All Ears – For The NPK Live Podcast

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Picture the millions of ears that have received the NPK Live Podcast since 2014, spread out horizontally, rolling into the distance, fleshy contours melting together like dunes in a vast desert that’s made of ears. Shifting, wiggling, and soaking up the radiant, warming, all-encompassing output of Barry and Stephen. What a lovely thought – as long as the ears are clean.

Above: Ready for another round of chair limbo? Relax with the NPK Live Podcast

With covid cramping our socialising stylings over the past year, growers the world over have never needed a connection to developments in technique and technology more. Happily the ever-expanding sea of NPK listeners’ lugholes has been amply served by the lads’ hot beams of horticultural hoopla. Want that feel of a good ol’ fashioned, unfiltered in-store chinwag? Want to save time and money with sterling advice from experienced growers? Subscribe to their outrageously popular, internationally respected show.

Above: Was going to take another picture but they’ve gone for a break

How popular? Monthly downloads averaging 60,000, over 100,000 subscribers in more than 100 countries and 4 million+ total downloads. The podcast is a genius way to get across everything that’s hydro, anywhere, any time. You’re tending to your darling plants, you’re driving the car like a god, you’re gilding your ceiling with gold leaf, you’re having Sunday lunch and listening through an earpiece (it’s not ‘The Archers’ language-wise). The NPK Live Podcast will come to you.

NPK are veterans of the podcasting game whose format and content are nailed down. Getting the best advice across to growers is second-nature to Stephen and Barry. Though sponsored by a number of industry-leading brands, ourselves included, NPK always walk listeners through the disclaimers and are totally transparent about their recommendations. In their day jobs as store-runners Stephen and Barry are very much at the sharp end of assessing products and making sure they’re a good fit with growers actual needs, even if that means forgoing a sale. This impartiality is carried through to the podcast.

Above: Coatse coats the podcast with production excellence

There are stacks of products on the market and there’s a completely natural tendency on the part of growers to pile money into tech-based fixes that promise to cure all ills. Plants can be mystifyingly quirky at times, to newbies and old hands alike. A beautifully presented bit of horti kit that promises the moon on a stick is understandably seductive. On the show, as in store, the lads are happy to send growers away with money still plumping in their pockets. After all, this is plant life and often the best remedy is a natural tweak.

Above: Coatse varpourises the hosts

The show wouldn’t be what it is without Stephen and Barry’s honest opinions which they, quite rightly, dispense at will. Alternative attitudes are always welcome, as long as those holding them don’t out themselves as one of several juicy expletives by crowing poppycock as fact. You like charming squabbles? Charming squabbles abound on the NPK Podcast! Stephen’s indestructible, romp-pomp-pomp-pomp, puppyish enthusiasm acts as the perfect counterpoint to Barry’s wittily acerbic, low-energy ire. Chucklesome? Just a bit!

Above: Coatse reconstitutes the hosts – he can do this all day

Of late the lads have given AutoPot the deep-dive treatment. Yes, it’s roundly positive/glowing but there’s much more to it than that. For the uninitiated different systems have particular features and approaches that need expanding upon and that is where NPK really pin the tail on the donkey. Methods, combinations, and the ideal set up for different types of growers using x, y, or z product is what it continues to be about after 226 episodes and counting. Up next are plans to provide weekly live videos during the podcast, grower call-ins, shop call-ins and provide a more holistic experience for their listeners, starting with their new website which goes live in September as a hub of knowledge for all horticulture related questions. You can follow them on Instagram @NPKLive and watch them live on Youtube. Whether you’re up for invaluable insights or just a ribald reconnoitre of all things hydro, the NPK Podcast is rather essential listening.

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