Spring gardening’s slow start


The inclement weather has sent a shutter down local gardeners’ backs after four nor’easters have pounded gardens with snow, ice and high winds. It has been nearly impossible for gardeners start tending to their gardens. Roads have been icy and treacherous; therefore spending a few hours preparing the soil to plant pansies has not been a thought.

It’s been slow at the Atlantic Nursery off Atlantic Avenue in Freeport, too. Atlantic Nursery is full-service garden center with a wide range of plants, trees, shrubs and expansive selection of gardening supplies. According to Leeanne Krause, 38, one of the owners of the nursery, though spring has started, it’s been a dramatically slow start.

“Spring is usually the start of our season, but we’re having a cooler spring,” Kraus said. “It [the cold weather] definitely has impacted business in somewhat of a negative way.”

The delayed spring has also prevented Kraus’s seasonal staff from getting back to work.

“Usually by now our seasonal staff has already started working,” she said. “But I’ve had to postpone them from starting until the end of the month early April.”

Kraus also says that a number of gardeners usually plant their pansies or violas by this time of the year; unfortunately, some haven’t even started preparing the soil in their gardens.

Pansies and violas are two hearty types plants that survive a frost—and even a hard freeze—for a period of time. However, the extreme weather may have caused the soil to freeze and in some instances killed plants gardeners may have put in before the snowstorms, according to Kraus.

Flowers aren’t the only things getting a late start either, according to Sigurd Feile, co-owner of Atlantic Nursery; the cold weather has also prevented gardeners from planting the early spring vegetables.

“It’s important that gardeners start preparing to put in their early spring vegetables now,” Feile said. “Lettuce, carrots, beets and even cauliflower need to be planted now if they want to have it in their garden later.”

As it gets warmer and spring starts to bloom, Kraus says she’s looking forward to welcoming warmer days.

“The cold weather keeps people away [from the nursery] and not in the gardening spirit,” Kraus said. “I’m confident we will start seeing people come in ready to add color and liven things up for spring.”