Time to get growing! May should be a good month for gardening in NJ
The cold and wet weather in New Jersey over the last few weeks has made it difficult for many to start gardening and landscaping, but May is expected to be a robust month for the industry.
Dominick Mondi, executive director of the New Jersey Nursery and Landscape Association, said that while rainy weekends don’t make for good garden center traffic, the state had a dry, late winter and needed the rain we’ve been getting.
“You know the old adage — April showers bring May flowers. Having a rainy second half of April is actually normal, not a challenge, so this is the type of weather that gets the soil ready to go,” Mondi said. “Flowers start to pop. Iit gets people thinking about being outside.
And with Mother’s Day this Sunday, he added, “We expect May, based on everything we’re seeing and hearing from our garden centers, to be a big month.”
New Jersey is the largest nursery producing state in the Northeast, according to Mondi. For those planning to buy or plant flowers for the holiday weekend, here’s something to consider.
“It’s one of the larger contributing sectors to New Jersey’s agriculture. It’s more than $350 million annually in nursery sales, and 40 to 60 percent of that, depending on the year, of those plants grown in New Jersey are sold in New Jersey,” Mondi said. “So, when you’re purchasing plants at your local garden center, chances are they’re not only being sold there, they’re being grown here in the state. You sort of get to help two small businesses at once.”
If you need an incentive to start planting or landscaping this season, landscaping has one of the highest rates of return on investment for any type of improvement you can do to your property, according to Mondi.
“High-quality landscaping is not just good for the economic value of your home, but it also improves the environment around your home, it can reduce your heating and cooling costs if you plant trees in the right spot, and of course, improves your quality of life as well,” said Mondi.
According to Mondi, landscaping can make up between 10 and 17 percent of a home’s value.
“So, just as a kitchen or a basement upgrade to higher quality of those rooms, the more value you get back, and the same thing is true for your landscaping,” Mondi said.
Information about landscaping, research and professionals can be found at plantsomething.org, created by the New Jersey Nursery and Landscape Association.
A list of Jersey Grown growers can be found at jerseygrown.nj.gov. The New Jersey Department of Agriculture says its website is now optimized for easy access on tablets and mobile phones.