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Published June 15, 2011, 06:18 PM

Bad Weather = Bad Business For Area Garden Shops

Most of us typically start planting our gardens before Memorial Day because it is the earliest part of summer, but cool, wet weather is slowing the planting and slowing business.

Most of us typically start planting our gardens before Memorial Day because it is the earliest part of summer, but cool, wet weather is slowing the planting and slowing business.

Only the die-hard gardeners can be found in local nurseries.

"It is fulfillment like nothing else and that's what gardening is to me," said Lee Shafer, an avid gardner. His good friend Howar Williams agrees.

"It's in your blood. To see these develop and mature into a product," said Williams.

Shafer and Williams will likely have their pick of inventory in All Seasons Garden Center. There are plenty of choices, but business has not been blossoming for this garden shop in Grand Forks because of recent severe weather. In North Dakota, we have a word for it.

"Crappy!" said Georgia Heitmann, a co-owner of All Seasons.

"Sales are slower. People are afraid to plant out because it has been wet and cold. It's just been slower," she said.

Garden shop shelves look more like bushes because they are fuller this summer than a year ago.

There's no insurance to pick up the cost of unsold flowers and plants, so what happens to them when they don't go in gardens?

"We grew it. It's here. We market it or dump it. We do give some away. We give some to non-profit organizations and churches," said Heitmann.

Rain, cold and a few funnel clouds have been bad for business, but on the other hand it is pretty good weather for planting.

"This is ideal weather because it's cooler out. We haven't hit the '80's, and it is not staying in the '80's. We have the heat to come, so if we get the plants in the ground prior to the heat they can start rooting in," said Tim Shea, owner of Tim Shea's Nursery and Landscaping.

With all the moisture in the soil, and an overstock of flowers to choose from there is still have time for your summer garden to bloom.

"It's never too late. You just have to pencil it in," said Williams.

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