Author Topic: Where to get plants?  (Read 2871 times)

Trying to get this right

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Where to get plants?
« on: February 15, 2016, 11:21:28 AM »
Hello wonderful mustachians!

I have recently moved into a townhouse with a small backyard and I'm SO excited to get a garden going. 

I've planted some vegetable seeds but would LOVE to have some larger plants to soak up the sun during the day.  Before I moved in, it was my husband's bachelor pad so there was nothing in the backyard. 

Any suggestions as to where I can pick up some larger plants?  I've trolled Lowes and Craigslist.  I'm thinking of going to a few local nurseries today but I feel like this can be optimized.

Any suggestions? 

Thank you!

pbkmaine

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Re: Where to get plants?
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2016, 11:34:45 AM »
Join a local garden club. They tend to be older women, and they will adopt you, teach you, and share their plants with you.

Mtngrl

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Re: Where to get plants?
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2016, 11:43:48 AM »
If you have a Freecycle group in your area, or Craig's List or Facebook, put a notice that you are looking for free plants. In spring many gardeners divide bulbs or move plants and will be happy to share with you.

If you know of any places where older houses are being torn down for new construction, you can offer to move the established plants before construction begins.

If you have a friend with a garden, ask if they have any plants. Offer to help them in the garden in exchange for plants. When we moved into our new house I met a local woman with a huge garden. I helped her one day in early spring with weeding and moving plants and she sent me home with a car full of stuff to transplant into my yard.

If your city or homeowner's association or parks department plants flowers in the mediums or in beds in the parks, stop and talk to the workers and ask if you can have the plants they are pulling out. Sometimes, with annuals, you won't get anything useful, but sometimes you will get perfectly good plants that are merely being pulled up because it's time for a new color scheme or whatever.

I have snipped a few cuttings from established plantings in nearby shopping centers and successfully rooted them at home. It doesn't hurt the established plants but it will take a while to grow a mature shrub this way.

Contact the Agricultural Extension Office for your county. The one in our area has a tree/shrub sale every spring. You have to order in advance but I have gotten trees and shrubs for very cheap (potted blue spruce for $5.95!). The plants will be small but will be native to your area. There is a minimum order. In my case, I had to buy 5 at a time.

Grosgrain

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Re: Where to get plants?
« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2016, 12:35:31 PM »
I second the idea of getting to know other gardeners in your area.  Lots of us have plants to give away.  I, for example, have two quince shrubs I need to pull out.  I will be reaching out to folks in my local garden club to find them a new home.

Our local master gardeners and garden clubs put on 3 different plant sales each spring.  Lots of plants at great prices. And I wholeheartedly recommend shopping your local nurseries/garden centers rather than the big box stores.  You will find more variety, better quality plants, and people who are more likely to know what they are talking about.

Enjoy!

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Where to get plants?
« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2016, 12:47:01 PM »
Houses about to be razed and rebuilt.

Kaikou

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Re: Where to get plants?
« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2016, 01:16:35 PM »
Lowes and ikea.

rulesofacquisition

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Re: Where to get plants?
« Reply #6 on: February 15, 2016, 01:27:04 PM »
Oh...vegetable plants...I thought this thread was going to be about something else...

Kaydedid

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Re: Where to get plants?
« Reply #7 on: February 15, 2016, 02:03:55 PM »
Seconding looking for local plant sales, or getting from someone else local.  You know the plants already do well in your climate and are much less likely to die or require crazy upkeep.  If you don't see any plant sales in the spring, try a CL add.  Lots of plants like hostas or lillies can be divided, but a lot of owners tend to leave them alone unless someone wants them. 

MsPeacock

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Re: Where to get plants?
« Reply #8 on: February 15, 2016, 05:44:54 PM »
I posted on freecycle once looking for plant divisions. I offered to come dig, replant the plants in the original space, clean up after myself, etc. People were happy to have me come and do some thinning for them. Generally the people who offered were avid gardeners and happy to share their wealth.

Also - if you do buy plants, buy the smallest size available (e.g. in the quart pots, not gallon) because plants will get bigger and generally the smaller plants actually settle in better. There are often sales around the start of July and Home Depot and Lowes for perennials. It is a little late in the season (July) for putting in new plants, but if you keep them watered they will generally take.

Rosy

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Re: Where to get plants?
« Reply #9 on: February 15, 2016, 09:28:56 PM »
This is all excellent advice, but you may need a plan first, so you don't end up with a hodge podge.

1. How much time do you realistically have to take care of your plants - veggies need watering and constant weeding and fertilizing and want to see the gardener every day to thrive and produce. Put them in the sunniest spot and don't be tempted to plant more than you can take care of, but do try a variety and see what works for you.
2. What exactly would your ideal garden look like?
3. Measure and draw a diagram. Decide where the best spots for your bench and bird bath or dining area will be.
3. Make a list of your favorite plants - then find out if they thrive where you live. Start with those.
4. YouTube is an excellent resource - for all garden questions and visual how-to's.
5. The best gardens are those that fit your lifestyle - plant a circle of scented bushes around your outdoor dining space.
6. If you have space for a small tree - try to find one that either bears fruit or blooms or both:)
7. Have a plan before you accept random garden gifts - free is nice, but a garden mish mash of plants will do nothing for your garden.

 Think about designated areas for compost, dog run, quietly reading a book, a hidden secret space is always fun, clothes line? - a mini storage shed for all those tools and implements, potting area ....

... and my last, best tip for attracting butterflies, plant a variety of zinnias, they come in all colors, shapes and sizes. The butterflies prefer the simple old fashioned zinnias. 

Mustachian tip - our Lowes has an area for clearance plants, usually 50% - always worth a look.

Enjoy your green space!:)

« Last Edit: February 15, 2016, 09:43:11 PM by Rosy »

Indio

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Re: Where to get plants?
« Reply #10 on: February 15, 2016, 09:59:49 PM »
Hello wonderful mustachians!

I have recently moved into a townhouse with a small backyard and I'm SO excited to get a garden going. 

I've planted some vegetable seeds but would LOVE to have some larger plants to soak up the sun during the day.  Before I moved in, it was my husband's bachelor pad so there was nothing in the backyard. 

Any suggestions as to where I can pick up some larger plants?  I've trolled Lowes and Craigslist.  I'm thinking of going to a few local nurseries today but I feel like this can be optimized.

Any suggestions? 

Thank you!

Not sure how far you want to travel, but I saw veg plants at a nursery (it's the aquaponics and hydroponics place) on Kam hwy near Kualoa on Wednesday. They were fairly large for the price but didn't have a wide selection, mostly lettuce, peppers, tomatoes and eggplants. If you have space, they also had fig trees and papaya. I love growing my fruit because it isn't labor intensive.

letired

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Re: Where to get plants?
« Reply #11 on: February 15, 2016, 10:17:40 PM »
I do a ton of cuttings, especially for house plants! A little rooting hormone will go a long way, though there are some things that just can't be rooted. For woodier shrubs and things, you'll probably need several cuttings before you get one to take. Just make sure you ask permission, especially if the plant is on private property.

I 2nd the recommendation of doing a little thinking/planning about how much ongoing work you want to put into this. Maintenance can be fun, or a time/soul suck, depending on how much there is to do and how much you like it. Food gardening is the most intensive!

If you check out things that are native to your area, they tend to be a little lower maintenance.