Growing Edge magazine no more


This just in:

Over the years, The Growing Edge magazine has been a friend of
hydroponic manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors and retailers,
helping them to showcase their products to growers and providing a
critical network, connecting them to those in need of their products.
For many years, the magazine was produced as a ‘labor of love’ by the
publisher, who cared about the industry enough to keep publishing the
magazine even when it was financially difficult for him. “For many of
the past years I have subsidized the magazine by not taking a salary
with the hope of infusing some capital into it, it could keep on being
published,” Tom disclosed recently.

He had hoped that some advertisers- who jumped ship to join other
newer magazines under the false assumption that Growing Edge’s ad rates
were inflated or who complained that the Growing Edge was not “winking
and nodding” enough – would have recognized the sacrifices that he and
others in the industry had made to keep a legitimate hydroponic growing
magazine around.

Read the full press release hereGrowing Edge was read by a lot of people in the horticulture and garden center industries; this news, combined with yesterday’s report of layoffs at Meredith, really point to a shakeup in the garden media.

As much as I love all this new media, I love a paper magazine even more.  My husband’s magazine Fine Books is now a web-only publication that intends to produce an annual print ‘compendium,’ a compilation of features, directories, and so on.  It’s an interesting hybrid of print and digital and I wonder if more magazines will go that way.  (Scott is no longer the editor, in case you’re wondering–he’s running our bookstore full-time now.)

But I can tell you from years of watching him work on that magazine that it is surprisingly hard to get people to turn loose of twenty bucks for a magazine subscription.  It’s the price of a pizza, for crying out loud, but people are surprisingly reluctant to do it.

Well, subscriptions are what keep most magazines afloat.  Newsstands sales can be a break-even proposition at best; it’s those reliable, year-in, year-out subscribers that pay the bills and assure the advertisers that somebody’s going to see their ads.

So if there’s a garden magazine you like but don’t subscribe to, now might be a good time to re-think that strategy.  They won’t stick around if we don’t support them.


  1. A great way to subscribe to magazines is by Kindle. I love the mags but I don’t want them all over the house and I feel guilty for all the paper used. Kindle is a way to go paperless and still support the magazines, editors, writers, photogs, etc.
    Now, I would like to see Amazon would just make Kindle more affordable so more people can use it.

  2. Just my own casual observation: People read the headlines of the newspaper; they scan the articles in a magazine while focused on the photographs; but they read every single word and look at every photo in a plant catalog, sometimes over and over again.

    Someday, someone will use this to invent a new type of publication that blends the best of all, and develop a dedicated following.

    Personally I HATE ads that break up the flow of a story, online or in print. Keep all the text strung together and run the ads off to the side or after the piece. Annoy me and I’ll just find something else to do with my time.

    I think the downfall of print cannot be blamed on any one thing. The times they are a changin’.

  3. If I could find more e-subscription options, I would do that. Many magazines are made of that glossy paper which is so bad, and I don’t like to have all that paper go to waste. However, I’d subscribe to e-subscriptions for $10-$15 a year, and they wouldn’t have to pay for paper, ink, and printing!

  4. Sorry, but I want to hold a magazine or a newspaper in my hand. I am ordering plants online but I keep my paper catalogs for years. Maybe I have too much respect for history and that’s why I want the physical, tangible documentation.

  5. Well, technically ads keep a magazine afloat. You need the subscriptions to show the advertisers people will see their ads, but the ads are what provide the bucks.

    Without those awful, annoying, keep-them-out-of-my-sight ads, there are no magazines, unless they are otherwise subsidized.

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