If you're a homeowner, you've most likely done it: typed "online nurseries" or "online garden center" in search engines looking for shade trees, flowering shrubs, hardy perennials or, even, evergreen ground covers. Over the past 18 months, these searches have increased by the thousands.
Recession, high gas prices, and unemployment have devastated our country. With all of these numbers out of whack, much of the country has gone into nesting mode. Most of us are staying home and looking around to see what we can do to improve our own spaces. After a long harsh winter, spring is finally in sight and we long to be outdoors in the warm sunshine. What we once viewed as chores, we now want to do.
Enter the online nursery or online garden center. These sites offer arrays of plants, organic lawn care products, ground covers, some even offer large, instant landscape, trees. While many are new businesses, you will find a good portion of the more popular online sites to be long established businesses working to continually spread the word on gardening.
Many online centers offer plants slightly smaller than a brick and mortar garden center which can add up to big savings for you. Part of the entertainment of a garden is watching the plants grow from season to season. Planting smaller plants is, also, easier to do as you don't have to dig as big of a hole. The survival rate is higher for younger plants than it is for the larger container grown plants.
In most cases, you will save money. With modern storage and shipping facilities as well as a wider customer base, online nurseries and garden centers can offer a broader selection of plants at lower prices.
A little research on your chosen online nursery can help to make the purchase and planting experience a pleasant one. You should know what to expect your plant to look like when it arrives. Knowing this ahead of time can prevent disappointment. Bare root plants are typically shipped in semi to full dormant stage to prevent stress. The appearance of container plants will vary according to the time of season. Early spring shipments plants such as hostas and ferns will still be dormant in the pot, while roses are beginning to leaf out. As the spring season progresses, more container plants will be in leaf at shipping.
Drop the nursery an email or phone their customer service number with your questions. Normal turn around time for an email response is generally 2 to 3 days to respond to a question or two. The lengthier the email, the longer it may take for a response. So, keeping it brief, will help to speed an answer.
As with any purchase, a little planning will go far to making a purchase from an online nursery or online garden center a great experience. Not only will you find the plants you desire for your garden, but you will save money, time and effort.