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I (and others) have already used names like "Lowes" and "Home Depot" although in all such cases (and definitely mine) they have been more of a generic "you can find this at your local big box hardware/garden center" (substitute Homebase, etc for other countries). (Aside: perhaps we need an acronym for that :-) perhaps not: too cliquey)

However there's a question about peppers where I've suggested looking at particular tolerant varieties. This would need a specialist supplier. Should a reference to my seed supplier be allowed?

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    As Programming Hero mentions, disclosure is important, but I find that references to particular commercial suppliers are often very helpful. – bstpierre Jun 9 '11 at 14:33
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I think advertising specific products or companies as a solution to a problem is perfectly reasonable, provided full-disclosure of the poster's motives, specifically whether they're associated with the product or company in some way.

For example, if somebody asked me for a tool to remove weeds from their lawn, I'd be inclined to link them to a Fiskar's product, because it has really worked well for me.

Name-dropping and specific references are fine with me. Advertising, disguised as an answer is not.

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I agree with Programming Hero's answer, but there two other issues to keep in mind:

1) Not all regions will have access all providers/products. For instance, I shop at OSH, but outside of California that means nothing. Using a generic term (garden center or some such) would be helpful unless you absolutely, positively know that one source is better than all others.

2) If a particular company is mentioned, it's worthwhile to mention what makes their product or service unique and better than the competitors. Not only will that inform people who don't have access to a particular company know how to judge the products and services that are available, it will help future-proof an answer when some competitor is able to match the companies good features in some way.

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