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Gardening Basics

We pride ourselves on having a diverse customer base, ranging from certified Master Gardeners to beginner gardeners planting for their first time. We’ve put together basic gardening knowledge and facts to help our beginner gardeners have success in their first growing season!

First Things First: Annual v. Perennial

Annualsgrow and bloom in their first year, typically not returning in years after. There is a chance that some Annual plants may re-seed themselves and return for a second year, but this is not guaranteed.  Perennials grow foliage the first year and typically do not bloom until their second season. After that, they grow and bloom year after year. Biennials take two seasons to bloom and are finished, although there is a high chance of re-seeding.

Seeds, Bulbs, Bareroots and Plants – What to Expect

Zinnia Seeds

We carry our plants in several different forms – Seeds, Bulbs (or Tubers), Bareroots and Plants. Seeds are just this – We carry them from quarter-pound bags all the way to 50-pound bags. Bulbs are planted in the ground in both the spring and the fall (see below for this distinction). Bareroots are essentially the root systems of the plant. This is often the best way to plant a perennial and have it acclimate to your garden. Our plants are shipped in 3-4” pots and are quite small for this same reason – The smaller the plant, the larger it will grow and thrive in your garden.

Spring v. Fall – When to Plant

In most climates, there are two distinct planting season – Spring and Fall. Early fall is reserved for Bearded Iris and Fall-Flowering Crocus. Late fall once ground temperatures have cooled is the time to plant Spring-Blooming Bulbs such as Tulips, Daffodils, Hyacinths and more. These bulbs require a wintering-over period in order to bloom. You can also plant Wildflowers and many Perennials in the fall to give them a jump-start on spring growth in your garden. Spring is the time to plant almost everything – Perennials, Summer-Blooming Bulbs such as Dahlias and Gladiolus, Wildflower and Vegetable Seeds.

What to Plant Where?

There are many factors in gardening that help determine what plant, bulb or seed should go where. We’ve made it easy and created a left-hand navigation on each of our category pages to help you find the plants perfect for your garden. Simply click a category such as “Iris,” type in your zip code in the top left side of the page, then filter by your specific requirements, including bloom time, color, height, sun, shade, etc. Trying to figure out how many of each to plant? Most gardeners like to plant in groups of three and pay attention to the “Estimated Mature Spread” information found on each product page. You should make sure to place each plant this distance apart.


Further Information

If you’re looking for more specific information regarding a certain plant or planting instructions, please visit our Gardening Community Page where you will find hundreds of articles and planting guides written by our garden experts. Still have questions? Feel free to email our gardening team, call us toll free at 877.309.7333 or Chat Live by going to any of our Product Pages.