Interest in Gardening Hasn’t Waned Along With COVID-19 Pandemic | News, Sports, Jobs

Gabrielle Robinson, a full-time employee of Nicky’s Garden Center, shows off a patriotic flower arrangement in the store on Warden Run Road in Wheeling. (Photo by Scott McCloskey)

CYCLING – With people becoming more rooted in their homes during the COVID-19 pandemic, their interest in home gardening blossomed. And even if pandemic restrictions continue to ease, local greenhouse and landscaping entrepreneurs say interest continues to be nurtured.

PJ Lenz, who co-operates Nicky’s Garden Center on Warden Run Road with his wife Nikki, said the demand for summer flowers, plants, soil and other supplies has been uninterrupted this growing season. This sometimes makes it difficult to keep some items in stock.

“It hasn’t slowed down,” said Lenz. “Last year there were 19 million new gardeners in the United States. Everyone was at home. Everyone wanted to create their own garden. “

He said his company is having a hard time keeping up with demand.

“And now this year it has been difficult to get soil, gifts and fertilizers,” he said. “All of this is in great demand. The demand continues. This year was no different than last. The last two years have been really good for business. ”

He said Mother’s Day was very busy at the garden center as varieties of summer flowers and patio pots have been very popular in recent weeks.

“We are preparing for our second planting,” said Lenz. “And we’ll be planting mothers for fall in about three weeks. So it’s kind of crazy. “

In addition to plants and garden items, ice cream is a very popular delicacy with customers of all ages who dare to visit their “Farmhouse Coffee Shop”.

Yensen Landscape & Supply is located near Nicky’s Garden Center on W.Va. 88 and was very busy this year selling plants and garden items.

“This is the busiest year I’ve ever had,” said registered landscape architect Chris Yensen, speaking of the business since the pandemic started early last year.

“The vegetables were huge last year. We couldn’t keep anything in stock and it’s going the same this year – non-stop, ”said Yensen. “A lot of people tried growing their own vegetables for the first time last year and we sold a ton of our Yensen potting soil for raised beds for the home gardener. I don’t think it slowed down at all. “

Yensen is getting closer to Memorial Day weekend, Yensen said trays and flats filled with different varieties of annual flowers are very popular with customers.

“It’s finally warm enough to put things in the ground and not worry about frost,” he added.

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