In August, many outlet stores try to sell out the plants in their nursery departments so they have space for other items in more demand. (Not so at professional nurseries. Professional nurserymen know that fall is a good time for planting.) Here are a few tips for getting a real bargain.
Clean fresh foliage
1. Make a list of plants you really want before you go. Think about where you would plant it.
2. Check your state’s list of invasive plants so you don’t end up with a thug that takes over your yard.
3. Inspect the condition of the plant. The majority of the foliage should look clean and fresh. Look at the roots. Gently remove plant from the pot, most of the roots should be light in color and firm to the touch. Consider these questions as you inspect the plant: is the plant just wilted in need of a good soaking? If yes, you know what to do. Do any leaves appear infested with pests or are there lots of dead spots on the leaves? Don’t bring it home to infest your garden.
Light colored firm roots
4. Don’t buy a plant because it is such a good deal. It is no deal if you get it home with no place to plant it.
5. When you get it home, dig a hole twice the width of the root ball. Amend the soil with compost or potting soil, plant it with the top of root ball at soil level. Water it well, and mulch the area making sure the mulch does not touch the stem of the plant. A bargain plant is only a bargain if it lives, so give it a proper planting.