Increase in plant sales due to stay-at-home order

Updated: Mar. 30, 2020 at 5:17 AM CDT
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LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - Spring has sprung in Southwest Louisiana, and it couldn’t have come at a better time for those looking to do a little social distancing in their front yards.

For Dever Nursery in Sulphur (750 Houston River Rd), the biggest sales of the year are from March through May. So, when the stay-at-home order was announced, co-owner Cathy Dever wasn’t even sure they’d be open.

“We consulted with everyone and they said because we sell vegetable plants and fruit trees, we’re considered essential,” Dever said.

Sales haven’t been a problem for the locally owned and operated nursery.

“We’ve been slammed," Dever said. "People have been looking for something to do to get out so we’re getting a lot of first-time gardeners and people trying to plant fruit trees for the first time.”

Business is also blooming for Lake Charles-based Greengate Garden Center (4226 Lake St).

“You know I’d say, on balance, we’d sell a little bit more trees and shrubs," said manager, Joshua Keith. "The percentage to each other, we’re actually trending up trending a little bit higher in vegetables than years past.”

Keith said there have been people getting prepared for the worst, but that’s not the only reason people are coming to the nurseries.

“There are people that just, everything’s shut down, they’re trying to keep their distance and I think a lot of it is just to keep up the peace of mind for the mental well-being," Keith said. "You know, getting out and doing things in your yard, you still need supplies to do those things as well.”

Both nurseries said they’re still nervous, and are operating with an abundance of caution.

“Obviously we can’t control exactly what the public’s coming in here to buy and we’re asking everybody to do their part," Keith said. "If you’re coming in to buy, make sure it’s for a very good reason.”

Both Greengate Garden Center and Dever Nursery are offering curbside pick-up.

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