Check out the new Scotts Miracle-Gro website!

About a year ago Scotts Miracle-Gro started a ad campaign in various nursery trade publications, most notably Nursery Retailer Magazine. The campaign called “Jim Loves Independents” is designed to woo independent garden centers with their new line of fertilizers and pest controls designed just for independents. The ad has printed in LARGE letters “Jim Loves Independents”. It shows owner Jim Hagerdorn traveling to different larger independents looking “concerned” while listening to “us” independents.

You see Scotts has been supplying the box stores for years, and really could have cared less about the independents. But now “Jim Loves Independents”. I am sure it has nothing to do with the fact that sales were declining at the box stores and Scotts needs another market. The first time I saw the ad it made me laugh. The man that owns the largest lawn supply company around and largest supplier to the box stores suddenly “loves” independents.

Now word comes from our friend Sid that Scotts has revamped its website to appeal directly to the consumer, bypassing the independents all together. Lets see how much "Jim loves independents." Go to their retail locater and type in my zip code 95633, and some products I am looking for. Lets see, Scotts Turf Builder All-Purpose Lawn Food. Ta Da! I can find this wonderful product at Lowes, Home Depot, or K-Mart. Not one independent listed. “Jim Loves Independents.”

Lets hit the “connect” tab. Hey cool, they have blogs. Not one blog but space for 10. They are also looking for authors to write their blogs for them. I like the one called “ItsMeAgain...talkinaboutdalawn”. Here is what “Male, Age 41 recently had to say, “I'm cocked and loaded. I have a bag of Dimension from Southern States left over from last year. That will cover 5000 sq ft of our acre lawn. I stopped in at the local farm supply and bought two bags of Howard Johnson Enterprises professional pre-emergent. These bags cover 1/3 acre each per the label and contain TeamPro pre-emergent. Minus the house, porches, driveway, landscaping, etc, I think that will cover my lawn.” What interesting information! Check out the other blogs. Are these things for real? Do people really care this much about their lawns to shill for Scotts? To comment you must register with Scott's.

As an independent nursery owner I would invite all independents to shed themselves of Scotts and its products. There are so many other quality products out there that can set you apart from the box stores. We carry no Scotts products, and as soon as we sell out of the last bottle of Osmacote (Scotts owned) that will it for that product here. Even with their so called "independent" line the name Scotts is still imprinted on the bags. Let the box stores carry Scotts, after all they have been for years.

Set your self free, and be truly independent. Just say NO to Scotts.