Website/Online Content

Linda Chalker-Scott
Extension Specialist and Associate Professor
Washington State University
WSU Puyallup

Chalker-Scott, L.*1,
1 Extension Specialist and Associate Professor, Washington State University, Puyallup, WA, 98371

The Garden Professors is a suite of social media sites which provides current, relevant, science-based information to the gardening public. Originally developed by Dr. Linda Chalker-Scott and three horticulture colleagues as a blog in 2009, The Garden Professors blog had 174,472 unique visitors from 188 countries in 2019.


Shortly after initiating the blog, Dr. Chalker-Scott created a Facebook page to expand the reach of The Garden Professors beyond traditional blog users. In 2019 this page reached 4,303,739 people. However, Facebook pages still have a top-down structure which makes it difficult for participants to initiate discussions or ask questions. To address the need for a more egalitarian social media space, she created The Garden Professors blog Facebook group, which currently has over 23,800 members. She manages a cadre of 10 volunteer administrators to keep the group running smoothly.


While it’s difficult to assess impact with virtual audiences, Dr. Chalker-Scott created an online survey at the end of 2019 and invited Garden Professors followers to report their behavioral changes: 78% of respondents reported at least one behavioral change.  Below are some of the responses to our questions on behavioral outcomes:


  1. Passed on information from group to others: 85%
  2. Read gardening information more critically: 84%
  3. Avoided using home remedies: 67%
  4. Increased the use of beneficial mulches: 67%
  5. Were more skeptical of marketing claims: 67%
  6. Improved methods of planting trees: 66%



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