Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes
This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.
Each year, gardeners are inundated with beautiful ads of garden plants, seeds, and equipment. Many new and exciting season plants are offered this way and are well worth trying. Unfortunately, like every other business, the garden business has its share of unscrupulous promoters. Not all offers are as good as they sound and some fall into the category of horticulture "ripoffs". Most garden items can be obtained locally, so if problems arise, they can be resolved. You can see the plant materials or other equipment before you purchase them. If you decide to order through the mail, deal only with reputable firms. Use the following suggestions to help evaluate garden offers. Free bonus plants. Unscrupulous mail order firms often lure consumers with beautiful illustrations of fully grown plants offered as a premium. Victims receive small, skimpy seedlings. Selling plants by unusual or inappropriate names. Some ads show unusual plants with flashy labels, but without a scientific name, buyers are unable to determine what plant they are purchasing. Lack of information. Many species of plants are unsuitable for growing here in Utah because of special soil or temperature requirements. Unless the plants are correctly identified, gardeners are unable to determine whether those plants will survive. Traveling sales people. Turn down unsolicited offers from unknown salespeople. Reliable tree care companies and other horticultural business do not need to solicit door to door. It is difficult to follow-up and get satisfaction if you have no way of checking on the reliability of the business. Never make advance payments to itinerant salespeople or contractors. Return policy. Buying plants through the mail without a satisfaction guaranteed policy is certain to lead to disappointment. The plants are unsatisfactory without written assurance of replacement or your money back. There are many excellent local nurseries and mail order nurseries. There is no need to deal with any who do not practice or offer high quality stock nor have good business practices.