The BOX STORE’S race for spring

Ornamental Trees at Home Depot

I had to scrape my jaw off the pavement when I saw Home Depot’s spring stock lined up along their store front today. HELLO! It’s still March!  If you’re from Iowa or have at least lived here a year or two, you know that we always seem to get dumped on in April….whether it’s snow, sleet, frost or all of three.  So tell me…WHY ARE THEY SELLING TREES NOW!!

It’s a race to spring….bragging rites if you will.  Who had their “stuff” together the quickest…who is going to “service” the “needs” of the community the quickest….who will shop at “our store” first because we were “on top of it.”  I’m not.

And that’s not just because I can buy quality product from TimberPine,  but BECAUSE THIS OBVIOUSLY SHOWS IGNORANCE! can you tell I’m hot about this?  we’ll talk about quality in another post, this is just too much to handle

Alright maybe I shouldn’t have used the word “obvious” because I know that in the weeks to come we at TimberPine will be bombarded with phone calls from people asking when they can purchase a tree, what kind of sales do we have going on right now, etc.  And again I remind you~IT’S STILL MARCH PEOPLE!

Home Depot’s actions here will most likely set the ridiculous bar of standards in which the remaining box stores are sure to follow in suite.

Lord help the small business garden centers amongst us.

I want to know what YOU think.  Am I overreacting?  Set me straight.


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12 Responses to The BOX STORE’S race for spring

  1. MrBrownThumb says:

    They had them last week at the Home Depot near me. I can understand putting up the outdoor fences and cages to hold merch, but still kind of early.
    .-= MrBrownThumb´s last blog ..Chicago Botanic Garden’s Garden Photo Contest =-.

  2. Sara says:

    I’m with you. This is ridiculous and doesn’t do anyone any good. Beginning garden junkies buy plants too early and then wonder why they die and decide they have a brown thumb. I’d be fine with stores selling seedlings (with instructions how to finish them) and ‘supplies’ like fencing and topsoil and compost and mulch… I’m doing some yard cleaningup and those things would be handy. But not actually, need to go in the ground now plants.

    Another thing, while we’re talking about box stores: they need to have at least a few employees in their nursery section who know plants. I have a friend who has been known to grab a hose and water while she checks out the plants, because they’re too dry. I’ve found annuals marked as perennails – which they are, in zone 8.

  3. Katie Ketelsen says:

    Mr Brown Thumb~thanks for swinging through. I would suspect that a hard frost/freeze is more likely up in Chicagoland?

    Sara~It’s horribly ridiculous. Home Depot, specifically, is trying to brand themselves as the expert this year in the Garden Center world. You’d think they could first start with hardy plants…or labeling them as annuals. HOT UNDER THE COLLAR!

    Thank you for the read.

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  5. Drae says:

    All of those baby trees broken and wounded for life…can tell from the pic that they have been pruned wrong. Just in case no one has tried to dig yet I have and the ground is still frozen>:(

  6. Katie Ketelsen says:

    You’re absolutely right Drae! Forgot to mention you can’t even get a shovel in the ground.

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  8. Sid Raisch says:

    TOMATO PLANTS on sale now (March 21) at Lowe’s in Hillsboro Ohio. Big healthy plants in 8″ pots in 4 varieties from Bonnie Plant Farm. We’re in Zone 5. Even for indoor growing this is really stretching it.

  9. Katie Ketelsen says:

    Sid! I went to Iowa’s Flower Show this weekend. HyVee was selling Azaleas in FULL bloom and little 4″ pots of annuals, perennials and herbs! I hope clearly explained to their customers how to care for them. We just got 6″ of snow on Saturday! ARGH!

    Do we need to make a rule? :)

  10. Shibaguyz says:

    Retail is not, and should not, be held responsible for educating the general public on guidelines for planting. Retail establishments are there to make money. Period. It is about their bottom line. Are we surprised by this? We should not be. If we are, then we are naive.

    Rather, the responsibility falls on the garden educators among us like the University Extension departments, the Master Gardener associations and garden writers. If the information is readily available, people will follow the guidelines. It’s really that simple.

    Combative language of “rules” and “setting people straight” does nothing for education. Guidelines and education are the key on this topic. Proper guidelines are easy to convey by setting examples of responsible practices ourselves, then writing about those practices in our various venues. Speak to the garden writers at your local news organizations and ask to submit articles, post on your own blogs, volunteer to speak at community centers and to local gardening organizations.

    Education is the key.

    In the end, though, nothing is going to stop the itch that rises up in every human at the first sign of a day warm enough to shuck the winter layers and get our hands in the soil. All we can do it hope better judgement prevails after we’ve done our job of education and providing access to information.

  11. Katie Ketelsen says:

    Shibaguyz:
    Thank you for your insight! I do need to clarify that I was just joking about the “rules” comment. I’m really not a fan of rules if they were to be used in the context I mentioned.

    I am VERY much a fan of educating the public on gardening/landscaping…regardless of where they’re shopping (boxstore vs garden center). By this mentality I hope that when they do have an problem in their garden, they’ll know who to call.

    I get very anxious when I see plants lining the store fronts of places like Home Depot in the middle of March. The urge to spout off and explain to as many people as possible that this is wrong, is overwhelming to me. However, I know that I ain’t no superwoman.

    Thanks again for your comment. I checked out your veggie garden and looks like you’ve honed in on your green thumb quite well. Keep it up!

    Happy Planting
    Katie

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