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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

Susan Harris
on July 22, 2016 at 7:40 am, in the category Watch Someone Else Do It.


  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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!

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