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Gardening For Good

Community strengthened by a garden on NPT's Volunteer Gardener

Community strengthened by a garden

We visit the McGruder Community Garden in North Nashville where neighbors grow healthy food, and enjoy learning together. We hear about how the history of this productive space, and how it works now to meet the needs of the community.

Natives in Plain Sight on NPT's Volunteer Gardener

Natives in Plain Sight

We visit a gardener who cherishes native plants even though a lot of lawn services refer to them as weeds. Her yard is a certified wildlife habitat, and she provides as best she can on her urban lot.

Green Manure: Plants and Benefits on NPT's Volunteer Gardener

Green Manure: Plants and Benefits

Biodynamic farmer Jeff Poppen walks us through one of his large production fields in early spring that's covered in green manure crops. He shares information about the plants used, and how each one benefits the soil health.

Gardening newbies on NPT's Volunteer Gardener

Gardening newbies

There's a lot of joy in gardening. Tammy Algood meets up with two new gardeners who are proud of their successes, and the knowledge gained from growing in a raised bed within a community garden.

Soil Your Undies: How healthy is your soil? on NPT's Volunteer Gardener

Soil Your Undies: How healthy is your soil?

A campaign was launched in December 2018 by Oregon farmers working with Soil and Water Conservation Districts. The Soil Your Undies Challenge was now a thing. It's a simple way to measure the microbial activity in the soil. Julie Berbiglia visits the campus of Vanderbilt University in Nashville to see the results from their participation in the challenge.

Food forest - permaculture methods on NPT's Volunteer Gardener

Food forest – permaculture methods

Annette Shrader visits with an experienced gardener who adheres to the methods of permaculture. All of the plants in his vast backyard are part of a food forest, and each plant contributes in some way to the good of the whole. Food guilds, trap plants, green manure, and chop+drop plants are discussed, along with how they make edible plants thrive.

School garden on NPT's Volunteer Gardener

School garden

Jeff Poppen is on the campus of Montgomery Bell Academy in Nashville to learn both the challenges and rewards of having a school garden. Here, organic is the way this garden grows. The composting process is well supported here. This school not only uses the garden in the curriculum for students, there's also a garden club.

Native Plants in the Home Landscape on NPT's Volunteer Gardener

Native Plants in the Home Landscape

Native plants have evolved in a region with adaptations to the geology, climate, soil, wildlife, and the other plants. Therefore, a key to successful ornamental gardening would be to include a high percentage of native trees, shrubs and perennials. Tammy Algood discusses the attributes of natives with Margie Hunter, author of 'Gardening with Native Plants of Tennessee: The Spirit of Place'.

Home landscapes: benefits and risks beyond the property line on NPT's Volunteer Gardener

Home landscapes: benefits and risks beyond the property line

There are parks full of Chinese privet and bush honeysuckle. But not so long ago, gardeners bought these plants at garden centers assuming they would be good for the home landscape. Now they are deemed invasive, and harmful to the ecology. As gardeners, we want to be good stewards of the land, but what does that entail? How much should it limit plant choices? Must we only plant natives?

Vertical hydroponics: growing UP on NPT's Volunteer Gardener

Vertical hydroponics: growing UP

Marty DeHart tours Rally Farms, the first Nashville-based urban hydroponic farm utilizing a recycled insulated shipping container to grow produce hydroponically. Their specialties are culinary herbs and leafy greens. That includes lettuce in both mini and full-head varieties, arugula, mustard greens, and kale.

Trees for Bees on NPT's Volunteer Gardener

Trees for Bees

Flowering trees are great for pollinators! They provide high levels of pollen and nectar that bees need for their existence. Tammy Algood is at Rock Bridge Trees in Bethpage Tennessee to show off some beautiful trees that are very supportive of pollinators.

Autumn Nectar Plants on NPT's Volunteer Gardener

Autumn Nectar Plants

Environmentally conscientious gardeners should strive to grow a range of late-flowering nectar plants to provide insects with energy to migrate, or build them up for winter hibernation. Rita Venable, author of Butterflies of Tennessee, joins Marty DeHart to discuss top-performers such as goldenrod and New England aster.