jwades Taking your garden to school - ScottsMiracle-Gro: Gardening resources, advice and tips.

Taking your garden to school

University research provides living labs all across the country.

Gardening in southern Florida is very different than gardening in northern Michigan. And because we serve gardeners all over the country, we make sure that our products perform well, regardless of where they are used.

A network of research partners at universities around the country helps us in the effort to make certain product performance is optimal. These partnerships give us access to living labs all over America. They provide us with ongoing insights into how our products perform under distinctly different conditions, from sandy soil where it’s hot and dry, to clay soil where it’s consistently humid.

At a number of these universities, including Texas A&M, the University of Florida, Auburn University and the University of California Riverside, we have established Centers of Excellence. We work with the scholars and students at these centers to develop a better understanding of how best to grow plants where these schools are located.

As an example, about five years ago, our partners at Auburn University were investigating the conditions under which lawn and garden nutrients can sometimes evaporate into the environment. Auburn scientists recognized that certain forms of nutrition in our products were more likely to turn into a gas, with the potential to enter the atmosphere. This insight inspired us to make formulation changes to reduce this possibility, making our products more beneficial to plants and grass.

The relationships with our university partners help us do more than just enhance our products. Through our partnerships, universities can receive valuable research funding that supports their individual programs and missions, providing resources to independently research and publish scientific papers. And we also recruit some of the students who intern in these programs and graduate from them to join our team of researchers.

Because of these long-standing partnerships, we have developed a network of highly trained scientists who–through their collective resources–ensure we meet the needs of every gardener, no matter where he or she lives.