Garden Centers Comparison

At each of the five garden centers we visited, we asked employees about low-maintenance plants that would thrive in part-shade and not serve as lures for the neighborhood deer, as well as the most essential tools we would need for a starter garden. Their suggestions yielded the following shopping list for frugal gardeners. We tried to locate identical items at each garden center but often had to settle for similar items (e.g., different brand, different size).

PRODUCT
HOME DEPOT
LOWE'S
WALMART
KMART
LOCAL GARDEN CENTER
Rake
$14.97
$6.98
$5.94
$9.99
$12.99
Garden Hose
$16.47
$9.98
$16.47
$15.99
$22.99
Oscillating Sprinkler
$6.47
$4.52
$4.73
$6.99
NA
Trowel
$3.97
$3.98
$2.97
$1.19
$6.99
Bypass Pruner
$8.97
$8.98
$5.97
$8.99
$29.99
Garden Soil (5 cubic feet)
$16.65
$16.65
$24.40
NA
$29.95
Tomato Seeds (2 packets)
$2.38
$2.70
$1.96
$3.58
$3.98
Cucumber Seeds (2 packets)
$2.38
$2.70
$1.96
$3.98
$2.78
Zucchini Seeds (2 packets)
$2.38
$2.70
$1.96
$3.58
$2.58
Rhododendron (3 plants)
$14.91
$17.94
$20.88
NA
$38.97
Heather (5 plants)
$29.85
$29.90
$29.40
NA
$24.95
Daphne (1 plant)
$8.97
$16.48
NA
NA
$14.99
Lithodora (5 plants)
$32.35
$29.90
$28.85
NA
$19.95
Primrose (15 plants)
$13.20
$18.75
$19.20
NA
$59.85
STORE TOTAL:
$173.92
$172.16
$164.69
$54.29
$270.96