Get flower power from yard sales

Posted by on May 13, 2011 in Any questions?, For sellers, Tips

While you’re at yard sales this weekend — hunting for gadgets, collectibles and salt & pepper shakers that match your wallpaper — keep an eye out for something for your yard too — namely plants.

Since the  yard-sale season coincides quite nicely with spring and early summer planting, it’s pretty common for yard sale hosts to offer up some of their extras.

Some people grow plants and flowers for fun. Others grow veggies to eat. More than a few do-it-yourselfers spend their spring moving plants and bushes from one flowerbed to the next, and then unearthing something else because “it just doesn’t look right anymore.”

All that hard work can benefit the watchful yard-saler, who can snap up decent plants at a fraction of the cost of a traditional nursery. The prices are always good, and  sometimes you can get decent plants for free because kind-hearted gardeners want to give their rejects a good home.

So what kind of plants can you find?  Here’s the rundown:

  • DUG-UPS -- Plants (usually bulbs or bush stubs with roots) that have been dug up during a landscaping project. These will require a little bit of work and time to bring back to their full glory.
  • SEEDLINGS – Some growers buy and plant more seeds than they can accommodate, so rather than pitch their extras they sell them or give them away at yard sales. You just have to replant them and keep them watered.
  • LEFTOVERS -- Just like the “seedlings,” sometimes people buy more flowers than they need — maybe the nursery’s deal on flats was too hard to resist. The end result is too many flowers and not enough flowerbeds. You reap the benefit.
  • HOBBYIST -- Sometimes you run across deals on pre-potted flowers and plants, often the result of a hobbyist who just loves to build hanging baskets or design a living arrangement with unique pots. Others just like to try their hand at growing a challenging plant. These are always gorgeous, and often much cheaper than similar products at the nursery.  You also might find some uncommon plants too.  We remember one yard sale a few years ago that offered a table of Venus flytraps.
  • FRESH-PICKED — Later on in the yard sale season, you’ll start to the results of your local green thumbs, when cucumbers, tomatoes, pumpkins and other veggies come available.  You can always get them at a steal.

Our only advice for your plant-buying expedition: Compliment the greenthumb on how wonderful their plants look. They might throw in something extra.


We’ve got a crack staff of yard sale experts here, why not ask us a question in the comments? We’ll try to answer in a future post.


Click here for this weekend’s classified ads.



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