Over the back fence: gardeners get advice from neighbors, friends

May 07, 2008

Where do gardeners turn when they need information about annuals, perennials, shrubs and trees? Staff at University of Minnesota Extension have published results of a survey that concludes that the majority of backyard gardeners get their planting and plant information informally—most often from friends, neighbors and local garden centers.

The survey of 1,000 Minnesota gardeners published in the January–March, 2008 issue of HortTechnology showed that although respondents viewed the The University of Minnesota and the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum as more credible than garden centers, 78% of respondents indicated that they were most likely to turn to neighbors and friends for gardening advice.

Dr. Mary Hockenberry Meyer, Professor of Horticultural Science and Extension Horticulturist at UM Extension, explained, "We wanted to determine where gardeners got their information and if they think university information is of higher quality than information from garden centers or home centers. We found that university information is viewed as higher quality; however, a large number of people indicated they "did not know" the quality of university information, which surprised us."

The survey also indicated that gardeners' age determined the most likely sources for information seeking. Older gardeners were less likely to use the Internet than younger gardeners. When asked "How do you learn best"", most respondents said that they had not attended a gardening class in the past year and indicated they learn best from talking with friends. Access to publications containing color photos and illustrations was also highly valued by gardeners who responded to the survey.

Source: American Society for Horticultural Science

Explore further: History books spark latest Texas classroom battle

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Ericsson to stop making modems, shed hundreds of jobs

19 minutes ago

Swedish telecom equipment company Ericsson said on Thursday that it would stop developing modems, a decision affecting almost 1,600 employees worldwide which is expected to lead to hundreds of job cuts.

Recommended for you

Ig Nobel winner: Using pork to stop nosebleeds

2 hours ago

There's some truth to the effectiveness of folk remedies and old wives' tales when it comes to serious medical issues, according to findings by a team from Detroit Medical Center.

History books spark latest Texas classroom battle

Sep 16, 2014

As Texas mulls new history textbooks for its 5-plus million public school students, some academics are decrying lessons they say exaggerate the influence of Christian values on America's Founding Fathers.

Flatow, 'Science Friday' settle claims over grant

Sep 16, 2014

Federal prosecutors say radio host Ira Flatow and his "Science Friday" show that airs on many National Public Radio stations have settled civil claims that they misused money from a nearly $1 million federal ...

User comments : 0