Just Grow It: The Podcast

By Big City Gardener

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The Just grow it podcast is filled with tips, tricks, and relevant gardening information. The goal is to motivate and inspire people to feel more confident when it comes to gardening. I want everyone to Just grow it. What is it? Flowers, fruits, trees, vegetables, succulents, a business. Whatever it is to you, just grow it. Also, we will have conversations with members of the agriculture community. Finding out how they got to where they are and what they think about the agriculture scene's state.

Episode Date
Are gardening zones overrated?

When you first get into gardening, you need to understand that not everything will not grow everywhere!  Despite how much you may want to grow something, most times, it is not happening.  That is because plants originated in different world areas and were then brought to America or other countries. 

To assist farmers and gardeners, the USDA recorded high and low temperatures for different areas in North America, compiled them, and created the Plant Hardiness Zones.  These zones are not only American but there are also plant hardiness zones for the world.  Nurseries and seed companies adopted this information and added it to their plant labels and descriptions.  You can use this information as a guideline of what will generally do well in your area. 

Check out this episode of JUST GROW IT, where we discuss why putting so much emphasis on your gardening zone can set you up for failure. 

Oct 13, 2021
Interplanting increases yields

The idea of interplanting may be the best-kept secret of gardening. This gardening technique can help increase your yields, get a head start on an upcoming season, and decrease the amount of time spent weeding.  Are you already practicing this technique, just unaware?


Check out this episode of JUST GROW IT

Oct 10, 2021
What is Succession planting?

Do you want to have consistent, predictable harvests?  Well as predictable as possible, because we all know nature has a mind of its own.  To achieve this goal, you have to understand the concept of succession panting.  Learn more about succession planting and the benefits in this episode.  

Oct 05, 2021
What are frost dates?

As a beginner gardener, the term frost dates are something you will hear or see often.  Every seed catalog or website you come across will have these two terms First Frost date and last frost date. These terms are essential for gardeners.  Misinterpret or neglect this information, and you risk reduced or decreased harvest, stunted growth, or even worse, killing your plants.

Oct 01, 2021
Health benefits of gardening

There are many health benefits associated with gardening, and the actual produce you get from the plants is only one.   In this episode of JUST GROW IT, we talk about five health benefits you get from gardening.

Sep 27, 2021
Container gardening tips

Only have limited space but still want to garden?  Well, then container gardening is a perfect option for you.  It allows you to turn anywhere into a thriving garden.  But you cannot simply throw soil in a pot and expect to be successful.  No, no, no, that is a recipe for failure.  But don’t worry. This short episode will discuss five tips that can help get your container gardening experience off on the right foot.

Check out this episode of JUST GROW IT

Sep 24, 2021
Just Grow it The podcast Featuring @Floracocina

Edible flowers and fantastic food go together.  I was unaware of that until I met Bee, an edible flower enthusiast.  Introduced to gardening when young, Bee just knew that flowers and food meshed well.  Bee’s love for edible flowers has taken her all across the map, from Thailand to Mexico and even Canada, where she owned a bakery. 

Want to learn more?  Check out this episode of JUST GROW IT


In this episode, we talk about:

  1. How Bee began gardening
  2. The journey of Floracocina
  3. While on her journey, where she encountered the most edible flowers
  4. Which edible flowers are great for beginners
  5. Some lesser-known edible flowers
Sep 21, 2021
Direct seeding vs. Transplanting. Which is right for me?

How do I know whether to seed my garden or grow/purchase my transplants from a nursery?  Well, that depends on what you are growing and what season it is.  Each method has its benefits and drawbacks. Check out this episode of JUST GROW IT to learn when to use which method.

Sep 16, 2021
How to properly water your garden

One of the most critical factors that can make or break a garden is access to water.  A newly planted garden cannot grow or thrive without water.  Did you know that there was a proper way to water a garden?  I mean, you could just grab a hose and begin making it rain on the plants, but this could lead to problems down the road.  Following these tips will help increase the productivity of your garden and watering efficiency.

Check out this episode of JUST GROW IT

Sep 12, 2021
Just Grow It Setting up a new garden

Are you looking to set up a new garden?  People often hop into gardening without doing enough thinking and research. They just start gardening.  The motivation is impressive, but the lack of research and preparation is a recipe for failure. You know the saying failing to plan is like planning to fail.  Well, a garden is no different.   Have you thought about garden orientation, a water source, or lighting?  If not, take a listen to this episode and help your new gardening adventure get started properly.

Check out this episode of JUST GROW IT


Sep 06, 2021
Just Grow it The podcast Featuring Eric Holsten @smartpots

Just Grow It Featuring Eric Holsten @smartpots

In 1980 a tree farmer had the idea to sew together containers from fabric. He hoped to make his trees easier to harvest. Little did he know he had just started a whole new way to grow trees and plants of all kinds. These fabric pots would later become known as Smart Pots and a revolution to the growing industry.

Want to learn more?  Check out this episode of JUST GROW IT

Aug 26, 2021
Just Grow It Featuring Derek Haynes @thechocolatebotanist

From the time he was a child, Derek Haynes always had a “ thing “ for plants.  This love and passion for plants led him to NC State, where he studied and became a botanist.  As a “planty” person, Derek always wanted to share his love and passion for plants with the world.  He started sharing this passion by working in community gardens and realized he could do more. This realization led him to create, @thechocolotebotanist aka @thecrazybotanist.  An online personality has allowed him to use his creativity to share his passion for the plant world.

Check out this episode of JUST GROW IT

Aug 20, 2021
Just Grow it Featuring@ellenmarygardening

“Follow your passion because you never know where it can take you.”  These words are especially true from Ellen Mary, better known as Ellen Mary gardening.  An author, cohost of a number 1 podcast in the UK, radio host, and tv personality.  From the home of Colman’s mustard, Mary Ellen has built a gardening empire, all from being a self-proclaimed plant addict who followed her passion.  I love the term, self-proclaimed plant addict, by the way.  I think everyone who goes down the gardening path and stays with it eventually becomes a plant addict on some level.  Inspired to begin gardening from her experiences as a youth in her parents and other family members kitchen gardens, Ellen Mary is an example of what happens when you go all-in.

Want to learn more?  Check out this episode of JUST GROW IT

Aug 05, 2021
Just Grow It Featuring Resh Gala @reshgala

“Grow your own food and live your best life.”  This is the motto of Resh Gala, a self-taught gardener.  Residing in New Jersey and gardening in zone 6b, Resh began gardening with two tomato plants from a big box store. Early in her gardening journey, Resh learned the health of your plants depends on the soil in your garden.  Resh’s love for gardening led her to create Hundred Tomatoes, a  gardening company that focuses on creating unique, organic kitchen gardens.  For tips on growing in small spaces, gardening knowledge and motivation, and pictures of breathtaking gardens, make sure to follow @reshgala on Instagram.

Check out this episode of JUST GROW IT


In this episode, we talk about:

  1. How Resh got started gardening
  2. The journey of Hundred tomatoes
  3. Why she says containers are your friends
  4. Her thoughts on the Instagram gardening community
  5. Tips for small space and new gardeners
Jul 10, 2021
Just Grow It Featuring Christa Barfield @farmerjawnphilly
Who would have thought that a trip to clear your mind could end up changing your life?  Or on second thought, maybe that’s what trips when you need an escape are supposed to be.  A way to open your eyes and mind to see and think differently about something new: that’s how it all started for Christa Barfield. After spending her entire career in the health care field, Christa decided she needed a change.  She took a trip to Martinique and was introduced to herbal teas, farming and gardening and found her calling. These experiences made her think about her hometown.  Do things like urban farming and organic local tea blends exist in Philadelphia?  Upon returning to the city, she quickly started @farmerjawn, a 100% organically dope way to address food insecurity in marginalized communities, and @vivaleaftea, a farm-to-cup experience with your wellness in mind. Check out this episode of JUST GROW IT   In this episode, we talk about: 1.Why Christa left the healthcare field 2.The adventure in Martinique 3.How she crafts some of her tea blends 4.Her idea to redefine corner stores 5.What is in the future for @farmerjawn
Jul 04, 2021
Just Grow It Featuring Stephanie Baker @readygrowgardens
There is nothing more impactful than working with the youth. Now find a way to connect gardening to the youth, and you have something with the potential to be unique, but it takes the right person to make it work.  Stephanie Baker is the right person.  With a passion for gardening and teaching, Stephanie Baker started Ready to grow gardens.  A gardening program with an engaging curriculum that focuses on being an extension of the science classroom outside in the garden.  Can you imagine how the world would look if this type of program exited everywhere?  Well, Stephanie Baker is working on that idea, starting in Houston, TX. Want to learn more?  Check out this episode of JUST GROW IT
Jun 24, 2021
Just Grow It Featuring Joshua Rosas @Farm_and_Forage
Have you heard of the term, Agrihood?  An Agrihood is a community or neighborhood that makes a farm and edible landscapes the focal points for residents.  With all the attention on eating locally, urban farming, and CSA programs, an agrihood is a combination and progression of these ideas.  Joshua Rosas is the lead farmer for the agrihood, Jordan Ranch, just outside of Katy, TX in Brookshire, Tx.  Farming on 1.5 acres, Joshua and one assistant can maintain this market garden.  Besides providing farm-fresh produce to the residents, Joshua also sells their produce to local restaurants.  Can you believe that Joshuas has only been farming for a few years?
Jun 12, 2021
Just Grow It: Featuring Rick Carr @rodaleinstitute

Who would have known that a phrase on a hat could impact someone's life so much?  While in college, Rick Carr was working on a project with a friend.  The friend was wearing a hat that read " Master Composter."  Intrigued by the title, Rick Carr got the information behind the hat and began his journey to become a master composter. Now Rick Carr is the Farm Director and master composter for the Rodale Institute.  

Rodale Institute is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to growing the organic movement through rigorous research, farmer training, and consumer education. Widely recognized as a founder of the modern organic movement, Rodale Institute has been a global leader in regenerative organic agriculture for over 70 years.

Jun 05, 2021
Just Grow It Featuring Rebecca Verm @sownandgrownwithlove @sownandgrownwithmicrobes

Sometimes you have to follow your gut instincts. I genuinely believe that if you follow your instincts, they won’t let you down. Rebecca Verm from LBJ community farm did just that. She had some experience related to gardening and farming from her grandparents’,  but it wasn’t until she decided to skip law school to travel to South America and farm that she found her true calling. And her true calling was to be a biodiverse, permaculture practicing farmer. Learn more about Rebecca Verm’s farming adventure and how she ended up as the lead farmer at LBJ community farms in Northeast Houston, Tx. 

May 01, 2021
Just Grow It Featuring @Veggiepromo

Have you ever watched a documentary and all of a sudden become inspired to take action?  Well, a documentary about food deserts had that effect on Jerry Curry.  He decided to pivot from his career in the music industry into the urban farming world.  What started in Richmond, Virginia, as an urban backyard farm, has grown into @annslovingacres,  a homestead located in Hume, Va.  Here they focus on sustainable and regenerative natural farming.  Listen to learn more about the edible activist @veggiepromo.

Apr 17, 2021
Just Grow It Featuring Ben Page @Benpagedc

Dr. Ben Page is a chiropractor.  An author of two books,  Playing in the dirt and The four pillars of health.  With his patients, Dr. Page spreads the importance of consuming nutrient-dense food.  Dr. Page’s practice has taken him worldwide, which has allowed him to grow in various climates.  From Utah to Iowa, Las Vegas, and even Argentina, one thing that has remained, regardless of his location, is his love for gardening. 

Apr 08, 2021
Just Grow It Featuring Jeremy McGinty @Homegrownbuc

Jeremy McGinty started farming in 2007.  By 2017 His gardening and farming was booming.  He had neighbors and friends inquiring about purchasing his produce.  This sparked an idea in his head, "Why can't I be the Uber eats of fresh produce for my area in Arizona?" This was the birth of AZ grown at home.  He decided to grow and share his produce with others and an online produce delivery service, dropping off fresh, local, and organic produce.  Now, @homegrownbuc does not grow everything that is for sale. He has partnered with other local Arizona farmers and gardeners to offer his services to the masses.  Come learn more about Jeremy. The man behind  @homegrownbuc

Apr 01, 2021
Just Grow It Featuring Kyle Stenersen @Humblerootsfarm

Kyle Stenersen and his wife founded Humble roots farm over 13 years ago.  Located in North Carolina, Humble roots farm philosophy is that farming starts beneath the soil. Once I read that, I knew that I had to have a conversation with him.    Before starting Humble roots farm, Kyle spent two years farming and learning the industry at Sunset farms.  Now at Humble Roots, they produce pasture-raised eggs, pasture-raised poultry, pork and turkeys, seasonal produce, fresh-cut flowers, and even hemp.   But it doesn’t stop there. Kyle offers classes on how to get started with organic gardening and even sells plant starts from his website!  Come learn about how he got started and some of his agricultural beliefs

Mar 26, 2021
Just Grow It: Featuring Marco Thomas @Marco_is_growing

I am not one to be much of a fanboy, but Marco is one reason I wanted to start a podcast.  I had so many questions and didn’t want to keep sliding in his DMs every other day.  I loved his growing style.  It reminded me of a good friend I used to watch make his inputs in northern California a decade ago.  Marco is a walking wealth of information for everything natural farming-related.  Have you ever asked yourself what is more organic than organic?  Well, the answer is natural farming.  If you are unaware of what natural farming is, come a take a listen to this episode. 

Mar 18, 2021
Just Grow It: Featuring Nelson ZePequeno @blackmenwithgardens

How can you become something that you have never seen or never been exposed to?  @Blackmenwithgardens is helping to change the narrative associated with minorities and gardening.  Creating a safe space to help show minorities something other than the narrative then the agenda pushed and marketed towards them.  A man of many talents, I could have talked to Nelson for hours.  It felt as if we had been friends since kids.  Learn more about @blackmenwithgardens and the amazingly creative mind behind the page, Nelson ZePequeno.

Mar 13, 2021
Just Grow It: Featuring Jasmine Jefferson @blackgirlswithgardens

When you first decide to get into gardening, the information can seem overwhelming.  That is one reason why Jasmine started @blackgirlswithgardens to be an information hub for the BIPOC community.  Representation is important, and I think in the gardening space, this was previously overlooked. @Blackgirlswithgardens has grown into a fantastic platform. Come find out how Jasmine got started with BGWG and gardening in general.

Mar 06, 2021
Just Grow It: Featuring Chaz Daughtry @sweetwaterfarmshtx @Soulfitgrill

Sweetwater Farms is a 6-acre urban farm on the northside of Houston, TX.   Come learn about Chaz Daughtry, aka Farmer Chaz, the owner, and operator.  

Feb 25, 2021
Just Grow It: Featuring Ken Sparks @Farmerken

Come learn about @Farmerken—how he got started, where his passion for community gardens originates from, and also about the products and services he offers. 

Feb 12, 2021
Just Grow It: Featuring Ivy Walls @Ivyleaffarms

Ivy Walls is the owner and operator of Ivy Leaf Farms in Sunnyside, Houston, Texas. A community-based farm, @Ivyleaffarms grows fruits and vegetables not to meet the demand of individual restaurants and stores but to become the sustainable source of healthy and organic food that would benefit the entire community.

Feb 04, 2021
Just Grow It: Featuring Jeremy Peaches

Start Small and Grow Big! Jeremy Peaches is an agriculturist based in Houston, Texas. Founder and CEO of Fresh Life Organic FLO, a farmer and very passionate about animals as well. He is an advocate of sustainable agriculture practices. It hasn’t been an easy road to be an agriculture consultant while being a farmer, especially when you don’t have the land or the working capital.  Envisioned to making Houston as the epicenter of urban agriculture. Thus, it takes a lot of grit, being resilient, and faith.

In this episode, we talk about:

  1. Various sustainable agriculture practices
  2. How people growing new varieties of plants in their backyards affect the farmers
  3. The power of aquaponics and hydroponics
  4. Jeremy’s favorite and least favorite plants to grow
  5. Urban farming movement and how the agriculture district can be established to help promote home gardening
  6. Farming awareness brought about by different events that occurred throughout history.
  7. The need for more farmers and gardeners rather than more politicians
Jan 28, 2021
Just Grow It: Featuring D.O.P.E

Welcome to Just Grow It: The podcast.  


In today's episode, we are having a candid conversation with Geoffrey Johnson, the founder of the social media platform Depend on Planet Earth, aka D.O.P.E.

Jan 17, 2021