Merchant’s Picks For August

Want to know what hot items you should have on your shelves for this month? Find out with this list of Merchant’s Picks for August 2016.


Merchant's Picks

 VendorItem NumberItem NameWhy A Merchant Pick?
1S09 ScottsS09 50225Turf Builder WinterGuard Fall Weed & FeedFall is the best time to feed. Kills dandelions and other listed lawn weeds.
2S09 ScottsS09 38615Turf Builder WinterGuard Fall Lawn Food - 32-0-10Builds strong deep grass roots for a better lawn next spring.
3E60 EspomaE60 HT18Holly-tone All-Natural Plant FoodA best seller for acid-loving plants.
4B70 BonideB70 022Neem Oil RTUPrevent bugs from eating your hard outdoor work.
5S20 Liquid FenceS20 HG71126Deer & Rabbit RepellentEffective way to keep the deer away from plants.
6S20 SpectrumS20 HG95715Wasp & Hornet KillerHornets are swarming.
7E72 Enviro ProtectionE72 1025Deer Scram Deer And Rabbit RepellentEffective way to keep the deer away from plants.
8W12 Wild DelightW12 36620Nut 'N Berry Bird Food - 20 lb.Blended to attract and feed the most desirable outdoor pets
9P48 Pine Tree FarmsP48 2012Nutty Butter Suet Carry CaseIt's now suet season!
10A60 Mars FishcareA60 142BAccu-ClearKeep ponds clean.
11S99 DannerS99 02019Pondmaster 190 Pump, Fountain and Filter KitPond maintenance.
12D07 DalenD07 DX7Deer-X Netting - 7' x 100'Effective way to keep the deer away from plants.

Bringing Gardening Indoors

By Abby Kleckler
Managing Editor, Lawn & Garden Retailer

In a seasonal industry, a non-seasonal department that has a modern look and attracts customers of all ages, particularly a younger shopper, seems promising.

This is exactly what Brian Riddle, owner of Homestead Gardens near Annapolis, Maryland, has created with its Modern Homesteading department.

The 2,500-square-foot area opened in March and features products for indoor gardening, food production, beekeeping, aquaponics and much more.

In this Q&A, Lawn & Garden Retailer spoke with Riddle about what he’s seen so far and the potential he sees for the industry in this emerging category.

L&GR: What got you started and why did the idea of “modern homesteading” appeal to you and your business?

Brian Riddle: Since I rejoined the family business in 2011 I’ve been naturally taking a fresh look at all the things that we do and trying to find ways to improve what works and how to maybe move away from things that aren’t working and restructure them. And I’ve always been keen on trying to create year-round departments that help bring foot traffic in the door.

I’ve felt strongly that our store does a great job with conversion but getting them in the door is the largest challenge, and I think from what I’ve learned from my contacts and study in our industry is that’s where we’re all having the greatest challenge is maintaining that foot traffic.

In that realization we have been looking at ways to reconfigure the store, and Clint Albin [from Garden Media Group] started to share this idea in the indoor gardening category about a year and a half ago, so we started to explore some other indoor gardening retail businesses and get a little better understanding of what the category involves.

I was very skeptical and sort of fell into the stereotype where I just didn’t think that that was the category I was interested in until I better understood it.

Through this journey I’ve realized there was a huge opportunity not only to create a year-round category but to also introduce a different customer to our store and also take our existing customers and introduce them to an entirely different way to garden that’s in many ways more flexible and more conducive to the community that we are growing into as the density where our business is based is pretty dense.

The traditional growth in our garden center is kind of subsiding with virtually no more housing developments being put in; it’s more going apartments and condos. This gives us an opportunity to serve people in those types of residential settings that still have a passion and a desire to grow.

L&GR: What type of customer does this department appeal to?

Riddle: It’s still very preliminary, so I don’t want to be overconfident in my evaluation, but what I’m seeing right now and the biggest highlight is that we’re seeing a younger customer and certainly creating a younger audience that’s interested.

I think that is yet another problem that many garden centers are faced with; our core customer is an aging customer and so I think we’ve seen a very diverse customer and at this point we’ve seen very little of the assumed customer, if you would, or the stereotype.

Through our educational programs and our introduction, we’ve seen a very broad base of people coming and certainly we’re getting some younger people, and I think that’s a real win.

L&GR: Speaking of educational programs, you have 15 seminars that go through the end of July. What role does the educational component play in getting people interested in modern homesteading?

Riddle: I think we’re trying to create an information/educational series of events to really help highlight all of the different applications of what we call modern homesteading. To give this new department sort of a full-circle, well-rounded approach, we knew indoor in itself was not going to be enough to support what we have, an entire department and the staff that comes with it.

It’s beekeeping, it’s composting, it’s various aspects of indoor gardening — it could be lighting, it could be nutrient management, it could be temperature, environmental control. Seminars give us another way to talk about all the different aspects of what we’re doing and sort of validate to our current base of customers that this is a commitment on our part and we really are aiming to serve at a very high level with all the support that’s needed. It’s a fresh way to sort of bring attention back to some of the things that we’ve been doing, but not necessarily highlighting, all under the brand of modern homesteading.

Teachers are another major source or target for us as we evolve our marketing with our “Thursdays are for Teachers.” We eventually want to get it into the schools and into the classroom, and I think it’s a great way to get young people exposed. Hopefully the school will put a system of some sort in the classroom but it’s also something students can bring home, and they can do it on the kitchen counter or in their bedroom.

I think the applications of these products are virtually limitless and something that’s not intimidating and something they’d be comfortable bringing home.

Many of our schools in the market that Homestead serves may not even have a space that’s available on the outside, so the accessibility is universal. The growing season and the school year do not overlap all that well, and this is year-round and can be adapted to their calendar at any time.

From a school standpoint, I think it’s really an ideal way to garden.

L&GR: Do you see this as a category other garden centers should be embracing, and do you have any tips for them?

Riddle: I think that all garden centers need to continuously explore new categories that naturally fit in the current product mix. In the case of Homestead, we’re very much a lifestyle store and outdoor living super center, so I think the definition of a garden center needs to be sort of revisited and open minded.

I think this particular category is such a natural fit because for our current customer this plays right to their passions and things that they love to do, so I think there’s a world of opportunity to develop our current customers into it.

For the smaller, urban customer, I think it is such a great way to serve a segment of the community that a large part of the products that we sell have very little if any opportunity in those settings.

The nice part about this department, and there are not many things in my store that are this way, is that once it’s set up, it doesn’t have the seasonal reconfiguring that we have to do in the rest of our store.

We are constantly transforming our store from season to season and although this department will have some merchandising changes, for the most part it’s a pleasure to have something that once you put it together, the bulk of it stays in its configuration. I think that we are happy to not have to break it down every three months.

I do want to stress that this category is coming and it’s not exclusive to small independents.

I do think that this trend is identified, and the larger chain retailers are going to be moving into this as well, so I think the opportunity is now to get in front of this and take advantage of it and really be established as the expert in your marketplace before they get out in front of you. I do think there’s a lot to be said for being the first in your space.

I personally believe this is going to be a tremendous success and add-on to our business, and all of the reservations and sort of concern that I had as I went through the decision-making process; none of my worries have ever been materialized.

It has been nothing but positive from all those who have seen it, and we have had nobody question the legitimacy of what we were doing. It’s been pretty remarkable.

(Article provided by Lawn & Garden Retailer)

New Black Gold® Packaging From Sun Gro Horticulture


Beauty on the Outside. Quality on the Inside.™

All the Riches of the Earth®

Sun Gro Horticulture is pleased to announce that their premium, high-quality Black Gold Potting Mix brand has been refreshed with dynamic, attention–getting packaging.

Bruce Adams, Sun Gro Marketing, points out that although the packaging is new, it’s the same high-quality, professional ingredients on the inside that count; hence the theme Beauty on the Outside. Quality on the Inside™.

Adams pointed out some of the design enhancements:

  • Refreshed, stylized Black Gold logo incorporating the existing gold vignette
  • Bold, modern, attention-grabbing fonts
  • Dynamic photographic flower, vegetable and plant images that are easily identifiable and “pop” in contrast to the black background of the packaging
  • Large, color-coded label “shields” similar to the existing packaging to differentiate at the shelf
  • Strong feature “call outs” such as 6-month feed, all natural and the Sun Gro patented RESiLIENCE® logo

Black Gold® is Sun Gro’s top-selling retail line of premium potting mixes, specialty mixes and garden amendments since 1983. The widely successful brand is in great demand by gardening retailers and consumers across the U.S. The family of Black Gold products consistently yields great gardens, services almost every gardening need and comes in a variety of package sizes.

Adams noted that, “Black Gold mixes are positioned as a higher end and a better quality product than our competition; now, more so than ever with the addition of RESiLIENCE®. RESiLIENCE® is our beneficial plant nutrient that can result in more vigorous plants, delayed wilt, stronger roots and earlier flowering when added to a growing medium.”

“Our new refreshed packaging conveys the contemporary imagery typically associated with higher-quality, premium products”, he said.

The new Black Gold packaging retail story will be supported with a new web site, digital and social media including: Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter and YouTube, monthly e-newsletters and web articles, in-store point of sale materials, radio and TV sponsorship.

The new packaging will be phased in starting in the fall of 2016.

* OMRI Listed®, worm castings and RESiLIENCE® enriched in selected mixes

Order now using program number: S84S1

Monterey’s New Products For 2017


Monterey Lawn and Garden offers professional grade products packaged for the homeowner and independent garden center. Their products offer fast results, long residual, and high square foot coverage. 50% of their products are OMRI listed and NOP Certified. In addition, Monterey offers many unique lawn and garden products that fill voids in the marketplace, strengthening the retail presence of independent garden centers.

Monterey’s new products for 2017 continue to improve their position in the organic category. Complete Disease Control is a broad spectrum bio fungicide for preventative control of foliar and soil diseases. It is OMRI listed and available in a concentrate and RTU.

Their new Liquid Copper Fungicide RTU is a dormant and growing season fungicide for use on virtually all types of flowers, vegetables and ornamentals, also OMRI and NOP listed.

Consan 20 is the best fungicide, disinfectant, algaecide and deodorizer for hard surfaces inside and outside the home, especially great for greenhouse usage.

Monterey Fungi-Pro is a broad-spectrum systemic fungicide that protects lawns, fruit trees and vegetables for up to two weeks.

As Monterey Lawn and Garden continue to focus on the trends in our industry, they have brought back the 8 oz. size of many of their best selling products, strengthenings the independents’ position for lower price points to the consumer and less leftover product in the their garage or shed.

While the industry continues to decrease offerings, Monterey Lawn and Garden offers many products that consumers cannot find. These include Honey Bee Attractant addressing a major concern in our industry, Nutgrass Killer 11, effectively killing a nuisance Northeast weed for lawn care, Weed Wacker Jet Spray, which offers a foaming agent to identify where the consumer has treated, Mark-it Blue, which helps consumers see where they have sprayed, Sucker Stopper in a convenient RTU form, and treatment products for houseplants, which many feel has become a lost category.

In 2015 Monterey Lawn and Garden introduced super strength Pond Dye for use in ponds, fountains and lakes. At a rate of one quart per acre in water 4-6 feet deep and available in blue, dark blue, and black, the quart size offers the same coverage as others gallon sizes and costs much less.


Heading into 2017, Monterey Lawn and Garden continues to offer a wide variety of professional grade products that guarantees the consumers satisfaction as they attack their home and garden problems. Their emphasis is on the independent garden centers, farm and feed retailers, and the consumers desire for effective, safe and convenient solutions.

Order now using program number: M63S1

Keep Edible Gardens Healthy With GardenTech Sevin


For more than 55 years, GardenTech® Sevin® Brand Insecticides have been trusted by homeowners and professionals to control a wide variety of outdoor insects, including ants, caterpillars, Japanese beetles, white grubs, ticks, and other listed insects. Sevin® insecticide is specially formulated with carbaryl, one of most effective synthetic insecticides on the market. To address a broad spectrum of needs, Sevin® insecticide is available as a ready-to-use dust or liquid formulations.

Growing your own vegetables and fruits is a rewarding and ultimately tasty adventure. Armed with Sevin® Insecticides, you can keep your edible garden healthy throughout the growing season and enjoy the delicious fruits of your labor all year long.


Sevin® Ready-to-Use 5% Dust Bug Killer provides fast-acting, effective control of more than 65 listed nuisance insects, such as ants, fleas, caterpillars, ticks and Japanese beetles, on garden vegetables, fruits, ornamentals and lawns. Sevin® RTU 5% Dust has a dual mode-of-action, working on contact and by ingestion. Following use, Sevin® RTU 5% Dust is easily broken down in the environment. Depending on the edible, the dust can be applied throughout the growing season, right up until the day before harvest. The 1 lb. bottle of Sevin® RTU 5% Dust is ergonomically designed for easier gripping and application, in addition to being weatherproof. The dust formulation is sold individually and in three-packs.

Ready To Use

Sevin® Ready-to-Use liquid effectively protects flowers, ornamentals and edible gardens from more than 100 listed nuisance insects, including ants, caterpillars, ticks and Japanese beetles. Ideal for smaller and hard-to-reach areas, Sevin® RTU can be used on container gardens and potted plants (hanging and outdoor). This product has a dual mode-of-action, working on contact and by ingestion. After being used to control target insects, Sevin® RTU is easily broken down in the environment. Depending on the edible, Sevin® RTU can be applied throughout the growing season, right up until the day before harvest. The product is pre-mixed for easy application and convenience.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Can Sevin® insecticides be used inside the home?

The Sevin® line is specially designed for outdoor usage and should not be applied indoors, on bedding or pets, or in vehicles. For household plants, Sevin® insecticides can be used so as long as plants are taken outside. Once dried, the treated plants can be brought back inside. With any insect control product, it’s always important to closely read and follow the label instructions.

How does Sevin control insects?
Sevin® has a dual mode of action. It works on contact and through ingestion. Sevin® is nonsystemic, which means it does not penetrate plant tissue. After controlling the targeted pest, Sevin® is easily broken down in the environment.

Can Sevin® Dust be mixed with water?
Sevin® Dust formulation is not intended to be mixed with water. It should only be used dry.

What types of Sevin® are available?
Sevin® is available in a dust, granular, concentrate, ready-to-use, and ready-to-spray formulations.

Order now using program number: G94HB