Table of contents:
- Non-specialized supermarkets
- Supermarkets specialized in garden products
- Garden centers and nurseries
- Florist Clubs and Collectors
- Parcels, mailing catalogs and online stores
- Spontaneous flower tents and markets
- The most common examples of cheating
Long gone are the days when planting material of plants could only be begged from a neighbor in the country, who also got them in a roundabout way. The shelves of modern garden centers and supermarkets are literally littered with a variety of plants and bulbs with beautiful labels. There are many firms that sell plants remotely - by mail, through colorful catalogs or through online stores. Now everyone can create a beautiful and cozy garden or collect their own collection of plants to their liking. Let's try to understand the pros and cons of purchasing planting material at different retail outlets.
By definition, expensive and, moreover, exclusive varietal planting material cannot get onto the shelves of supermarkets that do not specialize in selling plants. After all, it is no secret that they do not always have proper conditions for storing and selling plants, and there is also a lack of qualified personnel who know how to properly handle them. On the shelves of large stores, as a rule, inexpensive and not new varieties fall, "in more quantity, at a cheaper price." Mass re-grading is not excluded. Nothing interesting, except for beautiful packaging, elegant colorful cardboard boxes and tubes, you most likely will not get there.
But if you got to the display of a product that is still in good condition, or you have found something suitable during the season of total sales, you can take this opportunity to buy inexpensively, for example, bulbous. Perennials, as a rule, are sold with bare roots in bags of peat - it is difficult to see the state of the delenka there. Some plants (especially those with prolapse) rot easily in such a package. But this is the case when the presence of buds or sprouts are positive signs of life. You should only immediately plant the sprouted planting material in pots and provide a cool place.
Purchasing finished potted plants is more reliable if they are in good condition. Bought early - keep plants cool but do not expose to frost. And, of course, they must be well illuminated on dark spring-winter evenings.
Supermarkets specialized in garden products
In such stores, the situation with planting material is certainly much better. Here, the staff is usually better trained, and the premises take into account the peculiarities of storage and care of plants, and the assortment is more varied and of better quality. But, nevertheless, here one should not expect any special delights in terms of the novelty of the varieties. Basically, plants are represented either by mixtures of colors, or 6-8 different colors of each species, often without specifying the varieties. Of course, there are encouraging exceptions, but this is still quite rare.
By the way, our foreign colleagues from the European Union and the United States sincerely did not understand why we want to know varieties of gooseberries, grapes or flowers, if, for example, white, pink, red and blue grapes are sold in supermarkets all over the world. The same applies to peonies, roses, garden hibiscus and many other plants, only a little more colors are offered - from 4 to 10. And for most buyers there this is enough !!! And we, you see, definitely need varieties, and even with an indication of winter hardiness zones and all possible characteristics. My observations of the last 5-10 years indicate that we, whether we like it or not, are gradually moving towards greater undemandingness.
Returning to specialized supermarkets, it should be said that you can buy plants there, but it is preferable to do this at the end of March and later. And certainly not at the end of January or in February, if you do not have proper conditions, or special knowledge and skills. But interesting plants are sold out first of all, at the very beginning of sales. In addition, you need to be prepared for the fact that, most likely, what is drawn on beautiful capers for 60 or 99 rubles or on tubes for 120 or 149 rubles will most likely grow. Because real English roses cannot retail less than 450-500 rubles, and even more so yellow peonies. Their average retail price usually starts from 750 - 900 rubles, depending on the size of the cut.Although the relative affordability of prices for most of the plants offered for sale should be attributed to the merits of specialized supermarkets.
In general, it is worth saying about supermarkets, both specialized and not, that a mass buyer here can purchase inexpensive planting material, if the variety is not too important, but quantity is needed - just to decorate the garden. And only knowledgeable flower growers can find something interesting at a reasonable price here.
Garden centers and nurseries
If you have a good nursery or garden center with reasonable prices on your way to your dacha or from work, most of your purchases should be done in such places. Plants in their assortment are tested for winter hardiness, fruit and berry crops are selected zoned, all plants are supplied with labels to avoid misgrading. There you can get advice, thoroughly choose the plants you need, and in case of non-compliance with the variety, it will be possible to make a claim later.
The disadvantages of some trading platforms include their narrow specialization, for example, in decorative deciduous or berry bushes, although recently nurseries have been expanding and actively exchanging their products. The inconvenience is the great distance from the city. But in the latter case, the prices for plants, as a rule, are much lower than in the city. True, some well-known nurseries keep prices decent even far from the city, but this is usually justified - good goods are never cheap. And choose breeding nurseries, not just trading platforms that call themselves nurseries, but sell planting material from different sources.
Florist Clubs and Collectors
If you are already a fairly advanced gardener or decide to collect a good collection of certain plants, then, of course, this option is the best for you out of all possible, although the rest should not be completely ruled out. Such purchases will be associated with a certain investment of time, but on the other hand, you are very likely to acquire a sufficiently high-quality planting material corresponding to the desired variety. Well, get comprehensive information on all the issues of agricultural technology that interest you and get charged with a certain amount of optimism about your future gardening successes.
Having taken care of the order in advance for the next year (after all, this is not mass production), you can purchase not only the freshest novelties of the selection of popular peonies, irises, daylilies, phloxes, lilies, tulips, host and other decorative leafy plants, but also find absolutely rare old varieties of domestic and foreign selection, sometimes remaining in a single copy. Honor and praise to the enthusiastic collectors who keep them.
Exhibition of peonies in the "Flower growers of Moscow" club
Many collectors collect completely "non-commercial", rare plants of Japanese, Chinese, North American flora, a wide variety of alpine plants, garden orchids, which you will not find anywhere on sale. These are the highlights for the connoisseur.
Parcels, mailing catalogs and online stores
What should the inhabitants of numerous small cities, towns and villages, our vast Motherland do, where there are no large or small specialized stores? That's right, order planting material from mail catalogs, after reading reviews on the Internet about the companies themselves. At the same time, it is very desirable to at least a little familiarize yourself with the plants you like, read about agricultural technology.
Of course, plants purchased from such companies are often a little more expensive and often, thanks to the disordered work of our mail, they come to customers noticeably dried and withered. The problem of re-grading is not completely excluded, but often the blame for it still lies with the Dutch or other producers. But this way of buying has a number of undeniable advantages:
Firstly, there is a rather rare, exclusive assortment, which is always primarily targeted for sale through catalogs. This can be explained very simply - for mass and cheaper sale, they have not yet grown enough planting material. But if the novelty and exclusivity of the acquired planting material are not so important to you, then you can wait another 3-4 years and buy the same varieties at more moderate prices in garden centers.
- Secondly, you have an exceptional opportunity, quite calmly, sitting at home, to make a well-thought-out and verified order in terms of your financial capabilities and future landscape plan. In addition, by placing an order at the end of the season, you can get a good discount, but in this case there is a risk of being left without any items that are in short supply this season. And you will have a colorful catalog at your fingertips, which can become something of a small reference for the next few seasons.
- Thirdly, your order within the catalog validity period can be painlessly supplemented, reduced, or even canceled altogether. And the purchase itself can be made in installments, because often it is not at all necessary to pay the entire cost of the order at once. This can often be done within 2-3 months (especially in the autumn-winter period) in 2 or even 3 stages! And you can pay for the goods upon receipt by mail or from a courier.
- Fourth, by talking by phone or by e-mail with the manager of the company, you will be able to receive expert advice at a convenient time for you.
- Fifthly, unlike many retail chains, you will always receive a refund or, according to your consent, they will leave it for the next season if a poor-quality product comes to you and you confirm this with appropriate photographs. In this case, the Law "On consumer rights" is on your side!
Now about one persistent misconception: the incredible misclassification and dishonesty of certain suppliers. It is a matter of honor for every selling or supplying company to keep its image untainted. Most of the companies supplying and selling from catalogs themselves are not producers of many, many hundreds of supplied varieties, but only deal with their washing, drying, packaging and delivery to the final consumer. Accordingly, they have dozens, or even hundreds of small and large suppliers, whose harvest is far from being equivalent from year to year in quality. Leaving out the brackets of careless and unscrupulous suppliers, who sooner or later will be deprived of the right to supply decent companies with low-quality goods, there are still a lot of objective circumstances that greatly influence this process, including low-skilled personnel.involved on the packaging.
Spontaneous flower tents and markets
Analyzing the feasibility of buying plants at flower markets, exhibitions and fairs, it should be said right away that this opportunity, like all those previously considered, has its positive and negative sides. The positive aspects include
often more affordable prices than garden centers and retail nurseries;
- the opportunity to purchase already well-grown, large bushes of host, phlox, daylilies, hydrangeas and other plants;
- sometimes quite rare plants can be purchased from private traders;
- from private traders with a good reputation, you can always get comprehensive information on the agricultural technology of purchased plants and agree on future purchases right here on the market or at his site.
- there is no guarantee of grade and winter hardiness, absence of diseases in plants (an ignorant buyer can purchase bulbous with variegation, phlox affected by a nematode, fruit crops with dangerous diseases);
- a huge amount of planting material is brought from the south - non-weather-resistant seedlings of roses and fruit crops, grape varieties that do not bear fruit in our country, and even heat-loving plants from nature that freeze out in our country).
- as a rule, the peduncle reaches this size only in a sunny place, with very good care and feeding;
- on the peduncle there can be a maximum of 3, very rarely 4 tiers of flowers, if you count with the upper single flower, then the bulb becomes "adult" or "overripe" and, as a rule, is divided into 2-3 young bulbs. Therefore, in tiers in the form of a fir, it cannot bloom in any way;
- it is not at all a fact that these hybrid lilies will be sold to you, most likely you will get cheap Asian hybrids at a high price - well, if not affected by variegation;
- they have nothing to do with large-flowered clematis and cannot interbreed with them.
At the same time, there are a number of significant disadvantages:
the possibility of deliberate or unintentional deception on the part of the seller in relation to the variety and even the type of plant (sometimes, without blinking, you can sell a phlox cut, which turns out to be a weedy solidago, or slip an ordinary cuff that grows everywhere, under the guise of varietal, suggest nonexistent pink wisteria or blue legume, which do not bloom at all, even typical ones);
But experts will be able to figure out what's what. And they can find even grandmothers in the markets something valuable - a rough action, well adapted to our climate, a mock orange or large-leaved hydrangea, overgrown flowering primroses and saxifrage. Good flowering lilies and phloxes can be purchased if they are healthy. But the names of varieties are usually not worth believing.
The most common examples of cheating
Arboreal lilies (lily trees). That you just don't hear about these "tree-like" lilies - and that they are supposedly a hybrid of lilies and clematis, and that they grow in the form of a tree, or twine in the form of vines, like maiden grapes or clematis. And all this is confirmed by numerous photographs of such lily-trees, sometimes in the form of profusely blooming climbing roses or even in the form of cones, similar to spruce, with lily flowers, often tinted blue or blue.
In this case, you need to know that there are no blue or blue lilies in nature, because they do not have a blue gene. So all these are the wonders of "Photoshop". It often happens that sellers put even the same photos, tinted in different colors. As a rule, all their lilies either in the form of a profusely flowering tree, or fall in tiers, almost to the very ground. So - this too can not be!
Yes, there are tall OT and LO hybrids with large flowers. These are intersectional hybrids between Oriental and Trumpet lilies, as well as between Longiflorum and Oriental lilies, respectively. Such lilies can really grow to the height of a person, but at the same time:
initially, they must have a sufficiently large initial bulb to grow it, the plant is not allowed to bloom for 2 years, breaking off the buds;
Lily OT Friso
And if you look at the bulbs themselves, then often in all trays such sellers have them of 1-3 varieties. It's just that bulk bulbs at wholesalers are sold in plastic boxes from at least 150 pieces - the largest to 300 and even up to 500 pieces. smaller ones. This is for lilies, and for tulips, the number of bulbs in a box can be up to 700 for garden varieties and up to 1000-1500 for botanical varieties. It is almost impossible to sell such an amount of each variety in one spontaneous market or in a small shop, so they pour the same variety into all trays and baskets.
In a wholesale box - 500-750 tulip bulbs bulbs
Therefore, you need to know the following: all lily bulbs of different types and varieties, as a rule, are very different in color and appearance. Asians and their hybrids usually have white or light pink bulbs. Sometimes they are with a light, almost imperceptible, shade of yellow, the spiked peduncles are also almost always white or almost white. The shape of the bulbs is usually close to round, slightly elongated at the top. And in oriental lilies and their hybrids, the bulbs are almost always colored - burgundy, dark pink, yellow, pink-purple, etc., slightly elongated and slightly narrowed in their upper part. The bent peduncles are almost always colored too - light pink, sometimes with a yellow or greenish tint. The same applies to OT and LO lilies. Most varieties and types of lilies, as a rule, differ in both the color of the bulbs and the color of the peduncles,and the very shape of the bulbs. Therefore, if the seller has all the bulbs of the same shape and color, then this should immediately alert you! They will most likely bloom in the same color.
And further. If in July-August they sell you lilies with still undeveloped peduncles 3-20 cm long, then these lilies are 100% bought in bulk at a very reasonable price frozen in peat. At a temperature of 0 … -1 of C are tolerably well kept for over a year. Such lilies are not worth buying - most of them will grow immediately after planting, in the fall. They are intended for year-round forcing, not outdoor cultivation.
Peony tulips. The tale of peony-tulip hybrids is also widely used in spontaneous markets and fairs and originates from the peony tulips group present in the classification. They are simply large double petals, usually late flowering. They have no genetic relationship with double peonies and are not capable of interbreeding with them. Therefore, if there are tulip bulbs under the pictures of terry herbaceous or tree-like peonies, then this is nothing more than a common scam.
Tulip Ice Cream
Another trick is an attempt to sell very large (12+ or 14+) bulbs of ordinary tulips under a beautiful picture of an expensive and still rare tulip Ice Cream (Ice Cream). At best, these will be some well-known Darwin hybrids. Due to its high cost, the Ice Cream tulip is supplied to Russia in very limited quantities and its appearance on spontaneous markets is extremely unlikely. At the same time, his color is only this: a white terry center with dark pink outer petals, and in shape its bud really resembles an appetizing ice cream cone. But there are no yellow, blue or blue shades in its color, which can be seen in computer-produced pictures, and cannot be!
Bulbous in showboxes. Often in the markets and in small shops you can find various bulbs sold in the so-called showboxes or mini-showcases. These are large boxes with beautiful advertising photos of the bulbs sold. There is no deception in this very type of trade, until the moment when, instead of the most scarce or already finished positions, sellers begin to fill up the worst-selling varieties. If the boxes are heavily worn out or dirty, pasted over with tape on all sides or around the perimeter, then most likely they are several years old and they are filled with cheaper and less popular varieties than in colorful pictures.
Bulbous in show boxes
Trees and shrubs with open root systems. On the roadsides and in many markets it is very common to find traders selling open-rooted seedlings. Such seedlings can be bought only in two cases - if they are still fresh and have a good presentation, and if you personally trust this person, since you have already bought something from him before.
But at the same time, one must be aware that with a probability of 98-99%, these seedlings were brought from the Voronezh or Kursk regions, and most likely from the Krasnodar Territory or Ukraine. It is to save weight and volume that they are transported with an open root system. Of course, some of this planting material will take root in the Moscow region, but the risks of losing plants in the next two years are also very high. This is especially true of such exotic plants for the middle lane as roses, peaches, apricots, wisteria, etc. It is necessary to buy cherries with caution, as well as some varieties of cherries, since in addition to their reduced winter hardiness, many varieties also require a pollinator variety.
Severely wilted, dried or depleted seedlings are generally not recommended to buy, even at a reasonable price. The root system should be well developed and at least approximately correspond to the size and volume of the aboveground part of the plant. You must evaluate for yourself whether this or that root will be able to "feed" and provide moisture to the plant offered to you. In any case, when planting a purchased plant, it is better to use a sufficiently strong pruning of its aerial part.
But nevertheless, it is better to refrain from such a purchase and remember about our nurseries, which will offer you good zoned varieties with a living root system - open or closed.
Currant seedlings in the nursery
Photo: Sergey Kovalenko, GreenInfo.ru