Report: #339740

Complaint Review: Mike McGroarty / Backyard Nursery /

  • Submitted: Thu, June 12, 2008
  • Updated: Wed, January 02, 2013
  • Reported By: Toms River New Jersey
  • Mike McGroarty / Backyard Nursery /
    Perry, Ohio

Show customers why they should trust your business over your competitors...

Mike McGroarty's Backyard Nursery System costs $297.

If you want access to his "top secret" backyard growers message board, (which he says is imperative to join) you have to pay an additional $297!!

He claims on his website that after purchasing his system there is NOTHING ELSE TO PURCHASE.

He leads you to believe that you ARE getting access to the message board WITH the system.


As for the system itself, there's no secret information in it. As a matter of fact, everything in his system is on his website; take cuttings, dip them in a rooting compound, stick in coarse sand to root, water (or mist), sell them as is (as rooted seedlings) or pot them up and grow them further for sale at a later time.

Everything else in the system can be found all over the net ... for FREE.

Do NOT waste your money on this system. It is not worth $297.

And don't forget, it's an additional $297 to join his message board!!

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me. I'm willing to share what I know ... for FREE!

Toms River, New Jersey
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This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 06/12/2008 03:06 PM and is a permanent record located here: The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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#1 Consumer Comment

Your report is rife with misinformation

AUTHOR: PoppyQueen - (USA)

 I discovered Mikes Backyard growing website just yesterday while looking for information on grafting maples. The information was concise, knowledgeable, and complete. Best of all, it was free. It was there, on the site I saw the wealth of gardening info available for free, and refreshingly free of irritating ads. And obviously I saw the promotions for starting a grow operation using Mikes system... In no way shape or form was It misleading. The items for sale and the paid membership were clearly spelled out. The kit for his growing system was $47, not $297. I understood it to be some garden guides and an explanation as to what his system is and how it works. Nothing more.

Also listed for purchase was a plant misting set up for $297 as well as information on his member only site for a one time membership fee of $497.. It appears that you have no legitimate reason to leave a complaint on a site such as ripoff report. I wonder if you actually even purchased anything. Had you spent $297, you would have received a watering setup, which you didn't mention in your report. It's painfully obvious that you either didn't read what was posted on the site, or only saw what you wanted to see (something for practically nothing) as there was not one word that leads you to believe you got access to the private member site by paying $47 (not $297) for his backyard growing system digital information kit.

This response is coming from a person (me) who randomly ran across Mikes Backyard Nusrsery site just 24 hours ago.. I was somewhat intrigued and decided to look for it again today and happened to see the ripoff report. I have purchased nothing, and have no loyalties to Mikes backyard nursery. If I do decide to purchase anything, I know exactly what it costs and what I'm getting as the website clearly spells it out... I believe your report should be removed. If for nothing else, the erroneous overstated amount you said you paid.

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#2 Consumer Comment

I love his board and system

AUTHOR: Florida Pat - (USA)

I have been a member of this board for over 10 years. I buy and sell on this board. It is worth every penny I have paid for it.

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#3 Consumer Comment

You could learn astrophysics from different sites, but why not get the degree?

AUTHOR: DigginIt - (USA)

Yep, you have to pony up some cash to get access to Mike's growers' forum. It took me a long time to take the plunge. I did a lot of internet searches, and learned a lot. But I have to say, I would not be a legitimate nursery business without Mike's forum. It was worth far more than what I paid for it.

Do you know what liceses you need to run a nursery? Do you know what states you can and can't ship to or from? Do you know what's classified as a noxious weed in different states? Do you know how to label plants? Do you know how to avoid paying thousands of dollars in lawsuits by avoiding trademarked and patented plants? Do you know how to ship bareroot cuttings? Do you know the best wholesale sources? Do you know anything about Japanese pine beetle and Sudden Oak Death? Do you know how to pass a nursery inspection? Do you know which methods work best with propagating different plants? Do you know how to get an amazing variety of plants to sell to your customers for under $500? Do you even know what your customers want to buy, or which plants go well together in a landscape?

This is just the tip of the iceberg of what I learned on the forum. I've also been able to buy a whole bunch of different types of plants at incredible prices from other growers on the board.

The selfish part of me wants to hide this amazing resource from everyone, because who wants more competition? In truth, though, the market is so huge that nurseries can't keep up with demand. So join, learn from everyone, grow great plants and offer them for sale on the board, and I will buy them from you!

So, yeah. Mike is an amazing internet marketer, and I'm sure he generates a lot of his income from selling his system and access to his forum. He's got some slick marketing campaigns all over the internet. I found that a little off-putting, and it delayed my purchase for several months. However, once I took the leap, I found that I just paid a few hundred bucks for something that's making me a livable income in a high-rent area. Far more valuable than the thousands I spent on a master's degree that earned me um, nothing. The biggest value in the forum is not just Mike, but all the other growers who started nurseries, succeeded, and are generously sharing their experience. Everyone learns from each other, and if you think you're going to learn all this info from searching on your own, you're wrong. There is far more info in this than in any 20 books you can buy.

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#4 Consumer Comment

Backyard Growers is not a scam!

AUTHOR: capt44 - (USA)

I have been a member of the Backyard Growers Group for several years now.

The knowledge acquired from the group is worth 100 times the amount you pay to join.

You can start from scratch as a  novice grower and wind up very quickly into an advanced propagator of plants.

The buy/sell board is worth it's weight in gold for you can buy and ship rooted cutting at a fraction of what you can buy them retail for.

Mikes backyard growers group is very educational and great for the average citizen and college horticulturelist too.

The complainer is someone just venting his or her frustration on someone or something.

I highly recommed Mike's Backyard Nursery to anyone interested in propagating plants.



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#5 UPDATE Employee

Membership is Not Included

AUTHOR: Amber - ()

Thank you for your order, Gretchen.  We are glad to hear that you have enjoyed the information in your $47 Backyard Growing System.  Mike and the gang here at McGroarty Enterprises, Inc.  work really hard to compile useful information that can help others start their own backyard nursery.  In your kit, you'll find all the basic information needed (both plant and business related) to help you get started.  While there is a wealth of infromation  to be found in the Backyard Growing System, membership to the Backyard Growers Business Center is not included.  Many of our customers love the Backyard Growing System but want further, more personalized training.  That is why we offer the membership site as a place to get questions answered, purchase plants to get started, and interact with other like-minded people.

Up until very recently, the only way to get access to the Backyard Growers Business Center membership site was to first purchase the Backyard Growing System.  Without a general understanding of how a backyard nursery works, the forums inside the membership site would be too hard for most people to follow.  Having experienced growers and knowledgeable members is what adds value to the site. 

We are truly sorry if you felt mislead.  That was not our intention.  Please note the page on which you place your order states exactly what is included in that order.   

Starting a backyard nursery is not a get rich quick scheme.  You can make money quickly, but you'll need to put the effort into making it work.  Like any small business, your backyard nursery can be as big or as small as you make it.  Mike's current nursery sits on about 4.5 acres, but less that half of that is being utilized for growing plants.  His original nursery was on 1/20th of an acre.  It was pretty impressive.  You can find pictures of it here:



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#6 Consumer Comment

Mike McGroarty's Backyard Growers System

AUTHOR: Gretchen - ()

I recently (March 2014) purchased Mike's Backyard Garden Propagating System for $47.00. A year ago I signed up to receive his email newsletter. To be perfectly honest, his newsletters have a bit of information and a lot of salesmanship that lead you to his website and a blog formatted post with more salemanship.

You can navigate his website and his Youtube Channel and glean a lot of information. He has a great personality for being the "front man" for his company. And, make no mistake, this man knows what he's talking about - both in starting plants and sales.

I recently decided to spend the money to purchase his system and received three instant downloads and a package of materials sent to me. It was after the purchase that I learned of the additional fee for access to his "Backyard Growers Buy/Sell Forum" which was a big part of his system salespitch. Currently (3-29-14) the cost for this forum membership is $603.00 if you utilize the 9 easy payments of $67.00, or $497.00 if you purchase it as a one time payment. You do have the opportunity of a 30 day trial membership for $7.00. However, even though I have received emails leading me to the forum purchase page, at this time the membership forum is "closed" but may open "soon". I suspect that is to create urgency once the forum is "open".

The materials I received and the on-going information they are emailing is certainly worth the $47.00 investment. I do, however, think the company was less than transparent on the additional cost of the membership forum. If you listen closely to his videos and read his materials I think you will agree. As to whether the forum is "worth" the price of the membership, to that I can't speak as I have not joined, but in all fairness, that the forum was "membership fee based" should have been disclosed before not after I purchased the system.

Is this business of propagating plants an easy one to get started? I don't think so. If you do a google map of Mike's Plant Farm you will see he has an extensive operation, certainly not a "backyard" sized one. His materials give you no idea how much start up capital you will need or much of the business information to help you "scale" the size of your operation. In one page on his site he writes about a table placemat and how many plants you can start in that sized bed, which on the face of it is true, but deceptive. Perhaps the business information is available through the forum.

All in all, I would purchase his system again. As a gardener I will be able to utilize his information which will save me quite a bit of money starting cuttings to then plant in my landscape, and that is how he should be marketing the "Backyard" aspect of his system. For those who are interested in propagating plants as a business, he should be up front about the cost of the Backyard Growers Buy/Sell Forum so those purchasers know what their true investment is.

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#7 Consumer Comment

You are wrong TracyAnn!

AUTHOR: Pam - (United States of America)

In guarantee of full disclosure, I am a Mike McGroarty's backyard nursery owner.

I ran across Mike's backyard nursery system after realizing the flower bulbs I was giving away by the bag full might be a source of income since my husband had been out of work for almost a year.   After finding Mike's site and trying to avoid paying for information, I spent MANY HOURS trying to get the information on-line, but it was all so randomly scattered across the web that I knew that due to repetition I would never learn everything I needed to know from google searches and Youtube videos.  Finally in April of 2012, I broke down and decided, my time and, his information was worth $37 (NOT $297 as you claim). Mike's system inspired and educated me to have the knowledge and confidence to go out and start my own nursery, which I did (Pam's Perennial Plants).  This information told me I all I needed to be a small backyard nursery owner.

I could have stopped there, but I wanted to jump start my success so I  took the plunge to see what the Grower's Board was all about.  It no longer costs only $297, but it is still worth EVERY PENNY.  Here is why: you have contact with highly successful nursery owners who will give you a shortcut, an easier way, a way NOT to try, in order to make your efforts a success.  You can ask questions and have them answered within hours.  You can read the old posts (which I did, taking the time to read the ENTIRE message board).  There is college education worth of information on any plant related topic you can imagine.  Also, the board members are a family, helping each other after Hurricane Sandy and floods in other parts of the country and during times of personal tragedy.

To put it bluntly (a thing we Southerners will not often do to strangers), you complaint is completely wrong and filled with inaccurate information.  You should honestly be ashamed for claiming the system is a rip off when you do not even have accurate price listed!
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#8 General Comment

Initial Offering is Completely Independent of Ongoing Community Support and is NOT a Dastardly Ploy to Divest Unwitting Customers of Cash

AUTHOR: rr2 - (United States of America)


I'm unimpressed to find your comment disparaging this man's commitment to first furnish his own family with a living; then putting together mounds of information and navigating those waters to bring something tangible to the table for others who may be struggling or just going bat crap crazy due to boredom.

Maybe you've been ripped off one to many times and had a knee jerk reaction to something you THOUGHT you understood.   I've been there, so have plenty of us.   I ask you to look at this again and give it some critical thought before reaching a hyperbolic conclusion that could potentially turn away fed up people looking for an out from their dire circumstances.  

There are tons of trades & professions out there that provide members only privileges for ongoing or one-time fees.   Why would this, or should this, be any different?  

Mike is offering his life's work as a lifeline for others, and nothing is for free TracyAnn, not even for Mike.

Best,  RR2

PS - Check out Monsanto's model as a comparison to Mike's business for clues as to whom should be in the site line ...

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#9 UPDATE Employee

We do not mislead customers in any way, and offer a money back guarantee.

AUTHOR: Taylor - (United States of America)

I realize this post is old, but I just found this site today. I wanted to address the complaint that has been submitted. When a customer purchases our Backyard Growing System, we sell it as a stand alone product. It contains all the information someone could need to be successful in the business of propagating and selling plants. After this system is purchased, customers then receive offers to join our message board. Never before. It is completely separate, and not necessary for success. It is helpful in that you can get advice from others, socialize with people who have the same interests and buy plants at low prices.

In addition, we offer a money back guarantee for anyone who is unsatisfied with our products for up to a year after purchase.

If there is anyone who has had an experience with our business that did not leave them completely satisfied, or if anyone has questions or comments, I encourage you to contact me at or at 440-223-5309.


Taylor Mike McGroarty's assistant
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#10 General Comment

My experience with Mike McGroarty

AUTHOR: Chris Chandler - (United States of America)

I have been utilizing Mike's 'free' information since around 2000 or 2001.  Simple, solid advise and instruction on how to create, operate, and maintain a small Nursery in your backyard; pure and simple.

I recently became a paid member and recieved both the basic and extended systems he offers.  I am extremely pleased with what I have recieved and I'm very impressed at the wisdom Mr. McGroarty has in both the nursery and business ends of this. 

His experience in the subject matter is self-evident but in addition to that he has created a system that not only instructs but also reinforces the idea that "if I can do this you can too".   The video's are not slick and polished, just simple and straight forward.  It leaves one with the impression that doing this might require consistant effort and hard work but that it is attainable and really not a big deal.

He offers levels of his system becuase it is true that you could get into business at a minimum level of knowledge and activity and still make money as opposed to investing thousands up front; bravo to Mr. McGroarty!

He offers the second part of his system as a "try it out" option and I must say that the power of a network is alive and well on the subscription message board.  The message board is very, very active with many different levels of experience. 

I am very happy with what I've got.  Hat's off to Mr. McGroarty for developing his system and he deserves all the money he makes through this endeveor.

Chris C

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#11 General Comment

Read Everything on Mike's Site

AUTHOR: King Dremel - (United States of America)

As far as I can tell Mike hasn't hidden any of the fees you quote. It's all on his web site, upfront and in your face.

What you're buying here is Mike's experience in the business. There are a lot of businesses you can research online and come up with some great stuff. However, it's never as easy as some people (you?) make it sound. It takes a lot of time.. a LOT of time to uncover the secrets to any business.

Don't believe me? Try it, then go out and launch your business.

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#12 Consumer Comment

mike mcgroarty

AUTHOR: Dirtdigger - (U.S.A.)

i first saw mike mcgroarty's backyard gardening plant propagation ad somewhere while surfing the internet - i don't know where. anyhow, i clicked to go there. i found a lot of information about propagating plants at home in your own back yard. his "system" uses stuff that you may have or can easily get, like the plants you already have, like plants in your own yard, a fishtank from a resale store, and masking tape. he gives full information on how to make baby plants, just like he says. he offers you a link to a newsletter where, from time to time, he sends out garding tips, just like he said. he also offers you the opportunity to "buy into" a network of people who do this backyard plant propagation thing seriously, which includes a bunch of dvd's whith additional information and a board where the members discuss what they are doing. this is for the hard core user. it is not necessary in order to use the propagation techniques he offers, which are free, just like he says. the information is complete, and works just like he says. the $297 deal is something else - a business plan, basically, with additional information on doing the work. it works well - i am making good money doing it, and it is more than worth the price. but if all you do is make baby plants, use his info for free.
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#13 UPDATE Employee

TracyAnn......New Jersey?????? You grow plants?

AUTHOR: Doug - (U.S.A.)

I have been a member of Mike McGroartys' Backyard Growers Message Board for over a year, and I have to tell you the truth; I couldnt learn all the information that I have learned there in 1 year, in 50 years! The money paid to become a permanent member of the 'board' has been returned to me 10-fold! And I have just begun! And the money paid for The "System" (CDs,software downloads, etc.), is priceless!

The people, (members, of the board are like 'family', and will go out of thier way to help anybody, no matter what the situation may be. I am a witness, although Im not going to get into any details at this time. Sure, you can 'search' the web for hours and hours to learn how to propagate plants in your own backyard and make as much money as you want; but its so much nicer and easier to have one site you can go to and ask questions from people that you feel that you actually know personally! I have had members of the 'board' give me free 'stuff', and I didnt have to ask! (no details). I wouldnt know why anyone would say anything bad about Mike McGroarty and what he has done, and IS doing for people he doesnt even know!

It just makes me so angry to read that report from NEW JERSEY! (THE ONLY REPORT!) You really should read more of what Mike has to offer before you speak so freely TracyAnn. He really has changed my life for the better, especially after I was injured as a carpenter and couldn't do the work I love so much! Im still able to do something I enjoy, and make as much money as I want to at it, and Im outdoors in the sunshine!
Enjoying 'Playin In The Dirt"!
Doug>>>>> Chemung,NY
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