Avant Gardening

Avant Gardening’s Spring Plant Sale – 3 Unique Growing Methods

Avant Gardening and Landscaping is having a plant sale! The next couple of blogs will be relating to our nursery to expand your knowledge and interest in our plants. In this post you will learn about what separates Avant’s nursery from other nurseries by finding out more about our growing methods.

CLICK HERE to download your $5 OFF SAVINGS COUPON to use at our Spring Plant Sale!

Visit Avant Gardening’s Nursery at 3055 Siggelkow Road, McFarland, WI 53558 on 5/13, 5/14, 5/20 & 5/21 from 9AM-4PM to check out our available plants.


What does Avant do differently?

#1. Avant’s nurserymen are environmentally responsible and use Integrated Pest Management (IPM) practices. They observe, identify and monitor pests everyday while caring for our plant stock. Our nursery is very proud to be pesticide free – our plants are never sprayed for insect control or plant disease. We use other, more creative, methods for controlling outbreaks. A technique we practice often is using ladybird beetles to control aphid outbreaks! Ladybird beetles will feast on the aphids effectively controlling the population without any pesticides. This is just one of our nurserymen’s tricks to keeping insect pests under control.IMG_20150918_115604794

#2. The plants in our propagation beds get the best nourishment from our own compost. We take all of the plant debris from job sites and turn it continually throughout the year, once it breaks down into fine organic matter we mix it into our planting bed mix – the outcome is a very fertile soil mix that is periodically tested by UW Soils lab to ensure high quality. Come by and see our propagation beds to see just how well it works!

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#3. At Avant we like to experiment with different potting soils to find the optimal growing medium for our perennials. Different plants have different needs and we are constantly adapting our various soil mixes to each plant’s needs. This year we have an exciting new blend of well-draining potting mix that our perennials really seem to like.


Where do the plants come from?

We have high quality, unique, hardy plants many of which are grown in our propagation beds. We are constantly observing and testing how different species and cultivars grow in our local environment so that we can suggest the right plant for your gardens. Our propagation beds are used to grow varieties of perennials that are not patented. After growing in the ground for at least 1 year, we divide the various plants into several and continue to grow them in pots. This technique results in large, healthy, vigorous, perennials that always impress.

Also, our nurserymen collect seeds from non-patented plants to grow the following season. We start growing the seed in small cells in our greenhouse around February. Plants are re-potted every few weeks into larger sized pots to provide plenty of room for healthy roots to develop. They are ready to be sold in 1 gallon pots after just a few months of growing!

For plants we cannot grow from seed or propagate freely, we order small 2” plugs and grow them in our greenhouse. We start these plugs in February and by April they are filling out their 1 gallon pots nicely. Our plugs are all sourced from the Midwest and we only grow hardy plants that will survive in our zone.

Wondering who our fantastic nurserymen are? Meet Michael & Tom! 


Michael (right) has been with Avant Gardening for 7 years! He received his Bachelor of Science Natural Resources degree in Horticulture from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He spent four summers working at the UW Arboretum Longenecker Gardens. In the academic year 2010-2011, while his wife was teaching in Florence, he became familiar with Renaissance gardens and volunteered at the “Giardino Torrigiani”, the largest privately owned garden in Europe situated within city boundaries. At this time he was able to indulge another of his interests: the tomato’s journey from the New to the Old World – by studying Italian Still Life paintings from seventeeth through early nineteenth century. In his free time he enjoys playing tennis and volunteers with his wife for Angel’s Wish, a non-profit animal rescue organization.

Tom (left) has been with Avant Gardening now 3 years. Besides maintaining and constantly updating our inventory, Tom is also an avid insect collector. You’ll find him selling our perennials and ornamental grasses at the Hilldale Farmers Market on Wednesdays from 7am-1pm starting on May 4th through June 11th. On the weekends – name an outdoor activity and Tom does it! A regular at natural parks, he visited 40+ state and local parks last year!! His favorite is Mirror Lake State Park in Baraboo, Wisconsin.