Those of us in the green industry know that fall and winter are often the best times to plant, depending on where you live. How well are you educating your customers on the most successful times to plant? Here in California, and many other mild-winter climates, summers can be hot, dry and brutal. It can be tough to successfully establish new plantings during the peak season, especially if you happen to be under tight watering restrictions.
While spring is the time most of our customers have been trained to buy plants and install new landscapes, they may be setting themselves up for disappointment if we have a tough summer. If you live in a mild-winter climate then fall is really your prime planting season. Why? In order for plants to better survive a tough summer, it’s best to give them a head start on root development. The more time they have to put down new roots under mild conditions, the better chance they have of successfully making it through the following summer. When plants survive, customers become more confident and are willing to keep gardening.
There have been many “fall is for planting” marketing initiatives, but are retail garden centers backing up this message with adequate inventory? A constant struggle for retail customers seems to be access to enough good material to plant in fall. While we know it’s tough to carry as much inventory as you might in spring, a commitment to boosting fall inventory will also boost customer confidence. If you have it, they can plant it! Encourage your customers to plant in fall and winter by getting to know their in-demand plants, boosting fall inventories and taking special orders.