Grow'Em started as a small, shareware program in 1993. It evolved through versions 2 to 4, then Grow'Em 95, then Grow'Em 2000, until it became the definitive freeware program on the propagation of plants from seeds, cuttings and layerings. Composting techniques and fertilizers, growth media and lighting were covered in exhaustive detail, as were foliar feeding, planting bare-root specimens, floating row covers, grafting techniques, etc. The final version contained notes on 1000-plus species, divided into separate sections including Herbs, Fruits & Vegetables, Trees & Shrubs, Water Plants, Cacti & Succulents, and Grains & Grasses.
Over the years, Grow'Em received critical acclaim from newspapers, gardening and computer magazines and books. It received high ratings from ZDNet, RocketDownload.com, and other on-line software review sites.
With each version, Grow'Em grew. New versions required larger and larger investments in time: researching, writing, coding, graphics work. Despite this, few people registered: a niche shareware product can never hope to pay the bills. A few dozen registrations per year do not cover the cost of research and development, let alone the hundreds of hours invested.
And so, unfortunately, I stopped new work on Grow'Em in 2000. It was a hobby - however passionately I've pursued it, and however well received it's been, it was always a hobby. To those who have registered the program, especially - a heart-felt Thank You. You've made it worth my while.
To all those who've expressed their appreciation, their compliments, the glowing reviews, and even the critical comments - I thank you as well.
And while I believed I would never return to Grow'Em, the world continued to turn. The web grew to incredible proportions. People turned to the Internet for information, first. I realized that the information I had spent years gathering, would be as pertinent as ever.
Thus the Grow'Em Plant Propagation Database, an on-line repository of plant information, was born.
Porting this data to a web-driven database was still work, but less than a tenth of what I'd have to do to develop a new program. I have decided to partner with the Google AdSense program to offset my costs in hosting and supporting this database. I still won't get rich, but if the database pays for itself, great! And if somehow, I can help you become a better gardener, or add to the pleasure you experience in this pastime, so much the better ...
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