona both pack their bags for a holiday, they discuss essential preparation to keep everything, including houseplants, ticking over for their return. Sarah returns to talk to Garden Organic’s Director of Horticultural Science, Dr. Bruce Pearce. Bruce tells us about organic growing in the wider sense, focusing on what organic means and why organic farming is so essential for a healthy future. Sarah and Bruce discuss the challenges of buying organic food when household budgets are stretched and share some useful tips on how to prioritise at the checkout. Lastly Anton and Chris answer a question from someone struggling with peat-free compost, and share their experiences of growing perennial brassicas. We're delighted to have The Organic Gardening Catalogue as our official podcast sponsor for 2022. Whether you’re looking for information, ready to take your first step into organic gardening, or planning your next veg plot or flower bed The Organic Gardening Catalogue is the right place for you! They offer a complete range of organic gardening products, including seeds and plants, pest deterrents, feeds, compost, equipment plus much more. Garden Organic members can also take advantage of a 10% discount with any purchase from the catalogue. For this month's special offer on an amazing range of pots and plants go to
01/07/2251m 21s

S2 Ep43: June – can we convince you to love your slugs…?!

It’s June – time to start seeing the fruits of our labour as all those seedlings get planted-out. Chris and Fiona compare notes on their most challenging weed – horsetail for Chris, bindweed for Fiona – and share tips to keep on top of them without reaching for weedkiller. We’re also joined by slug expert Imogen Cavadino, who shares her passion for these less-than-popular gastropods with Sarah. Finally we answer questions on durable lawns, what to do with excessive grass clippings and planning to grow throughout autumn and winter. Here are links to more information on some of the topics covered: Growing Winter Veg workshop Tasks for June Organic weed management Making your own plant feeds Organic slug and snail controls Lawn care The Organic Gardening Catalogue If you want to join Garden Organic for more advice please click here, or donate to support our work and help us carry on with projects like our podcast here.
01/06/2257m 52s

S2 Ep42: May – Marvellous May has finally arrived!

Join new presenter, Garden Organic CEO Fiona Taylor, as she shares her love of May with Chris. Plus Chris takes a trip to the beautiful Mumbles on the Gower Peninsula to meet Gardeners World presenter and long-time Garden Organic member, Sue Kent, who shows him round her inspirational tiered organic garden.
01/05/221h 0m

S2 Ep41: April - it's that exciting time again. Join us as we get outside for Springtime growing.

We discuss success with seedlings, growing salads on a patio, and should we call slugs pests?  Plus a visit to a very special healing garden. 
31/03/2250m 4s

S2 Ep40: Unpruned - can you recognise your favourite garden bird songs?

Have you always wanted to tell your blackbird from your thrush? Join Sarah as she listens and learns how to identify our favourite garden bird song.
20/03/2216m 19s

S2 Ep39: March - the beauty of birdsong, plus how to get ready for the growing season

It's ready, get set, but not quite 'grow'.  Here's how to get started in the race towards spring.  Plus Sarah discovers the magic behind our songster garden birds.
01/03/2247m 22s

S2 Ep38: Unpruned: a private tour of Debs Goodenough's garden

Chris visits the private garden of Prince Charles' former Head Gardener, Debs Goodenough.
18/02/2226m 37s

S2 Ep37: February - successful seed sowing plus Debs Goodenough, gardener to Prince Charles.

Step by step to successful seed sowing. And we hear from former Head Gardener and organic grower, Debs Goodenough.
01/02/2248m 51s

S2 Ep36: Unpruned: discovering creatures in your soil

We look at the wildlife in your soil.  How much do you know about earthworms and moles?
16/01/2222m 10s

S2 Ep35: January - the secret of good soil.

Discover what makes good soil. It's the secret of successful growing!
01/01/2229m 49s

S2 Ep34: December: how to grow the perfect Brussel sprout, plus Helen Browning's organic farm

Join us, as we visit Browning's organic farm, and share ideas for Xmas gardening presents.
03/12/2152m 26s

S2 Ep34: December - how to grow the perfect Brussel sprout, Xmas present ideas, and an organic farm walk with Helen Browning

Join Chief Exec of the Soil Association, Helen Browning, as she takes us round her organic farm. 
01/12/2152m 22s

S2 Ep33: November - climate change gardening plus the wonderful world of bees

How can gardeners can mitigate climate change? And looking at bees with new eyes, with specialist Jean Vernon.
01/11/2156m 42s

S2 Ep32: Unpruned interview - George Anderson in his garden

Join Chris and George as they stroll around George's much loved Edinburgh garden, full of rare varieties.  
15/10/2118m 48s

S2 Ep31: October - joyful autumn tasks plus George Anderson, doyen of Scottish gardening

As autumn sets in there's plenty to do.  Plus a lifetime of gardening with the irrepressible George Anderson, and what to do with all those green tomatoes!
30/09/2146m 3s

S2 Ep30: September - Dave Goulson talks about Silent Earth: an insect apocalypse.

What can we gardeners do to prevent insect disaster?  Plus tips on storing your harvest, bare root planting and celebrating Organic September.
01/09/211h 0m

S2 Ep29: Nematodes and others - our practical guide to bio controls and stimulants

Following last week's look at biocontrols and stimulants, we now get practical.  How can gardeners use them?  And should we?
08/08/2135m 21s

S2 Ep28: August - bio controls and stimulants, what are they?

Sit back and join us for an in-depth discussion on this fascinating subject.
31/07/2137m 32s

S2 Ep27: July - how green is your garden centre? Plus summer weed control, and other inspiring organic growing advice.

Can garden retail become more sustainable?  Plus your July jobs in the garden.
02/07/2156m 9s

S2 Ep26: Healing herbs from the garden - how they work

Can elderberry cure a virus? How does lemon balm make you calm? We chat with Viridian Nutrition to find out more, in this tiny goody bag episode.
19/06/2113m 59s

S2 Ep25: June - join us for a private view of Garden Organic's new demonstration gardens

Chris enjoys a tour of the new organic demonstration gardens at Ryton; plus growing jobs galore in the busy month of June.
31/05/2147m 51s

S2 Ep24: Frances Tophill on Rewilding Your Garden

Join us as Frances talks to Sarah about rewilding, and why you should bring the wild into your growing space.
15/05/2128m 27s

S2 Ep23: May - a glorious growing month, plus special guest 'Love Your Garden' Frances Tophill

Chris and Sarah share gardening tasks in May, and we meet the private side of TV gardener Frances Tophill.
30/04/2147m 44s

S2 Ep22: Unpruned interview - Dr Ian Bedford on garden insects

Ian is one of the country's top entomologists. He tells us the startling facts about insect decline, and how gardeners can help.
10/04/2138m 7s

S2 Ep21: April - the start of an exciting new growing season! Plus extraordinary facts about garden insects, with Dr Ian Bedford.

We celebrate getting outside with Spring growing advice. And Chris meets Dr Ian Bedford to discuss how we can help stop the devastation of garden insects.
31/03/2149m 55s

S2 Ep20: March - simple ways to make seed sowing successful. Plus Mark Lane, an inspirational garden designer.

We show how to make every seed-sowing successful.  Mark shares with us his design secrets and his plans to put 'ability' into 'disability'.
28/02/2148m 3s

S2 Ep19: February - feeling good during winter lockdown, plus Danny Clarke, The Instant Gardener

We share our tips to lift you from lockdown gloom and Chris meets Danny Clarke, a ray of welcome sunshine. 
31/01/2152m 38s

S2 Ep18: January - planning for your growing year, plus lockdown gardening.

How to plan this year's veg patch. We also hear from two growers new to gardening during lockdown.
02/01/2151m 39s

S2 Ep17: December - the best of bare root planting, and gardening inspiration from Don Murray, Garden Organic's new Director of Horticulture

Join Chris and Sarah in our award winning podcast for tips and advice on organic growing.
01/12/2048m 16s

S2 Ep16: Unpruned interview - Tony Kirkham, Head of Arboriculture at Kew

Join us for the full interview with Tony, his life in trees, and special planting and tree care advice.
15/11/2039m 27s

S2 Ep15: November - the joy of trees with Tony Kirkham at Kew, plus this month's jobs preparing for winter.

Organic growing tips from your favourite gardening podcasters - Chris Collins and Sarah Brown. Nominated as 2020 gardening podcast of the year.
01/11/2046m 13s

S2 Ep14: October - the joys of autumn tasks and we get serious about pesticides.

Practical organic gardening advice - from making leafmould, to saving seeds and planting bulbs. Plus a serious look at the dangers of pesticides.
30/09/2053m 14s

S2 Ep13: September - Chris talks to garden historian, Caroline Holmes, & we share tips for new growers to keep the interest through the autumn

This month, Chris and Hannah, Sarah’s colleague and presenter for this episode, chat about September in the organic garden, and take time to reflect on the successes and failures of the year and so far. We also talk all things houseplants, including how valuable they are as therapeutic greenery for those with little or no outside space.  Chris enjoys an enthusiastic chat with garden historian and GO ambassador, Caroline Holmes, who shares her passion for gardens through history, and in particularly Monet’s garden. Chris and Caroline also get very excited about dung! Finally, Anton and Chris answer questions from members covering the challenge of bare soil, seed saving and whether woodlice are friends or foes.
01/09/2053m 52s

S2 Ep12: August - our summer special includes a chat with Mark Diacono, of Otter Farm and River Cottage fame.

Chris meets Mark Diacono, and the two old friends chat about the joys and frustrations of working with tv crews, how to grow pecan nuts, and Mark's delicious new cookbook Sour
31/07/2033m 45s

S2 Ep11: Unpruned interview - Jekka McVicar, Queen of Herbs

Join Chris as he and Jekka walk around her herb farm. This is for real herb lovers - with over 70 different sorts of thyme, other exotic delights, and how Jekka grows her healthy plants.
17/07/2027m 54s

S2 Ep10: July - we have the Queen of Herbs, Jekka McVicar, plus summer fruit and how to keep that veg coming!

Join us for a summer gardening tasks and the best organic tips on how to manage your plot. Plus Chris spends time with Jekka McVicar, the glorious doyen of herb growing.
30/06/2049m 38s

S2 Ep9: Unpruned interview - Stephanie Hafferty on the organic home and garden

Join writer and grower Steph Hafferty, as we explore ideas of how to use plants in the home and kitchen. Based on her book The No Dig Organic Home and Garden.
19/06/2029m 37s

S2 Ep8: June - watering, managing summer pests, and loving your weeds. Garden designer Jack Wallington joins us.

How to water well, summer seed sowing, and dealing with summer pests the organic way. Jack Wallington joins us to talk about his book Wild About Weeds.
31/05/2055m 18s

S2 Ep7: Unpruned interview - Charles Dowding on No Dig

A chance to hear the full interview with Dowding, when we explore No Dig, how plants get their nutrients, and how to get started yourself.
15/05/2039m 55s

S2 Ep6: May - No Dig with Charles Dowding, plus more tips on lockdown gardening

We discuss No Dig, as well as organic slug pellets, making compost and dealing with aphids. And we're here to help with your garden during lockdown.
30/04/201h 7m

S2 Ep5: Unpruned interview - Catherine Dawson on peat-free potting composts

Catherine is Technical Director at Melcourt. For over 20 years she has researched and refined their excellent peat-free growing mixes.  We learn the secrets behind what goes in the bag.
02/04/2051m 4s

S2 Ep4: April - gardening during lockdown. Spring seed sowing, and potting composts.

A lockdown special, with tips to help you make the veg garden productive. Plus everything you need to know about potting composts.
31/03/2051m 26s

S2 Ep3: March - with Joe Swift; how to sow seeds; getting ready for Spring.

A bumper episode with a seed sowing masterclass and interview with Gardeners' World presenter, Joe Swift.
01/03/2052m 42s

S2 Ep2: February - enjoyable winter tasks plus a look at agroforestry with Ben Raskin, Soil Association

A month for frost protection, winter pruning, planning your planting and clearing the allotment. We explore how trees can help farmers and your own plot.
01/02/2040m 46s

S2 Ep1: January - we celebrate Veganuary, by going vegan in your garden. Plus planning for the year ahead, and enjoyable cold weather tasks.

How to go vegan in your garden with writer Matthew Appleby.  Chris and Sarah also share ideas for the new growing season ahead, and get you inspired for those cold weather jobs.
01/01/2046m 38s

S1 Ep14: December - the world of houseplants plus a greener Christmas

Jane Perrone joins us to discuss the huge popularity of houseplants, with tips and advice. Can you have a greener Christmas? Plus top gardening books of 2019.
01/12/1944m 28s

S1 Ep12: November - bringing wildlife into your plot, with Kate Bradbury.

How to share your plot with wildlife, plus making a pond, protecting your plants from frost, and deciding what's safe to put on the compost heap.
01/11/1939m 49s

S1 Ep11: 'Unpruned' interview - Lucy Start, aka 'Shegrowsveg'

Lucy Start - best known as @shegrowsveg - has over 45000 followers on Instagram, where she aims to challenge the orthodox gardening advice, making growing more accessible to a wider audience.  She is also ambassador - on social media - for the Heritage Seed Library.
07/10/1917m 12s

S1 Ep10: October - autumn tasks and seed saving

A bumper harvest of Autumn tasks, plus the fun of saving your own seed.  We take a special visit to the Heritage Seed Library
01/10/1946m 51s

S1 Ep9: September - picking and storing, plus sowing nature's green manures

Time to enjoy your harvest and start autumn sowing. We have expert advice on blight and other diseases, and Chris meets plantsman Adam Alexander. 
02/09/1944m 12s

S1 Ep8: August - organic food. Is it really better for you?

We know organic food tastes better, but is it really better for you?  Chris and Sarah examine the evidence, speaking with chefs and scientists with up to date research and recipe tips.
01/08/1932m 51s

S1 Ep7: 'Unpruned' interview - Professor Tim Lang

Garden Organic’s President, Professor Tim Lang talks about food policy. We discuss food security, obesity and malnutrition - and the vital role food policy has in our health, society, economy and environment. Prof Lang is Head of City, University London’s Centre for Food policy, and has advised governments around the world on food matters.
01/08/1937m 2s

S1 Ep5: July - gentle summer maintenance, plus climate change gardening

Summer is here!  Chris and Sarah help you to enjoy summer tasks in your organic growing area.  We also discuss climate change gardening, and the best plants for bees.
30/06/1937m 23s

S1 Ep4: June - watering, pests and diseases, and healthy growing

The lovely month of June is for flowers, strawberries, and managing your watering.  We are joined by an expert on pests and diseases to discuss how to deal with aphids and problems in the greenhouse.  We hear about Garden Organic’s inspiring work around the country – from food banks in Southwark to school children in Worcestershire.  And there’s everything you wanted to know about nematodes.  
03/06/1947m 34s

S1 Ep3: May - sowing outside, dealing with weeds, and No Dig

As the weather warms we prepare the ground for sowing outside. Weeds - love them and manage them, and we discuss the No Dig technique. Hear also how a large online seed and plant merchant is embedding organic principles into the business - and how they research the perfect tasting tomato, and breed plants for the future.
02/05/1950m 41s

S1 Ep2: April - slugs, seeds and seedlings

Spring is here. We get excited about seed sowing, the perfect plant comfrey, and we discuss slugs and slug pellets. Listen also to the inspiring work of an organic gardener working behind prison walls, helping offenders with substance abuse.
04/04/1932m 8s

S1 Ep1: March - Why organic?

We explore why organic is important, and give advice for your own organic growing journey.
01/03/1929m 19s
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