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from the employee owners at Gardener's Supply Co.

Testing for Success

We’re always looking for ways to improve our products, so we test, test and retest in our “backyard” here in Burlington, VT. It’s a great way for us to review existing products and develop new ones.

Ginny's tomatoes

Tomato Success Kits, thriving in the heat of Sun City, AZ.

Virginia Adams of Sun City, AZ, one of the many gardeners across the country who are testing our products.

We’re always looking for ways to improve our products, so we test, test and retest in our “backyard” here in Burlington, VT. It’s a great way for us to review existing products and develop new ones.

As product testing and research coordinator, my goal is to make sure our products work in your backyard, so I work with test gardeners all over the country. Virginia Adams, a gardener who lives in Sun City, AZ, is part of the team that’s using the Tomato Success Kit. Living in Arizona, she was able to plant her tomatoes back in March, and she already had plenty of fruit by mid-May. Nothing ripe yet, but she’ll be the first.

“Most of my growing is done in planters on the patio,” Virginia says. “Too hot in the open sun. Currently, I have sweet potatoes and yams in the Potato Grow Bag, zucchini, carrots, onions, garlic, sage, a tomato plant, peppers, beets and sunflowers in the ground and test tomatoes, broccoli, spinach, carrots and spider plants in planters on the patio. I keep busy just keeping them all fed and watered!.”

Meanwhile, our test gardeners in Wisconsin and Michigan are just getting started. I’ve tried to find testers in diverse locations, from a rooftop in New York City to a high-altitude garden in Colorado. I’m also pleased to have a mix of experienced gardeners and folks who are just getting started.

This fall, we’ll review the results of this season’s tests and I’ll share what we learn.

In the meantime, if you have feedback on any of our products, be sure to send a comment.

Deborah Miuccio
Product Research and Testing Coordinator, Gardener’s Supply

5 Comments

  1. June 4, 2011    

    Not quite the first but perhaps the first with full size fruit. I’ve had a couple of pickings of pear shaped yellow cherry tomatoes since mid-May. They were planted under the protection of Wall-of-Waters back in March with some help from a 60 Watt light bulb. An interesting experiment.

  2. Dru
    June 5, 2011    

    The only feedback on GSC products that I have is I wish you carried taller faux bamboo poles. Our sugar snaps grow way taller than the 59 inches that the Faux Bamboo poles come in. Maybe if you made a four foot pole that could be used as a four foot pole, OR it could be screwed into a second pole to make an eight foot faux bamboo pole. That would be great!

  3. June 7, 2011    

    Oh my!!! Your plants are looking so much fuller than mine (TX here). Course, I have mine out on my front walk, so they are getting full sun for the first 2/3 of the day. That and the crazy winds we have had this year sure didn’t seem to help them out.

    I should actually get a ripe one off one of my planters this week too!!! can’t wait!!

  4. Virginia
    June 7, 2011    

    Jerry-in-tx,
    You probably encounter the same problems I do here in AZ. HOT HOT HOT! My planters are on my back patio where they receive morning sun for about 1/2 of the day. I’ve countered this by attaching a shade screen to the patio roof and letting it hang down between the planters and the sun. I attached the bottom to the back side of the planters with clothespins! When the wind picked up, I lifted the planters and put the shade screen bottom under them and it held quite nicely up to 40mph winds. (Just make sure your shade screen is long enough to leave some “slack” behind your planters.) It has saved my plants. I planted in early March and have had 2 harvests of more than I could eat by myself! Ideally, I should have planted in February as soon as any hint of frost was gone. Next year I will!

  5. June 7, 2011    

    I am from Wisconsin and we went from 40 degrees to 90 degrees in a few days. Missed spring is the word on the street. Plants are just beginning to really thrive in the warmer climate. They are still babies without flowers at this time. Many people have stopped over and noticed the nice planters and get all excited about Gardeners Supply doing research in Madison!

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We are an employee-owned company of avid gardeners, located in Burlington, VT.