Monthly Archives: March 2017

Common Pot Sizes Used In Nurseries

Inevitably you’ve come across nursery pot sizes as you have browsed through mail-order catalogs. You may have even wondered what it all means – what is #1 pot size, #2, #3 and so on? Keep reading for information on the common pot sizes used in nurseries so you can take some of the guesswork and confusion out of your selections. About Nursery Plants Pots Nursery containers come in a number of sizes. Oftentimes, the particular plant and its current size determine the pot sizes used in nurseries. For instance, most shrubs and tree are sold in 1-gallon pots – otherwise known as a #1 pot size. The # symbol is used to reference each class number size. Smaller containers (i.e. 4-inch pots) may also include SP in front of its class number, indicating a smaller plant size. In general, the larger the # is, the larger the pot and, thus, the larger the plant will be. These container sizes range from #1, #2, #3 and #5 to #7, #10, #15 on up to #20 or higher.
The gallon nursery containers, or #1 pots, are the most common nursery pot sizes used in the industry. While they normally only hold 3 quarts of soil (using liquid measure), they are still considered to be 1-gallon pots. A variety of flowers, shrubs and trees can be found in this pot size. As the plants grow or mature, nursery growers may step up the plant to another larger size pot. For instance, a #1 shrub may be stepped up to a #3 pot. Variations in plant pot sizes can be quite different among individual nursery growers. While one nursery may ship a large, lush plant in a #1 pot, another might only send a bare, twiggy-looking plant in the same size. For this reason, you should research beforehand to make sure of what you are getting. Grade of Nursery Plant Pots In addition to the various pot sizes, some nursery growers include grading information. As with the variations among sizes, these too may vary among different growers. These are usually dependent on how a particular plant has been grown (its conditions). That said, the most common grades associated with plant pots are: P – Premium grade – plants are normally healthy, big and more expensive G – Regular grade – plants are of moderate quality, fairly healthy, average cost L – Landscape grade – plants are of less quality, smaller and least expensive choices Examples of these might be #1P, meaning a #1 pot size of premium quality. A lesser grade would be #1L.

How To Tell If A Plant Is Healthy

Plants are expensive and the last thing you want is for your beautiful new plant to keel over and die shortly after you bring it home. Even lush, full plants can develop problems fairly quickly, but knowing how to tell if a plant is healthy may prevent trouble down the road. Healthy Plant Selection Learning the signs of a healthy plant is the first step in ensuring its overall success. Choosing healthy plants involves looking closely at all parts of the plant, beginning with the most obvious part – the leaves.

Foliage growth – A healthy plant should have plenty of healthy new growth. With the exception of plants with bi-colored or variegated leaves, most plants should display green leaves with bright, even color. Don’t buy a plant if the leaves are pale. Avoid plants with yellowing or brown leaves, or if the leaves look brown and dry along the edges. Signs of a healthy plant include a full, bushy growth habit. Avoid long, leggy plants and, instead, choose compact, sturdy plants. Watch out for plants that look like they have been pruned; this may indicate that diseased or damaged stems have been removed to make the plant look healthier. Pests and disease – Look closely for signs of pests and disease. Check the undersides of the leaves and the joints where the stem attach to the leaves, as this is where common pests are often found such as: Aphids Spider mites Scale Mealybugs Roots – Healthy roots are signs of a healthy plant. Roots are difficult to see when a plant is in a pot, but you can definitely tell if the plant is rootbound. For example, pick up the plant and look at the drainage hole. If you notice roots growing through the hole, the plant has been in that pot too long. Another big sign that a plant is rootbound is roots growing on top of the potting mix. A rootbound plant isn’t always a bad thing if the plant is otherwise healthy because it demonstrates that the plant is actively growing. However, keep in mind that if you buy a rootbound plant, you will have to repot it soon.

Tips To Know If An Online Nursery Is Reputable

After hours of eye strain, you finally order a bunch of plants for your garden. For weeks, you wait in excited anticipation, but when your plants finally arrive, they are much less than you expected. Based on the pictures you had seen online, you thought you were ordering large, lush plants and getting them for a steal with the low price tag and shipping cost. However, when you open the small box shipped to you, you find it full of dead-looking bare roots or pathetic little sprigs of plants. Continue reading for advice on buying plants online and tips on finding reputable online nurseries. Buying Plants Online When looking for the best place to order plants online, first, start by reading all the information on the nursery’s website. Many online nurseries will show pictures of lush, established plants but then state in the fine print that they ship only bare root or young cuttings of these plants. Read about their shipping methods – are plants individually packaged and protected? Are cuttings shipped in soil? These are important things to know before buying plants online. Next, fully read all plant descriptions. Reputable online nurseries will have detailed plant descriptions, as well as planting instructions. Plant descriptions should include the plant’s hardiness zone and mature size details of the plant, as well as tips on how to properly care for the plant, along with its botanical name. What are the plant’s soil and moisture needs? What are the plant’s light requirements? Are there details about deer resistance or if it attracts birds? If an online nursery does not have detailed plant descriptions, it’s best to keep searching for one that does.
Friends or family may be able to help you find the best place to order plants online. Word of mouth goes along way. If someone suggests an online nursery to you, ask questions about the shipping and quality of the plant’s they received. Ask if the plant’s survived the winter. Reputable online nurseries will also have customer reviews and comments. Be sure to read these before ordering plants. You can also search gardening forums and ask about people’s experiences will certain online nurseries. It’s also important to keep in mind that supporting local small businesses is good for your community. While not all local garden centers have that unique or exotic plant you are looking for, purchase what you can from local businesses. Usually, these local garden centers will have plants guaranteed to grow in your location and staff that can answer all your questions.

Guidelines For Shipping Live Plants By Mail

Plant sharing is a big hobby on gardener’s forums and for collectors of specific species. Shipping plants by mail requires careful packaging and preparation of the plant. Mailing garden plants across the country is fairly easy to do, but the best way is to choose the fastest method for your plant to travel. Also, check to see if it is legal to ship to the jurisdiction you have in mind; some areas have laws and limitations. Knowing how to ship plants and the best way to box them up for a trading experience will enrich you and the receiver at the end of the line. Guidelines for Shipping Live Plants Sending plants through mail successfully depends upon careful packing as well as acclimating the plant and sending it with enough water to survive several days. Plants that get sent to hot regions or are shipped in winter will benefit from some insulation. You can use the U.S. Postal Service or any of the shipping companies that fit your needs. Either way, you can learn how to package them for best arrival and least breakage.

There are four basic guidelines for shipping live plants. Preparing the plant, packing the plant, labeling and choosing a shipping company and speed are the primary important aspects to shipping plants by mail. Preparing The Plant For Shipping Preparation starts with removing the plant from soil and shaking off the excess. But do not wash the roots as some residual soil will help provide familiar microbes from the plant’s native soil and will make the transition easier for the plant. Wrap the roots with several moist paper towels and put the bundle in a plastic bag. If the trip will be long, add a couple of teaspoons of polymer moisture crystals to water to make a slurry and apply this to the roots before the plastic bag. Stabilize any errant growth to prevent breakage with plant ties, rubber bands or twist ties. You can also just roll the plant in some newspaper to protect the tops and stems. Packing The Plant Choose a box sturdy enough to handle rough treatment when mailing garden plants. Boxes literally get kicked and thrown and dropped. You need your plant to arrive in one piece, so pick a box that can take a licking. Also, choose one just barely big enough for the plant to fit inside so it doesn’t have room to move around during handling. Extra cushioning is a good idea if there is any extra room inside the box. Use newspaper, shredded bills, or foam to fill any pockets. If you are worried about the handling of the box, reinforce the edges with strapping tape. Lastly, don’t forget to place a tag or label inside with the name of the plant. If you are sending plants through mail that are potted, use bubble wrap to protect the pot and the roots. A collar of cardboard over the soil and around the base of the plant, followed by a plastic bag closed around the base of the plant will help keep the soil in the container. Stand the plant upright if possible, making sure to mark “This End Up” on the box, and pack around it. Remember though, that shipping the container and soil will greatly increase the cost of shipping the plant. Labeling Put a label on the outside that says “Live Plant” and “Perishable” so they know to treat it with a modicum of gentleness. While it is no guarantee that this will prevent abuse to the box, it may win over a few package handlers to take extra care. Shipping guidelines today also require that you include a return address as well as the shipping address on the outside. If you are reusing a box that previously was used for shipping, make sure to remove or black out all old labels so that the package is not accidentally shipped to the wrong location.

Tips For Selecting The Best Plant Nurseries

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.

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.