I have long wondered with all of the options for buying plants locally, is there any benefit to buying plants online. It would seem to be an unnecessary thing to do. And then I tried it! Over the last couple of years, I have not only embraced buying plants, seeds, and even trees online, but I have shifted to more than 90% of my plant-related purchases are now made through websites.
I live in a pretty well-populated area north of Atlanta, so I have access to not only ALL of the big box stores, but several local nurseries and growers within a short drive. So, the question is “Why?” Why would I rather buy my gardening needs online? Let me tell you!
1. Ease First and foremost, the fact that I can shop from my comfy chair on my laptop at any time of day makes online shopping so appealing! I spend so much of my day doing farm chores, computer work, and other daily tasks that any time I can save by not having to drive someplace is a good thing!
2. Delivery This really fits with the idea of it being easy, but when you order things online, they bring them to you, and sometimes for FREE! I drive a mid-size SUV. And, I will admit, I have crammed all kinds of plants and trees into the thing, but each time I worry that I am damaging them because the engineers who designed my car were not planning for my plant buying habit! Having my plants, and especially my large trees, brought to me, carried for me, and sat on my driveway ready for planting is such a plus for online purchasing.
3. Money Saving You may be the type of person that can go to a Home Depot for one blueberry bush and leave the store with ONLY that one bush. Bless you, because that is NOT me! I walk in the door with every intention to stay on task and then within 10 steps I have loaded a cart with things that I had no idea I needed until I saw them! When I search online for a blueberry bush, there is very little chance that I will end up buying lightbulbs! Oddly enough, my spending has gone down since focusing my shopping to online stores!
4. Time Saving This is kind of a no-brainer…but it matters. I don’t remember the last time I thought to myself, “I have absolutely nothing that needs to be done”. So, of course, shopping online is a benefit. There is no travel time, no getting ready time, no waiting in lines time. Just a simple search, click, buy!
5. Shopping Small Businesses 100% of the time I would rather shop with a small business and do it on every possible occasion. In my local area, I have two small business nurseries and neither one of them carry organic food plants and only one carries organic seeds. While I do support those businesses every chance I get, I find that I can support small businesses all over the country by shopping online AND I can get the products that I want for my family! Small businesses in states that I am not likely to ever visit are being supported by my purchases and that makes a huge difference to me!
6. Selection I saved my best reason for last! Did you know that there are thousands of different tomato varieties in the world? Or more than 35,000 daylily cultivars? Well, not likely if you never shop anywhere but your local big box store. There is an entire world of plants that you will never see if you only shop at “fill in the blank”! I have found that I can search online for garlic and not only am I going to find dozens of varieties that I never knew existed, I am also likely to learn something I didn’t know about the planting and growing process. And this happens with ANY plant, tree, or seed I search. My gardens are filled with plant, tree, and food varieties that no one around me has because I have bought them from online sources. I get so much enjoyment from watching unique these things grow!
These are not the only reasons I shop online, but certainly some of my favorite reasons. Give it a try and see what unique varieties of your favorite plants you can find online!
If you are looking for seed companies, read this article to see some of my favorite places to buy seeds! https://thedailyhomesteader.com/my-6-favorite-seed-companies/