Graphic courtesy thegardenofwords.com
We know where independent garden centers, big box garden centers, nurseries, growers, landscapers and others in the green industry land now that Gov. Eric Holcomb has issued shelter in place (our governor said “hunker down”) orders.
The green industry is on the list of essential businesses. This is good for us, our pockets, fresh food needs this summer, our morale, the environment and what to do with all of our found time.
Industry already stressed
Some garden centers and nurseries offer curbside service, much like eateries, grocers, drug stores and other retailers. Call, place your order, pay for it, then drive by to pick it up. Some are offering deliveries of larger orders.
These efforts follow the disappointment and lost sales of the seeds, plants and accessories they brought in for our communities’ flower and garden shows, all of which have been cancelled. Garden centers launched special sales, such as BOGO (buy one get one) to move those products from their places to yours.
Growers face cancelled orders from churches, resulting in hundreds of lilies, florist hydrangeas and azaleas that won’t be delivered or picked up for Easter services, because there won’t be any. Florists grapple with cancelled or postponed weddings. Funerals are on hold, too.
Green industry companies work seasons ahead, ordering plants for landscape companies, gardeners, florists and others. Many depend on these early season sales to provide the revenue needed for summer plants and services.
What can you do?
To add to the angst in this normally optimistic industry is that spring and early summer are when the businesses make the bulk of the revenue that sustains them throughout the year.
What can you do? Buy seeds and try something new, especially annuals, such as zinnia, marigolds, nasturtiums and sunflowers, to cheer us in summer. Sow seeds kids will like, such as purple green beans or pumpkins. Growing these from seed is easier than you think.
Shop for vegetable, annual and perennial transplants, along with shrubs, trees, mulch, potting mix, fertilizers and other goods via curbside pick up or delivery. Buy transplants of tomatoes, peppers and eggplants. Sow seeds for lettuces, green beans, peas, cilantro, squash, carrots, radishes and basil.
I know the joy of visiting the garden center to pick out our plants. But it’s a pleasure we may have to forego this year in favor of shopping remotely so we can maintain our social distance and keep safe. And we will find happiness and joy in planting our vegetables, herbs and flowers in our gardens, pots and window boxes, signifying our hope for the future.
What vegetables to plant when:
Purdue Extension’s Home Vegetable Gardening Class where you get a flash drive so you can learn at your own pace at home.