A look at area nurseries

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 24, 2001

Area nurseries are gearing up for spring planting, and many have recently opened their retail stores.

Tuesday, April 24, 2001

Area nurseries are gearing up for spring planting, and many have recently opened their retail stores. However, most owners don’t recommend actually planting anything outside until the second half of May.

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&uot;I’m open, but if anyone was going to plant something I’d tell them they were kind of silly,&uot; said Sharon Olson, co-owner of Hartland Greenhouse.

Here’s a partial list of nurseries and their specialties, so early-birds can get digging in the dirt, or just browse and dream of warmer weather. Several stores indicated their hours will change with the weather, extending as planting season gets underway.


Hartland Greenhouse, 308 South Broadway, Hartland. Hours: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday; 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Sunday.

Hartland Greenhouse will design and plant cemetery urns for customers, said Olson. They also sell bedding flowers and vegetables.


Hills Gardens, County Road 46, west of Albert Lea, will open on or around May 1.


Hilltop Greenhouse, rural Hollandale. Hours: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday; 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday.

Directions: From Albert Lea, take Interstate 35 North to exit 18. Take Highway 251 East, then County Road 28 North about two miles. Turn left at the sign.

Hilltop Greenhouse offers a wide variety of unusual annuals, perennials, herbs, and hanging baskets, said owner Gretchen Boldt. Owners start all plants from seeds or cuttings. In the summer, they also sell vegetables at area farmer’s markets and wholesale markets.


Hy-Vee Garden Center, 2708 Bridge Ave., Albert Lea. Hours are flexible, from 9 or 10 a.m. to 7 or 8 p.m., managers say.

Hy-Vee Garden Center offers a large selection of bushes, shrubs, trees and flowers, said assistant manager Steve Shahan. They also carry landscaping bricks, rock, dirt, moss, and mulch.


Johnson Floral, 1719 East Main St., Albert Lea. Hours: 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday; 8:30 to 5 p.m. Saturday.

Johnson Floral’s greenhouse will be opening as early as next weekend, offering rose bushes, bedding and garden plants, said office manager Beverly Rank. They will also hold an open house May 5 and 6.


Leach Sod, Hydro-Seeding and Nursery, 817 Marshall St., Albert Lea. Hours: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Saturday.

Leach Sod just opened for the season, said representative Joyce Leach. They sell sod and do hydro-seeding – shooting a fertilizer, mulch and grass seed mix into the lawn. Hydro-seeding is less expensive than sod, and is mowable in one month, Leach said.

In addition, the nursery carries a variety of shrubs, trees, rocks, block and dirt.


Shopko Garden Center, 2610 Bridge Ave., Albert Lea. Hours: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Shopko offers a wide variety of annual and perennial plants, shrubs, rosebushes, gardening and landscaping equipment.


Sonshine Gardens, 200 First St. Southwest, Clarks Grove., will open April 30.


Wal-Mart Garden Center, 1721 West Main St., Albert Lea. Hours: Always open.

Customers can shop the Wal-Mart Garden Center 24 hours a day, said assistant manager Shane Teslan. They offer shrubs, trees, hanging baskets, and geraniums. Beginning next week they will offer bedding plants and vegetables. They also carry a large variety of stones, rock edging, mulch, soils and fertilizer, play sand, and lawn and garden equipment, Teslan said.


Wedge Nursery, County Road 101, Albert Lea. Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

The nursery currently offers fruit trees, potting soils, hedges, bare-root shrubs and trees. Most potted trees should be available early next week, said owner Brad Wedge.

The perennials are out, but they shouldn’t be planted yet, Wedge said. The nursery will begin offering annuals next week.

Wedge will offer about 30-40 new perennial types this year, and an expanded grass selection.

&uot;We have a depth and unusual selection that you don’t see a lot of places with our shrubs and our trees,&uot; he said.