There’s no way I can begin any tip with the word “freedom” without thinking of the many sacrifices made in protecting our country, which is the greatest in the world. Thank you to those soldiers and public servants of the past, present and future for allowing us to be the home of the free and the brave.
Being patriotic isn’t just about flying a flag on designated holidays. It’s about recognizing and remembering all who defend and uphold the freedoms of our great nation. The flag serves as a reminder that we have freedom of choice and it should never be taken for granted. Fly your flag proudly!
Another Type of Freedom
When it comes to freedoms in the gardening world, we’ve come a long way. We never used to think twice about the inefficiency in our gardening practices or the toxicity of our go-to chemistries. Over the past 20 years, research and technology have led to many fantastic improvements we didn’t even know we needed: plant genetics with natural disease resistance, grass varieties that require less maintenance and alternative chemistries that are safe and effective.
All of these improvements have given consumers more freedom (or time) to enjoy what they want to do a bit longer. Let’s examine how our industry has affected our freedom in the garden and home.
Freedom is Timesaving
Freedom is Timesaving
My favorite example of time-saving freedom in the garden involves our national flower, the rose. Less than two decades ago, I needed to spray a combination of chemicals including Isotox and Funginex, and mixing a spray tank tonic to prevent diseases common to roses. This regimen was repeated weekly throughout the growing season.
Today’s consumer needs only to mix a single product in a watering can and apply around the base of the plant to protect their roses from diseases. And the routine only needs to be repeated once a month.
Even pest control in the home has changed to allow more time between sprays, effective for up to a year in some circumstances. Fertilizer may also be a one-time application with time-released nutrients lasting up to nine months in the garden.
During the late 1970s, plant breeders focused on developing plant varieties that needed less water, less maintenance and less care. The turf grass industry has benefitted from the development of better grass varieties that require less water and less fertilizer, and offer stronger disease resistance. Turf-type tall fescues have dominated the industry and reduced the popularity of Kentucky blue grass. Some additional turf improvements include: endophyte-enhanced seeds to reduce insecticide use, coated grass seeds to speed germination while using less water, and newer, broad-spectrum insecticides that are safer than previous chemistries.
When the very first All-America Rose Selection of a “shrub” rose, Bonica, was introduced in 1987 by Conard-Pyle (now owned by Ball Horticultural Company), nobody predicted its impact would forever change the rose world. America wanted freedom from rose care and soon the Knock Out rose was introduced. Free flowering, maintenance-free and vigorous, Knock Out roses are top-sellers in today’s garden centers.
Made in America
Made in America
Time-savers exist in polymer water controls for planters, new planting media that contains mycorrhizae to quickly establish root systems and even composted materials. New technologies were developed for composting manures, so they won’t burn when used right away. Today, there are several compost options from which to choose from including chicken compost, buffalo compost and even lobster compost.
Many Americans garden during the spring and summer holidays because they have the time to do so. Here are some time-saver products that will allow your customers the freedom to do more in the garden.