Consumer preferences and perceptions of gardening information

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


A survey of gardeners in Minnesota found they get their information from friends and garden centers. Older gardeners were less likely to use the Internet. The highest interest was indicated for annuals, perennials, and containers, followed by trees and shrubs. Most participants had not attended a gardening class in the past year and indicated they learn best from talking with friends. Publications are of interest to gardeners, and they highly value color photos and illustrations. The University of Minnesota and Minnesota Landscape Arboretum were perceived as significantly more credible and trustworthy than garden centers, and participants felt these institutions should provide educational programs, even if survey respondents were not participating in these programs. About half the participants were not able to comment on the level of bias of the university and arboretum, and other traits (credible, trustworthy, expert, and knowledgeable) were unknown to one-third to one-half of the participants. Participants knew more about these traits for garden centers and home stores. Participants in this survey indicated they look for convenient sources of gardening information and, although many felt the land-grant university and arboretum were highly credible and knowledgeable, they were still more likely to use other sources for their gardening information. This poses a challenge to universities and arboreta to use new ways to reach gardeners.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)162-167
Number of pages6
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2008


  • Education
  • Environmental horticulture
  • Extension


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