Gardening in the Zone Goes Statewide

Cynthia Haynes and Ann Marie VanDerZanden, Faculty, Horticulture
Gardening is the number one leisure activity in the United States.  According to the National Gardening Association, in 2003 84 million people (78% of the US population) participated in one or more types of do-it-yourself indoor and outdoor lawn and garden activities.  Finding a way to further educate this large consumer group, often through the Master Gardener Program, is a program component of many state Cooperative Extension Services.  Unfortunately, even with large numbers of Master Gardeners trained each year in Iowa (over 500), a large percentage of the population obtains gardening information from sources outside of Iowa State Extension.
Iowa State University Extension has partnered with Iowa Gardening Magazine to produce timely gardening educational videos for distribution to television stations in Iowa. 
Thirty-four, 2-minute video segments on gardening have been developed by Iowa State University Extension and Iowa Gardening Magazine.  Each week (from March through October), six television stations in Iowa air the gardening videos.  In addition, a Gardening in the Zone weekly column highlighting each television segment is published by approximately 13 newspapers in Iowa. Video clips are also available for viewing on the web directly at the Gardening in the Zone webpage and are linked from the Iowa State University Extension main page and Yard and Garden Online, the main page for consumer horticulture.  Extension publications and the Gardening in the Zone newspaper column associated with each archived segment are linked on the Gardening in the Zone webpage. 
Last year 90% of Iowa was in the coverage area.  Since then, the addition of 2 more stations increases the coverage to 100% of the state as well as reaching viewers in southwestern Wisconsin, northwest Illinois, eastern Nebraska, and northern Missouri.  The success of this programming partnership has been reported in the Journal of Extension [vol. 42(6);] and at the American Society for Horticultural Science 2005 national meeting [abstract in HortScience 40(4):1113]. 

National Gardening Association. 2003. National Gardening Associations 2003 Gardening Survey. National Gardening Association, South Burlington, VT.
Gardening in the Zone webpage ( )
Yard and Garden webpage ( )

146 Consumer Horticulture and Forestry

Page last updated: July 9, 2006
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