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You Bet Your Garden

Updated about 13 hours ago

Read more

Mike McGrath hosts this call-in public radio program and offers light-hearted, organic gardening guidance.

Read more

Mike McGrath hosts this call-in public radio program and offers light-hearted, organic gardening guidance.

iTunes Ratings

236 Ratings
Average Ratings
198
19
11
4
4

iTunes Ratings

236 Ratings
Average Ratings
198
19
11
4
4
Cover image of You Bet Your Garden

You Bet Your Garden

Latest release on Sep 28, 2018

Read more

Mike McGrath hosts this call-in public radio program and offers light-hearted, organic gardening guidance.

Rank #1: You Bet Your Garden Summer Special

Podcast cover
Read more

Radioactive roses; peerless pollinators; the famed “Banana of the North;” and puckering persimmons. On the next You Bet Your Garden, we gather some of our favorite interviews to cool down your summer with a wilder blend of topics than the ingredients in a Singapore Sling!

Jul 06 2018

48mins

Play

Rank #2: Do Trees NEED Mulch? & Can a Tree Survive Severed Roots?

Podcast cover
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Do trees really NEED mulch? And can their roots be safely severed during construction? On the latest You Bet Your Garden, host Mike McGrath reveals some surprising truths about trees. Plus: Square Foot Gardening legend Mel Bartholomew, and your fabulous phone calls!

Question of the Week:

I’m about to put an addition on my house that will require a foundation being built approximately six to eight feet from a well-established maple tree that’s about 30 to 40 feet high. The builder says there’s a chance the tree will die when the roots are cut during trenching. Is there anything I can do to help increase the tree’s odds of survival?
—Mia in Yellow Springs, OH

Can Mia’s tree be saved?

Jun 01 2018

48mins

Play

Rank #3: Using Grass Clippings for Mulch

Podcast cover
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Is it ever right to use your grass clippings as a garden mulch?? On the latest You Bet Your Garden, we’ll bend–but not break–the rules as Mike McGrath looks at the pros and cons of collecting those clips. Plus, your fabulous phone calls!

Question of the Week:

My son has been trying to make compost out of three large piles of grass contained by plastic fencing. With all the rain we’ve had, the piles have become wet, compacted, dense and very heavy. What can be done to make these piles more effective at breaking down? They have been turned, but we recently added a lot of grass—and that plus the rain has made things a compacted mess. I examined one pile today and it’s actually like “green manure”; you know, all soft and squishy. That should be really great for the garden…no?
—Elizabeth in North Plainfield, New Jersey

How Elizabeth can fix her compost »

Jul 27 2018

48mins

Play

Rank #4: Beneficial Bugs? Or Filthy Flies?

Podcast cover
Read more

A listener wants to attract beneficial insects, but instead is beset by flies! On the latest You Bet Your Garden, Mike McGrath discusses how this might not be the worst thing to happen to an urban gardener. Plus, your fabulous phone calls!

Aug 03 2018

48mins

Play

Rank #5: Keep Your Credit Cards Out of the Compost!

Podcast cover
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A British gardening magazine recommends pouring grass clippings on top of shredded paper to make “quick compost.” On You Bet Your Garden, Mike McGrath reveals what’s wrong with this picture and re-iterates the rules of non-bogus black gold brewing. Plus, your fabulous phone calls!

Question of the Week:

I was just watching a “Florabest Lawnmower” video at the Facebook page for “The English Garden Magazine”; and the host used grass clippings and shredded paper ‘to make a quick compost’. I know you always recommend mulching grass back into the lawn, but there have been times when my grass grew so fast and tall that I needed to bag it. I only have two small trees, so there are no dried leaves for me to rake up in the fall and use. Is it okay to add shredded copier paper and credit card advertisements to my compost pile? I compost a lot of ‘green’ veggie waste and egg shells.
—Judy in New Jersey

Keep your credit cards out of the compost!

Jun 29 2018

46mins

Play

Rank #6: In the Garden and on the Lawn, Cheaters Always Win

Podcast cover
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Nobody wants to work hard outside. On the latest You Bet Your Garden, host Mike McGrath reveals that cheaters always win—especially when they perfect the lawn care and pruning practices that minimize hard work in the summertime. Also, Jenny Rose Carey, senior director at the Philadelphia Horticultural Society’s Meadowbrook Farm, joins the show to talk about the perfect plants for shady spots. Plus, your fabulous phone calls!

Question of the Week:

You do a great job and I follow all your advice exactly (as long as it’s convenient and cheap). For example, I always cut my lawn at the advised time…as long as that happens to fall on a weekend and the kids aren’t keeping me too busy. For those not as committed as me, do you have any advice on how to…well…how to…cheat? Basically, the Cliff Notes version of garden care? For instance, how do I get rid of lawn weeds without harming the dog or the kids and do it quickly? And what if my wife tells me it’s time to trim a plant when the calendar disagrees? Calendars can’t make me sleep in the spare bedroom, my wife can.
—Chad in Gaithersburg, Maryland

How Chad can save time and energy while keeping his garden looking good »

Aug 24 2018

44mins

Play

Rank #7: Getting the Most Out of Your Garlic

Podcast cover
Read more

Your garlic harvest is in…now what? Use it fresh before it sprouts? On the latest You Bet Your Garden, host Mike McGrath will expose the secret to getting a season of good seasoning from your harvest—or from the great garlic you’ll find at local farmer’s markets. Plus, your fabulous phone calls!

Aug 17 2018

44mins

Play

Rank #8: Got Skeeters Bad? Call in the Dragonflies!

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Mosquito prevention time is over; now is the time to switch tactics to protection. On the latest You Bet Your Garden, Mike McGrath reveals how to attract dragonflies and explains why white is the color to wear this mosquito season. Plus, your fabulous phone calls!

Question of the Week:

I’m a 13-year-old boy and live with my grandparents on seven acres of land. We have a pond, but absolutely no dragonflies. We’re way out in the country, and you’d think we’d have plenty, but we have not seen any. It’s like they vanished. Is there any kind of smell or food we could use to attract them? We need them badly; I just counted thirty bites on my legs! Bug spray has been no help, so our only hope is dragonflies…
—Ethan in Brokaw, WI

How to attract dragonflies »

Aug 10 2018

48mins

Play

Rank #9: Special Report: Moderating Menacing Mosquitoes

Podcast cover
Read more

On this week’s You Bet Your Garden, host Mike McGrath speaks with Dr. Dina Fonseca, professor of entomology in the school of public health at Rutgers University, about ways to prevent mosquito’s from thriving in your landscape and ways to protect yourself from being bit.

This way for tips to banish bloodsuckers »

May 25 2018

53mins

Play

Rank #10: Crossing The Pond with the Intent to Commit Horticulture

Podcast cover
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It’s often a bad idea to take plants across state lines with the intent to commit horticulture. On the latest You Bet Your Garden, Mike McGrath discusses what’s at stake if you’re thinking of crossing The Pond with your plants! Plus, gardening for the curious with Dr. Lee Reich.

Question of the Week:

I teach high school German & Spanish and run a reciprocal group exchange program with a teacher in Munich, Bavaria. (Bavaria is to Germany like Texas is to the US—very big, very conservative, very interesting & a lot of fun.)

Because of my affinity for hydrangeas I came up with an idea I hope you will find interesting enough to help with. When I’m in Munich (the capital of Bavaria) later this July, I want to give my foreign exchange counterpart Veit (pronounced like “fight”) and his new wife Effi a hydrangea (specifically hydrangea macrophylla bavaria), and take cuttings from it home with me, so that after the cuttings take root, we will effectively be sharing the same hydrangea plant across two continents.

The root of the problem (pun intended 🙂 is that Google as I may, I can’t seem to find out who to ask about bringing those cuttings home, as I believe it is highly frowned upon to bring plants into the US without going through proper channels. If you could help me, I would be ever grateful—and invite you to one of my wife’s outstanding dinners during Veit’s next visit this fall. “Danke schön”.

PS: If you think the cuttings might not be viable after transatlantic flights, I could probably just buy two identical plants, which might be clones anyway.

—Chad in New Hanover Township, PA

The legality of globetrotting hydrangeas »

Jul 13 2018

44mins

Play

Live at Meadowbrook Farm

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Mike McGrath loves radio, but he’s always down to show off in front of a crowd. This week’s You Bet Your Garden is a very special treat: excerpts from Mike’s talk at Meadowbrook Farm in Abington, PA earlier this summer. Subjects include tomato pollination, diversity of native bees, rosemary vs St. John’s wart, and so much more!

Sep 28 2018

48mins

Play

What’s Eating my Garden? And are the ‘Leftovers’ Safe?

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Your tomatoes and peppers are under attack; big chunks are missing! On the latest You Bet Your Garden, host Mike McGrath identifies the most likely suspects and reveals if the leftovers are safe to eat. Plus, your fabulous phone calls!

Question of the Week:

I believe that my garden has recently been visited by these pests. The question is: do I throw away all the veggies they have taken a chunk of? Or try to salvage the parts that may still be consumable?
— Vicki in Madison, AL

Can Mike identify the culprit?

Sep 21 2018

47mins

Play

Tomato Sauce 101: From Vine to Jar

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Got lots of ripe tomatoes coming in? More than you can eat? On the latest You Bet Your Garden, host Mike McGrath walks you through the cooking and processing of superior tomato sauce, with an emphasis on using the fewest garden fresh ingredients. Plus, your fabulous phone calls!

Question of the Week:

I’m in tomato heaven; and I just got a Vitamix high-powered blender. I am SO excited to be able to just toss whole tomatoes into that mixer! Now, when I make the sauce—adding spices, herbs, sweetener and a bit of balsamic vinegar—can I can them up without adding lemon juice? I worry that it would ruin the whole thang. (And yes, Stef did type ‘thang’.)
—Steffanie in Illinois

How to make tasty tomato sauce »

Sep 14 2018

45mins

Play

September is THE Time for Lawn Care and Repair

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In fall, a young man’s fancy turns to…killing greasy grubs! On the latest You Bet Your Garden, Mike McGrath lays out your organic grub control options and explains why this is the time of year to strike. Plus, your fabulous phone calls!

Question of the Week:

When is the best time to apply milky spore to control Japanese beetle grubs in the lawn? And how often should it be applied?
—Stephen in Ellicott City, Maryland

How to get rid of grubs »

Sep 07 2018

43mins

Play

Hey Joe, What’s in That Mosquito Spray in Your Hand?

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If you’ve been to a home show, you’ve seen the rival franchises selling mosquito spray packages to homeowners. On the latest You Bet Your Garden, host Mike McGrath responds to a listener concerned about her neighbor’s use of such a service, and does a bit of sleuthing to figure out exactly what’s in those sprays. Plus, your fabulous phone calls!

Aug 31 2018

48mins

Play

In the Garden and on the Lawn, Cheaters Always Win

Podcast cover
Read more

Nobody wants to work hard outside. On the latest You Bet Your Garden, host Mike McGrath reveals that cheaters always win—especially when they perfect the lawn care and pruning practices that minimize hard work in the summertime. Also, Jenny Rose Carey, senior director at the Philadelphia Horticultural Society’s Meadowbrook Farm, joins the show to talk about the perfect plants for shady spots. Plus, your fabulous phone calls!

Question of the Week:

You do a great job and I follow all your advice exactly (as long as it’s convenient and cheap). For example, I always cut my lawn at the advised time…as long as that happens to fall on a weekend and the kids aren’t keeping me too busy. For those not as committed as me, do you have any advice on how to…well…how to…cheat? Basically, the Cliff Notes version of garden care? For instance, how do I get rid of lawn weeds without harming the dog or the kids and do it quickly? And what if my wife tells me it’s time to trim a plant when the calendar disagrees? Calendars can’t make me sleep in the spare bedroom, my wife can.
—Chad in Gaithersburg, Maryland

How Chad can save time and energy while keeping his garden looking good »

Aug 24 2018

44mins

Play

Getting the Most Out of Your Garlic

Podcast cover
Read more

Your garlic harvest is in…now what? Use it fresh before it sprouts? On the latest You Bet Your Garden, host Mike McGrath will expose the secret to getting a season of good seasoning from your harvest—or from the great garlic you’ll find at local farmer’s markets. Plus, your fabulous phone calls!

Aug 17 2018

44mins

Play

Got Skeeters Bad? Call in the Dragonflies!

Podcast cover
Read more

Mosquito prevention time is over; now is the time to switch tactics to protection. On the latest You Bet Your Garden, Mike McGrath reveals how to attract dragonflies and explains why white is the color to wear this mosquito season. Plus, your fabulous phone calls!

Question of the Week:

I’m a 13-year-old boy and live with my grandparents on seven acres of land. We have a pond, but absolutely no dragonflies. We’re way out in the country, and you’d think we’d have plenty, but we have not seen any. It’s like they vanished. Is there any kind of smell or food we could use to attract them? We need them badly; I just counted thirty bites on my legs! Bug spray has been no help, so our only hope is dragonflies…
—Ethan in Brokaw, WI

How to attract dragonflies »

Aug 10 2018

48mins

Play

Beneficial Bugs? Or Filthy Flies?

Podcast cover
Read more

A listener wants to attract beneficial insects, but instead is beset by flies! On the latest You Bet Your Garden, Mike McGrath discusses how this might not be the worst thing to happen to an urban gardener. Plus, your fabulous phone calls!

Aug 03 2018

48mins

Play

Using Grass Clippings for Mulch

Podcast cover
Read more

Is it ever right to use your grass clippings as a garden mulch?? On the latest You Bet Your Garden, we’ll bend–but not break–the rules as Mike McGrath looks at the pros and cons of collecting those clips. Plus, your fabulous phone calls!

Question of the Week:

My son has been trying to make compost out of three large piles of grass contained by plastic fencing. With all the rain we’ve had, the piles have become wet, compacted, dense and very heavy. What can be done to make these piles more effective at breaking down? They have been turned, but we recently added a lot of grass—and that plus the rain has made things a compacted mess. I examined one pile today and it’s actually like “green manure”; you know, all soft and squishy. That should be really great for the garden…no?
—Elizabeth in North Plainfield, New Jersey

How Elizabeth can fix her compost »

Jul 27 2018

48mins

Play

You Bet Your Garden Summer Special #2

Podcast cover
Read more

Plants under glass, mushroom hunting, permaculture, and copper plugs. On this week’s You Bet Your Garden, host Mike McGrath talks terrariums, ‘shrooming, piling stuff up on top of old wood and much more in a series of our favorite interviews.

Question of the Week:

I’ve been looking into the different design systems I could use in establishing a new organic garden and food forest fruit orchard. I’ve heard about permaculture, biodynamic, and biointensive, but I’m really confused: What’s the difference between these three? And finally, which do you think would give me the best view on how to design my new garden in a functional way for the long-term? Thanks.
Joe from Greenville, NC
What do Permaculture, Biodynamic & Biointensive mean? »

Jul 20 2018

46mins

Play

Crossing The Pond with the Intent to Commit Horticulture

Podcast cover
Read more

It’s often a bad idea to take plants across state lines with the intent to commit horticulture. On the latest You Bet Your Garden, Mike McGrath discusses what’s at stake if you’re thinking of crossing The Pond with your plants! Plus, gardening for the curious with Dr. Lee Reich.

Question of the Week:

I teach high school German & Spanish and run a reciprocal group exchange program with a teacher in Munich, Bavaria. (Bavaria is to Germany like Texas is to the US—very big, very conservative, very interesting & a lot of fun.)

Because of my affinity for hydrangeas I came up with an idea I hope you will find interesting enough to help with. When I’m in Munich (the capital of Bavaria) later this July, I want to give my foreign exchange counterpart Veit (pronounced like “fight”) and his new wife Effi a hydrangea (specifically hydrangea macrophylla bavaria), and take cuttings from it home with me, so that after the cuttings take root, we will effectively be sharing the same hydrangea plant across two continents.

The root of the problem (pun intended 🙂 is that Google as I may, I can’t seem to find out who to ask about bringing those cuttings home, as I believe it is highly frowned upon to bring plants into the US without going through proper channels. If you could help me, I would be ever grateful—and invite you to one of my wife’s outstanding dinners during Veit’s next visit this fall. “Danke schön”.

PS: If you think the cuttings might not be viable after transatlantic flights, I could probably just buy two identical plants, which might be clones anyway.

—Chad in New Hanover Township, PA

The legality of globetrotting hydrangeas »

Jul 13 2018

44mins

Play

You Bet Your Garden Summer Special

Podcast cover
Read more

Radioactive roses; peerless pollinators; the famed “Banana of the North;” and puckering persimmons. On the next You Bet Your Garden, we gather some of our favorite interviews to cool down your summer with a wilder blend of topics than the ingredients in a Singapore Sling!

Jul 06 2018

48mins

Play

Keep Your Credit Cards Out of the Compost!

Podcast cover
Read more

A British gardening magazine recommends pouring grass clippings on top of shredded paper to make “quick compost.” On You Bet Your Garden, Mike McGrath reveals what’s wrong with this picture and re-iterates the rules of non-bogus black gold brewing. Plus, your fabulous phone calls!

Question of the Week:

I was just watching a “Florabest Lawnmower” video at the Facebook page for “The English Garden Magazine”; and the host used grass clippings and shredded paper ‘to make a quick compost’. I know you always recommend mulching grass back into the lawn, but there have been times when my grass grew so fast and tall that I needed to bag it. I only have two small trees, so there are no dried leaves for me to rake up in the fall and use. Is it okay to add shredded copier paper and credit card advertisements to my compost pile? I compost a lot of ‘green’ veggie waste and egg shells.
—Judy in New Jersey

Keep your credit cards out of the compost!

Jun 29 2018

46mins

Play

The Many Foes of Roses

Podcast cover
Read more

What’s eating your roses? On the latest You Bet Your Garden, Mike McGrath dons his detective’s cap to pinpoint the perpetrator chewing on them now…and details how to stop Japanese beetles from finishing the job later. Plus, your fabulous phone calls!

Question of the Week:

I’m fairly new to roses, so I planted three ‘Knockout’ variety roses I’ve been assured I cannot kill. But it appears that something still finds the leaves very tasty. I’ve attached a picture. What is eating my leaves and is there anything I can do to stop it? I haven’t seen any Japanese beetles and it seems like whatever is happening happens overnight.
—Sarah in Virginia

What’s eating those roses?

Jun 22 2018

46mins

Play

Gardening Without Sight

Podcast cover
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Gardening for the disabled includes plantings for those with little to no sight. On the next You Bet Your Garden, host Mike McGrath discusses gardens that appeal to the other four senses. Plus, your fabulous phone calls!

Question of the week:

I’d like to hear Mike talk about handicapped gardeners. I went completely blind several years ago and I’d love a segment on this topic.
—John in Ocean Pines, Maryland
Visually impaired gardeners share their stories»

Jun 15 2018

46mins

Play

Gardening Against the Odds: High Altitude, Short Season, and No Water

Podcast cover
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How can you grow tomatoes in a short season…at high altitude…and with no water? On the latest You Bet Your Garden, Mike McGrath reveals just how they do it in Southwest Colorado! Plus, the wild and wonderful world of succulents and cacti…and your fabulous phone calls.

Learn all about gardening in a hostile climate »

Jun 08 2018

47mins

Play

Do Trees NEED Mulch? & Can a Tree Survive Severed Roots?

Podcast cover
Read more

Do trees really NEED mulch? And can their roots be safely severed during construction? On the latest You Bet Your Garden, host Mike McGrath reveals some surprising truths about trees. Plus: Square Foot Gardening legend Mel Bartholomew, and your fabulous phone calls!

Question of the Week:

I’m about to put an addition on my house that will require a foundation being built approximately six to eight feet from a well-established maple tree that’s about 30 to 40 feet high. The builder says there’s a chance the tree will die when the roots are cut during trenching. Is there anything I can do to help increase the tree’s odds of survival?
—Mia in Yellow Springs, OH

Can Mia’s tree be saved?

Jun 01 2018

48mins

Play

Special Report: Moderating Menacing Mosquitoes

Podcast cover
Read more

On this week’s You Bet Your Garden, host Mike McGrath speaks with Dr. Dina Fonseca, professor of entomology in the school of public health at Rutgers University, about ways to prevent mosquito’s from thriving in your landscape and ways to protect yourself from being bit.

This way for tips to banish bloodsuckers »

May 25 2018

53mins

Play

You Say Potato, I Say Tomato

Podcast cover
Read more

You say tomato, I say tomahto…but the soil sprouts potatoes! On the latest You Bet Your Garden, Mike McGrath discusses what you can do when Yukon Golds emerge right next to your Cherokee Purples. Plus: helping HOAs become more sustainable, and your fabulous phone calls.

Question of the Week:

Is it true that you shouldn’t plant tomatoes and potatoes close to each other? In rotating my garden areas, I planted tomatoes where potatoes were last year. Now a couple of overlooked potatoes are starting to sprout up. Do I need to dig them out of the soil?
—Mary in Oakdale, California
Mike’s advice »

May 18 2018

53mins

Play

iTunes Ratings

236 Ratings
Average Ratings
198
19
11
4
4