COURTESY OF NORTHWEST SEED & PET

The changing of the seasons makes it difficult — but not impossible — to grow and garden year-round. Indoor gardening fills this niche but demands a sharp technological edge to be feasible.

At Northwest Seed & Pet in Spokane, Wash., customers are particularly interested in indoor growing technology. With lighting and hydroponics systems from Hydrofarm, owner Bob Mauk is able to meet this need. Mauk says he has been stocking Hydrofarm products at his two locations for about 10 years.

“I think my primary reason for going to them in the first place was lighting and hydroponic gardens,” Mauk says. “Indoor lighting [has] become a bigger deal, a little more specialized. We do get a lot of planters, fertilizers and a little bit of everything in that grow operation. The customers we’re dealing with that are wanting to start herbs and vegetables and things like that indoors, [Hydrofarm’s] seems to be a better unit.”

In his market, Mauk says indoor growing is a popular activity, and Hydrofarm systems are also intuitive enough to be accessible for newer indoor gardeners.

COURTESY OF NORTHWEST SEED & PET

“I think the advances in fluorescent lighting are what got me more interested, extending our gardening season through the winter, getting more people to do indoor gardening as well under lights,” Mauk says. “Some of the hydroponics kits were a little more of an easy sell for customers who hadn’t done it before and weren’t looking for some kind of huge operation, they just wanted to have something they could grow.”

There are other sources for indoor growing systems available to Northwest Seed & Pet, but Mauk says Hydrofarm stands out from the competition with its focus on innovation and pioneering of new techniques and technologies.

“Hydrofarm has seemed to kind of stay ahead of it,” Mauk says. “More advances in some products and movement toward LEDs and some of the newer lighting. They’re pretty innovative, or at least they try to stay on top of what works in the marketplace.”

Products from Hydrofarm have become such a staple at Northwest Seed & Pet that the company’s two stores have made structural changes to accommodate a larger lighting and hydroponics section.

“They’ve been an excellent company,” Mauk says. “We added space from about a 10-foot [shelving] set to about a 40-foot set in both of my stores as far as lighting is concerned. We’ve increased our square footage, which consequently has increased our sales in that category. They’ve worked with us all [through] that.”