April 2022
Signs of Spring By Teresa McPherson

While your customers might not be able to get their hands in the dirt quite yet, there’s still plenty of planning to do.

It’s a balmy 33° F as I write this but my daffodils and crocuses are telling a different story — and frankly I’d rather listen to them right about now. Before you know it, we’ll all be out cleaning out the garden beds and prepping the soil for the new additions to our landscapes.

But not so fast, says the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation (as well as several memes I’ve seen floating around on Facebook). According to the society, an international nonprofit organization that protects the natural world through the conservation of invertebrates and their habitats, it’s not time to clean up your garden in the Northeast (where I am) until: your taxes are submitted; you need to mow your lawn regularly; and apple and pear trees finish blooming. To be extra safe, they suggest waiting until you are ready to plant tomatoes (when night temperatures are consistently above 50° F).

So while your customers might not be able to get their hands in the dirt quite yet, there’s still plenty of planning to do. I’m organizing my seeds and planning out the garden beds for spring, looking over my notes from last year and determining what should go where.

I’m sure many of us can say we enjoy keeping up with indoor and outdoor living trends; I might not have the “trendiest” house on the block but it’s fun to imagine. This month, I talked to some suppliers on the trends they’re seeing in the outdoor living space. Click here for the scoop.

Retail merchandising makes a big difference in whether a customer engages with your store or just passes through. When done right, visual merchandising can lead customers to the right products, entice them to buy, and create an excellent in-store experience. This month, we have “10 Retail Merchandising Best Practices to Follow in Your Store,” including one of my favorites — “try before you buy.” After all, who wouldn’t want to sample the fresh salsa and chips or a still-warm-from-the-oven cookie or muffin sample?

Also in This Issue

What does the Dr. Seuss classic “Horton Hatches the Egg” (Random House, 1940) about an elephant, Horton, who was conned into hatching an egg have to do with running a garden center? Our columnist Stan Pohmer shares his insights on how we can all learn from Horton here.

Teresa McPherson

Teresa McPherson is the managing editor of Lawn & Garden Retailer. Contact her at [email protected].