Garden News from Final Touch Plantscaping, LLC

Hello Savvy Shoppers!

What color is your garden? I hope you didn’t say brown! If the Summer bounty of color in your garden has wound down a little, you can perk it up with some fresh new additions to last through the Fall, and now is a great time to start thinking about bulbs for next Spring. But before you head out to shop for new plants, please heed my advice!It’s August, and it seems that all the garden centers and big box stores are having huge sales and end-of-the-season close-outs. That can mean great deals, if you’re careful. Some “good deals” may be bad news when you get them home. Like they say, if the deal seems too good to be true, it probably is!Here’s a shopping guide of tips for getting the best plants for your buck.

How do they look?With plants, looks are not deceiving. If a plant looks unhealthy, it probably is. Don’t buy it, no matter how little it costs! It may harbor diseases or pests which could infest the rest of your garden. It is important to check the following three areas to gauge the health of the plant. If you see any of these problems, don’t buy that plant!

Root ProblemsRoot bound, many roots growing out the bottom of the pot.How long has the plant been in the pot? If a plant looks stressed, it may have needed to be re-potted (but wasn’t) earlier in the season.Compacted soil, soil should be loose so roots may breathe and absorb water.Soil ball for trees should not be compacted or allowed to dry out.

Stem Problems, Leggy, lacking support, falling overBrittle, not pliable, “fried” appearanceHoles or injuries

Leaf ProblemsMany missing leavesHoles could be caused by a bacteria, fungus, virus, or insect.Lack-luster appearance may be a sign of stress.Pale color spots may mean macronutrients deficiencies.Insect pests can ruin the rest of the garden.

How long will they last?Lots of left-over flats are annuals, which means they last just this one year, and their time will be up when the frost comes this Fall. If your garden just needs a little late-season boost, that’s perfect, but buy the healthy ones!You may prefer to spend your garden budget on perennials, which will come back to greet you year after year. They also tend to multiply and spread, which means more plants for you in the coming years.

Any plant problems or gardening questions? Please let me know! You can reach me at 908 872-8387 or drop an e-mail to

Happy Shopping!

Laura Final Touch Plantscaping, LLC is a certified member of the New Jersey Small Business Development CouncilWomen Business EnterpriseSmall Business Enterprise

— Laura DePrado908-872-8387email:

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