Where Gardeners Go to Grow
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  • Frequently Asked Questions

    Below you'll find some general tips, as well as some FAQ, geared toward making sure your new arrivals have a smooth transition.

    Do you guarantee your plants?
    What happens if my shipment arrives late, and the plants suffer?
    Can I return a plant if it doesn't work in my garden?
    When will you process my order?
    Can I return a hardgood if it doesn't work for me?
    When will my plants ship?
    What if I want my plants earlier, or later?
    What if I need a specific ship date?
    Can my hardgood item ship before my plant is ready?
    Can I get a plant out of season if I have it shipped overnight?
    How do you ship?
    Can you ship to multiple addresses?
    Why do some items have additional shipping charges applied?
    Why do you strongly encourage certain customers to use Express Saver on plant orders?
    How do you determine shipping charges?
    What about the handling charges?
    Why don't you offer free shipping like the bigger retailers online?
    How can I track my package?
    What happens if I put the wrong address on my order?
    What happens if I need to reroute my package?
    Where is FedEx unavailable?
    Can you use other carriers?
    Why are certain plants restricted in my state?
    Is your site secure?
    How do I know that The Grower's Exchange is a legitimate business?
    What happens if my order comes in damaged?
    Can I pay with a check?
    How big are the plants?
    How are they shipped?
    Where do your plants come from?
    Are you organic?
    What do you mean when you state, greener way of growing?
    Ok, the box arrived now what?
    How come you haven't shipped my plants when the ship date has come and gone?
    Why do you have an order minimum?
    Do you all gift wrap?
    What if I want to send a gift plant, out of season?
    What if I want to get a special order?
    Are you green?
    Why did you start printing a catalog?
    Explain Give 10, Get 10!
    Do you guarantee your plants?
    Our plants are of the highest quality, and are healthy when they leave our greenhouses. They are ready for transplant AS LONG AS YOU FOLLOW OUR INSTRUCTIONS CAREFULLY. If your plants fail within ten (10) days of arrival, please contact us via info@thegrowers-exchange.com. Please understand that we cannot be responsible for the results of extreme weather, neglect, ignoring our hardiness zone information and care instructions. There are too many factors outside of our control to guarantee long-term survival: your neighbor's dog, poor soil, insect infestations or moles. We are always here to help!
    General care and arrival instructions:
    • Inspect your plants upon arrival. If there are problems, please contact us @ info@thegrowers-exchange.com within 48 hours of arrival. Include your Order Numer, Date of Arrival, Description of Problem and Photos.
    • Remember, plants will experience a little wear in their travels, so expect a yellow leaf or two, and it is not unusual to find a broken stem as well. Plants usually perk up with proper care.
    • That said, please don't plant a poor/damaged plant thinking you can do some miracle working, and then contact us weeks later requesting to return your purchase. If you have questions about the shape a plant is in upon arrival, please contact us and we'll help assess the situation.

    As we mentioned above, because once you plant your plants there are so many factors out of our control, we cannot replace plants that arrived in poor condition unless we are notified within 48 hours of arrival. Additionally, we cannot replace plants that have been in the customer's care for more than ten days after arrival.
    • We reserve the right to request the return of damaged or unsatisfactory plants at our expense.
    • We want you to be satisfied with your plants and for you to grow old together. It is your responsibility to find the right home for your plants, to provide enough water, sun and nutrients to keep them healthy, to protect them from extreme weather and to plant them in a timely manner. In return, your plants will bring you the happiness that only gardeners know. We are always available to answer questions and provide help.

    Care and Arrival FAQ:

    What happens if my shipment arrives late, and the plants suffer?
    Please remember that while delays and damages due to shipping are outside of our control, we are here to help!

    Please inspect your package immediately upon arrival. We include a "In the Event of Damages" sheet in every box. Please follow the information carefully.

    Can I return a plant if it doesn't work in my garden?
    Please choose your plants carefully. We work hard to provide you accurate pictures and information about all of our plants. If you find that your plant arrived safely but doesn't match your garden like you hoped, we're sure you can make it work, unfortunately, we cannot accept returns and exchanges for these reasons.

    Can I return a hardgood if it doesn't work for me?
    Yes! If you are not completely satisfied with your hardgood purchase, you can return it within 14 days of receiving the item for a refund or exchange. Please contact our office before returning any product. Once we have been notified, please repack the item, enclose the original packing slip, insure the package and send back to us:

    The Growers Exchange
    11110 Sandy Fields Road
    Charles City, VA 23030

    Shipping charges are not refundable on returned items.

    Credit Card refunds will be sent to issuing bank within 5-7 business days of request. If you paid with a check, money order, cashiers check or any cash equivalent, refunds will be made in the form of a check within 15 business days of request.

    When do you process my order?

    We process your order immediately: we charge your credit card and reserve your plants in your name. We ship your order at the right time for your Zone and our plant availability (see below).

    Shipping Policies:

    When will my plants ship?
    It is our goal to ship plants at just the right time for your particular area. Some of our plants can ship nearly year round, while others require specific timing in order to achieve ideal growth. We do encourage customers to order early to ensure that you get just what you want: first come, first served!

    We use the USDA Zone Chart an industry accepted standard.

    We will check your zone, check the weather and ship when it is safe. In general, Fall shipping begins early September through Christmas, weather permitting. Spring shipping begins in mid March through June, weather permitting. You can also visit our Policy page for our fall and spring shipping schedule.


    'Shipping Begins' dates are approximate based on the previous year's shipping schedule. Actual dates are subject to change with weather conditions including temperatures in your area as well as ours

    Fall Shipping begins mid-September through Christmas, weather permitting. Spring shipping begins in mid March through mid-June, weather permitting.

    It is our goal to ship plants at just the right time for your particular area. We will check your zone, check the weather and ship when it is safe! We encourage customers to order early to ensure that you get just what you want - 'first come, first served'!

    In the very rare case where weather may prevent delivery of tender plants intended as gifts, we will send an announcement of your gift and then ship as soon as it is safe

    All Hardgood orders are shipped with your plants, unless you request otherwise. If you would like to ship separately, there will be an additional shipping charge of $8.00 added for Residential Ground shipping.

    There are some plants that are more sensitive to extremes in temperature, therefore these ship dates may not apply in cases when ordering these plants.

    FALL SHIPPING


    Zone Date

    1-4 Mid-September
    5 Mid-September
    6 Late September
    7 Late September/Early October
    8+ Early October


    SPRING SHIPPING

    Zone Date

    1-4 Early May
    5 Mid April
    6 Late March
    7 Late March
    8+ Mid March

    Please Note: 'Shipping Begins' dates are approximate based on the previous year's shipping schedule. Actual dates are subject to change with weather conditions including temperatures in your area as well as ours


    All orders placed after the last week of the Fall or Spring schedule will be shipped ASAP, which is usually 5-7 days after the order is placed depending on when the order came in during the week.

    Please note: We avoid shipping plants at the end of the week so that they won't sit in a shipping warehouse over the weekend. Any orders coming in at the end of the week will be shipped the following week, regardless of the method chosen. If you order on Friday, and choose Express or Overnight, that package will be shipped the Monday of the following week.

    What if I want my plants earlier, or later?
    Spring happens, sometimes earlier than expected. However, our schedules are established based on the previous year's shipping schedule. Our schedule is based on averages which take many factors into consideration:

    -The average temperature of the customer's area.
    -The average temperatures through the regions that the plants must travel and many of the hubs for our carriers are in the mid-west.
    -Our production schedule - we base our sowing, planting and potting schedules on the shipping schedules.

    Our plants are grown to be ready in time for those ship dates, not before.

    Our orders are shipped out on a first come, first served basis.

    What if I need a specific ship date?
    If you are not going to be home to receive your package on your scheduled ship date, please make a note on the checkout form. We will ship your plants the week that you specify.

    Can my hardgood item ship before my plant is ready?
    If you place an order that combines plants with our hardgoods, those products always ship together. However, if you would like your hardgood early, the best method is to place two orders. If the hardgood is in stock, it will ship immediately. There are no weather considerations! If you decide later on that you'd like your hardgoods shipped earlier, you can always call us and we will simply ship the hardgood upon your request; however, please note that additional shipping will be required ($8.00 for Residential Ground).

    Can I get a plant out of season if I have it shipped overnight?
    If we have the plant available, Overnight Shipping is usually safe in the off seasons in mid to late summer, and in the winter. It is best to contact the office and place a phone order so that we can ensure availability immediately.

    How do you ship?
    We use FedEx and UPS and offer several options for shipping:

    Regular Ground
    Express Saver (3 Day)
    2 Day
    Regular Overnight - You must contact the office to get the rates

    Please remember that requesting expedited shipping near the end of the week does not guarantee that they will arrive that same week. In general, we ship Monday through Thursday, so orders placed near the end of the week may not be processed for delivery until the following week. When in doubt, please email us at info@thegrowers-exchange.com.

    Can you ship to multiple addresses?
    We will be happy to ship to as many folks as you have on your list. Please note that a separate shipping charge will be applied to each address.

    Why do some items have additional shipping charges applied?
    Additional shipping charges are placed on certain products that require an extra freight cost to ship to you, such as over-sized products. The added delivery surcharge is stated in the product's description.

    Why do you strongly encourage certain customers to use Express Saver on plant orders?
    Our facility is located in Virginia. On average, it takes an order 5 business days to ship to areas on the West Coast, and in some cases, up to 8 days in remote areas west of the Mississippi. Plants should not ship over 5 days, therefore the option of Express Saver ensures that plants arrive in good shape. We have decided not to require this method of shipment, as we do want to give our customers a choice.

    What about the handling charges?
    In order to make sure that your plants arrive safely, we have spent a lot of time and money on the development of our shipping materials. We ship in a custom designed box, and we also take a great deal of care and attention in packing.

    On average, one box of plants takes about 25 minutes from start to finish to prepare. The order is processed in our office, the plants are then pulled in our greenhouses, watered if necessary, and each plant is individually sleeved in its own casing and then wrapped in plastic, and finally nestled into its own compartment.

    All of our packages are inspected carefully before they ship.

    We assure our customers that we do all that we can to give you great service, healthy product and honest pricing.

    Why don't you offer free shipping like the bigger retailers online?
    We are a small, independent business, and don't have the volumes to offer free shipping. However, our product quality and personal customer service more than make up for this. In addition, we do try to offset shipping and handling costs by offering our customers very generous volume discounts. In some cases, the discounts will outweigh the shipping costs. So, I guess you could say that if you order enough, you do get free shipping!

    How can I track my package?
    Once your order is shipped, you will receive a Tracking number. If you simply click on that number, you will be taken to the Tracking page where you can follow your package from our facility to your home.

    What happens if I put the wrong address on my order?
    We cannot be responsible for delivery problems due to incorrect addresses.

    Unfortunately, this does happen and please keep in mind that we have no way of knowing if an address is correct. In the case of a mistaken address, please understand that we cannot be responsible. If the address is incorrect or outdated, the package is usually returned to us by the carrier or the unintended recipient. Please double-check your address when placing an order.

    We are unable to re-ship orders that are returned to us as undeliverable. If you would still like to purchase items that were undeliverable, you are welcome to place a new order on our website.

    What happens if I need to reroute my package?
    Once the order has been shipped, it can sometimes be rerouted, if necessary. However, please keep in mind that we will charge a rerouting fee (the carrier charges us for these mid-shipping changes) and that we do not extend our plant guarantee to rerouted orders.


    Why are certain plants restricted in my state?
    The Department of Agriculture determines that some plants may not be shipped to certain areas, for many reasons. When you see the following:

    No AR, CA, in the plant description, it means that the particular plant may not be shipped to the states listed. Due to the volume of our orders, there is no way for us to monitor these restrictions. If you order a plant that is restricted to your area, you forfeit any guarantee. There will be no refund/replacement either. The Department of Agriculture takes these violations seriously.

    Is your site secure?
    Security Policy: Orders placed on our website utilize SSL (secure socket layers) to protect credit card information so that it cannot be read in transit. The company that we have selected to safeguard your information is AUTHORIZE.NET. Authorize.Net is committed to safeguarding customer information and combating fraud. They have implemented industry leading security initiatives, and merchants are protected by the strongest encryption methods and security protocols available. They continue to develop new solutions to provide our merchants and their customers with confidence and security.

    Privacy Policy: This privacy notice discloses the privacy practices for www.thegrowers-exchange.com. This privacy notice applies solely to information collected by this web site. It will notify you of the following:

    1. What personally identifiable information is collected from you through the web site, how it is used and with whom it may be shared.
    2. What choices are available to you regarding the use of your data.
    3. The security procedures in place to protect the misuse of your information.
    4. How you can correct any inaccuracies in the information.

    Information Collection, Use, and Sharing: We are the sole owners of the information collected on this site. We only have access to/collect information that you voluntarily give us via email or other direct contact from you. We will not sell this information to anyone.

    We will use your information to respond to you, regarding the reason you contacted us. We will not share your information with any third party outside of our organization, other than as necessary to fulfill your request, e.g. to ship an order.

    Unless you ask us not to, we may contact you via email in the future to tell you about specials, new products or services, or changes to this privacy policy.

    Your Access to and Control Over Information: You may opt out of any future contacts from us at any time. You can do the following at any time by contacting us via the email address or phone number given on our website:
    • See what data we have about you, if any.
    • Change/correct any data we have about you.
    • Have us delete any data we have about you.
    • Express any concern you have about our use of your data.

    Security: We take precautions to protect your information. When you submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected both online and offline.

    Wherever we collect sensitive information (such as credit card data), that information is encrypted and transmitted to us in a secure way. You can verify this by looking for a closed lock icon at the bottom of your web browser, or looking for "https" at the beginning of the address of the web page.

    While we use encryption to protect sensitive information transmitted online, we also protect your information offline. Only employees who need the information to perform a specific job (for example, billing or customer service) are granted access to personally identifiable information. The computers/servers in which we store personally identifiable information are kept in a secure environment.

    Cookies: We use "cookies" on this site. A cookie is a piece of data stored on a site visitor's hard drive to help us improve your access to our site and identify repeat visitors to our site. For instance, when we use a cookie to identify you, you would not have to log in a password more than once, thereby saving time while on our site. Cookies can also enable us to track and target the interests of our users to enhance the experience on our site. Usage of a cookie is in no way linked to any personally identifiable information on our site.

    If you feel that we are not abiding by this privacy policy, you should contact us immediately via telephone at 888-829-6201 or email at info@thegrowers-exchange.com.

    How do I know that The Growers Exchange is a legitimate business?
    Check out our Better Business Bureau Rating. We have an A+ rating!

    What happens if my order comes in damaged?
    Just review our guarantee information and simply follow the steps outlined in the case of damage. We do all we can to help you we want happy, satisfied customers and our goal is to make your experience with us a good one. We are here to help!

    Can I pay with a check?
    Of course. We have a "Check By Mail" option on the checkout page. All you need to do is send us a check, and once it is received, you will receive your confirmation via email stating that your order had been processed.

    About our plants

    How big are the plants?
    Our plants come in 4" square herb pots.

    We sell well-rooted, ready-to-grow plants, and our plants are known for their size. Many of our competitors have been shipping what we call plug-size plants, which are not ready for the garden. Ours are!

    We only sell plants that are ready to go into the ground, whether that means into your garden, a planter or a bulb for the next season's blooming.

    How are they shipped?
    Very carefully! We have spent a great deal of time, energy and money perfecting our custom-made shipping packages. They are designed to make sure that you get what we send: happy, healthy ready-to-grow plants.

    We ship via FedEx and UPS, which has provided us tremendous service and support. If you would prefer another carrier, please make sure to call the office with the request.

    Where do your plants come from?
    About 99% of what we sell comes from our own greenhouses in Virginia. We start our plants from seeds, plugs and cuttings and we have complete control over their lives from selection to fully grown plants. For some items, bulbs and some of the topiaries we offer, we contract with growers whom we have worked with for many years. We know them, we trust them and they grow great product.

    Are you organic?
    Well, that depends on what you mean by organic! -Bill Clinton

    We are committed to growing healthy plants using healthy practices. We avoid harsh chemical pesticides and herbicides by using natural and biodegradable alternatives such as pyrethrum, zerotol and hot pepper wax. Our soil and plants are kept healthy using natural amendments, including compost from our farm and fish emulsion fertilizer.

    What do you mean when you state, "a greener way of growing"?
    That is our clever way of describing our green policy
    • Growing Green - We are committed to growing healthy plants using healthy practices. We avoid harsh chemical pesticides and herbicides by using natural and biodegradable alternatives such as pyrethrum, zerotol, and hot pepper wax. Our soil and plants are kept healthy using natural amendments like compost from own heap here on the farm and fish emulsion fertilizer.

      All of our plants are grown in either recycled or recyclable plastic grower pots.
    • Packing and Shipping Green - All of our cardboard boxes are made with post consumer product and are recyclable.

      We strive to only use biodegradable packing materials such as cornstarch, peanuts and newspaper.

      All of our shipping is done via FedEx and UPS, both of whom are the largest retail user of renewable, green power in the United States. Through a partnership with the EPA's SmartWay Transportation Initiative, FedEx is working to reduce greenhouse gases and fuel consumption by making use of more efficient and alternative fuels.
    • A Greener Farm - Our greenhouses and offices are located on our family-owned farm which has been under continuous cultivation since the founding of Jamestown. As part of our commitment to a healthy environment, we have devoted 50 acres of former crop land as natural areas planted with a mix of prairie grasses, wildflowers and herbs. As well as reducing our "carbon footprint", these filter strips provide a natural habitat for wildlife.

      Our farm is surrounded by the James River on three sides. We feel it our duty as members of the James River Association and the Nature Conservancy of VA to protect the river from our agricultural activities. Prairie grass strips filter off any run-off from the fields before it can reach the river, putting us in 100% voluntary compliance with the Chesapeake Bay Compliance Act.

      All of us at The Growers Exchange are committed to local and sustainable agriculture. As a part of this commitment we grow and sell fresh berries and fruit locally at Farmer's Markets and Natural Food Stores. We also raise grass fed beef and free range poultry.


    Ok, the box arrived now what?
    Now comes the fun part. Inside your box, you'll find detailed instructions on unpacking your plants. We also have a great, short video with step-by-step instructions. Make sure that you unpack your box immediately upon arrival, and get growing!

    How come you haven't shipped my plants when the ship date has come and gone?
    The short answer is availability. We may receive orders that we can only partially fill based on inventory, and it is our policy to ship orders once they're complete. If you find that you just can't wait, you can cancel the late plant, and we'll simply refund you the balance and ship the remaining order.


    Do you all gift wrap?
    Yes, for a fee of $4.00. However, we will send a gift message at no extra cost.

    What if I want to send a gift plant, out of season?
    We can always send a gift card announcing the arrival of a gift plant, at a later date.

    What if I want to get a special order?
    We welcome special orders, so always feel free to call or email with your request.

    Are you green?

    Are you kidding?

    Online shopping is inherently more environmentally friendly than traditional retailing, and at www.thegrowers-exchange.com/green you can read all about our "Go Green" initiatives.

    Why did you start printing a catalog?
    Good question. And, we understand the question. There are costs to that glossy piece of print - expense to us and the environment. We held out for a long time but we did a cost - benefit analysis and then factored in the many requests we have gotten over the 3 years on the internet, and we decided that it was time. Being long-time gardeners, we know the anticipation waiting for a catalog to arrive in the mail. It's cold outside, cloudy and cold, and there is nothing better than settling in with the newest plant catalog with its glossy promises of spring.

    The negative points of a catalog are obvious - number of direct mail solicitations, the fact that over 95% of those contain almost no recycled content and the amount of trees used. However, on the other side is that we ONLY send catalogs to our customers and anyone else that makes a direct request. We figure that if you go to the trouble to call, write or email, you must really want one.

    We use 100% Post Consumer paper to print our catalog. We are using paper containing wood fiber that has been recuperated entirely from paper used by consumers through recycling programs and has been de-inked. The paper is FSC certified (Forest Stewardship Council) meaning that the paper is 100% post-consumer content. The paper has been manufactured with no chlorine, and has been certified by the CFPA (Clorine Free Product Association) and has been processed using green energy - the gas used in the paper making process comes from the decomposition of waste. Therefore, it is a BIOGAS product. Lastly, the paper is certified as a Permanent Paper meaning that it can resist aging fore more than 100 years and is certified by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). So, please do your part - if you really don't want the catalog, PASS IT ON to a friend or neighbor. And if you must toss it, please recycle.


    Here is what we do know:
    50 percent of consumers polled by the Environmental Research Associates said they no longer buy a particular brand because the product, packaging or manufacturer is detrimental to the environment.

    Give 10, Get 10!

    To protect our resources and provide our customers with all the information they need to make the right choice. We constantly update our website to make sure that you have all that you need to make the right purchase from the right company! And, now that we have a catalog, know that we have done everything in our power to make sure that we are doing the RIGHT thing! We are really proud of our catalog and hope that it brings enjoyment to our friends!

    Give 10, Get 10!
    Gardeners Love to Share! In an effort to encourage our customers to "PASSALONG" we have introduced Give 10, Get 10:
    1) Place an Order and 'Passalong' your Order Number to a friend. Tell them to use the Key Code: FRIEND at checkout, and to put your Order Number in the 'Comments' box on the Checkout Page
    2) Your friend gets 10% off their order
    3) You will get 10% off of your next order
    4) And the Savings Keep Getting 'Passed Along'!
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