Tim Hodson is the editorial director of GPN and Big Grower. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
A New Way to Grow New Gardeners
Growing new — and younger — gardeners has been an on-going challenge for our industry. Finding new ways to reach this demographic has proven to be difficult for growers and retailers.
But now there’s an app for that — an app that connects gardener to gardener and hopefully new customers for people like you.
GrowIt! is a mobile app that helps consumers find plants and ideas that work well in their area by connecting them to photos and comments of gardeners in the same area using geolocation. The goal of GrowIt! is to engage the next generation of gardeners (millennials mostly, ages 20-38).
GrowIt! includes all plants, not just one brand. The app uses geo-locating technology in the phone to ensure that the users only see local information. This will help ensure the next generation gardener knows what they should and should not buy, so their first gardening experience is a success.
The app is currently available for download in the Apple App Store and there are plans for an Android version. Though anyone can download the app, this fall’s release is designed to get the horticultural industry excited, and build the national bank of user-submitted photos.
To make this a successful tool for the next generation content needs to be built within the app. An important aspect of GrowIt! is that it runs entirely on user submission. The app is not pre-loaded with catalog or stock images.
This summer and fall GrowIt! is hosting a gatherings at public gardens and garden centers across the nation where garden enthusiasts from the community download the app, walk around the gardens, take photos and rate plants.