'Best Garden Center': Petree's Nursery & Greenhouse

Lowest prices, locally grown

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It’s springtime in the Rockies and the people have spoken – Petree’s Nursery & Greenhouses are the Best Garden and Nursery Center in 2017’s Best of Taos survey.

And really, that choice is a no-brainer. Where else can you get all your perennials and annuals grown right here in Taos, and at the lowest prices going? Not to mention low-priced soil amendments and other nutrients.

Sure, people have been known to buy out of town, say online or as a promotion for a garden club, but as the Best of Taos survey itself shows, people who care about keeping Taos “green” picked Petree’s for best prices and selection, thus keeping money in the community, supporting local jobs and reducing the carbon footprint of hauling goods across state lines.

Things get even greener when you use the Petree’s Green Card, which gives an additional 10 percent off your purchase; or the same amount can be donated to one of five local nonprofits – Community Against Violence, DreamTree Youth program, Habitat for Humanity, Taos Mens Shelter or New Mexico Wildlife Center in Española. Back To Earth cotton burr compost is generally $7.99 a bag around town, Petree’s is only $6.97 with the Green Card discount.

Annuals and perennials in town are about $4.50-$4.80 per six pack, but Petree’s are $3.55 with the 10 percent discount and $3.35 each when you buy six or more. So what sparked this price shift? Volume and growing their own, says co-owner Sylvia Petree.

The volume is way, way up this year, that’s why,” that and Mike Petree’s decision to simply lower the prices to be the most affordable around. “And, we are now growing for another community in Los Alamos.”

Last year, they grew 1,200 flower baskets, this year they did 1,700; this year they doubled their annual and perennial production over last season. They also supply all of the town of Taos landscaping – all the trees, shrubs and soils, except for the 100 flower baskets seen hanging on town light posts the past few years.

We just didn’t have room for another 100 baskets,” she said, which is why they came from out of town, and at significantly higher prices – some $10 to $15 higher in price than Petree’s baskets, not to mention the fuel used getting them here.

Happy Frog Soil Conditioner is the next best thing to heaven on Earth, according to Sylvia and Petree’s staff, and as of press time, it’s $24.50 per 3-cubic-foot bag with the Petree Green Card.

Happy Frog says, “Don’t Treat Your Soil Like Dirt!®” and Petree customers apparently agree. Every bag has finely screened, pH-balanced, aged forest nutrients, earthworm castings and bat guano, plus a bazillion beneficial microbes stimulating root development to help plants access nutrients in the soil, reducing the need for heavy, expensive inputs of nitrogen fertilizers. Such soil conditioners stimulate symbiotic and free-living nitrogen-fixing bacteria (also fixing atmospheric nitrogen!) supplying, in many cases, up to 75 percent of a crop’s needs. What a great time to be a gardener.

Keep an eye out for Petree’s full-page ad in Tempo for week-to-week specials, I missed their April special on Back To Earth for $6.30 per bag. For more info, visit them at 25 Petree St., 1.5 miles north of Lower Ranchitos on Blueberry Hill. Call (575) 758-3021 or go to their website petreenursery.com

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