8 St. Louis Shops for Veggie Gardeners

 In Food, Guide

One of the mental health tips we’re seeing a lot lately is to stay grounded—literally—by digging your hands into the dirt. While it’s a little early for most flowers, early April is prime planting season for cool-weather veggies like lettuce, spinach, radishes, arugula, peas and broccoli. It’s also a good time to strategize for produce that thrives in warmer weather like tomatoes, corn, basil and squash.

These eight local businesses know our climate, soil, pests and precipitation, making them ideal partners whether you’re a longtime green-thumb grower or a newcomer with a sudden surplus of extra time at home. Here’s a small taste of what makes each of them special.

[Editor’s note: Most independent garden centers offer phone-in or online orders and curbside pickup while the COVID-19 restrictions are in place. And if you simply don’t have the space or inclination to garden, consider purchasing produce directly from a local farm via the Curbside STL Farm-to-Home food project, a partnership between CurbsideSTL and Known & Grown STL.]

Maypop Coffee & Garden Shop
This Webster Groves shop was a leader in the horticultural movement away from plastic last year, offering the No Pot, No Problem brand of plants in “elle pots” made of a breathable, biodegradable material. “The response was so overwhelmingly positive that we knew we’d have to expand our offerings for 2020,” says Maypop owner Tammy Behm. Now the potless bedding plant selections include herbs and vegetables.

803 Marshall Ave.

Seed Geeks
For would-be gardeners without a lot of space to dig into the ground, Seed Geeks stocks a line of environmentally friendly Root Pouch planters made from recycled plastics. Plant pots made from the lightweight, breathable geotextile cost only a few dollars and break down over time, making them a low cost, low commitment option for those who want to give growing veggies a try. The St. Louis urban homestead also offers a large selection of heirloom seeds.

8816 Manchester Road

Local Harvest Grocery
True, this isn’t your typical garden center, but in keeping with its mission of focusing on local fare, this neighborhood grocery store in Tower Grove South stocks organic bedding plants, herbs and vegetables from Biver Farms. Right now the selection at Local Harvest includes lettuce, kale, cabbage and broccoli plus herbs like sage, cilantro, chives and parsley. In a couple of weeks, tomatoes, basil and peppers will be available too.

3108 Morganford Road

Bowood Farms
Under the “edible” plants list on Bowood’s ecommerce website, shoppers will find a variety of veggies (listed under their botanical names next to photos of the harvest-ready produce, which makes ordering an especially educational experience). The friendly staff is a great resource for suggestions on edible landscaping for both productivity and beauty—after all, its complex in the Central West End includes the restaurant garden across the street from the shop and greenhouse.

4605 Olive St.

Sugar Creek Gardens
Sometimes it’s nice to have everything you need all in one place—which is when Sugar Creek’s Salad Bowl planter comes in handy. The 14-inch pot is filled with an assortment of leafy greens and herbs that can be harvested by the leaf rather than by the roots. As the temperatures warm up, you can add other pot-friendly options of your choice from the expansive selection at this Kirkwood shop.

1011 N. Woodlawn Ave.

Greenscape Gardens
Tell the small-but-mighty staff at this Manchester shop what vegetables or herbs you’re looking for, and they will customize your order via their personal shopping service (with an minimum purchase of $25). All of Greenscape’s edible plants come from local organic growers, are suited for Missouri agriculture and are selected for their pest and disease resistance, cold hardiness and flavor.

2832 Barrett Station Road

Planthaven Farms
For those who have trouble visualizing what they need for their garden online or over the phone, this huge complex in O’Fallon, Missouri, has 19 greenhouses and plenty of space to roam (while maintaining social distance). The new Oakville location is also open as an essential business, except on Mondays, when the Planthaven crew “power plants” to prep for its busiest season.

324 Firma Road, O’Fallon, Missouri

6703 Telegraph Road, Oakville

Bayer’s Garden Shop
The 79-year-old company has been a go-to resources for generations of St. Louisans, many of whom live in the neighborhoods around its South City location. (It recently added a second shop in Imperial.) Its usual intrepid style, the Bayer’s locations are still open, with plenty of sanitizing and social distancing, but the shops have added phone orders as well for those who already know what they want and simply need to get it handled with a minimum of fuss.

3401 Hampton Ave., St. Louis

5926 Old State Road, Imperial

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