How Does Your Garden Grow?

Planting tips & tricks from a horticultural pro
Scotts Miracle-Gro Senior Horticulturist Dr. Chris Cerveny

Growing up in Michigan, Scotts Miracle-Gro Senior Horticulturist Dr. Chris Cerveny turned his curiosity for plants into a blooming career. Here, he dishes on how to keep your garden green.

CTC&G: Why horticulture?

Dr. Chris Cerveny: All it took was one class and I was hooked. When I think about it, I’ve always had a love and curiosity for plants. At a young age, I barely paid attention in science classes. I was into art and decided I wanted to be an artist. It wasn’t until I was in college for an art degree that I realized it was more of a hobby. I’m still amazed that I have a Ph.D. in Science.

CTC&G: What’s your garden like?

Dr. Chris Cerveny: It’s actually a work in progress! Time is a big factor, but I’m always experimenting. I can grow more in New York than in Ohio (where I have homes) because of the different climates. I personally like to let everything grow the way it wants—like weeds, for example. I like to see what happens and then have a plan. And I definitely like pops of bold colors in a landscape; marigolds are great for that.

Scotts Miracle-Gro Senior Horticulturist Dr. Chris Cerveny

CTC&G: What key elements do every garden require?

Dr. Chris Cerveny: Honestly, it’s all about having the right attitude. If you go around saying things like, “I don’t have a green thumb, and that’s why my plant died”—it won’t work. There are a million reasons why we lose a plant, but we shouldn’t think that it’s automatically our fault. If you want to be successful in gardening, it’s through trial and error.

CTC&G: Are there any vegetables that can last year-round?

Dr. Chris Cerveny: Options are limited in Connecticut. What’s best is growing herbs and salad greens from a windowsill. Kale is also a good one. In New York, sage is great all year-round, but in Ohio doesn’t do so well because of the snow. Move inside with vegetables and experiment. Miracle-Gro has a great indoor garden product called Aero Garden that can be used.