How We Select, Test, Rate & Review Products + Our Editorial Process
Honest Reviews, Advice & Opinions Based on Real-World Experience & In-Depth Analysis
Part of our mission here at DIY Gardening is to provide our visitors with unbiased information on gardening methods, tools, equipment and products, as well as plants, composts, feeds and garden design.
We also publish content about other topics we are familiar with such as home improvement, building and sometimes, construction.
Much of our process involves testing and reviewing products ourselves.
Our mission? To help you find the best products or plants that suit your needs and budget.
We may earn a commission when you make a purchase via a link we’ve posted on our pages, but we don’t accept payments to write positive or negative reviews, and we have a strict editorial process.
Our content is our own, and we buy all the products and plants ourselves with our own money. If we are ever asked to write a review and are provided with the product or plant for free or given any other reward, we will state this clearly at the top of the review page.
The first step is the selection process.
With so many competing products, picking a good one from the crowd can be challenging. We start by conducting a meta-analysis of existing reviews and ratings online. We look at common faults and issues, recommendations, and positive comments.
Once we’ve selected a product or multiple products, we look at the features and, if applicable, the specifications.
We then test the products just as you would use them – we open up the box and carry out real-world testing in our garden.
We don’t just describe the products, we put them through their paces and we also ask contacts we have to use them and report back to us as well.
Does the product work as described? What could be better? Where does it fall short? Is it worth paying more for these extra features or not?
We then compare the product(s) to others on the market and offer suggestions that may benefit certain users or scenarios.
For example, does another product offer a longer-lasting battery? Is it worth the extra cost if you have a small garden?
Prior to publication, we always ask at least one other person to fact-check any claims we have made in the review or article.
- Plant ideas/combinations.
- Warranty periods.
- Building Regulations.
We ask the fact checker to use their experience and judgement and where applicable to double check with respected organisations and websites.
If a review or guide has been fact-checked, we will state the fact checker’s name at the top of the page.
Seeking Expert Advice
We have many contacts in the gardening and landscaping industries and where applicable, we ask for a second opinion.
Whether we are testing physical products or creating a list of plants/combinations, or even a lawncare guide, we know that citing industry experts ensures our content is accurate and can be trusted.
If possible, we will provide a clickable web link to an external site to back up any important claims we make.
No Take-Down Policy
On several occasions, we have been asked by product manufacturers to take down a negative product review and we have even been offered incentives to do so.
We do not accept financial rewards or anything else to take down negative reviews.
Plant Growing Guides
We also publish plant growing guides that are based on our experience and knowledge that we have gained through formal education and from trial and error over the years.
On our site, you’ll also find ideas for inspiration, combining plants and overcoming common gardening issues. These are based on our own experience and where practical, we will verify the information with a peer or third party for accuracy.
Our team here has also published price guides for projects we are familiar with, these are usually related to:
- Home improvement.
Our selected authors carry out independent research prior to publishing price guides and we insist that the prices are checked at least once a year so our readers know they are up to date.
Why Trust Us
We don’t mass produce content and only provide a limited number of reviews and guides within the home improvement, gardening and garden niche here in the UK.
We do this so we can concentrate on what we are good at and what we enjoy – gardening home improvement.
Each product review is fact-checked before publication and once it’s live online, we don’t just forget about it. Instead, we update our content on a regular basis, so it’s always relevant and helpful.
We know that trust is important and where practical, we will provide evidence that we have used the product/plant or have tested/grown it.
Meet the team behind DIY Gardening:
Daniel spent over 18 years working in the construction and landscaping industries and has specialist knowledge of the “hard” aspect of gardening – from fencing and patios to walls and drainage.
Daniel manages a large garden and has his own plot that’s filled with herbaceous plants, and he’s just started a new container garden.
Hannah spent 12 years working full-time for the NHS but recently switched to part-time employment, allowing her to spend more time with her family and in her garden.
Hannah is the most green-fingered of us and has been interested in plants and garden design for over 15 years.
Many of our plant ideas, suggestions and growing guides are created by Hannah.
Away from gardening, Hannah enjoys volunteering and has travelled to eastern Europe and Africa for charitable work.
Paul worked was a project manager for Kier for over 10 years and has experience in large projects encompassing hard landscaping, construction and developments.
More recently, he has started employment as a project manager for a well-respected UK-based company that specialises in upmarket landscaping based in Chelsea.
Paul works part-time for us primarily as a fact checker and advisor.
Away from gardening, Paul enjoys the great outdoors, camping and long hikes in the countryside.
Doogie “I’m not a Cockapoo”, is our resident Labradoodle and he tests so-called “hard wearing” grass, chases cats away and digs aeration holes around our dahlias and other plants.
Many gardeners own dogs and if we find helpful information for them, we will certainly share it – for example, we discovered that Doogie was attracted to blood, fish and bone feed we tested – until we dug it deep into the soil.
Doogie also tested garden light sensors for us as we didn’t want ones that would activate every time a small animal came into our garden. He also helped us to debunk claims that certain products will stop dogs from weeing on lawns.
Doogie isn’t just a pretty face, he does have an active role in our garden.