Home Depot Garden Center
The largest U.S. home improvement retailer, Home Depot edges out ahead of the competition as best cheap garden center with its trifecta of reasonable pricing, wide selection, and knowledgeable employees.
With well over 2,000 locations in the United States, Canada, and Mexico, Home Depot offers unrivaled convenience and highly competitive prices. Our on-site Home Depot garden center review and the few comments posted online indicate that the combination of attractive pricing, good inventory, and informed employees make this big-box chain the best place to shop for gardening needs.
Price-wise, Home Depot fell well below the total for a similar virtual wagon of goods at our local independent nursery. The list of starter items (seeds, plants, shrubs, supplies and tools) here came to $173.92, a savings of almost $100 over the hometown competition. Some Home Depot garden center reviews posted online argue that you get what you pay for, which here refers to cheaper prices on a thinner selection of less healthy plants. Still, many reviewers report that Home Depot plants do just fine, and ailing plants can be returned within the first year.
Our Home Depot purchases ran neck-and-neck with a similar set at Lowe's. A Home Depot garden center review by a Washington Post writer, however, found the opposite to be true. Excluding the cost of a shrub that wasn't available at Walmart, the receipts at these two chain garden centers differed by less than a dollar.
All things being equal on the price front, inventory and expertise were the factors that tipped the competition in favor of our area Home Depot garden center. The employee we spoke with was a lifelong gardener well-versed in plants and their care, and the foliage on offer seemed well maintained. That said, online Home Depot garden center reviews suggest that the situation may differ by location. One post at Garden Web grouses that Home Depot workers aren't up to snuff and don't care for plants appropriately. Another reviewer at the same site advises shoppers to find out (and then show up) when plant shipments are due so they can mine the knowledge of the distributors.
For the most part, Home Depot garden centers do right by gardeners. There may be some disappointments here and there, but gardening is nothing if not a give-and-take between nature and nurture.