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Gardening Supplies - city and burbs

Gardening Supplies - city and burbs
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  • Gardening Supplies - city and burbs

    Post #1 - May 5th, 2009, 2:56 am
    Post #1 - May 5th, 2009, 2:56 am Post #1 - May 5th, 2009, 2:56 am
    When I lived far south, I knew where to go: south to Kankakee to Blain's Farm and Fleet, or west to Frankfurt to Alsip Nursery. There were other places, too, but I had them memorized by location, not by name, so I'd simply drive to them.

    Now that I'm in the city, I seem to be forever looking for a resource I really like. It seems nobody has everything in one place. Maybe that was true in the burbs, but I didn't notice it as much because I had a car and drove everywhere all the time anyway.

    Here are the few places in the city I've found so far:

    Gethsemane Gardens: (773) 878-5915 | 5739 N Clark St, Chicago, IL
    Indoor plants, outdoor plants, trees, veggies, perennials, annuals, etc. They even have some furniture and some tools, but this is mostly for the plants. They have only one or two types of soil - and not one that goes in a self-watering planter. I have, however, purchased some lovely heirloom tomatoes. Their herbs are usually extensive. I've never seen any diseases or pests on the plants. Staff has been extraordinarily helpful when I've needed it.

    Farmer's Market Garden Ctr - 4110 N Elston Ave, Chicago, IL 60618 (773) 539-1200
    I've been in a few times, but always looking for something specific that they never have. They have basic potting soils in your major brands and carry a reasonable amount of plants in the spring - annuals, veggies, herbs. I didn't notice any heirlooms, but I wasn't looking. They also do landscaping, I believe.

    Grand Street Gardens - 2200 West Grand, Chicago - 312-829-8200
    Only went once. It's a small lot, but packed. For the size, they had more than I expected. They had some heirloom selections and a reasonable section of fertilizers and natural solutions (soaps, greensand, etc.). I can't remember what I bought there, but it was the only place I'd seen it in the city. I paid about double what I remember paying in the burbs, but alas, that is the city.

    Fertile Gardens - 1650 W Diversey Pkwy, Chicago, IL 60614 (773) 929-9330
    Definitely not low priced, but no higher than Gesthemane, they do have a good selection of heirlooms and some varieties you don't see at some of the other places. Things seem well taken care of. Again, not much, if any selection in soils, amendments, fertilizers and the like. While not rude, most staff seems more focused on plants than on communication, but that could just be my experience. It's certainly a nice place to go if you don't want any staff interaction.

    The only other place I've been to is a temporary structure in Menard's parking lot (on Clybourn). They have your basic flowers, both annual and perennials, along with some veggies and basic herbs. Not a huge assortment, but decent, and with good prices. I even found a couple heirloom tomatoes there last year!

    Places in the burbs:
    Meinke Garden Ctr-5803 W Touhy Ave (between Lehigh & Mason Ave), Niles, IL 60714 (847) 647-9455
    They have many greenhouses and a pretty decent herb collection. They sell some tools and soils, but the focus is plants. Not sure how many perennials, as I've usually been looking for veggies and annuals or herbs when I've been there. Not much in the way of heirlooms, but mostly your standard stuff. Do inspect your plants before purchase for whiteflies as whiteflies are notorious in greenhouses.

    Pesche's - 170 S River Rd, Des Plaines, IL 60016 (847) 299-1300
    I've only been once as it's not close to me. It seemed large, but it was already a bit late and they were out of most of what I was looking for, so do get there early. They did have Korean cilantro, which may or may not have been culantro.

    Alsip Nursery - Route 45, Frankfurt, (a bit north of Route 30)
    They have a lot of other stuff, but a pretty good selection of gardening supplies, tools, plants, trees, etc. It was usually one of my go-to places when I lived out that way.


    In the city, I'm still looking for places that have a good selection of organic and natural potting mixes, fertilizers, additives, etc. This is the stuff I usually end up ordering from Garden's Alive, Gardener's Supply, or other catalogs. I don't want to pay shipping for much of these things, but seem I must when I can't find them locally.
  • Post #2 - May 5th, 2009, 8:49 am
    Post #2 - May 5th, 2009, 8:49 am Post #2 - May 5th, 2009, 8:49 am
    Great list, thanks. I'll add a few places to the list. My wife and I love Meinke Garden Center, in Niles but not far from the north side of the city. This is a huge garden center - wide selection of herbs, vegetables, plants, flowers, etc. Staff is knowledgeable. Best of all, the prices are quite low.

    We tend to buy soil, mushroom compost, etc from Lowe's or Home Depot.

    Finally, a lot of people like the Chalet in Wilmette (near the Skokie Blvd exit on the Edens). I haven't been there in a long time though.

    Meinke Garden Center
    5803 W Touhy Ave
    (between Lehigh Ave & Mason Ave)
    Niles, IL 60714
    (847) 647-9455

    Chalet Nursery & Garden Shops
    3132 Lake Ave
    Wilmette, IL 60091
    (847) 920-2850
  • Post #3 - May 5th, 2009, 10:17 am
    Post #3 - May 5th, 2009, 10:17 am Post #3 - May 5th, 2009, 10:17 am
    We lost several really good garden centers to development in the last few years but thankfully there still are a number of good ones out here in the far west. Our "go to" main favorite is Wasco Nursery in Wasco. We have gone to them for years, have bought several trees from them as well as have them design and implement landscaped areas in this house and our old one. They carry everything garden, have a great knowledgable staff and the majority of their stock is grown on site so you know it's hardy to this region.

    Wasco Nursery
    Rte. 64 (6 miles west of Randall Rd. )
    Wasco, Illinois
    630-584-4424
    www.wasconursery.com

    Natural Garden
    38W443 Rte. 64
    St Charles, Il
    630-584-0150
    www.thenaturalgardeninc. com
    Specializes in perennials, grasses and native plants. Again, the majority of their stock is grown on site. They are about 3 miles east of Wasco Nursery.

    Spring Bluff Nursery
    Bliss and Norris Road
    Sugar Grove, Il
    630-466-4278
    www.springbluffnursery.com
    Doesn't carry a lot in the way of supplies but a big inventory of shrubs, trees, hostas, grasses. They are happy to drive you out in to their fields to look at their stock and help you select what is best for you.

    As a footnote to the two places we lost to development, one had a spec house built on it but never sold and the other has sat empty for over 2 years now. A custom home builder sign is up now but I haven't seenany activity other than removal of the greenhouse that had been neglected and caved in.
  • Post #4 - May 5th, 2009, 11:48 am
    Post #4 - May 5th, 2009, 11:48 am Post #4 - May 5th, 2009, 11:48 am
    I highly recommend Chalet. While it's not cheap, you will find literally anything and everything you're looking for, including some pretty cutting-edge stuff. I also recommend becoming a 'member' - it's free, and you get advance notice of their wonderful sales events (pre-Xmas is fabulous). There was a biggie over this past weekend - I bought a ton of interesting herbs and their house blend potting soil for 20% the regular prices. Their herb selection is exceptional. They do a lot of demos, and regularly hold classes, too.

    The end-of-season perennial sale is great, too. Last fall, I found a new variety of echinacea developed by the Chicago Botanic Garden for a tiny fraction of its original price, and it's growing like gangbusters. Can't wait to see it in bloom - it's supposed to have bright hot-pink blossoms, as well as a more contained growth habit. That sale is another of the things that you'll get notice of as a member, and it's a great way to beef up your perennial border with the good stuff for sub-Home Depot prices.
  • Post #5 - May 5th, 2009, 11:48 am
    Post #5 - May 5th, 2009, 11:48 am Post #5 - May 5th, 2009, 11:48 am
    There is also a Farm & Fleet on Rte 14 in Woodstock.
    "Your swimming suit matches your eyes, you hold your nose before diving, loving you has made me bananas!"
  • Post #6 - May 5th, 2009, 12:33 pm
    Post #6 - May 5th, 2009, 12:33 pm Post #6 - May 5th, 2009, 12:33 pm
    I am looking for decorative garden items, specifically Japanese garden things (lanterns, water bowls, etc) that won't cost me an arm and a leg. Any suggestions would be great :)
    Leek

    SAVING ONE DOG may not change the world,
    but it CHANGES THE WORLD for that one dog.
    American Brittany Rescue always needs foster homes. Please think about helping that one dog. http://www.americanbrittanyrescue.org
  • Post #7 - May 5th, 2009, 2:44 pm
    Post #7 - May 5th, 2009, 2:44 pm Post #7 - May 5th, 2009, 2:44 pm
    And a Farm and Fleet in Kankakee/Bourbonais. I haven't been in years, but it used to be on my go to list for many interesting items.
  • Post #8 - May 5th, 2009, 2:54 pm
    Post #8 - May 5th, 2009, 2:54 pm Post #8 - May 5th, 2009, 2:54 pm
    I just go to Home Depot(Ottawa), fill up my truck and go.

    Bought my John Deere Tractor there, as well as hundreds of pounds of grass seed, fertilizer, landscaping rocks, dirt(not exaggerating, it takes alot of seed, and fertilizer to grow grass on a 40,000 + square feet lot from scratch) I also have bought potting soil, plants, flowers, etc.

    The zero interest for a year on most purchases is a nice way to buy things using someone elses money(if you pay the balance off that is).

    Never had a problem with the quality of plants, etc. But then again I am not planting veggies, & I dont require organic, or other specialty items.
    R.I.P. jimswside - 5/2/16



    @GrubSeeker
  • Post #9 - May 5th, 2009, 5:38 pm
    Post #9 - May 5th, 2009, 5:38 pm Post #9 - May 5th, 2009, 5:38 pm
    The Kankakee, ViewsAskew, is where you said you used to go, so I figured it was out of your reach now. Woodstock's not exactly a short hop either, though, even for me and I live in the north burbs.

    Spent many a happy a visit at the Urbana Farm & Fleet when I lived down in C-U. Freaked out by a little of it, not being a farm kid, but got a lot of good stuff there.
    "Your swimming suit matches your eyes, you hold your nose before diving, loving you has made me bananas!"
  • Post #10 - May 5th, 2009, 8:38 pm
    Post #10 - May 5th, 2009, 8:38 pm Post #10 - May 5th, 2009, 8:38 pm
    Yep, those Farm and Fleets are sure fun places. If you weren't a farm kid, I can see how it could be a bit intimidating! At the time, I had a mini farm - at least horses and a big kitchen garden, fruit trees, etc.

    I went out today - Menard's had Schultz potting mix, feritilizer added. I think they also have Miracle Grow's mix with fertilizer added. Costco had a big container of the MG with fertilizer added - but the nitrogen amount was outrageously high (27, I think). The Schultz mix seemed more reasonable, like 9-5-7 or similar.

    I'll try Lowe's next, even though it's the farthest (while still being in the city), to see if they have what I need to make my own mix, or hopefully have a mix withOUT fertilizer in it. Amazing to me that no one gets the concept of container/SIP/roof top gardening, particularly from an organic bent.
  • Post #11 - May 5th, 2009, 9:05 pm
    Post #11 - May 5th, 2009, 9:05 pm Post #11 - May 5th, 2009, 9:05 pm
    Actually, one place to try out for supplies (not plants, their bedding plants are usually awful) is Wal-Mart. I wouldn't be at all surprised (though I'd call and check) if they had an organic potting mix there, but they generally have more stuff than the hardware-type stores for cheaper than the garden-type stores. If you go to the one on Touhy, Meineke's is just across the street for seedlings; I still think they're the best bet in the area for relatively unusual varieties (that is, until the farmer's markets open.)

    I just purchased one of those Raindrip Irrigation kits and installed it in the back 40" - I'm very happy with it, and considering expanding it to the rest of the yard.
  • Post #12 - May 5th, 2009, 10:39 pm
    Post #12 - May 5th, 2009, 10:39 pm Post #12 - May 5th, 2009, 10:39 pm
    I was also wondering if a larger Ace or True Value might be an option for some people, too. I saw one of the preferred potting mixes for the EBs available from Ace and True Value, but the online store. But, if they have stuff like that, local ones might, too.

    Someone else will have to find out what Walmart has - it's a personal thing, but I don't shop there.
  • Post #13 - February 28th, 2010, 8:51 pm
    Post #13 - February 28th, 2010, 8:51 pm Post #13 - February 28th, 2010, 8:51 pm
    Bumped for the new gardening year...
  • Post #14 - June 2nd, 2010, 3:21 pm
    Post #14 - June 2nd, 2010, 3:21 pm Post #14 - June 2nd, 2010, 3:21 pm
    My wife and I are installing some stone-sided raised beds in our backyard. We've found some stones at Home Depot that we like a lot, pictured here, but I wonder if anyone knows other places in town that stock (and deliver) these types of stones. I've checked a few landscaping supply places, but they seem to mainly carry dirt, compost, etc, but not wall stones. Any help is appreciated.

    We're on the north side of the city and prefer to stay around here. But it would be good to learn about any sources in the greater Chicago area.
  • Post #15 - June 4th, 2010, 11:39 am
    Post #15 - June 4th, 2010, 11:39 am Post #15 - June 4th, 2010, 11:39 am
    Darren72 wrote:My wife and I are installing some stone-sided raised beds in our backyard. We've found some stones at Home Depot that we like a lot, pictured here, but I wonder if anyone knows other places in town that stock (and deliver) these types of stones. I've checked a few landscaping supply places, but they seem to mainly carry dirt, compost, etc, but not wall stones. Any help is appreciated.

    We're on the north side of the city and prefer to stay around here. But it would be good to learn about any sources in the greater Chicago area.


    We found a great resource for stones, Schwake Stone Company. They have locations in Mundelein and Des Plaines. My wife and I visited the Mundelein location yesterday. They have a very large selection of real and prefabricated stones. We ended up buying the one at Home Depot, though, because it was slightly cheaper and pretty much exactly what we wanted.

    Schwake Stone Company
    http://www.schwakestone.com/

    Des Plaines Location
    1313 Rand Road
    Des Plaines, IL 60016
    Tel (847) 824-7015

    Mundelein Location
    1440 Townline Road
    Mundelein, IL 60060
    Tel (847) 566-0799
  • Post #16 - June 4th, 2010, 4:34 pm
    Post #16 - June 4th, 2010, 4:34 pm Post #16 - June 4th, 2010, 4:34 pm
    Buy The Yard in Evanston has stones and boulders, I don't know if they are the type you want but I suppose it's worth a call.
  • Post #17 - June 4th, 2010, 5:37 pm
    Post #17 - June 4th, 2010, 5:37 pm Post #17 - June 4th, 2010, 5:37 pm
    Mhays wrote:Buy The Yard in Evanston has stones and boulders, I don't know if they are the type you want but I suppose it's worth a call.


    Actually I've been meaning to post about them also. They don't have retaining wall stones - I checked. We were going to order dirt from them, but since we were already having Home Depot bring stones, it was simple to have them bring dirt as well. But By the Yard is highly regarded and seems to have a good selection of dirt, mulch, and some stones.

    Buy the Yard
    www.buytheyardinc.com
    2215 Main Street
    Evanston, IL 60202-1543
    (847) 733-0635
  • Post #18 - June 4th, 2010, 7:01 pm
    Post #18 - June 4th, 2010, 7:01 pm Post #18 - June 4th, 2010, 7:01 pm
    I haven't used them personally, but I know they were instrumental in setting up the school gardens at Washington School (of which I am very proud, though I haven't had as much to do with them as I'd like...)
  • Post #19 - June 4th, 2010, 7:12 pm
    Post #19 - June 4th, 2010, 7:12 pm Post #19 - June 4th, 2010, 7:12 pm
    Mhays wrote:I haven't used them personally, but I know they were instrumental in setting up the school gardens at Washington School (of which I am very proud, though I haven't had as much to do with them as I'd like...)


    Cool. I went to Washington for kindergarten.
  • Post #20 - June 7th, 2010, 8:56 am
    Post #20 - June 7th, 2010, 8:56 am Post #20 - June 7th, 2010, 8:56 am
    I just wanted to put in a plug for Gethsemane. This season, I have looked for plants at a variety of places (Meinke's, Menard's, Logan Square Farmer's market). The folks at Gethsemane are by far the most knowledgeable and helpful. They also have a great variety of plants. The prices are a little higher than Meinke's but the difference is plant quality and staff knowledge justify this. It can be a total zoo on the weekends but the people who work there manage to stay cool-headed and friendly.
  • Post #21 - June 7th, 2010, 9:04 am
    Post #21 - June 7th, 2010, 9:04 am Post #21 - June 7th, 2010, 9:04 am
    And they have free parking.
  • Post #22 - June 7th, 2010, 4:15 pm
    Post #22 - June 7th, 2010, 4:15 pm Post #22 - June 7th, 2010, 4:15 pm
    Was just there (Gesthemane) yesterday and can echo the comment. Plants are definitely on the pricier side (particularly flowers for some reason--their veggie/herb pricies didn't seem higher than some of the other places I've shopped this year but the flowers were definitely higher). Found the pricing similarly hit or miss on gardening supplies--plastic hanging basket only 4.99 (similar/cheaper than a few other places I looked) but standing plastic 24" planter w/tray was $17.00 (!!!!) I agree that staff are consistently very knowledgeable and helpful.
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington
  • Post #23 - June 8th, 2010, 3:30 pm
    Post #23 - June 8th, 2010, 3:30 pm Post #23 - June 8th, 2010, 3:30 pm
    If you are looking for plants including vegetables and flowering annuals and perennials, you might consider the Chicago Botanic Gardens Farmer's Market. While later in the season it will focus on produce, for now you will find vendors with some nice seedlings. The dates and times are posted here: http://www.chicago-botanic.org/farmersmarket/

    I can strongly vouch for W&M Land Corp who will be at the market. They have a lot of nice heirloom and hybrid plants and are organic (if that's important to you). You can find more about what they offer via their web site: http://wmlandcorp.com/.

    H&H Flowers is another excellent plant source at the market.

    Call the vendors ahead of time to make sure what you want is available. I visit W&M at the Woodstock Farmer's market and you can actually order on their web site and they will bring it to the market for pickup. Modern technology is great.

    This might be a little late for 2010 unless you have a few veggies or plants you need to fill in your garden. This should still be relevant in 2011.
  • Post #24 - June 8th, 2010, 9:08 pm
    Post #24 - June 8th, 2010, 9:08 pm Post #24 - June 8th, 2010, 9:08 pm
    Neighbor Mike suggested:
    If you are looking for plants including vegetables and flowering annuals and perennials, you might consider the Chicago Botanic Gardens Farmer's Market. While later in the season it will focus on produce, for now you will find vendors with some nice seedlings. The dates and times are posted here: http://www.chicago-botanic.org/farmersmarket


    One little caveat that, as a member of and vol at the Chicago Botanic Garden, I feel duty-bound to add: parking at the Garden is $20 (!). Bring money. Just sayin', FYI.
  • Post #25 - June 8th, 2010, 11:18 pm
    Post #25 - June 8th, 2010, 11:18 pm Post #25 - June 8th, 2010, 11:18 pm
    sundevilpeg wrote:
    One little caveat that, as a member of and vol at the Chicago Botanic Garden, I feel duty-bound to add: parking at the Garden is $20 (!). Bring money. Just sayin', FYI.


    YIKES! Sorry, I did not know that there is a $20 :shock: parking fee. I just knew that some of the good vendors I have found way out here in the NW burbs also go closer into the city where most of y'all live.

    For $20, I would spend the money on gas (or METRA tickets since the Union Pacific NW Line station is one block from the market) and come on out to Woodstock on a Saturday or better yet on a Tuesday (less crowded) and spend some time in a place with a slower pace. Crazy parking fees are something I have forgotten after moving out here in what sometimes feels like the Iowa and other times the Wisconsin border.

    Thanks for the catch sundevilpeg!

    (edited to include METRA info)
  • Post #26 - June 9th, 2010, 8:20 am
    Post #26 - June 9th, 2010, 8:20 am Post #26 - June 9th, 2010, 8:20 am
    Admission to the Botanical Garden is free, so the parking is essentially the admission fee for everyone in your car.

    Parking is free for members and the membership pays for itself if you go 4-5 times per year. I'm not saying it is a good deal, bad deal, etc.
  • Post #27 - June 16th, 2010, 10:49 am
    Post #27 - June 16th, 2010, 10:49 am Post #27 - June 16th, 2010, 10:49 am
    ISO organic gardening supplies - specifically live beneficial nematodes? I hate to pay shipping when I need such a small amount - the back 40 inches apparently has Cabbage worms, which will move on from our lone cabbage plant and get my beets, radishes, and carrots. Nematodes are apparently one of the few defenses.
  • Post #28 - June 18th, 2010, 4:07 pm
    Post #28 - June 18th, 2010, 4:07 pm Post #28 - June 18th, 2010, 4:07 pm
    Hi- For cabbage worms, you want to use bt which is organic. It comes in a shaker can. I am sure you can get it at Chalet for lots of money, and Frank's used to carry it when they were open. I do not know if the big box stores carry it. It seems like only about 5% of the garden supplies at the big box stores are organic. I think maybe Safer makes bt, but it has been a while since I have bought it. If you really want nematodes instead, I bet you that Chalet has them for lots of money. Nothing is cheap there. Hope this helps, Nancy
  • Post #29 - August 10th, 2010, 1:39 pm
    Post #29 - August 10th, 2010, 1:39 pm Post #29 - August 10th, 2010, 1:39 pm
    I found a great, new (to me) landscape and garden center today, thanks to a recommendation by a neighbor:

    Lurvey Garden Center
    2550 East Dempster Street
    Des Plaines, Illinois 60016
    Phone 847-824-7411
    Fax 847-824-8136
    http://www.lurveys.com/

    They also have locations in Volo and Whitewater, WI.
  • Post #30 - August 10th, 2010, 3:07 pm
    Post #30 - August 10th, 2010, 3:07 pm Post #30 - August 10th, 2010, 3:07 pm
    Mhays wrote:ISO organic gardening supplies - specifically live beneficial nematodes? I hate to pay shipping when I need such a small amount - the back 40 inches apparently has Cabbage worms, which will move on from our lone cabbage plant and get my beets, radishes, and carrots. Nematodes are apparently one of the few defenses.


    I have only ordered them in the past. You are much more likely to find Bt. I'm looking for some today myself - I believe I have a few young hornworms - I see the frass, but they're not defoliating yet. The Ace on Lincoln (around 3800) has had a lot of Safer products in the past, so that will be my first stop. You can find it as both a spray and a powder, IIRC.

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