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Get the Most From Your Trip to the Garden Center

As the snow melts and the weather heats up, your yard and garden is ready for some extra attention. Those first walks outdoors often generate a trip to a local garden center. The Minnesota Nursery & Landscape Association encourages you to consider the following ideas for your next garden center visit.

  • Plan Ahead . Plant material availability varies seasonally and by region. National magazines feature appealing gardens, but only purchase plants that will survive the unique Minnesota climate. Consult with the garden center experts for winning choices.
  • Know Your Conditions . How many hours of sun does your garden receive? What direction does the flower bed face? On which side of the house will that new shrub be placed? How much wind does the area receive? Keep these considerations in mind to ensure that you select the best plant for the intended location.
  • Carry Dirt With You . Don't be afraid to bring a sample of your garden soil along to the garden center. They can tell if your soil is clay, sandy or loam, and then offer suggestions for plant material and soil amendments.
  • Bag Your Troubles . Got a sick shrub or a buggy bloom? Disease detection and cure recommendations are easier to diagnose if you bring along the affected leaf, twig, bloom or bug (in a sealed plastic bag). Garden center professionals can then recommend possible treatments.
  • Dress for Success . Leave the high heels and suits at home. For a garden center trip, wear comfortable shoes and clothing that can tolerate a little dirt.
  • Drive Sensibly . Bring the proper vehicle. Don't bring a convertible to do an SUV's job. For added convenience, most garden centers will deliver for a reasonable fee.
  • Arm Yourself . Don't hesitate to bring photographs of your yard, notes and a landscape plan, if available.
  • Choose the Right Time . If you will need a lot of assistance, shop the garden center at “off times.” Even the busy spring and early summer have quiet moments. Visit on a weekday—during the day, right after work, or during the dinner hour. If the weekend is your only option, come very early or later in the day.

To find a garden center or landscape professional in your area, visit Minnesota's on-line gardening resource, GardenMinnesota.com.

The Minnesota Nursery and Landscape Association is the state's largest green industry trade association with more than 1,500 member businesses including garden centers; landscape contractors and designers; tree and flower growers; irrigation contractors; and lawn, tree, and garden services.

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This web site is provided as a service to consumers by members of the Minnesota Nursery and Landscape Association ( MNLA)