Whether you want to produce produce or some fab flowers, here's what you need to get your garden going — on any budget — in two terrific towns:
Before heading out to buy anything, depending on your gardening prowess your best bet may be to hit one of the local libraries in Millburn or Maplewood for a gardening guide to steer you through the all the stages you’ll need to navigate to grow a great garden, from prepping to planting to producing fruits worthy of your labor. (A quick visit to Maplewood’s Hilton Branch revealed two shelves stocked with practically every gardening niche under the sun.)
Armed with your new found (and FREE) gardening guru knowledge you can make the most of the retail offerings our towns have to offer.
(You can also touch base with local gardening clubs in Maplewood or for additional advice and support.)
Now, on to shopping. First stop, Maplewood:
— Nestled away on Newark Way, this no-nonsense nursery and landscaping business offers straightforward supplies and practical advice. Owner Ed Zinckgraf says your first step should be all about prep when it comes to gardening, and NOW’S the time to get moving. “Folks should be doing their clean up right now,” advises Ed. “Getting the leaves out and prepping the soil for planting.”
ZO will be getting in their vegetable plants between Mother's Day and Memorial Day – pansies will be the first of the flowers and are coming in soon. They don’t sell seeds, but you’ll find any and everything else you could possibly want here from flowers to rakes, hoses to gloves, fertilizer to clippers. You’ll also get incredibly competitive pricing and much more knowledgeable advice than you’ll find at that brazen big box place. (They also offer a Spring service if you want to hire some extra hands to prep your planting areas.) 17 Newark Way Maplewood | 973-539-8911
– This supermarket chain is a surprisingly good source for gardening needs and stocks an impressive array of seasonal supplies from seeds (5/$1 this week!) to starter plants, flower and shrubs (all coming over the next few weeks). Store manager says his store has earned deep roots with local gardeners for good reason: “We also pride ourselves on having great variety, fresh stock and great prices and that applies to our plants, too,” he says. “When it comes to gardening we know the climate and the needs of our shoppers – and we’re always open to feedback.”
**If you’re gonna grow from seed you should get ‘em going inside NOW, btw! Perfect reason to make the most of ShopRite's potting soil special this week: $0.99 a bag. 220 Main Street, Millburn | 973-467-5436
– A tried and true Millburn Avenue mainstay, Buncher’s also stocks a full slection of goods for all your gardening needs: You’ll find tools, treatments, accessories and helpful advice here. Buncher’s also sharpens gardening tools. As owner Frank Hawes puts it, “Buncher’s has been here since 1920. We know the soil and how to make the most of it.” 320 Millburn Ave, Millburn | 973-376-0776
Hope that helps you grow a happy garden this year!