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The garden, whether it is a flower garden or a vegetable garden, is an important part of the landscape. And, like all features present on a property, it can be frustrating to do your shopping for the plants you need to make your landscape look great. By following a few tips, you can eliminate much of the frustrations associated with shopping for plants, and you can learn a lot about what you are doing, as well as find great deals and even save a little money. When you shop smarter your entire home environment benefits from the good choices that you make.
Do research beforehand. This research is not necessarily just sitting in your house reading. It can also include talking to your neighbors about what have that you like and even visiting garden centers to see what it available. This will help you get an idea of what you think is attractive. Make sure that you understand what tools and soil conditions the plants need before you buy. You should also understand your own climate and what plants grow well in your region. It is surprising how many garden centers sell plants that are not necessarily suited for their area.
Read the labels. This is closely related to research. Before you buy, read the labels on the plants to make sure that the site in your landscape that you have chosen for a particular plant answers its needs. Labels include information on things like amount of sunlight needed, moisture needed, and sometimes even soil requirements. The label will also tell you how far from other plants your current interest should be planted, and also tell you how fast it grows. When you know what the plant needs, you can make sure that you have it before you spend the money.
Talk to the staff. Garden center staff members should be knowledgeable about what you need, and should be able to give you tips and advice. If you run into someone who doesn't know what to do with a garden or landscape, leave and go to a nursery or find a garden center with experienced help. You can even bring in a picture of your landscape to show. Try to be specific as you explain your needs.
Choose centers that offer guarantees. Many nurseries and garden centers now offer guarantees on their plants. The time period ranges from six months to a year. It is good idea to make sure that you are purchasing from a place that guarantees its plants so that if you happen to get one that is not particularly healthy, you can get a newer plant for free. Be sure to save the receipt, however. Keep a garden folder and tuck all such receipts away so that you know exactly where they are if you need them.
Shop during off hours. If you go on a beautiful Saturday, you will never get good personal attention and service from garden center or nursery staff members. This is because there is just too much for them to do with all of the people. Additionally, you will not be able to relax as you search out for exactly what you need. Go in during the week, and you will find a much better experience and a more attentive staff. Most centers get fresh shipments Fridays, so if you go in on a Friday afternoon you are likely to see the newest, best selection of plants and experience smaller crowds.
Comparison shop. Look for deals at different shops. Do not be afraid of looking around a little, or of letting an owner know that you saw a better deal elsewhere. You also need to find out how many plants come in cell packs. Make sure that you are comparing apples and apples and not apples and oranges. If you notice that one place charges a little more, it may be because its plants come four to a pack instead of three. Pay attention to those details. Also, compare hardiness and health. Make sure that you choose the best-looking plants in a group, to ensure that you get the best possible quality. While comparing, check out different sales, especially end of season sales where plants are marked down dramatically (don't buy annuals at this time however; they will not be blooming again)
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