Scotts Water Smart (just good marketing?)

kmnhiramgaApril 24, 2009

Hi folks. I'm looking to reseed an area with Bermuda seed, I already have bermuda everywhere else. So of course the guys at Lowe's and Home Depot say "go wit Scott's, there's is the best brand." I tried to explain it's not about the brand but about the seed variety, but of course they can only say "Scott's is the best," because the scotts vendors bring them t-shirts and crap and fill their heads with propoganda.

So I got this vague sales point on Scotts water smart technology where they do something to the seed that actually makes the grass require less water. I asked how does that work and they couldn't explain it but said "They have commercials on TV right now about it" and "you could check it out on the web."

So I checked it out on the web, this is what it says,

"A lawn maintained the Water Smart way grows strong, deep roots that absorb nutrients better and uses water more efficiently, making the most of every drop." Sounds like a maintenance program to me but they are marketing it like it's some patented technology. Does anyone else know anything about this?

Personally I have a real aversion to huge companies especially since all I hear from the automotons is ?Scotts is the best." Why, "Because they are the best."

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If you've already got Bermuda everywhere, it will fill in any bare spots. If you have a large bare spot, you can speed the process by getting sprigs of Bermuda from another part of the lawn and transplanting them into the bare spot.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2009 at 12:21AM
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andy10917(NY 6a)

I did as much research as an outsider can do on the web earlier this season about it (researched patents, etc). It is reasonably similar to what Pennington did. The coating on the seed supposedly retains water better and allows for a skipped day on watering the ungerminated seed. I don't know the Bermuda varieties, but with the cool-season grass seed you really need to read the label. The grass seed that you are buying is only 48% grass seed. The rest of the bag is the coating. I wish I could sell less than half of the actual product for more money. Great marketing! Not as bad as the EZ-Seed stuff, though - that's only 8% actual seed by their own analysis. I think they're playing to the average American that never reads labels.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2009 at 10:03AM
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I've heard about using coffe grounds, so how do they give them to you. Do they put them in a great big bucket? Do you have to pull out the filters? Do you let the coffee grounds dry out first? I'm interested in this, but wondering how dirty is this job and how often you do it?

Oh, and for the record, I mow my bermudagrass at 1.5 to 2", fairly low for bermuda, but not extremely low. I always mulch mow, rarely water (it never went dormant last summer due to lack of water, yet everyone in my area talks about the drought last summer, perhaps the organic thing works!) unless we've gone two weeks without rain or so.

The "water smart" thing if it means the seed requires less water to germinate then that only affects germination, unless they are genetically altering the seed I don't see how that affects the turf. After closer examination of the Scotts site, it looks to me that "Water Smart" is nothing more than a trade mark for "good cultural practices," ie. water deeply yet infrequently, grasscycle (mulch mow) and mow cool season grasses as high as possible and warm season grasses as low as possible. Duh!

This water smart trademark appears to be gimmmick and is misleading at best. Just for that, I wouldn't buy their stuff.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2009 at 10:47AM
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This company is not known to be all that environmentally friendly. Over the years the USEPA has issued numerous stop sale orders of products this company has made due to mislabeleing. They also have some connection with Monsanto since the glyphosate product is now sold through this company.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2009 at 8:38AM
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Folks, pardon me for wading in. My company makes the coating used by Scotts (we're listed on the bag). See Zeba is a patented starch-based superabsorbent, proven worldwide in demanding agricultural applications. It is the result of years of research at the USDA, then another 10 years of R&D before going to market. Zeba is also used on professional seed sold to leading golf courses.

Scotts tested Zeba for years before offering it. The benefit of Zeba is that typically there's greater germination in a reduced amount of time. (With better germination, you can get equivalent lawn coverage using less seed -- which reduces wasteful practices.) There's also a buffer in terms of watering needed, as Zeba works like a sponge. Zeba holds and releases over 600X its weight in water when used as a seed coating.

Not trying to do a plug -- simply providing the background on the technology per the questioning above.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2009 at 7:52PM
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Thanks for posting. This does answer part of my question. Here's the deal. Scotts has this new technology to increase seed germination rate and do that with less water. That's great news. However, I feel they are misleading the consumer into thinking this technology makes the turf, once established, require less water. From my estimation, there is no technology here that will make the lawn require less water, but will require less water for seed germination. Moreover the company seems to be branding this "water smart" technology broadly across many products when if you read the fine print "water smart" means mowing high, mulch mowing/grasscycling, not mowing more than 1/3 of the plant, watering deeply and ifrequently. That's not a technology, that's called good cultural practices and I'm wandering how they trademark that!

    Bookmark   April 29, 2009 at 12:35PM
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I didn't think this at all. I purchased two 40 lb bags of Scotts Sun and Shade seeds with watersmart technology two days ago and it was obvious to me that they coat the seeds to hold more water during the germination process. The bag even has a picture of a cross section of a seed with the coating on it and it tells you that it absorbs 40% more water so that you can skip a day of watering.

The jury's still out regarding whether or not it will perform as advertised as I just put it down with fertilizer two days ago (I'm praying for a 60% germination rate), but I think it's more than obvious what they're selling. Again, there's a picture of a cross section of a seed with the coating on it. Now, hopefully it actually performs as advertised. Again, if I get a 60% germination rate or better, I'll call it a success.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2009 at 12:20PM
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Thanks, lyons. That answered some questions I had, also.

I bought some last fall for overseeding because it was the one that had the seed mix I was looking for (mostly perennial ryegrass). I'm not sure if it germinated better because I don't overseed that often and I'm not sure what to compare it to. But I liked that it's white and easier to see if I missed a spot and also the birds don't seem interested in it all.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2010 at 5:44PM
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This is a two-year old thread I just came across, but I have additional questions about Scotts Water Smart and thought I'd jump in here. Scotts Water Smart is now something beyond a seed coating. Scotts is promoting it in their fertilizers, and if you use Scotts Lawn Care service, they apply it as a spray. I understand the grass seed coating, as discussed in posts above, but I don't understand how it's now a liquid that can be sprayed on an existing lawn to make the lawn require less water. Does anyone know more about this? I tried searching the Scotts website, but all I could find was marketing mumbo-jumbo with no substance or answers. Thanks.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2011 at 10:45AM
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Once again, this company is not a good organic company. The products they sell are made with non renewable resources and are detrimental to your environment. There is no good reason for an organic gardener/farmer to even discuss any of the products this company makes except to tell people to not buy them.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2011 at 7:01AM
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I know this is an old thread but here is a good article with some facts about the ineffectiveness of these seed coatings, particularly on tall fescues. I have been doing irrigation for 4 years. We run into a lot of customers who insist they don't have to water twice a day because they bought some overpriced Scott's garbage and we often get called back to reprogram their controller when none of their seed germinates.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2014 at 9:04PM
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