Smith, a former trading controller at Focus, said: "Our business goal is to be a destination outlet within the catchment areas for each of our stores for gardening."
Westland, Scotts, Landmann, Hozelock and Bonnington are among suppliers to have been lined up to work with JTF Wholesale.
Gardening is currently 10 per cent of the £68m turnover wholesaler, which opens to the public if they register for a card.
Smith said: "We want to fully embrace gardening and make it into a 'hero' category." He added that plants are under review. Local nurseries manage stores as concessions, but this means JTF has to market nationally to its active customer list of 270,000 people.
Smith was most recently at MBL, where the Garden Centre Online brand doubled sales year-on-year in 2013.