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.

Get the most from the money you spend

Here are some shopping tips to help you get the most from the money you spend:

At the store

  • Resist impulse buying! Ask yourself:
    • Do I really need it?
    • Do I need it today?
    • What if don’t buy it now?
    • Can I do this at a lower cost?
  • Limit the cash you carry.
  • Shop with your budget in mind.
  • Avoid ATM fees.
  • Watch for sales.
  • Wait for the right price.
  • Look for coupons and rebates.
  • Shop for value!

Food shopping

  • Save money by eating at home.
  • Make a shopping list for the grocery store.
  • Watch for sales and coupons.
  • Buy products you use frequently in large sizes or bulk quantities.

Credit card tips

  • Get a credit card with a low annual fee and low interest rate.
  • Don’t use a credit card if you can’t afford the price.
  • Pay your credit card bills on time.
  • Avoid cash advances.

Keep track of your spending

  • Keep your receipts.
  • Check receipts against statements.
  • Check statements against your budget.

Cell phone tips

  • Shop for a package deal.
  • Ask questions.
  • Read the contract before you sign.
  • Understand the features and prices.
  • Watch out for high text messaging charges!
  • Keep track of your usage.
  • Pay your bill on time and in full.

When making major purchases

  • Consider your needs.
  • Determine your budget.
  • Research before you buy.
  • Comparison shop.
  • Research product claims.
  • Try before you buy.
  • Ask family and friends.
  • Confirm the full price.
  • Watch for sales, coupons and rebates.
  • Consider negotiating.
  • Find the best overall value — quality, service and price.
  • Inspect products before you buy.
  • Understand the warranty.
  • Know the return policy.
  • Save your receipt.
  • Speak to the manager if you have a problem.

Find The best ways to save money

For many of us, shopping takes up a large chunk of the monthly budget. Whether you’re trying to save money on food shopping, or cut the cost of buying online, we’ve pulled together a few tips to help you.

  • Work out what you spend your money on. Make a list of everything you buy in a typical month. This will make it easier to work out where you can cut back.
  • Shop around. Check out the competition and compare prices. For example, it might be cheaper to go to a different supermarket, or buy your electronics from a different website.
  • Beware of special offers.Vouchers, special offers and cashback deals were invented to make you spend more, not less. Never buy something you don’t need just because it’s on offer.
  • Don’t impulse buy. Think carefully before making a purchase – especially if it’s expensive. At the very least sleep on it! It might seem less appealing in the morning.
  • Check reviews. If you’re not sure about a product, check online to see if there are any reviews. Just type its name into a search engine, followed by ‘review’.

Credit card tips

  • Get a credit card with a low annual fee and low interest rate.
  • Don’t use a credit card if you can’t afford the price.
  • Pay your credit card bills on time.
  • Avoid cash advances.

Keep track of your spending

  • Keep your receipts.
  • Check receipts against statements.
  • Check statements against your budget.

Saving Money On Shopping Tips

Have you already squeezed every last penny out of your budget? Maybe not. Thanks to free market capitalism, we can choose from a wide variety of products at a wide variety of prices pretty much any time we want to buy something. Unlike investing, saving money on purchases doesn’t require any specialized training and is an easy way for anyone to stretch their budget a little farther.

No matter what your income level, you can give yourself more breathing room by becoming a savvy shopper. Here are five tips to help you get started.

Tip 1: Make the Store Your Last Choice
Most people’s default response is to go to a store anytime they need something, but that’s not the only way to obtain a needed item. Ask yourself these questions:

Can I get it for free?
If you don’t need something right away, and you usually don’t, it’s worth searching on community ad sites like Craigslist or Kijiji, signing up with some local Freecycle groups, and asking around to see if anyone you know is getting rid of whatever you want.

Can I borrow it?
This tactic can be a great money-saver for any item that you use infrequently or will only need to use once. For example, if you only need to use a drill once a year when you change apartments and have to reinstall your curtain rods, you can get by with borrowing a drill from someone else. Many home improvement stores even have tools you can rent. Likewise, instead of spending money on the newest bestseller novel that you will probably only read once, head down to your local library and see if you can borrow the book. (New to budgeting? Check out Six Months To A Better BudgetGet Your Budget In Fighting Shape and The Beauty Of Budgeting.)

Tip 2: Negotiate When Possible
Some prices are set in stone, and it’s a waste of time trying to negotiate with someone who won’t budge. However, when you think there’s some wiggle room, consider these strategies:

Can I negotiate a lower price?
While you probably can’t negotiate the price on many items, like new DVDs or a package of gum, there are plenty of situations where you can negotiate, even in a retail store. For example, if an item is cosmetically damaged, a store may be willing to offer a small discount because that blemished items tend to be more difficult to sell. If a salesperson wants you to buy a bunch of extras with a new computer or cell phone plan, ask for a discount – the salesperson they may be allowed to offer discounts in order to close the deal on big-ticket purchases. Of course, if you’re buying an item from a private party, you can always negotiate. Also, you probably already know not to automatically pay the sticker price on a car or house, because negotiation is standard practice on these major purchases and the sticker price is generally higher than the real amount the seller will accept.