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Pardon My Trip Down Memory Lane

May 17, 2012
I sold my first bag of Scotts Turf Builder in 1965 when I was a sophomore in high school.  I was working after school and on Saturdays in a feed & seed store inVirginia.  I remember that most folks used the same 10-10-10 fertilizer on their lawn as they were using on their vegetable garden (if they fed their lawn at all).  They would feed their lawn once every other year or so.  They also threw grass seed down every spring or fall hoping their lawn would get better.  Lots of folks would say:  “If I got rid of my weeds and crabgrass, I would not have anything green.”  I don’t remember seeing any nice lawns in my neighborhood.

I learned how to sell the more expensive Scotts from two men in the store who had attended a Scotts training meeting.  When someone said that they thought they needed some 10-10-10 for their lawn, these guys very smoothly steered the people to the Scotts.  They would ask how their lawn looked.  When they got the response “oh it’s ok” or “it’s kind of so-so”, that was the opening they were looking for.  Once they explained how the Turf Builder was designed specifically for grass and how it gave a complete, longer lasting feeding than the cheaper stuff, they got the customer interested.  The sales clincher happened when they told them that once someone tried Scotts, they always came back into the store bragging about how great their lawn looked.

This part-time high school job triggered my attending Virginia Tech to major in Agronomy.  I continued to run into very happy Scotts lawn owners in my first job after college as a County Extension Agent in Northern Virginia.  I jumped at the opportunity to work for Scotts in 1973 as an instructor in the Scotts Training Institute.  This Scotts school for retailers gave me the opportunity to pass along the knowledge I learned during my part-time job in high school, my agronomic training in college, and my extension agent experience helping folks with their lawn and garden questions.

Even today I get a kick out of folks telling me that they don’t mind paying the few extra bucks for Scotts because they like the way their lawn looks.  Scotts gives them “bragging rights” now just like it did back in the 60’s.

1974 Newspaper Ad offering a free lawn clinic. (You are welcome to make comments about my picture as long as you allow me to see one of your pictures from the 70’s!)

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2 Comments
  1. Gary Ray permalink

    I started using Scotts products in 1973. I didn’t know much about lawn care when we purchased our starter home. One thing I did know was that the lawn did not look good! My next door neighbor and I decided to dig up our yards and start all over again. We rented a roto-tiller, bought some topsoil,and put about $5,000 in sweat equity into producing new lawns. I went to a local hardware store where I discovered Scotts and was told what to do to ensure a great yard. Since I’m such a great listener (my wife might disagree), I followed the instructions to the “T”. The results were amazing! Neighbors would stop by and admire our lawns. and we would tell them what products we used etc. I’ve been using the products since with the same results! I’m a believer!
    By the way, that picture was very 70’s, I had a similar look (without the beard) and thought I was pretty COOL!

    • Thanks Gary for sharing your Scotts experience! I really get a kick out of running into folks who like to share their results!

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