Friday, April 3, 2015

Spring Shopping

Talking a little advice on how to organize for visiting nurseries to get the best bang for your buck and stay on track. 

When spending large amounts of money (for trees and large landscape items) know your nursery.  I recommend shopping local so you’ve already heard the scuttlebutt on their products and customer service

You can buy an annual from almost any seller and it will probably live through the season; probably is a key word here.

Nurseries that specialize in certain perennials usually have more selections and better advice.  A tree farm, a conifer nursery, a daylily farm and etc. will know what that plant needs and will have an emotional tie to their particular product.

Cheap isn’t always a good buy.  Sometimes cheap works and sometimes it’s a huge failure.  If you’re not experienced, buy cheap with caution.

Read the plant tag on both sides.  If you still don’t know enough about the plant, ask the salesperson.  The tags aren’t hints, they’re rules.

Buying an expensive plant from the best nursery will not make up for your failure to provide appropriate care.

Many large nurseries have a planting service for trees and some larger perennials.  Some have landscaping services.  If you don’t have the equipment to do a proper planting, consider using their services; they usually come with warranties.

Under the do as I say not as I do category:  plan your color and size choices for your annual pots prior to visiting nurseries.  Their displays are so beautiful it’s easy to become sidetracked.

Make sure the sun, water and nutrient needs are the same for the plants you put in the same pot. 

Consider mixing herbs or small vegetable plants in with your annual pots. My favorites are dill, basil, parsley, small hot peppers and cherry tomatoes.

Walk the nursery before picking up your selections.  This will help you to not impulse buy.

If you’re on a budget, use your phone’s calculator as you go so you aren’t surprised at check out. 

Good reputable nurseries try to make your buying experience perfect so you will become a repeat customer and because they truly love what they do.

I don’t buy perennials from a nursery that isn’t in my hardiness zone.  If a perennial is raised from day one in a like climate, it will adapt better to my yard.

If a plant doesn’t look healthy in the store, typically it won’t be healthy once it’s home. 

Big isn’t always better with vegetables.  In the end, larger plants takes so long to acclimate; they end up producing about the same time as the smaller.  

If you have the time and right space, consider starting seeds inside.  Buy good seeds from a reputable company. Don’t buy old seeds (packets are date stamped.)

If you order on line or from a catalog, read the fine print:  plant description/needs, shipping and guarantees.  I never order on line if I find local. 

If a plant’s description is too good to be true – chances are it’s not true. 

Enjoy spring; it’s when all things seem possible.


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