Get Planting this Spring

Adrienne Porter
plant trees this spring

When we think of Springtime, we often think of plants beginning to grow and bloom. For those of us who’ve got a green thumb, chances are we’ve taken some time during these months to get to planting.It’s that time of the year when plant nurseries are bubbly and busy, and for many, time spent outdoors is in the dirt.This season, plant nurseries and flower shops are experiencing a different kind of spring.With the COVID-19 virus circulating, those of us who can are spending a lot of time at home. Businesses are going online or closing up shop for the time being. To flatten the curve, the routine of the spring season is changing.This change is by all means necessary, but with some help from consumers it doesn’t have to be harmful.In many countries, new restrictions on the number of store employees have taken place. Of the garden shops that haven’t had to close, many are left without the resources to repot growing plants that don’t sell. More are left without the resources to take care of such a large number of plants.Many small-business nurseries have had to discard over 100,000 dollars and pounds worth of plants in the last few weeks alone.

Spring is not cancelled

Yet, the loss of plants doesn’t have to be the end of it. In the wise words of Christina Larson, owner of Guilford Garden Center, “Spring is not cancelled”.And she’s right.Consumers are stepping up their plant game.With so much newfound at-home free time, people are diving hands-first into planting.From at home vegetable gardening, outdoor flower beds, to in-home herb boxes, now is the time for many to get their hands in the dirt. Literally.In some areas, such as California, plant nurseries are selling more than ever.In order to avoid scraping their plants, and to meet demand, nurseries have adapted to new measures of selling.Some plant nurseries have been taking online and mobile orders to deliver. Much more popularity though, has been curbside pickup or socially-distance greenhouse walkthroughs.Nurseries such as Sunset Blvd. Nursery in Los Angeles California, have been taking online phone orders to help customers and working to limit its customers in store to comply with safety codes.The Summer Winds Nursery in Arizona, is open for business by offering curbside pickups and deliveries for its plant-hungry customers.Some gardening centers haven’t even had to do much rearranging, such as Patch Plants in London. Patch Plants is exclusively a home-delivery system, bringing plants you want, right at your doorstep.These are only three out of thousands of passionate plant sellers. If these aren’t near you, there’s no need to worry! All it takes to find your local plant nurseries is a quick online search or a recommendation from a friend. There are even websites, such as Online Plant Nursery, that will help you find out which plants are best for your climate!
plants need a home

Millions of plants are looking for a home. You can help!

Still need some convincing to get into gardening this season? Check out some of the plant-saving ideas below!

For the Locally Sourced Warrior

If you’re someone who likes to eat locally sourced food, or if you just feel like growing your own instead of buying, try planting a vegetable garden!To get started, look up some of the best growing plants in your climate, or, give your local garden shop a call. Many would be happy to talk you through a good option for you to try planting.To show your thanks you can then scoop up some seeds and seedlings to get started!Some plants, such as tomatoes, are best started before spring, so these are great plants to buy and transfer to your garden. Others grow just finely starting from your garden!

For the Low on Space

Less space = more creativity.If one or two potted flowers aren’t enough for you, try adding plants as decoration.Plants can be hung in macrame holders, small ones put in magnetic pots on a fridge, or placed on desks and side tables.After you’ve added all your decor, you could even create a small herb box for a kitchen windowsill. Herbs such as basil, oregano, and parsley are easy to grow indoors.Before you get started, call your local plant nursery to see what plants do well indoors. Ask about light needs and watering schedules. Plants should thrive where they are, but there’s no rule that it has to be in a garden!

For the Balcony Gardener

No yard? No problem! Taking plants to your balcony can be just as fun, and it can liven any space up.Before you get started, you’ll want an idea of how many plants you want up there. From that decision, you can pick out what structure you’ll be using to keep your plants in.One or two? Just stick to pots. A number of flowers? Try hanging baskets, or a secured box rail. Looking for more of a garden feel? Dust out an old bookshelf and turn it into a plant shelf. Feeling extra creative? Try some wall plants!When making your balcony garden, keep in mind that as your plants get bigger, you may need to repot them to keep growing. Also be sure to comply with your building safety codes, and secure anything on the railing to keep it from falling off.

For the Complete Newbie

Sometimes we need a little confidence to get going. If you’re testing the gardening waters (or soil if you will) there are plenty of plants that are easy to keep alive.For houseplants, try picking up a barrel cactus, aloe vera, or a snake plant. These are likely to come back if you forget about a bit every now and again.Outdoor plants don’t have to be difficult either. Geraniums and begonias are not only pretty flowers, but easy-growers. They don’t need much tending to, but still give you a first glimpse into what could be your new hobby.

For the Green Thumb

You’ve done your share of gardening, and there’s almost nothing you can’t grow.Now is the perfect time to challenge yourself, and help local business.Call or safely visit a plant nursery or garden shop near you and ask what you can take off their hands. They may just have a challenge you haven’t tried before!Now is a great time to learn new skills and keep busy. What’s better is that getting into gardening, even just a houseplant or two, can help out a local business, and save some plants that would have seen the trash.If you are looking to plant this season, pledge to plant with us:

  • You Plant We Plant – collect a SEED point to plant a Real Tree when you sign up.
  • I Planted – prove it with photos on your pledge post. More SEED points for best pledges!

We’ve also featured some online nurseries so you can safely get your trees home during lockdown.If planting is truly not up your ally, no worries. You can always pass along the message and recommend it to a friend! There are plenty of ways to get involved, choose what’s right for you.

Adrienne Porter
Adrienne is an undergrad in International Relations and Communication at SUNY Geneseo, New York. Outside of school, she can be found doing extracurriculars, hiking, or enjoying the sun. Adrienne has always prioritized giving back to the environment, and has found ways to do so both abroad and in her home town. She hopes to be able to continue helping the Earth with ForestNation.

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