Gardening Like Nature with Lee Reich

Episode 167: Learn how to garden like nature from writer, horticultural consultant and educator Dr. Lee Reich.

We start the episode with an audio tour of Lee’s award winning “farmden,” which is more than a garden and less than a farm. Packed with plants, including Paw Paws, Hardy Kiwi, Gooseberries, Figs, and Filberts, Lee uses his land as a test site for showcasing his gardening techniques. After 40 years of tending the land, Lee not only grows healthy fruits and vegetables, but also lots of fertile soil and compost. 

Lee and I discuss the art and science of building soil from the ground up following his easy low impact approach. Lee explains why he believes it’s important to pay attention to the top few inches of soil and let nature take care of the rest. Lee advocates gardening like nature by using a system that’s good for plants and people and that emulates natural conditions. 

We chat about mulch, the importance of compost, and why Lee loves to repurpose what others might call waste in his quest to improve soil fertility and grow vibrant and resilient plants.

Dr. Lee Reich is a writer, horticultural consultant and educator with graduate degrees in soil science and horticulture. Lee’s farmden has won awards from National Gardening and Organic Gardening magazines and has been featured in many publications like the New York Times and Martha Stewart Living. HIs books include Weedless Gardening, Uncommon Fruits for Every Garden, and Growing Figs in Cold Climates. Lee was a former plant and soil researcher for the US Department of Agriculture and Cornell University and wrote a syndicated gardening column for the Associated Press for nearly 30 years.

Learn more about Lee and his work at

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