We garden for you, so you don't have to!

The last post on Scott’s Miracle-gro mentioned a “what if” Scott’s bought out Hines nurseries and sold plants. A comment by Lisa ofMillertime mentioned how she just “bought my gorgeous new copper window boxes from Smith and Hawken-they were the least expensive, high quality boxes on the net. I am surprised at their corporate ties, though-I had no idea.” So I went over to check out Smith and Hawken on the web. It’s a classy website with cool things for the garden, including plants. So Scott’s Miracle-gro does sell plants through its subsidiary Smith and Hawken. Check out the plants. Here is a set of three Shasta daisies “Old Court Variety”, set to arrive in 2 ½ inch pots for, $29.00, not including shipping and handling. Here is a "Dancy" Tangerine in a one gallon pot for $49! A one gallon pot! We sell one gallon citrus for $12.99!

Scott’s has positioned itself as the supplier of plants, soil amendments, fertilizer, and Scotts Lawn Service, which will also care for the rest of the garden. You don’t need to go anywhere else for garden stuff. They have it all!

Scotts not only has cheap fertilizer and soil amendments, but also the high end products of Smith and Hawken garden supplies, and Scott’s high end fertilizers and soil amendments. No wonder they had a 51% increase in profits for the third quarter.

What’s wrong with this? Nothing. Whatever they are doing the gardening audience is eating it up. It’s what drives small garden centers nuts. How do you compete with this? The picture on the top of this post could be the Scott’s team working in your garden!

Another comment by Claire at Alameda Garden suggests why Scott's saw such a big increase in profits, “Consider how many new housing developments have been built across the country. There has definitely been a housing boom, and in this country that means lots more lawns that people are feeding all those lovely chemicals. Ka-ching!”

If you look at Scott’s Lawn Care service they will provide the following: fertilization, broad leaf weed control, crabgrass prevention and annual weed control with “Halts”, “Grub ex” grub protection, insect protection, late fall feeding, continuous monitoring, core aeration, disease control, lawn seeding, and free service calls. You don’t have to do anything. These same services are available for the entire garden! What a great program for our overworked, over stressed, suburban home owners. When they bought the house it was landscaped by the developer, and now they can have Scott’s do most of the gardening, so you can concentrate on placing the throw pillows in your "outdoor room" for the next Moroccan themed party you have.

You can’t argue with this kind of success. If that many people want this service and product mix then there is nothing but growth for Scott’s. Driving through the new sub-divisions in Folsom, Citrus Heights, Rocklin, and other greater Sacramento areas you can see the results of this trend. There is something depressing to me when I drive through these sub-divisions that are empty of people between 9 and 5, front yards put in by developers, and poorly maintaind by the homeowner. That’s why they need Scott’s Lawn Care Service. Most don’t know the first thing about gardening, and really don’t want to learn. Have someone else do it.

While these trends might cause grief to a small independent garden center like us, it also spells great opportunity. It’s best not to stress over the people who won’t come into your store anyway. We need to address the needs of people who find this type of “gardening” a bit shallow. It’s not a big group, but it could be a very loyal group. Most garden bloggers are in this group, which is why I am so interseted in what you are all saying.