Don’t panic– there will still be plants to buy after Memorial Day

plants at Urban Roots in Buffalo NY
Shoppers can’t crowd into Western New York garden centers on Memorial Day weekend this year, but don’t worry. There will still be lots of plants to buy next week and there’s plenty of time to plant, too. Photo courtesy Urban Roots Cooperative Garden Market

by Connie Oswald Stofko

Many gardeners are in the habit of buying all their plants on Memorial Day weekend. Garden centers have always been packed.

Because of the pandemic, this year garden centers have to limit the number of people they can let in at one time. There won’t be crowds to deal with (yay!), but not everyone will be able to stock up this weekend.

Don’t worry. There will still be plenty of plants to buy next week.

“You don’t have to panic,” said Mark Yadon, vice president at Mischler’s Florist and Greenhouses.

Garden centers haven’t been able to sell many plants yet this season, so they have a large stock.

“It’s not just because of COVID,” Yadon said, “but because the weather has been so bad.”

He said this past weekend was the first weekend they were confident they could put out geraniums to sell. Before that, it was just too cold.

“People will be planting well into June,” Yadon said.

And you’re not missing out if you don’t get your tomatoes planted until a couple of weeks after Memorial Day, said Patti Jablonski-Dopkin, general manager at Urban Roots Cooperative Garden Market.

“Our falls last so much longer now,” she said. “A lot of times, you can harvest into October.” (See this article about how Western New York’s growing season is getting longer.)

At Urban Roots, you need an appointment to go into their yard, and all of the slots for this weekend are already taken. They are adding more slots for next week and every Sunday. They also have curbside pickup. See more here.

Mischler’s is limiting the number of people that can be in their garden center at any one time. Yadon suggests visiting when the garden center is least busy, which means skipping weekends. Instead, shop on weekdays through the middle of the week, and shop early in the day or late in the day. See Mischler’s safety practices here.

See more garden centers and stores in our Gardening Directory.

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