Garden centers and nurseries are a fantastic place to buy plants and seeds to fill your gardening needs. They typically offer plants that are specifically suited to the local area and the hardiness of your growing zone, to ensure the varieties you choose, have a better chance at thriving. As gardening has become more mainstream, nurseries have also expanded their product lines to offer the home gardener many accessories as well.
It used to be that garden centers and nurseries offered retail customers the basics in terms of what they needed for their garden: seeds, plants (trees, shrubs, ornamental grasses, perennials, annuals, etc.), potting soils, fertilizers, compost, and the basic accessories and supplies needed for growing. Now garden centers offer much more in terms of a product line as the scope of gardening has changed considerably in the last couple of decades.
Instead of buying all of their plants from a garden center, more and more people are either starting seeds early in the spring to transplant into the ground or taking cuttings from existing plants to propagate them. To accommodate this trend product selections have expanded to include basic supplies for seed starting and plant propagation.
Propagation trays are a great investment for gardeners who are starting a large number of seeds. Available in either flat trays or plug trays, seeds and cuttings can be started in bulk quantities without taking up a tremendous amount of space.
Heat mats provide needed warmth for germinating/rooting to occur. They are placed under the propagation trays to keep them at a consistent temperature optimal for growth.
Growing lights provide optimal wavelengths for plants and are incredibly useful for starting seeds in the late winter or early spring when sunlight might not be readily available. The special lights help to keep plants from growing too tall and leggy, keeping them strong and more compact until they are ready to transplant outside.
Rooting hormones help plant cuttings begin to develop roots more quickly, increasing the success rates of propagation. The quicker plants can establish roots the less susceptible they are to fungal problems or rot.
An increase in the amount of people container gardening also means nurseries carry many more containers and container gardening supplies than ever before.
Plastic containers come in many different varieties -- blow molded, pressure formed, injection molded -- and a wide range of colors and sizes. Often, they are made from recycled materials helping to lessen the environmental impact of other aspects of life.
Terracotta containers are still incredibly popular with gardeners and come in a variety of sizes and shapes. You can find the traditional round pots and saucers, and even square or rectangular shapes as well.
Pot liners were designed to drop inside containers as an insert to help keep salt deposits from accumulating on the outside of terracotta pots. Coco-fiber liners help to retain soil moisture, preventing containers from getting too dry too quickly in the summer heat.
Plant caddies make moving large potted containers much easier on the home gardener. Placed under the pots, the rolling heavy-duty caddies allow plants to be moved quickly and easily from one spot to another.
Gardeners now can choose from a selection of conventional, synthetic products to use in their gardens or they can opt for organic options for fertilizers and other treatments. The section in nurseries dedicated to chemicals alone is continuously growing.
Fertilizers provide the essential nutrients to plants needed for growth. Formulated with nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus as the base, they are available in general purpose options or can be purchased to be plant specific. They are also available in granular or liquid form, suitable for various application methods.
Insecticides can be used to prevent insect infestations or used as a treatment after bugs have been spotted.
Herbicides treat weeds or prevent them from germinating, depending on the method of action utilized in a specific product. They come in both granular and liquid form, as well as conventional and organic options.
Fungicides control fungal diseases by inhibiting growth. If left untreated fungi can cause devastating problems in a garden or landscape.
Hand in hand with gardening, come other outdoor living accessories. People are turning their gardening spaces into outdoor living areas where they entertain friends and family or just relax.
BBQ grills have become a staple in outdoor living. Consumers can choose from propane-fueled grills, charcoal grills, smokers, and grill specialty products such as the jalapeno grill rack.
Lawn furniture ranges from simple Adirondack lawn chairs to expensive upholstered swings and patio umbrellas. Garden centers offer a range of products to fit budgets and taste, allowing homeowners to create personalized, outdoor seating spaces.
Outdoor decor is popular in nurseries and garden centers as well, especially metal artwork. Metal can withstand the elements throughout the summer without displaying any lasting effects and the neutral aspect of metal decor (such as metal garden signs) fits with any gardening or landscaping style.
Along with offering a wider product range for homeowners, many nurseries like Lael’s Moon Garden Nursery, set up design gardens to help inspire creativity. These design gardens show different garden layout ideas or how to combine plants and outdoor decor cohesively. Some nurseries even offer landscape and garden design services to create the yard of your dreams.
Nurseries and garden centers at one time carried the basics needed for gardening –plants, seeds, soil, fertilizer, etc. – but have expanded their product selection considerably as gardening and outdoor living has become more mainstream.
Now you can buy supplies for starting seeds, propagating cuttings, container gardening, numerous gardening chemicals, plants, a variety of outdoor living accessories such as barbeque grills, furniture, and outdoor decor, and consult with design specialists on garden design. Nurseries have become an outdoor, one-stop shopping center!
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Container gardening – the process of growing a garden in pots – is becoming increasingly popular amongst apartment dwellers, those that live in high-rise urban areas, and people that don’t want to dedicate a section of their yard to a garden.
Gardening in containers allows those with limited space to grow vegetables and reap the benefits of homegrown produce.