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I start every spring with a trip to Lowe’s and Home Depot. Why do I go to both? Because some Garden Center prices are just better at one store versus the other. And I’m not about to overpay just to spare myself a trip. Plus, landscaping prices can really add up, so I’ll take any savings I can get.
Both stores have a similar setup with hundreds (if not thousands) of different products. Because of this, it can get overwhelming to compare prices when there are so many varieties, sizes, and brands. But if you focus on the essentials like mulch, soil, and plants, you’ll know how to save where it matters most.
We already settled the Lowe’s vs. Home Depot price battle overall, but the Garden Center deserves its own showdown. So I did my research and rounded up the numbers side by side.
I’ll show you when to shop for the lowest prices (like during Lowe’s SpringFest and Home Depot’s Spring Sale), plus which store to go to for different landscaping needs during non-sale times.
Before we get to the good stuff:
- Download The Krazy Coupon Lady app and add Lowe’s and Home Depot to your favorite stores
- Check out our top Lowe’s hacks and tips for shopping at the Home Depot Garden Center
- For more smart shopping tips and savings hacks, text HACKS to 57299
1. Home Depot and Lowe’s will match each other’s prices on identical products.
If Home Depot and Lowe’s carry the same exact product, you can always get the lower price between the two. This is all thanks to their price match policies.
The Home Depot price match policy and Lowe’s price match policy are pretty much the same. They both allow you to get a price match from the other store. So, if you find a DeWalt tool set at Lowe’s, but the same tool set is cheaper at Home Depot, you can ask Lowe’s to match Home Depot’s lower price!
The important thing here is that price matching only works for identical products — meaning it has to be the same brand, size, model number, etc. You’ll find that Home Depot has a handful of exclusive brands that Lowe’s simply doesn’t carry (and vice versa), which allows each store to stay competitive with their pricing.
If you’re shopping at either Garden Center, getting familiar with the exclusive brands is a great start. While Home Depot exclusively carries Vigoro products, Lowe’s exclusively carries Sta-Green products. Both brands often give you lower prices than their name-brand counterparts, so this is when comparing prices between Home Depot and Lowe’s is most important.
2. You may have to calculate the cost per unit to find the lowest price on some Garden Center items.
Items like soil and mulch come in all different shapes, sizes, and even units of measurement. While Home Depot may sell a 0.75 cubic foot bag of soil, Lowe’s may sell a 1.5 cubic foot bag of equivalent soil. So, how do you know which gets you the biggest bang for your buck?
The key is to calculate the cost per unit (or the cost per cubic foot in this case). You can do this by taking the total price of the bag and dividing it by the total cubic feet. So, if a 1.5 cubic foot bag of soil costs $8.98 at Lowe’s, the cost per cubic foot would be $8.98 / 1.5 — which equals $5.99 per cubic foot.
Smaller-size bags for items like potting mix are usually measured in quarts, and houseplants and hanging flower baskets are measured in gallons or pints. But the formula for finding the cost per unit is always the same: the total cost divided by the number of units.
This will help make it easier to compare products of different sizes at Lowe’s vs. Home Depot.
3. Lowe’s SpringFest and Home Depot’s Spring Sale are game-changers for Garden Center savings.
For the sake of consistency, I’ll compare regular prices for a few Garden Center items at both stores in the tips that follow. But when it comes to the prices during annual spring sales, it’s a whole different story.
The Home Depot Spring Sale and Lowe’s SpringFest are two of the best Garden Center sales to shop all year. This is when Home Depot and Lowe’s get super competitive with deals on mulch, soil, plants, and other landscaping essentials.
While mulch from Home Depot may be the better buy on the reg, Lowe’s has a better deal on it during SpringFest. Here’s how the two stores historically stack up during their spring sales:
Miracle Gro Garden Soil
- $2.29 per 0.75 cu. ft. bag at Lowe’s
- $1.98 per 0.75 cu. ft. bag at Home Depot
- $2 per 2 cu. ft. bag at Lowe’s
- $1.98 per 1.5 cu. ft. bag at Home Depot
- $0.50 each at Lowe’s
- $0.88 each at Home Depot
Hanging Flower Baskets
- $9 at Lowe’s
- $9.98 at Home Depot
Bonnie Veggie Plants
- $2.50 at Lowe’s
- $4 at Home Depot
- $0.25 apiece at Lowe’s
- $0.25 apiece at Home Depot
4. At regular prices, Lowe’s has the better deal on all-purpose garden soil — $0.48 cheaper per cubic foot.
Soil is probably your most essential Garden Center purchase, since you’ll likely need a lot of it for any landscaping project.
This is a perfect example of how Home Depot’s and Lowe’s exclusive brands compete for the lowest price. Home Depot’s Vigoro brand and Lowe’s Sta-Green brand both offer the lowest price for garden soil at each store. But when you calculate the cost per cubic foot, Lowe’s has the better value:
- Lowe’s: Sta-Green Flower & Vegetable Garden Soil, 2 cu. ft. bag — $7.97 (or $3.99 per cubic foot)
- Home Depot: Vigoro All-Purpose Garden Soil, 1 cu. ft. bag — $4.47 (or $4.47 per cubic foot)
Overall, you’ll pay less for Lowe’s Sta-Green garden soil vs. Home Depot’s Vigoro garden soil.
5. But Home Depot has the best price for raised bed soil — $1.66 cheaper per cubic foot.
Raised bed soil is basically a mix between garden soil and potting mix, providing the necessary drainage and airflow for container gardening (as opposed to gardening in the ground). So if building a raised garden bed is on your outdoor to-do list, you’ll need to pick up raised bed soil to get the job done.
When it comes to getting the lowest price, Home Depot is your best bet. Their Kellogg Organic Raised Bed Soil costs less than the most affordable option at Lowe’s:
- Lowe’s: Miracle-Gro Raised Bed Soil, 1.5 cu. ft. bag — $9.98 (or $6.65 per cubic foot)
- Home Depot: Kellogg Organic Raised Bed Soil, 2 cu. ft. bag — $9.97 (or $4.99 per cubic foot)
Related: This is how to build an inexpensive DIY garden bed.
6. Lowe’s also has a better price for potting mix — $0.09 cheaper per quart.
If you have houseplants that need repotting or you’re planning to add more to your collection, you’ll need to pick up a bag of potting mix. The exclusive brands at Home Depot and Lowe’s offer the most competitive prices, but once again, Lowe’s wins the best value.
- Lowe’s: Sta-Green Potting Mix, 64 qt. bag — $11.98 (or $0.19 per quart)
- Home Depot: Vigoro Potting Mix, 32 qt. bag — $8.97 (or $0.28 per quart)
Related: Live near a Fred Meyer Garden Center? You’re going to want to get your free potting soil on Fuchsia Saturday.
7. Buy topsoil at Lowe’s instead of Home Depot and you’ll save $0.27 per pound.
Now, choosing between Lowe’s and Home Depot for topsoil gets tricky. Lowe’s best price is on a 40-pound bag of topsoil, while Home Depot’s best price is on a 0.75 cubic foot bag.
In this case, we’re dealing with two different units of measurement: pounds and cubic feet. But with a little research, I found out that a 0.75 cubic foot bag of soil weighs approximately 14 pounds. This makes it easy to compare Home Depot’s 14-pound bag to Lowe’s 40-pound bag:
- Lowe’s: Timberline Top Soil, 40-lb. bag — $2.58 (or $0.06 per pound)
- Home Depot: Scotts Earthgro Top Soil, 14 lb. bag — $4.67 (or $0.33 per pound)
After calculating the cost per pound for both bags, Lowe’s clearly has the cheaper option at $0.06 per pound.
8. Without a sale, Home Depot has the better price for wood mulch — $0.32 cheaper per cubic foot than Lowe’s.
Hands down, the best time to buy mulch at Home Depot or Lowe’s is during their spring sales, which start in late March and last through April. This is when you’ll pay as low as $1 per cubic foot for mulch. But if you need mulch now and can’t find a sale price, you’ll get the lowest price at Home Depot.
- Lowe’s: Premium Hardwood Mulch, 2 cu. ft. bag — $3.98 (or $1.99 per cubic foot)
- Home Depot: Vigoro Wood Mulch, 2 cu. ft. bag — $3.33 (or $1.67 per cubic foot)
Related: We can show you when all the best mulch sales happen throughout the year.
8. Need gardening tools? Lowe’s has a better hand tool starter kit than Home Depot.
I had zero supplies when I first dove into landscaping, so I started with the basics. I found that Lowe’s had four tools in their garden tool starter kit ($11.98) compared to the three tools in Home Depot’s three-piece garden tool kit ($11.98). Both cost the same, but you get one more tool with the Lowe’s kit. So for me, it was a no-brainer.
Lowe’s Yardsmith Gardening Hand Tool Kit comes with four carbon steel tools: a trowel, transplanter, cultivator, and weeder.
Related: These genius gardening hacks are lifesavers when it comes to pesky landscaping problems.
9. Only shop for concrete pavers during the spring sales — both stores sell them for $0.25 apiece (63% off).
You can hit up either Home Depot’s Spring Sale or Lowe’s SpringFest sale in March – April for super-cheap pavers. Both stores typically offer a “4 for $1” deal on Holland Pavers for a limited time, which brings their price down to just $0.25 apiece (reg. $0.68 apiece).
If you’re buying in bulk and can’t make it to a sale, go to Home Depot for your concrete pavers. You’ll get bulk pricing on a variety of colors and sizes. So if you buy a certain amount, you’ll pay less per paver.
10. Annual flower 12-packs cost the same at both stores, but Home Depot offers bulk pricing when you buy four or more.
At regular prices, a 12-pack of annuals costs $12.98 at both Lowe’s and Home Depot. Varieties include begonia, salvia, petunia, zinnia, marigolds, and more.
However, only Home Depot offers bulk pricing on multi-packs. So if you buy four or more 12 packs of annuals, you’ll pay only $11.68 per pack during non-sale times.
You’ll find even better prices during Lowe’s SpringFest and Home Depot’s Spring Black Friday sale. At Lowe’s, I’ve seen a “2 for $20” deal on 12-pack annuals during their sale, which makes each 12-pack only $10. At Home Depot, 12-pack annuals get marked down to just $9.88 each.
11. Ten-inch hanging flower baskets normally cost $12.98, but Lowe’s has a better price for 11-inch Geranium baskets.
When it comes to saving on hanging flower baskets, it helps to know what’s out there. The first thing you should know is that Lowe’s and Home Depot both offer 1.5-gallon hanging flower baskets ranging from 10 inches to 12 inches in diameter.
A 10-inch basket of begonias, impatiens, pansies, or petunias typically costs $12.98 at Lowe’s and Home Depot. Eleven-inch geranium baskets cost a bit more — $15.98 at Lowe’s and $16.98 at Home Depot.
Overall, you’ll find the best deals on hanging flower baskets during the spring sales and other long-weekend holiday sales for Memorial Day and the Fourth of July.
12. Finding the cheapest houseplants comes down to Lowe’s Special Value prices vs. Home Depot’s Special Buys.
Any time I’m in the market for a new houseplant, I like to check both Lowe’s and Home Depot’s weekly ads. Why? Because they often have special pricing on one or two houseplants each week, especially in the spring and summer months. Sometimes, you’ll even find the same plant in both ads, but one store will offer a better discount than the other.
For example, both Lowe’s and Home Depot recently had special pricing on majesty palms at the same time. Home Depot’s Special Buy price was $16.88 (reg. $22.98), but Lowe’s Special Value price was $16 (reg. $22.98). So, I went to Lowe’s to save slightly more.
TIP: Be sure to go in-store for the best houseplant prices. In my experience, online prices are much steeper than what you’ll find at the Garden Center in person.
13. Both stores offer occasional Garden Center coupons, but Lowe’s is a higher value: $10 off $75+ purchases.
Garden Center coupons aren’t guaranteed at either store, but once in a while, you’ll be able to grab a decent discount.
For example, in 2022, Home Depot dropped a coupon for $5 off your next $50 in-store purchase when you signed up for Garden Club emails. This coupon was available during their Spring Black Friday sale, so you could use it to save more on already reduced prices. I haven’t seen this coupon come back since, but I’m keeping my eyes peeled.
Lowe’s offers a coupon for $10 off your next $75 purchase for going to certain in-store events. Right now, you’ll score the coupon if you attend Lowe’s Easter Event on April 8, 2023, or the DIY Raised Garden Bed Workshop on April 22, 2023.
14. You can buy clearance plants for up to 75% off at Lowe’s and Home Depot.
Lowe’s and Home Depot have a designated spot in-store for clearance plants, which often include deeply discounted ornamental grasses, bushes, and annuals. Now, these plants usually require a lot of extra love and care. But if you’re willing to put the effort in to make them thrive, the low prices are totally worth it.
Discounts on clearance plants (and what’s available) will vary by store location, but you can usually save 50% – 75% at Lowe’s or Home Depot.
Look for plant carts labeled “Reduced” or “Clearance” in the Garden Center or toward the front of the store.
15. Lowe’s and Home Depot let you return dead plants for up to a year.
As much as I’d like to believe my thumbs are green, they aren’t. So, I’m always struggling to keep my plants alive. Lucky for me, both Lowe’s return policy and Home Depot’s return policy include one-year guarantees on all perennials, trees, and shrubs.
As long as you hold onto your original receipt, you can literally dig up dying plants and return them to the store for a full refund within 365 days.