New Jersey garden centers buzz with activity despite coronavirus concerns

Sunday’s weather was perfect for getting outdoors and gardening. But, even that activity is different this spring, as so many garden centers are closed.

In New Jersey, some centers are open, though not as packed as they might be.

“It’s warming up, so spring is coming,” states Joe Tratto.

Spring has almost sprung and the age old activity of planting perennials and shrubs has arrived. The weather is perfect for getting out and enjoying nature.


“With the coronavirus, we have been inside for a while, so it was a nice day to come out and go to Flagg’s,” explained Tratto.

With so many people cooped up, gardening is a great excuse to get out safely.

“I was actually wearing a face mask out and trying to take all the precautions,” Tratto added.


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Business was good at New Jersey garden centers.

“We were very busy. Of course, we live and die by the weather, so this afternoon was nice,” explained Rich Flagg.

Owner of Flagg’s Garden Center, Rich said there’s no denying foot traffic is down and the next few weeks are crucial. It’s when they do two thirds of their business for the year.

“It’s tapered off a little, but we couldn’t sustain the business going into April and May with the same traffic flow,” Flagg stated.

Things will be good as long as sales stay normal for the next two months. In the meantime, they are now doing sales online and the response is good.

“Pretty overwhelming the first couple of days. We have it under control now,” Flagg said.

As long as people are home, and a bit bored, Flagg said they may start to notice the lawn needs a touch-up.

“Everybody’s at home and looking around their yard and wanting to do something, for sure,” Flagg added.

That and it’s cathartic to be able to go outside and create something beautiful, especially in the current times.

“I hear that from my customers all the time, they’re very happy that we’re open and they say this is their happy place,” Flagg remarked.


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