Joe Lamp’l, host of PBS’s “Growing a Greener World,” says he sees interest in backyard gardening growing rapidly across the country, especially as more and more people eat what they put in their mouths. want to control it.
“It’s starting with foodies and people who love to cook,” said Lamp’l in a recent interview with Gardener’s Path. “You think about all the ingredients you eat—a lot of it comes from the garden, and people want to have more control over that part of the process.”
Lamp’l, also known as Joe Gardener, has seen renewed interest in the market for a wide variety of new products that make gardening easier and more accessible to more people.
“The availability of things that make gardening easier has improved a lot,” he says. “Clay is easier to work with these days. You have more variety. Everything just got easier.
“So there’s no excuse not to try,” he says. “Everyone needs to try it out and make some mistakes, because that’s how they’re learning.”
Many modern tools, including soaker hoses and sophisticated timers available at outlets like Home Depot, make it easy for gardeners to automate the process, according to the prolific TV personality.
“You’re going to start off with a great plant. You’re going to have the best growing environment possible with great soil.”
“You work with irrigation with automatic, battery-powered timers, so you don’t have to be there to water your plants. You use high-quality hoses that drain water out slowly so you don’t flood or drown your plants,” he says.
“Now that doesn’t mean you go away and forget about it,” he says. “But you can go out into their garden at night with your coffee or your drink and it’s a leisurely, relaxing stroll.”
You still have to do a little work to weed and check for pests, but “it’s a lot easier now because you don’t have to do regular, day-to-day maintenance.
You’ve added products that make it all easier for busy people,” says Lamp’l, who hosted “Fresh From the Garden” on the DIY Network for several years until “we wanted to teach people how to make your own.” Did not run out of food items how to develop. ,” according to their website.
how did it all start
Lampl’s passion for gardening began in his childhood, when he accidentally broke a branch from a bush in his family’s yard.
To avoid punishment, he buried the branch in the ground. When, several weeks later, he found that it had taken root and was flourishing, he was hooked on gardening.
Although he wanted to study horticulture in college, his intelligent mother steered him toward business, which proved useful when he eventually started a horticulture design business.
(Brief pause here to reiterate the obvious: Mother knows best. Always.)
After a casting call that led to the DIY show, Lamp’l gradually became well known and well-known throughout the country as a gardening expert.
The Atlanta-based green thumb infuses gardening knowledge with every breath he takes, and he travels the country preaching his passion for green living.
He has made appearances on “The Today Show”, “Good Morning America” and the Weather Channel.
The Green Gardener’s Guide
He has written books that include “The Green Gardener’s Guide: Simple, Significant Actions to Protect and Preserve Our Planet,” available from Amazon.
over the fence with the gardener
Another book by Lamp’l, “Over the Fence with Joe Gardener,” is also available on Amazon.
In September 2022, Lamp’l published “The Vegetable Gardening Book: Your Complete Guide to Growing an Edible Organic Garden from Seed to Harvest”, which provides step-by-step instructions, hints and tips for both beginners and experienced gardeners. does.
The Vegetable Gardening Book
You can find this book available through Amazon.
The busy horticulturist also writes a weekly, nationally syndicated newspaper column, and records a regular podcast.
She is the founder and CEO of The Gardener Company, an endeavor dedicated to promoting environmentally responsible gardening and sustainable outdoor living.
In terms of the popularity of gardening with a wide variety of people, Lamp’l likes what he sees across the country. “What’s exciting to me is the young people I see getting involved in horticulture,” he says.
They say that young people these days think gardening is “cool”. “They feel that it actually provides great benefits to your health, the beauty of the landscape, the environment and the community.”
He says that many young, professional horticulturists are motivating young audiences to get into horticulture. But these gardeners are demanding more.
“Gardeners in their 20s and 30s are looking for more from their plants,” he says. “They want more efficiency.”
They say they are looking for plants that are both edible and ornamental. “We probably want to provide utility in our foundation bed—plants that we can also go outside and eat, so ornamental salads or leafy crops like beautiful kale or cucumber are growing up a trellis.”
Another distinguishing characteristic of young gardeners, he says, is that they combine their penchant for technology with their love of gardening, so they eagerly populate online communities where they can exchange tips and information. Are.
A lot of young people are going organic, he says, and what better way to know where your food comes from?
He says it’s a matter of having the right plant for the right area and choosing the right soil, and then having some basic equipment.
“A small investment in some high quality tools really makes your gardening easier,” he says. “Whether you are an experienced gardener or a beginner.”
One of Lamp’l’s favorite tools is the clay knife. “It’s priceless,” he insists. “It’s a tool I use every day. Multiple times.”
AM Classic Stainless Steel Clay Knife
You can find clay knives like this one available on Amazon.
City folk are part of the trend
He says even urban dwellers are looking for ways to grow food.
“There are several varieties that are ideally suited to containers and small spaces, and don’t require full sun,” he says. “Especially herbs. Herbs are probably the best thing you can do for a small environment.”
Foliage plants are also suitable for small spaces. “They’re the ones you use in your kitchen anyway,” he says.
“In urban environments, you look for varieties that give you some indication that they are designed for small spaces and go with that,” he advises.
gather, grow, and chat
Another location Lamp’l sees a rise in popularity of gardening are community gardens.
“Every community garden environment I’ve heard of has a waiting list for people to be able to rent a plot,” he says. “I love to hear that.”
“And I love hearing that new community gardens are springing up all the time. It’s a great way for people to dip their toe in the water without diving in at the deep end,” says Lample.
In addition to getting good advice from other expert gardeners who have neighboring plots, he says, “the camaraderie you build with the people you’re gardening with, I’m telling you, it’s a special experience.” And that is why community gardening has become a thing to do, especially in urban environments.
As for his own preferences, he says, “In my house, I have a lot of space, but it’s just me. Sometimes I like that solitude, but there are times when I really like to talk with someone.
“We all have our own experiences,” he says, “and it’s this shared knowledge that makes us all better gardeners.”
good to be home
Although Lampel enjoys his time on the road, meeting gardening enthusiasts and visiting beautiful gardens across the country, he also loves being at home.
He can often be found wandering around his own organic garden, examining this plant or that seedling, always with the curiosity of a habitual learner as to what is new or interesting.
These are lessons he will surely share with the many fans of his TV show, books, videos and podcasts. Learnings she’s thrilled to share.
“Gardeners are nice people,” he says. “There are so many great things about gardening that people are finally discovering, and I’m happy about that.”
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© Ask the Experts, LLC. All rights reserved. See our TOS for more details. Originally published on July 13, 2017. Last updated on December 22, 2022. Photos courtesy of Joe Lamp’l; Used with permission. Product photos via AM Classic and Cool Springs Press. Uncredited photos: Shutterstock.