I’ve been feeling conflicted about sharing this week’s gardening tip.
I firmly believe that you do not need a lot of stuff to be a successful gardener.
When I moved into my home, I was fortunate to inherit a few, basic gardening supplies from the previous owner. She was downsizing to a townhouse and was ready to say goodbye to her small collection of shears and shovels. I still happily use most of her tools and supplies today.
But every now and then, I’ll reach a point during the gardening season when I think:
“It sure would be nice to have…” a cute (but affordable) flowerpot, hail netting, etc.
What I’ve discovered is:
Some garden supplies can be surprisingly hard to find when you need them during the garden season.
Others are time-sensitive.
So, in this week’s tip, I want to share a few items that are helpful to track down NOW, rather than waiting until summer.
Do you prefer to find used garden supplies rather than new ones? Awesome! I’ve included “reuse” ideas too.
Packets of flower seeds
If you’ve played with the idea of planting flower seeds this year, now’s a good time to shop for them.
For just a few bucks, you can grow really pretty flowers in your garden from a packet of seeds. And there are many flower seeds that you can spread directly in the ground — like the colorful Cosmos flowers below.
No fancy growing equipment needed!
What’s the catch?
Your timing matters.
Your flowers are more likely to bloom when you want them to bloom — like in July and August instead of October! — when you follow the recommended timing for planting your seeds.
Often times, these seeds need to be planted 2 to 4 weeks before your “average last frost date.”
What’s an “average last frost date?” What does that mean? It means this is the point when there’s now less than 50% of a chance of getting a frost. You can search online to find the average last frost date for your area.
In Denver, our average last frost date is in early May. If we need to plant 2 to 4 weeks before this date, it’s best to plant these seeds in early- to mid-April.
Other seeds need to be planted even earlier.
You can find flower seed packets at local, independent garden centers. You also can buy seeds directly from seed companies like Botanical Interests. They’re a Colorado company. (This is not an affiliate link. I’m just sharing it for your convenience.)
Look at the back of the seed packets — or read the online descriptions — to find out when you should plant your seeds for the best results.
I’ve come to appreciate that flowerpots are like a nice pair of shoes or a stylish piece of jewelry. They can really elevate the look of a container garden.
They also can be surprisingly expensive.
If you’d like pretty flowerpots without the shock-inducing price, now’s a great time to look for flowerpots at stores like HomeGoods (TJ Maxx) and even Costco.
If you prefer to re-use rather than buying new:
- Look for used flowerpots on Next Door, OfferUp and Craig’s List.
- Check out estate sales. They’re another good place to find outdoor treasures like flowerpots and garden tools.
Pro tip! When choosing a flowerpot, look for pots that have hole(s) in the bottom. A flowerpot without a hole is like a bathtub without a drain. You’ll save yourself extra steps later when you buy a pot that already has a hole in it.
I know this is a weird one for March, given that many of us have spent the last week shoveling snow from our sidewalks.
But while we’ve been shoveling, scrappy gardeners have been proactively searching the Internet or visiting local garden centers for supplies like hail netting (also called, “anti-hail netting”).
This is one of those items that when we roll into thunderstorm season, the demand is so high, it’s usually sold out.
Translation: When you need it, you can’t get it.
By the way, there are PLENTY of things you can use in your home to protect your flowers from hail.
Please know, you do not need to buy hail netting.
With that said, now’s the time to look for hail netting if a hailstorm trashed your flowers last year and you want to up your hail protection game.
Sometimes, you can find hail netting at your local, independent garden centers. You also can find it online from garden supply companies and Amazon.