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Want to pick up gardening tips? Here are some podcasts, online newsletters to check out

By Carolyn Lindell
Special to the American-Statesman

Gardeners often like to talk about their favorite pastime, but these days, folks might find themselves digging in the dirt alone. Still, planters and growers can smile when tips and tidbits about gardening land in their email inbox or make their way through their earbuds.  

From selecting fertilizer to cutting back perennials to growing orchids, gardening e-newsletters and podcasts often cover an array of topics. For those who sign up, newsletters can be received regularly from various gardening organizations, publications, nurseries and others. 

Podcasts likewise are created by numerous sources, from home gardeners to professionals. Podcasts run anywhere from just a few minutes to much longer. They are available through a variety of platforms or on many of these programs’ websites. These programs can be informative and occasionally entertaining. As a bonus, gardeners can enjoy relating to kindred spirits. 

Here’s a sampling of what's available for plant lovers who are eager to read up, listen up or both: 

If you like "The Old Farmer's Almanac," you can get the online newsletter as well as listen to the podcast.

“The Old Farmer’s Almanac” (almanac.com): Many people recognize the long-lasting, familiar “The Old Farmer’s Almanac," which includes garden information — among other topics. It has several emailed options, including the “Companion” newsletter. These contain nuggets such as poisonous plants for pets and how to grow rhubarb. In addition, a short podcast, “Garden Musings,” has episodes with titles such as “Growing Beans Can Be a Snap” and "Flowers That Make Good Sense.” 

Learn more about rosemary from the National Gardening Association's newsletters.

The National Gardening Association (garden.org): Its weekly newsletter contains lots of reading choices, for example, “Planting and Pruning Plums” and “All About Rosemary.” These often have lovely, detailed photographs (why not take an up-close look at African blue basil?). More than 100 previous “All Things Plants” podcast episodes are also available.  

Neill Sperry's Gardens newsletter goes over how to prune trees.

Neil Sperry’s Gardens (neilsperry.com): Weekly newsletters have recurring features, such as questions of the week (“Why is my azalea plant losing so many leaves?”). Readers can click on in-depth stories, such as “Tree Pruning, Especially Oaks.” The affable and well-known Sperry, of McKinney, has podcasts of his radio broadcasts, where he dispenses garden knowledge in his congenial manner.  

Gardenista (gardenista.com): It describes its site as “the definitive guide to stylish outdoor spaces.”  It offers several newsletters, such as its daily digest. Readers can find out about Japanese garden tools, how to decode the info on plant ID tags and more, with stories accompanied by sharp photos.  

“Texas Gardener” (texasgardener.com): The magazine emails out its weekly “Seeds” newsletter that contains extensive articles, such as “How to Plant Shade Trees in Texas,” along with listings of events, tips and more. 

“Garden Gate” (gardengatemagazine.com): The magazine issues a weekly “Garden Gate Notes.” Stories have covered deer-resistant shrubs, ways to use conifers in the garden and more, alongside color-rich photographs.   

“One to Grow On” (onetogrowonpod.com): This local podcast is subtitled “Understanding how food production impacts us and our world.” Hosted by father-daughter team Chris Casey and Hallie Casey, they discuss gardening, food science, agriculture and more. The good-natured duo has recently tackled topics from apples to food rescue to xeriscaping. New episodes come out every other Tuesday. 

Horticulturati (horticulturati.com): Austin-based landscape designers Leah Churner and Colleen Dieter host this podcast. These informative, banter-filled talk shows have been occurring about once or twice a month, and the hosts aim to discuss fresh, garden-related topics. Episode titles have included “Garden Design,” “Seeds From China” and “Ammonium Nitrate.”  

Maria Failla is on the podcast "Bloom & Grow Radio."

“Bloom and Grow Radio” (bloomandgrowradio.com): Maria Failla describes herself as a “Plant Killer Turned Plant Lady.” For those who have ever killed their own plants, Failla is sympathetic, with a lighthearted approach. Her numerous episodes have covered topics such as DIY plant projects, “nerdy science” and general plant care, among others. 

Royal Horticultural Society (rhs.org.uk): “Gardening With the RHS” podcast describes itself as offering “seasonal advice, inspiration and practical solutions to gardening problems." Recent episodes have talked about gardening in a changing climate, thrifty gardening, ferns and fungi. They, of course, feature speakers with lovely accents. 

"Gardenerd Tip of the Week" (gardenerd.com): For amusement, as well as garden information from all over the map, “Gardenerd Tip of the Week” – sounds enticing. It's one of the many garden podcasts with a clever name.