How to - Gardening Basics

10 tips for navigating the nursery

Eryn Chesney

Gardening experts and enthusiasts provide their advice for plant-buying season

6. Buy some bloomers

"Conventional wisdom dictates you shouldn't buy perennials that are actively blooming, and if you do, you should nip off the flowers during planting. But there are two exceptions: irises and peonies. Plant tags get switched around and unless the plant is in bloom, you can't be sure what you're getting."

Stephen Westcott-Gratton

7. Keep your receipts

Keep your receipts "A lot of nurseries offer one-year warranties for their plants. keep all of your receipts so you ca n return purchases if they develop issues and don't survive. But be fair to the nursery: if you don't care for your plants properly, don't expect them to pay for your mistakes."

Erin McLaughlin, editor-in-chief

8. Take cover

"Bring a tarp or sheet to line the trunk of your car. I'm often cleaning spilled potting soil out of the nooks and crannies of my trunk."

Tara Nolan, web editor

9. Find an expert

"Are the employees at your garden store experts or do they cover all departments? Make sure you talk to someone with a solid background in their area of expertise to ensure you're getting the best advice."

Valerie Stensson

10. Play with your plants

"Use your shopping cart as a moveable blank stage to mix and match plants and create dramatic combinations."

Paul Zammit


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