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On the Down the Garden Path Radio Show and Podcast, landscape designers Joanne Shaw and Matthew Dressing discuss down-to-earth tips and advice for your plants, gardens, and landscapes.

Joanne and Matthew believe it's important and possible to have great gardens that are low maintenance.

Each week, they educate their listeners on how to seasonally manage their gardens and landscapes. Joanne and Matt learn right along with their listeners, from each other, from their research, and from the many guests who join them on their show. 

Listen live at on Monday’s at 7 pm ET or subscribe to download this show and past episodes from your favourite podcast app. 

Check out the website for even more garden tips and tricks.

May 21, 2020

This month on Down the Garden Path, we’re exploring "Gardening Beyond the Basics." In this episode, we continue our month-long discussion about how to take your gardening to the next level with a look at straw bale gardening. Our guest is author, speaker and straw bale gardening expert Joel Karsten.

A farm boy who grew up tending a soil garden like other gardeners have for centuries, Joel shook up the gardening world with his first book describing his breakthrough straw bale gardening concept. The New York Times called Straw Bale Gardening “a revolutionary gardening method.”

His ideas have been enthusiastically embraced globally, making his books bestsellers in many languages. Joel earned a Bachelor of Science in Horticulture from the University of Minnesota and spends his summers tending his vegetable garden, doing research, and experimenting with new ideas and methods he can pass along to his followers. He is a popular speaker, making appearances around the world at events celebrating innovation, garden enthusiasts and healthful lifestyles.

Joel is renowned for his social media presence, blog and online impressions. He has inspired tens of thousands of first-time gardeners and a legion of “seasoned” growers who found a new and better way to pursue their passion. He has inspired many “retired” gardeners to begin gardening again once they learn how his method eliminates the physical challenges found in traditional soil gardening.  

Tune into this week's podcast to learn more about straw bale gardening with our guest, Joel Karsten.

We discuss Joel's journey into straw bale gardening, his time in Cambodia, and ask him:

  • How easy is it to start a straw bale garden? 
  • Can you explain how straw bale gardening works?
  • How long can you use straw bales?
  • What do you do with the bales when they're used up? 
  • Can you make your own straw bales if you don't have any?

You can find Straw Bale Gardens online at and on social media:

Join us on Monday, May, 25th for the last podcast in our "Gardening Beyond the Basics" series: It's All Planted. Now What?

Each week on Down The Garden Path, professional landscape designers Joanne Shaw and Matthew Dressing discuss down-to-earth tips and advice for your plants, gardens and landscapes. We do our best to bring you interesting, relevant and helpful topics to help you keep your garden as low maintenance as possible.