Late start to spring means delay for local garden centers


TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) – Warmer temperatures have made their way to the Wabash Valley, but that doesn’t mean spring has sprung for all garden centers.

Business owners are eager to sell and customers are ready to buy.

“I’m ready, I’m ready for spring,” said Theresa Scott.

“Being around the bright flowers it kind of warms you up a little bit and gets you excited for summer,” agreed Trena Millsap.

Business is picking up at local greenhouses but the late start to spring creates a retail rut.

“We were very, very slow the first half of March, picked up a little in the second half. So far April is dragging just a tad behind,” said Tom Cummins, Co-Owner of The Apple House in Terre Haute.

The nursery at the Apple House is filling up, but the harsh winter has meant a lag in shipment of certain products, such as vegetables.

“When you get a cloudy winter the growers don’t get the amount of light they would like on a lot of products, so I just got availability dates from a couple of my growers and their availability dates have tripled since last week,” said Cummins.

Cummins isn’t worried, he’s found other ways to take advantage of spring until the threat of cold nights are over.

“We brought a big load of tropical’s in the first of March and we’re going to have to get another one in here in about a week, because we have sold quite a few of those.”

Cummins also has tips for those eager to plant.

The saying is true, if you plant early you’ll plant often, so how early is too early?

“I’d caution people on your warm weather vegetables or your annuals. Unless you’re willing to do some protecting from the cold weather then you’re probably going to want to wait on those things for a little bit.”

The roller coaster temperatures doesn’t stop shoppers on the search for that fresh scent of spring, even if they can’t re-create it in their garden for a few more weeks.

“I just love flowers, the more I have in my yard the better,” said Scott.

Cummins said that he expects the garden center to be fully stocked by the end of April. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you confirm your email address and acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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