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Where did the warm go?

Jim Boxberger - Correspondent
Posted 4/7/20

What a difference a day makes, or a couple of days. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, with the warm weather just made you get out of the house into your yard. Of course once there you found projects to …

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Where did the warm go?

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What a difference a day makes, or a couple of days. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, with the warm weather just made you get out of the house into your yard. Of course once there you found projects to do. I know all this because I saw many of you this week in my store.

Plants were going out the door as soon as they came in on Tuesday even though it is far too early to plant them. It felt like a normal spring day even if this spring is far from normal. Everyone had their homemade facemasks on and we all stayed six feet apart and enjoyed the day. Gardening is definately on the minds of many, but landscaping questions have been quite popular as well.

We just got our garden center set up for spring and we are ready to start getting in a variety of landscape plants providing that our growers are able to ship them. Many of our suppliers have been having shipping problems because of the Covid-19 crisis. Like us, many growers are getting by with skeleton crews, so shipping can be a little tricky.

Also many small garden centers are not open during the crisis so trucking becomes more expensive as truckers have to go a lot further between stops. Rest assured there are plenty of plants out there, as all of our growers were set for the spring season before the virus was even in the news.

Most growers set up for spring as soon as poinsettia season is over in December and they are motivated to get plants shipped as soon as possible, because if they miss the prime spring weekends between Mother's Day and Memorial Day, they are done. May is the make or break month for most growers and garden centers.

This month the growers are putting the finishing touches on their plants, like slow release fertilizer for added shelf life and last minute pruning to shape up the plants. For us, it is getting ready to receive to plants, having all the variety signs made and making sure all the sprinklers work.

Every year it seems that the hoses spring leaks by themselves over the winter and our sprinklers always seem to get packed with mud from mud wasps that thought it would make a nice home. All the sprinklers need to be tested so that we know the entire garden center is covered and that there are no dry spots. The worst thing we could have is some plants getting over-watered while others are dry.

It sounds like a huge balancing act and it is, but after many years of doing this, we have it down to a science and this spring with the early warm weather and the “stay at home order” keeping the store traffic down (a little, we are well ahead of schedule. So now it is time to start stocking the garden center up so that when this crisis is over we will get a chance to see all our friends again without their homemade facemasks.

In the meantime, we will still be posting photos on instagram and giving status updates on our facebook page. We are here, seven days a week, except Easter Sunday, if you need some essentials, otherwise we will see you in May when the “stay at home order is over”.

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