Good Greenhouses

One challenge I’ve run into here in Milwaukee is the complete lack of organic garden supplies. Earlier in the year, I was shopping around for seed starting mixtures and had a terrible time. I really wanted to mix my own from a blend of compost, vermiculite, and peat moss but the only places open in February were the big box stores like Menards and Home Depot, and all they carried was a pre-mixed starter. I ended up buying that, and was pretty disappointed with it. I also found myself getting really frustrated by the fact that you couldn’t go somewhere and purchase basic supplies – it felt like the equivalent of wanting to buy fabric to make your own clothes but only being able to buy pre made clothes. Don’t even get me started on the fact that it’s pretty near impossible to find open pollinated seeds at any of these places…or any sort of natural fertilizer (like compost or fish emulsion).

I remembered visiting Bayside Garden Center in Mequon several years ago, and being pretty happy with their selection. Back in March, I paid them a visit and was pleasantly surprised. While they carried a lot of more conventional gardening supplies, they also had a great variety of Dr. Earth’s products and basic components for mixing up your own blends. They carry some heirloom seeds, too. I think they’re open in the winter (they sell houseplants as well as bedding plants) and I wish I thought to visit them before spending my money at a big box store and getting poor quality supplies. Oh well, lesson learned. There’s always next year! Bayside is a short drive from our house, so I’ll definitely be paying them a few more visits this year for various supplies.

Bayside is where I purchased my asparagus roots and rhubarb plant. I also got some cilantro plants and Bee Balm. Everything looks really lush and healthy and is doing well in the garden so far.

Another greenhouse that I’d like to visit is Webers. I’m interested in them for a variety of reasons – they are a huge supporter of Milwaukee Urban Gardens, and they seem to offer a variety of organic/natural gardening supplies. Hopefully I’ll have a chance to get their this year!

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