Temporary garden centers now offering great deals on annuals, perennials and shrubs

This time of year the best deals to be found on perennials for your garden are in the temporary garden centers.  This type of garden center closes down near the end of June in this Ottawa region of Canada, and so puts most of their remaining plants on clearance.

I like Independent Grocer and Loblaws in my Kanata neighbourhood with great deals offered at both.  Be sure to purchase perennials hardy to your garden’s climate zone, otherwise you will be wasting your money…

Find the climate zone number for whatever area you live in, and do not buy anything recommended for higher numbers.  For example, I live in Ottawa, my zone number is between 4 and 5, so I stick to plants rated as 4 or less.  You may find that different parts of your yard have different climate mini zones.  For example, my front garden faces south, gets full sun and is protected from winds by my garage, so I can stretch the zone number to include plants rated at 5 in that area.

Also try to choose plants whose roots are not pot bound.  Pot bound means the roots are very tightly packed into the bottom of the pot so the plant is hard to remove.  When you do get the plant out, the roots have taken the shape of the pot.  I only buy these if they are very inexpensive, otherwise another waste of money because they won’t survive.  Before you put your plants in the ground, scarify the roots by teasing them apart or very lightly cutting them with a knife, so they will spread out in the hole and into the surrounding soil.

pot bound roots

Also pay attention to whether the  plants you love the look of is an annual or a perennial.  Annuals must be planted every years as they die as soon as frost hits them.  They are great for spots of colour in your garden or in containers.  Perennials will return each year, maturing in size every season.  Perennials usually only bloom for one to two weeks each season, so spread them around your gardens and allow room for growth.

I am off to peruse the garden centers for deals…happy gardening!