February 9, 2007


And the man behind the brand is...
Orlando Scott

In 1868 the home lawn was regarded merely as ground cover, not a thing of beauty. Grass was used to keep down dust and protect children and horses from mud. Quality was no concern. Each fall stable manure laden with undigested weed seeds was spread through neighborhoods. Grass, if manicured at all, was groomed by the sharp teeth of sheep.

Orlando Mumford Scott harbored a white-hot hatred of weeds. To him weeds were the sin of neglect. He despised the weeds that grew on his Marysville, Ohio farm and set out to develop an inexpensive weed-free grass seed. But if weedy lawns weren't enough for Scott to overcome he had to change the attitudes of homeowners. Many Americans liked the look of their weedy, uncut natural lawns.

Scott, who operated the Union County elevator after his discharge from the Union Army, considered farmers too complacent. He recognized the costly toll extracted by weeds, even if the farmer didn't. Weeds represented the biggest cost in farming by far - much greater than the cost of a good seed. Weedy seed,
no matter how cheap, was expensive in terms of extra work and time.

Working in a period before state and federal regulations when mediocrity had no limitations Scott waged a one-man war against weeds. Clean, high quality seed was his battle cry. With care in selection and skillful cleaning Scott produced nearly weed-free seed. Scott's Farm Seeds were 99.91% weed free.

In the 1880s hand-pushed rotary mowers began appearing in American stores. Home owners started coming around to the white-bearded Ohio seed merchant's way of thinking with regards to manicured lawns. Slowly the lush green lawn gained stature as a luxury item.

With his sons Dwight and Hubert, Scott started a mail order business for his weed-free seeds in 1906. Beautifully produced shelter magazines like House Beautiful and Better Homes and Gardens began displaying luxuriant lawns.
Scott's quality seeds blended from around the world were the best way to make a new yard look like the magazines.

In 1916, without solicitation, Scott received an order for 5000 pounds of seed from Brentwood in the Pines Golf Club on Long Island, opening this market to the company. Five years later one in five golf courses used Scott seed. Then the Scotts sold grass seed to club members for their home lawns.

The Scott's complete line of lawn care products began with the introduction of Turf Builder, the first fertilizer specifically for grass in 1928. O.M. Scott had lived long enough to see the lawn gain status on par with the automobile.

No comments: