By Chris Shaffer

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — As the grass greens up, anyone with a green thumb is itching to get outside — and inside Minnesota’s greenhouses. For those looking to also save a little green this year, there’s good news.

“What would bring you in: Putting the thing you need on sale, or, if we offered impatiens, which you definitely can’t plant?” asked Mark Armstead, an assistant greenhouse manager with Linder’s Garden Center in St. Paul.

Like most plants and bushes, it’s too early to plant impatiens in Minnesota. Armstead said Linder’s is putting the things you can use now on sale. Right now is a good time for fertilizer and potting soil, both of which WCCO-TV found on sale.

With so many gardens and such a short season, stores don’t really have time to play games. Instead, they compete with good prices on good stuff, and hope you’ll pick up the other stuff you need, as long as you’re there.

It’s still best to shop around. Some of the best deals WCCO-TV found at Menards, for example, were the sale prices on seeds and bulbs. Now is when you want to plant both of those items.

“This is when our busy season is, so we spent time making our displays nice and our prices competitive to bring people in,” explained Jim Deck, the manager of the Menards store in Eden Prairie, Minn. “In this area, the season is short, so we have limited time to get them in here and get what they need.”

That’s not limited to items with lower price points, like seeds and flowers. Experts said April and August are the best months to shop for lawnmowers. They are targeted deals: people need lawnmowers, sales get people into the stores for what they need, and stores hope people will pick up additional items, as long as they’re there.

Unsure of what’s safe to buy this time of year? Look outside, and pay particular attention to shrubs and trees. Some of the trees you’ll find in the stores aren’t from Minnesota.

“They come from down south, where they are fully leafed out,” Armstead explained. “Look around. What shrub or tree is leafed out in Minnesota? None. So this is what buyers should beware of.”

Looking for more good deals on stuff you can use right now? How does free mulch sound? The Minneapolis Park Board leaves mulch in neighborhood bins whenever it trims nearby trees.

“People just scarf it up,” said Ralph Sievert, the director of forestry for the Park Board. “They use it around their house, under their shrubbery, around trees.”

Minneapolis drops mulch in 13 spots, which are listed on the city’s website. A word of warning: the website doesn’t track how much mulch is in each bin, so you may need to visit a couple because they empty quickly.

Comments (7)
  1. Rusty Shackelford says:

    And you wonder why the economy is bad. I pay for my mulch, more selection and better quality, still cheap; after I dump my yard waste at the compost site. How many people there have imported vehicles? I bet more than half. Scavenger liberals always looking to save a penny of the locals while voting for raising local taxes and buying abroad.

  2. Rusty Shackelford says:

    If you have nothing to dump, don’t swarm for free mulch, you tacky liberals.

  3. Rusty Shackelford says:

    If we had a world crisis, the liberals would rob you followers blind and steal your property. But you only care if you own anything valuable enough to call property. Hence the liberal envy, and the anger they have against even young families trying to make this country better, while supporting the economy on our hard earned modest salaries.

  4. Rusty Shackelford says:

    Liberals don’t buy your products Menard’s and Linder’s. And the ones that do are the ones who return thier plants if they die after they plant them. Cheapskate pennny-pinching liberals. That is why you want to spread around money.

  5. dphilips says:

    Go play your banjo hillbilly

  6. Jen says:

    If your looking for some great deals on Perennials this weekend Halla Nursery is having their 50% off Perennials Sale in their warm greenhouses. Last weekend I was out their for their 1st Annual Yard & Garden Sale it was priced more like a garage sale great deals. Check out their Facebook page

  7. Sue says:

    I just got back from Halla Nursery in Chaska and got some really great deals on their 50% off Perennials Sale. The staff blew me away with thier knowledge, very smart people!

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