Watch Someone Else Do It

Videos that Gardeners NEED


Video I need: How to NOT tangle a garden hose

While combing the internet for videos that are accurate and watchable enough to be featured on at Good Gardening Videos  and its companion Youtube channel, I’ve found a few great ones and lots of good-enough ones, like the ones that almost all Extension universities make about soil tests. So I can safely declare that topic to be covered. Done. No more needed, thanks.

But what I haven’t found? More than just a couple of videos that show beginning gardeners how to garden. As in, how to get a plant in the ground and how to keep it alive, especially by watering it correctly. As I wrote in a rant here, if there are good watering videos out there, all the obvious search terms yielded up virtually nothing useful to the average homeowner. Watering fields of crops, got that covered. Installing sprinkler systems, check. But watering a mixed ornamental garden? Nope, and why is that?

Who Benefits from Making Videos

You know who should be all in for videos that show people how to plant and care for plants of all types? Plant-sellers – especially the retailers who want good repeat customers, not the clueless ones returning with their newly killed plant asking for a replacement or refund. A few garden centers are making videos, but many are unwatchable thanks to bad sound, shaky camera, et cetera.

Who else benefits from good show-me videos? Landscape design/install companies. I’ve only found two of them in the U.S. that make videos to show their customers how to keep their new garden alive and maybe even thriving.

Master Gardener groups and many Extension universities have as a mission teaching people to garden, and surely getting their teaching videos seen by hundreds or thousands of viewers would count toward justifying their funding, right? And many of the Extension folks DO have videos but they mainly cover vegetables, and the aforementioned soil test.

Turning to a world with actual budgets to hire videographers and on-camera experts – national businesses – this is video marketing at its best.  NOT ads, just useful information in short videos that are a pleasure to watch. Use your pruners or potting medium in the video itself or show your name and logo on the title and credit pages. You make them, we’ll help get them seen and shared.

I’m happy to report that national companies ARE producing some really good videos these days, and the marketing folks I’ve spoken with asked for a list of subjects that need to be covered. Here’s my starter list and call for ideas.

(We also have some tips for making good-enough videos without hiring a professional videographer.)

What Topics Need Videos?

Here are the topics that my years as a gardener and especially as a gardening coach have taught me that people need help with – visual, show-me help, not just text. Please tell me what I’m missing.

Planting, with separate videos for annuals, perennials, trees in pots or balled and burlapped, and especially how to unpack and stake vines.

Watering, all plant types (especially evergreens, which don’t show warning signs of impending death). Demonstrate watering of new and established, and during regular times and period of drought. And please demonstrate hand-watering, rather than the slow-drip technique, because most gardeners reject slow-drip as thoroughly impractical. Also, show us techniques that are water-conserving. (Here are the videos I’ve found about watering ornamentals so far, and it’s a discouraging collection.)

Hey, makers of hoses and nozzles, how about helping your customers with some how-to instruction?

Pruning, of perennials and of a variety of shrubs and small trees. Include regular pruning done yearly or when problems are noticed (e.g. when branches impede walkways), as well as rejuvenation/renewal pruning and pruning to reduce size. Make short videos for each topic. (E.g., cover each type of hydrangea separately, rather than lumping them all together).

Makers of pruning tools, how about it?

Weeding, favorite techniques and tools of experienced gardeners.

Miscellaneous, like my most-wished-for video showing how to hang up a garden hose, then use it again in a way that doesn’t create twists and knots. I would PAY to watch this video!

Posted by on July 22, 2016 at 7:40 am, in the category Watch Someone Else Do It.
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11 responses to “Videos that Gardeners NEED”

  1. What a great list! I’m researching for my farm’s educational outreach program, a container gardening show, for what education gardeners truly need. And this is so spot on! The planting videos have always been very helpful. Another one to add would be good composting tutorials, I have yet to see one that truly explains the subtleties of composting in a good way. If anyone knows of one please let me know, would love to find a good video to share!

  2. Jeff Thomas says:

    Good news Garden Rant friends. Over the next couple of weeks we will produce some how-to videos related to winding up and storing garden hose. We will include hose reels, wall holders, hose bowls and any other cool storage option we can think of. Should be practical video for the most-part…but for those who know the owners of Water Right, someone’s going to get wet. Smiley face.

  3. Garden Rant Susan Harris says:

    Great suggestions! Email me about the coaching convo: Susan

  4. Garden Rant Susan Harris says:

    Thanks! I’ve already used a bunch of CTG videos – of garden tours – but will now peruse of all John’s to find some relevant ones. Having seen his nursery (thanks to you) I’m super-interested. Susan

  5. Garden Rant Susan Harris says:

    That’s probably the proper way to do it; I’m looking for the fast, efficient way to do it, since I use my hose every day. Susan

  6. HB says:

    How to hang up a garden hose video? This youtube one is good. The thing not mentioned is that you have to take the time to do it…when tired, it’s so easy just to walk away and leave the beastie in a tangle.


  7. Martha Lemmond says:

    Seconding the request for pruning videos.

  8. […] Videos that Gardeners NEED originally appeared on Garden Rant on July 22, 2016. […]

  9. I would *love* pruning videos! Re tangled hoses, I sometimes have luck by laying the hose out in a figure 8. Maybe I should make a video?

  10. Jenny says:

    This topic is so spot-on! Why aren’t the plant sellers and landscape companies producing these kinds of materials? Your reasoning is very sound for why they should be.

    I’ve started my new blog in the last month or two, and as I get underway and create content, I’ve been focusing on “new gardeners” or “newly interested in gardening”. The people who just bought their house and don’t know how to care for their yard. The people whose nest just became empty and now they’re able to spend more time creating a relaxing environment around them. What do those newbies need to know as they get underway?

    I haven’t gotten very far on my blog – lots in the planning stages and in my head, not much to show for it yet – but the question you ask here is exactly what’s been in my head too.

    In addition to the topics you listed (many of which are on my list), here are just a few of the topics that I’ve thought of based on conversations with my friends who embody my ideal reader:

    – basic lawn care – how/when to mow, edge, fertilize your lawn
    – basic container gardening for the front porch
    – what to do with overgrown out of control foundation hedges
    – what tools should I buy, now that I own a yard?

    Susan, I’d love to connect with you regarding being a garden coach – that’s the direction I’d like to head, and would love to chat with you about your experiences sometime if you can spare 10 minutes or so for a phone call. Thanks so much!


  11. Pam/Digging says:

    One of my local nurseries has a video on installing a disappearing fountain: And of course Central Texas Gardener on PBS has tons of practical segments. Here are the ones that local nursery owner John Dromgoole appears in: