Q & A

Some common questions

When do you update your site for 2024?
Well, we already have started updating it with inventory on site.  We will launch the new version with all info updated after the new year when we have confirmed our inventory here onsite and those ordered in from our trusted growers that we plan on potting up for sale.    
Want to be the first to know just follow us on our social media channels @gardensplus or  Sign up for our Newsletter.  At that point, the shopping cart returns and pre-ordering begins for a very limited time.  We are aiming for early March for season 27.  I cannot predict how long the cart will be open/available but in 2023 was open for 48 hours only. At that point, we surpassed our limit on plants/orders to handle/hold/store and keep for pickups in May.  Please note to be fair to all we hold back inventory numbers and also do not list all plants available.  Especially those limited in stock numbers.  Therefore if you miss the pre-ordering just drop in early when we are open and safe to plant in our/your area.  Example: in 2023 we listed 1/2 the Hellebore we brought in on the website – but those that dropped in also had the chance to purchase them.  By the second week we were open they were all sold out.  Usually, mid-May-early June is the best selection if you do not order ahead of time.  We often say come early and often and please feel free to compare our prices to others.   

HOW TO SHOP
You have two choices;
1)  Place an order online while the shopping cart is ‘live’ to place an order for pickup
(and yes you can shop to add when you come to pickup your order)
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2) Didn’t get your order in? No worries at all just drop by the nursery during our posted hours to pick from the amazing selection of potted easy-care perennials.  Feel free at this time to use the website as a guide to making your wishlist ahead of time.  In May/early June we add to our shelves often and are worth the drive to shop frequently.  Please keep in mind not all plants on the site are available at all times. For example, some Hosta are not up as they are growing in shady locations and pop up later than others.  We also do not list about 25% of our offerings if limited stock, $2.99, 2-gallon pots, and later arriving coneflowers etc.  Promise in May to early June our greenhouse shelves are plentiful with amazing, healthy plants of great value.

Pre-order tips 2024-We are only taking online pre-orders for a short time.  We have to pot up, shop for you and store them and only so much room away from the sales area for this.  In 2022 cart was present for about 4-5 weeks.  2023 was amazing the cart was taken away in about 48 hours.
At check out, you will be prompted to set up your date and time to pick up.  *note we are flexible*
Once we hit the number of orders we have in mind to pick/manage the cart will be taken away. 
The site then goes back to viewing mode only.  We will be getting ready for the anticipated opening day and promise to update our inventories again before we open and try more often once we are open. 
Sorry, we are not taking orders on the phone.  We do try to keep the website up to date with availability.

Placing your order online ahead of opening a – WIN-WIN
Why order early?  
–  you pay at pickup
–  easy online shopping,
–  at times early bird specials
–  won’t be disappointed with limited availability or being sold out.
Due to circumstances beyond our control, we offer pickup and personal shopping only
Sorry, we are no longer shipping plants.

Choose your pickup date carefully
–  early May can be too early.
–  Hosta does better with frost-free nights.
–  Coneflowers need warmer soil so usually not ready until May 17th *system will not allow earlier for pre-orders. Dates are programmed to work with availability for most plants. 
Always assume your date and order is fine unless you hear from us.
If you can not stick to your pickup date just email us to arrange the change with at least 5 days notice,
We will do our best to accommodate you.
Due to our limited storage area for pre-orders, we have set the last date for picking up pre-orders to the end of May.

Do you know about HVX? test for it?  We know and watch for it carefully. We always have tests on hand and if anything is in question we will test. Please note the growers we trust and buy from tests at their level so doesn’t make sense to spend $10.00+ per test to add to the cost of the Hosta.  We have several past suppliers that guarantee 5%! – not good enough for us we will not buy Hosta from them unless 100%.  HOSTA VIRUS X was discovered in 1996 and we were in the loop when the Ontario Hosta Society and American Hosta Society were educating us all.  When I used to travel all over Ontario speaking about HVX – I always included information about it in my talks. Education is key. May do a workshop here in Early-Mid May about it.  If interested reach out to me via email or please read up about it on the Hosta Library page. 

Does your nursery use pesticides and herbicides?  We do not use any chemicals of any kind in gardens (Stock & Display), or plants for sale in pots. Our growers we bring plants in do not either.  We truly care about our planet and all living creatures in it.  We dig and hand-pull weeds.  We do sell natives but focus on those that behave more than those that will take over as most gardens are not large enough to tolerate overcrowding.

How do I start to shop and set up an account?
To register, click on SHOP, then select MY ACCOUNT
Input your name, email, and a strong password
(if you want our website to remember your password each time you log in, check off the box “remember me”.)
Once you place your order, the website will prompt you for any other information needed to complete your order. 
No payment information is ever required and we never share your information with anyone.

I have all my plants selected and having issues checking out?
-Did you check off the agree to terms and conditions box?
-Did you pick up your date & time for pickup?
-You may just need to set up an account
-Did you forget your password? 
Go to MY ACCOUNT and click lost my password. The website will provide a new one.
To save this from happening in the future click the ‘remember me’.  It saves you from having to log in and helps when using the wish list feature

When do you cut off accepting online orders? 
This is difficult to anticipate, but in reality when our order limit is reached.  Likely a few days to weeks after launch?  
If you miss the deadline, drop in during our open hours we will have lots of gorgeous pre-potted plants to choose from.
We are open for off-the-shelf shopping until Sunday, June 30, 2024.  If we extend these dates we will advise on front page of the website, our Newsletter, and all social media channels.

Is it really sold out?
Once pre-ordering is wrapped up and the cart taken away we will update the site with in some cases the other 1/2 of the inventory for those shoppers that stop in.  If you see sold out in June – then likely we are.  Plan on dropping by when we are open to shop.  Once the cart is taken away we will update but will never be kept up with accurate inventor at that time in May/June.  Would have to spend hours each day after closing…   If traveling and didn’t pre-order – drop us an email a few days prior to your trip so we can respond if your wish list is still available. 

What size are your plants?
We do not sell or buy in what we call liners/1st year seedlings. Growers offer many sizes and we purchase the largest available to us to bloom the first year.  Please compare our pricing but always check their small print.  If it says plugs, starters, or liners, – you would have to grow them on. 
The majority we offer have been growing on-site for 1 + seasons as we are growers.  Most Hosta and Medium-sized perennials are in 5 1/2″,  and 1/1.5 gallon pots.  Our mini to small perennials including mini Hosta are in quart-size pots.  We often offer onsite specials including mature 2-3 season perennials in 2 gallons. Also not on the website and usually gone by the end of May are the 3″- 4″ pots for $2.99 – $3.99 availability fluctuates from week to week.

Would like more plants after you placed your order?
If the cart is still active just place another order and in the comments type ‘please add to order #’ and choose the closest time to your original time on that day.  If the cart isn’t active please drop by during our hours and shop based on plants available.

Can I just drop in and pick from your pre-potted stock?
By all means, see hours on our main page and drop by. 
We always have tons to choose from and even lots of very limited stock not on the website as well as shrubs (in May), grasses and special natives etc.  
WATCH OUR SITE and social media channels FOR UPDATES prior to opening we will update our site to use as a guide prior to stopping in.  Although there may be an odd shortage, there will always be lots of choices.  The plant industry has been turned upside down and many growers are playing catch up.

Should I wait to place my order when I am ready to plant?
We don’t recommend this… our online shopping cart will only be available for a limited time each season in the spring until the end of March or early April.  The choice to pre-order will not be available. 
Although after that, you can come in person and shop from our potted plants. Just use the site as a shopping guide.

What about local delivery?
Of course, we will…after mid-May – in town only; $10.00 per order
Please ask for these arrangements in the comments section of your order

How do I know if my order is confirmed? 
–  After you have finished your order at check out you’ll receive a copy by email within a few seconds. 
–  If not? check your junk mail for a typo in your email address. Correct the spelling in your account and ask for another copy to be sent.
–  This is your confirmation explaining picking up your order etc.
–  If any shortages at our end as soon as we know we will send you a copy of your updated invoice (rarely happens).
–  Still Questions? we are an email away 

Pay at Pickup? 
Yes, please.
We accept cash and debit cards. We have made the decision to pass on the savings to you with lower prices on all to accommodate less fees.  We thank you for understanding.

Do you take back your pots and trays? 
Yes, please!
We love to reuse and as long as it is a size/colour we already use.
Put them in the Blue Box by the shed. Just recycle your small annual pots or any broken ones.

Missed your pickup date?
If you’ve missed your pickup date and not contacted us by email within 24 hours we will assume you no longer want your order and will cancel it.  Plants back into inventory for other gardeners to purchase.  We are open for off-the-shelf shopping until June 25th- 2023  (as long as our stock is plentiful and healthy).

Do you guarantee your plants? 
We sell only plants that are healthy when they leave here.  We can not be responsible for their care after they leave.
TIPS FOR SUCCESS – see planting information and guidance below
Most of our plants will settle in and become “ easy-care” once established. 
If you have any concerns please contact us before a plant’s health becomes an issue. 
We are here to help, we care about the plants and your gardens!  
We love what we do and are always just an email away!

Our order Cancellation Policy:
Gardens Plus is dedicated to providing exemplary plants and customer service to all of our customers.
We pride ourselves on our ability to quickly and accurately process all orders.
If you have any questions regarding your purchase, we will do everything we can to address your concerns.
If you wish to cancel your order prior to picking it up, please contact us as soon as possible so we can cancel on the system and put these plants back on the shelf.
If you have missed your pickup date and not contacted us (via email) within 24 hours we will assume you no longer want it and will cancel your order for you and place the plants back into inventory.

How do I plant? and where in the gardens?
planting sketchHow to plant is easy but there are key factors to keep in mind;

We always suggest you pick up and plant when safe to plant. 
–  no frost at night
– the ground temperature has warmed up during the day and night
–  plant in the cooler, less sunny part of the day and water in well
–  spread the roots over a slight mound of soil in the center of the hole and water
–  replace the soil with the crown of the plant at soil level
Plants need light and water:
–  Daylilies and Coneflowers = lots of sun
–  Hosta, Ferns, Coral Bells = part shade or morning sun with filtered sunlight
–  dig hole 2x the width of the root and work in compost for plants like Hosta if needed

IN EXTREME HEAT:
–  in the middle of a heatwave keep plants in a cool, shady spot until the temperature drops before planting. 
–  always water deeply at the root once a week or more if in heatwave continues

Storing plants until ready to plant?
It is best to hold from planting right away if you are experiencing extreme heat, wind or stormy weather.
Just keep them in a cooler spot out of the sun/wind/rain until it passes

Hosta and Slugs/snails?  How do you control them?
We use 1 part household ammonia (lemon-scented is fine) with 9 parts water.

  • Spray the plants either early if raining or later in the day.
  • 3 times; Start before the Hosta are not up through the ground yet,
    then when tips or eyes appear and also when leafed out.
  • If you see any holes, spray again on those plants only.
  • It won’t hurt other plants.
  • If you are reading this and they have already been leafed out for a bit – it’s not too late! Use the same solution, once a week for three weeks.
    You can even get a head start by doing this in the fall to be one step ahead of the spring.  You can just use a watering can if no sprayer.
    If you see any frogs or toads – do not do this area
    – they will do the job for you!

Cutting back perennials? 
The rule of thumb is to cut back the flowering stocks after the plant is finished blooming.  Letting it go to seed takes energy from the roots. If the plant looks raggy, cut more back. If you have lots of time in the spring to garden, hold off cleaning up until then, or just cut back the spring blooming ones.   I never cut back my grasses in the fall, as they have great seed heads to admire all winter long.

Dividing perennials? 
After it is done blooming is a great time to divide, or keep in mind; Spring bloomers 6-8 weeks before the first frost, and Summer/Fall bloomers in spring.

Heuchera are coming up out of the soil?
The one thing to watch for is winter heaving – with the thaw-freeze back and forth they do tend to push up out of the ground more than a lot of other perennials.  We try to get out early with the lawn is blooming with crocuses and inspect and push the plants back down.
* Please note Mini Hosta also do this and we suggest planting with some sand or light gravel in the mix.