Nancy Wiersma: End-of-season clearance: garage sales for gardenersPublished 8:45am Tuesday, August 11, 2009
This is the time of year I look forward to, especially now that we have to be more prudent with our spending.
Those end-of-season clearance sales are a real boon.
They’re like garage sales for gardeners.
Now is the time when most nurseries, greenhouses and stores are unloading most of their garden stock.
How I love the thrill of the hunt.
I never know when I might unearth a real treasure trove of gardening goodies.
If you are careful you can find some really read deals on perennials, shrubs, trees, vines, herbs, bulbs, birdhouses, gardening tools, flowerpots, seeds (most seeds are viable for years), fertilizers, bagged manures and top soils and even garden art.
I check for any insects or diseases, inspect the whole plant, check the leaves, branches and stems and I ask if I can turn the plant out and check the roots.
Sure, most look the worst for wear right now. But given the slightest TLC, just you wait till next spring.
Just the act of being planted, given the room to stretch and spread those roots “toes” into the earth.
Convalescing during the cool, comforting rains of fall, snuggly reposing in their insulated winter’s bed. The plant will revive itself and reward you come next year.
After all, it’s all about the roots. If it has good roots, buy it.
Lastly, I’d like to share some frugal garden “wisdom” with whoever will listen.
Friday the 7th I went out to Dussel’s Farm Market and Greenhouses in Cassopolis because I had read that they are running some pretty sweet garden clearance sales about right now.
While out there, I picked up way too much, by the way.
Honestly, I might have to make a second trip back.
If I was you, I would go out there and check it out.
After all, one never knows what one might find for the garden.
I also ran across and bought top soil in 40-pound bags for a dollar at Harding’s here in Dowagiac.
This is just the tip of the garden clearance iceberg, my dear gardening friends, so get out there and see what you can discover.
A bit of green thumb wisdom:
• If you have recently planted a dogwood, water it well now because the buds of their spring flowers are now forming due to our weather, which has been most uncooperative as far as rain goes. We will have to water.
• When picking a plant, choose the biggest, most robust one you can find. Also, look for multiple strong stems. When choosing one in spring or summer, you’ll want to choose those with healthy green leaves and lots of them, and lots of flower buds, not flowers.
• I like to read Mark Trail on Sunday mornings while leisurely drinking my large cup of tea and eating breakfast. This week’s column was about rabies. And that over 50,000 people are killed by rabies annually, mostly in developing countries. But 40,000 people right here in the U.S. are victims of bites annually, needing the six-shot treatments. Any warm-blooded animal can become hosts infected by the rabies virus, some being raccoons, skunks, foxes, coyotes and bats.
• Lastly, we gardeners are a good-natured lot. Could it be due to all the fresh air and sunshine we wallow in and absorb while out in the garden?
‘Til next time.
Nancy Wiersma of Dowagiac writes a weekly column.