Plant Nursery Information – Tips For Selecting The Best Plant Nurseries

Portrait of plant nursery owners standing in front of greenhouse
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By Bonnie L. Grant

New and experienced gardeners rely upon a well-run and informative nursery for all their plant and landscaping needs. Picking a plant nursery that is reputable and has healthy zone appropriate plants can be the key to a successful gardening project. Online plant nurseries can be part of the process and cementing a relationship with bonafide electronic sources can be difficult since the product isn’t right before you. For both online and home-based businesses, it is crucial to know how to choose a reputable nursery for the best selection, knowledge and pricing.

How to Choose a Reputable Nursery

Those first trips as a novice gardener can be overwhelming and the guidance and suggestions of a professional nursery team can make all the difference in the world between a healthy garden and one planned to fail. Choosing the best plant nurseries depends upon more than simply healthy looking plants. Staff should have excellent customer service skills, garden knowledge, reliable information about gardening in your zone, and the availability to help you choose the right plants and products for the way you garden.

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One of the first steps in picking a plant nursery is to check out their products. This means investigating the health of the plants but also what other items you might need in the garden. Are they good quality, durable, readily available consistently? Is staff knowledgeable and willing to help even if it means directing you to a competitor who has a better line of products in a specific range?

The hallmark of any good business is good customer service and the ability to fully satisfy customer needs. Think of your personal nursery as a font of information and a tool to use in your gardening adventures. In combination with your local Extension office, your nursery can help you transform dreams into realities and be part of the maintenance and future planning processes.

Gathering Plant Nursery Information

As you assess your nursery options, it is important to gather any pertinent plant nursery information. This includes looking into their Better Business Bureau rating, talking to other plant enthusiasts about their opinion of the business and watching sale sheets when they come out to get the best buys on the products that you need.

A personal visit to the location will further determine which are the best plant nurseries for you. This is when you get to experience the service level but also touch and feel all the specimens to determine fitness, adaptability and selection.

Don’t be afraid to touch and investigate plant specimens to ensure that there are no disease, pest issues, stress, or weeds. Remember, what you bring home can infect your garden and a reputable nursery will only carry healthy plants with a good chance at thriving in your garden and no chance of starting an infestation or rampant disease.

Online Plant Nurseries

Who can resist those plant catalogues that come in winter? They bear the promises of spring and summer, warm weather, sun and flowering beauty in the landscape. However, be wary of wild sales and promises from electronic retailers. There are good deals to be had but not every online source is dependable. Again, ask around to plant friends to find their opinions on the business but also do some homework.

Some of the most trustworthy online nurseries will offer plants suitable for your zone with excellent shipping practices, including the timing of delivery. They will know what plants cannot be delivered to your region and should have an online chat available to help inform you of the best options for your landscape.

There are many consumer websites which can help rate the best nurseries for you. Angie’s List, Garden Watchdog are excellent resources to help you determine which nursery can meet your needs.

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