innovator award

August 2023
Introducing the Innovators! By Teresa McPherson

Innovator of the Year award recipients are 10 independent garden centers from around the country elevate the customer experience.

This issue features Lawn & Garden Retailer’s Innovator of the Year award recipients. These 10 independent garden centers from around the country elevate the customer experience with great service and inspiring store displays, make a name for themselves with involvement in their communities, and find success with inventive ways of doing business. I could go on, but it’s probably best if you just read about them. Find all the winners here.

Winner Winner Veggie Dinner

As some of us are nearing the peak of our vegetable gardens, it’s natural to want to take a look back and see what succeeded and what didn’t. Editorial director Abby McGarry lays out All-America Selections’ (AAS) National Winners and the primary attributes breeders are working toward when it comes to new vegetable introductions. Higher yields and improved nutritional value are top priorities for them, as well as disease resistance, pest resistance and an extended growing season — something all home gardeners will appreciate. Turn to page 34 for more.

And speaking of top priorities, do you know why your customers choose to grow vegetables? A survey from on America’s gardening habits found more than two in three (68%) of respondents grow their own food and that, on average, they said their homegrown food saves $65 in groceries monthly. What’s more, 92% also said their food tastes better than grocery store food, and 85% said they believe gardening helps them eat healthier.

I know when my tomatoes and summer squash start ripening that I feel like I’m helping the whole neighborhood eat healthier! And there’s no doubt the taste of these homegrown goodies is on a whole new level compared to store-bought produce.

I’d love to hear what your best-selling veggies were this spring — did tomatoes top the list, or did lettuce lead? Drop me a note at [email protected].

Teresa McPherson

Teresa McPherson is the managing editor of Lawn & Garden Retailer. Contact her at [email protected].