Garden Guru, public radio host and former Organic Gardening Editor-in-Chief Mike McGrath tackles your toughest garden, lawn, and pest problems every week.


The popular radio show, “You Bet Your Garden®” touted as an hour of "chemical-free horticultural hijinks," is a weekly, nationally syndicated broadcast hosted by Mike McGrath, that will now be produced in the studios of PBS39 in Bethlehem, PA. This weekly call-in program offers ‘fiercely organic’ advice to gardeners far and wide.

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Episode 37 : Have your squash plants ever collapsed mid-summer?

On this episode of You Bet Your Garden, our host Mike McGrath reveals how to defeat the weird little moth whose babies are paralyzing your pumpkins & zapping your zucchini! Plus, author Lorraine Ballato explains why you could be doing much better with your hydrangeas. Plus, we take your phone call questions!

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Episode 36 : Can handling wet plants be fatal?

How important is it to not play with your plants when they're wet? On this episode of YBYG, Mike McGrath explains why you should never handle them & name the real drama queens who are just waiting to make a wet touch turn fatal! Otherwise, its a fabulous phone call questions show.

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Episode 35 : Summer Greenhouses -- What are they good for?

Greenhouses are great for starting plants & growing cold weather crops over the winter. But, what about in the summer? On this episode of You Bet Your Garden, our host, Mike McGrath, reveals how to keep it cool enough for plants to survive & more!

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Episode 34 : It's a You Bet Your Garden Rewind!

Our host, Mike McGrath, is on a break this week to finish building his new raised beds for his tomato plants. He wondered which recent show would most ring true for the season, so PBS39 brings you a very special episode from last month that highlights the wide range of materials & soils you can buy in bulk for your lawn and garden. Plus, we discuss what to do when soil tests give rogue results and take a couple of your fabulous phone call questions

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Episode 33 : Does rosemary have the power to deter insect pests?

On this episode of You Bet Your Garden, host Mike McGrath reveals rosemary's true abilities of alertness and memory. Plus, he also reveals which plants can repel human pests like mosquitos -- just in time for planting. Otherwise, its a fabulous phone call question show, cats and kittens!

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Episode 32 : Should you ever "improve the soil" when installing new trees or shrubs?

On this episode of You Bet Your Garden, our host Mike McGrath tells us why you should never improve the soil when installing new shrubs. Otherwise, its a fabulous phone call questions show!

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Tune In!
Saturdays at 10am
Mondays at 3pm
Wednesdays at 5pm

Starring Mike McGrath

Got a garden or pest control question we may have covered in the past?
Click Here to visit the show's searchable archive of over 500 articles at Garden's Alive!

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Episode 31 : Looking for a new book this season?

On this episode of You Bet Your Garden, our host Mike McGrath suggests three books you should read if you're looking to learn about the idea of the perfect lawn, the original forest canopy of America, and how pesticides became popular despite their lack of effect. Plus, information on another book giveaway!

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Episode 30 : What is 'direct-seeding'?

Some crops like sweet corn, peas and greens are supposed to be 'direct-seeded'. On this episode of You Bet Your Garden, our host, Mike McGrath, discusses what 'direct-seeding' even is & answers your phone call questions.

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Episode 29 : Is it possible to have too much organic matter in your soil?

On this episode of You Bet Your Garden, Mike gets us ready for International Compost Awareness Week & tells us what to do when soil test results go rogue. Plus, as always, Mike takes your phone call questions.

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Episode 28 : A Rose Disease is Making the Rounds!

On this episode of You Bet Your Garden, Mike McGrath reveals how he accidentally conquered an allegedly-invincible rose virus when it struck his garden. Plus, a United Nations Researcher comes to the Lehigh Valley to learn about what our methods of sustainable agriculture can do to help fight hunger. And, as always, Mike takes your phone call questions.

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Episode 27 : Got Tomato Problems?

On this episode of You Bet Your Garden, host Mike McGrath tells us why blight is the last thing you want your tomatoes to have & how to prevent the most common tomato problems when you install your plants this season. Otherwise, its a fabulous phone call questions show!

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Episode 26 : Are oak leaves really that troublesome?

On this week's episode of You Bet Your Garden, our host, Mike McGrath, reveals why oak leaves really aren't so bad and tells you how to use all kinds of leaves for your spring planting. Otherwise, its a fabulous phone call question show!

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Episode 25 : What gardening book should you read next?

On this episode of You Bet Your Garden, Mike McGrath tells us about the three books about gardening that he recommends-- You'll never look at roses, figs or pawpaws the same way again! As always, Mike takes your fabulous phone call questions!

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Episode 24 : Who is to blame for your plants being eaten up over night?

Our host Mike McGrath tells us why slugs or snails should be your first suspects when you find your plants have been eaten overnight. Plus, the many ways to rid the slimy creatures from your garden. Plus, a heaping handful of your phone call questions.

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Episode 23 : What you need to know if you plan on starting your own plants from seeds this season!

Looking to plant some seeds this season? On this episode of You Bet Your Garden, our host Mike McGrath explains how to produce starts that are better than what you'll find at home and garden centers! As always, Mike takes your fabulous phone call questions.

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Episode 22 : A Fresh Look at Tomato Troubles and Backyard Chickens

On this episode of You Bet Your Garden, Mike McGrath gives us a fresh look at previous episodes while he's traveling across the country! Mike tells us how to avoid tomato troubles this summer by discussing split skins and poor returns. Plus, we talk about how to make backyard chickens feel like part of the family. And, as always, we take your phone call questions!

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Episode 21 : What can you do if unwanted insects invade? And, how to banish fruit flies and drain flies.

On this episode of You Bet Your Garden, Mike tells us the best way to get rid of unwanted insects come to party in your worm bin & how to banish fruit flies. And as always, Mike takes your fabulous phone call questions!

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Episode 20 : Planning on growing tomatoes? Here is what you need to know!

On this episode of You Bet Your Garden, Mike McGrath tells you what you need to know if you are planning on growing tomatoes from seeds that you saved from last summer & what to do if you plan to save some seeds this summer! Otherwise, its a fabulous phone call question show!

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Episode 19 : What rules should you follow to grow your own sweet corn? And, an extra heaping helping of your phone call questions!

On this episode of You Bet Your Garden, Mike McGrath tells us the 8 rules to follow if you want to get that extra delicious taste of summer in your sweet corn. Plus, Mike takes your phone call questions.

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Episode 18 : Suffering from blossom end rot? And, a Philadelphia Flower Show preview!

On this episode of You Bet Your Garden, host Mike McGrath tells us why egg shells might be the answer to blossom end rot & the surprising number of plants that those egg shells can help out. Plus, we preview the Philadelphia Flower Show!

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Episode 17 : When should you prune winterberry? And lots of your fabulous phone calls!

On this week's episode of You Bet Your Garden, Mike tells us how and when you should prune your winterberry plants & what these priceless plants need to be useful to birds and for your holiday decor. Otherwise, its a fabulous phone call question show!

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You Bet Your Garden Ep: 16

Episode 16 : How can you add multicolored lupines to your garden? And, a peek at Burnside Plantation's gardens.

On this episode of You Bet Your Garden, Mike McGrath tells us how to grow some show stopping, multicolored lupines for your garden. We also take a look at Burnside Plantation's recreation of classic gardens. And, as always, Mike takes your phone call questions.

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Episode 15 : How can you perrennial-ize your poinsettias? And all about the farm that grows farmers.

On this episode of You Bet Your Garden, Mike McGrath tells us how to move on from your cut Christams trees & how to perrennial-ize your poinsettias. Plus, we talk about the Seed Farm -- a farm that grows farmers. Plus plenty of your fabulous phone calls.

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Episode 14 : What are the legal and landscape dangers of planting bamboo?

On this episode of You Bet Your Garden, Mike McGrath tells us why that beautiful stand of running bamboo at your neighbor's home will soon be yours, too. Of course, Mike takes lots of your fabulous phone calls.

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Episode 13 : A fresh look at our first Lehigh Valley hour of horticultural hijinks

In this week's episode, we travel back in time with Mike to revisit the first episode of horticultural hijinks at the PBS39 Studios in Bethlehem, PA. We also mark the 20th year of continuous episodes of You Bet Your Garden on public broadcasting. Episode topics include poison ivy removal, why chemical fertilizers make flea beetles fat and happy, and of course, Mike takes your phone calls.

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Episode 12 : Got ivy growing up your trees? And Adrian Higgins talks Bradford Pear trees.

On this episode of You Bet Your Garden, Mike McGrath tells us why ivy growing up a tree may or may not be a reason insurance companies could cancel a policy. Plus, Adrian Higgins from the Washington Post talks with us about why Bradford Pear trees might be the worst tree of all time and, as always, an extra heaping helping of your phone calls.

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Episode 11 : Whats to blame when you awaken to a ripped up lawn? And, a heaping helping of your phone questions!

On this episode of You Bet Your Garden, Mike tells us a list of 5 suspects to blame when your turf is suddenly tattered. Plus, we get an extra heaping handful of your viewer questions, including one about an uncommon citrus tree.

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Episode 10 : Why are some trees' branches cut back to a stump? Plus, how the 2019 Philadelphia Flower Show is going back to the 1960s

On this episode of You Bet Your Garden, Mike tells us why a "technique" called pollarding was a great idea in 1 AD, but a terrible idea for the present. Plus, we learn how the fabulous 2019 Philadelphia Flower Show is planning a tribute to Flower Power on the 50th anniversary of Woodstock. As always, Mike takes your questions.

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Episode 9 : What are the secrets to a fireproof Christmas tree & a needle free floor?

It's almost the holidays! On this episode of You Bet Your Garden, Mike McGrath gives you some essential tips and tricks to cutting the perfect Christmas tree for a needle-free floor and making sure it's fireproof. We sit down with Director of Stoneleigh: A Natural Garden, Ethan Kaufman, who discusses how he helped to turn a private estate into a beautiful public garden. As always, we take your phone calls and answer your questions.

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Episode 8 : Can ants really kill a tree? Plus, a heaping helping of your phone calls!

In this episode of You Bet Your Garden, Mike McGrath reveals what is really going on when carpenter ants are found in your tree or terrace & why you should say 'thanks' for the heads up. Mike also takes an extra heaping helping of your phone call questions.

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Episode 7 : What can you do with that tree stump? And, why volcano mulching will hurt you down the line.

Mike McGrath hosts a tree filled episode this week! Mike outlines your options when it comes to taking down trees and how to make those stumps come in handy. Plus, we sit down with Joe Bayer from Bartlett Tree Experts to talk about the lost art of mulching & how volcano mulching could cost you. As always, we take your phone calls.

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Episode 6 : Should I use my compost pile now or save it for Spring? And, what is the relationship between people and plants?

In this episode, Mike discusses whether you should use your compost piles now, or wait until the spring. We're joined by special guest Holly Shimizu, former Executive Director of the U.S. Botanic Garden, to talk about the relationship between people and plants. And, as always, Mike takes your phone calls.

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Episode 5 : Why were my tomato plants so sad this summer? Plus, tips and tricks on how to make chickens feel like part of the family.

On this episode of You Bet Your Garden, Mike tells you why you tomatoes didn't so so well this summer. Plus, we chat with Lisa Steele, author of '101 Chicken Keeping Hacks,' to get some ideas on how to make your feathered friends feel more like family. As always, Mike takes your phone calls.

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Episode 4 : Looking to pick up pruners? And, why is your fig tree still not producing figs after years of growing?

In this episode, Mike McGrath talks about what to do if the spirit of Martha Stewart is haunting you to pick up your pruners and landscape & why your fig tree is still not producing figs. Plus, we sit down with Rachel Falcove, the Executive Director of the Interfaith Hospitality Network, to talk about the 20th year of the Empty Bowl Dinner. And, as always, Mike takes your phone calls.

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Episode 3 : What type of scarab beetle devoured your roses this summer? Plus, Dan DeVault teaches us about kombucha!

In this episode, Mike McGrath sits down with Dan DeVault of Pheasant Hill Farm to talk about the organic ingredients that go into his kombucha. Mike tells us what type of scarab beetle (there are 30,000 different types!) devoured your roses this summer & takes your phone calls.

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Episode 2 : Why are so many flowers and plants blooming again? And, an extra heaping helping of your questions!

Mike McGrath explains why so many flowers and plants are acting like spring chickens despite being close to Halloween. Plus, Mike is taking an extra heaping helping of your phone call questions.
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Episode 1: What is the best way to remove poison ivy? And why do flea beetles love chemical fertilizers?

Mike McGrath marks the 20th year of continuous episodes of You Bet Your Garden on public broadcasting and the first show out of the PBS39 Studios. Episode topics include poison ivy removal, why chemical fertilizers make flea beetles fat and happy, and of course, Mike takes your phone calls.
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