Hillside Nursery has recently sold more vegetable plants and seeds than in any previous spring, Hillside Nursery Vice President Rosie Serna said.
“I think this year, everybody will have a garden,” she said, referring to shelter-in-place mandates due to coronavirus causing people to seek more activities to do at home.
“Vegetables have sold like no other year. Even our suppliers are low,” she said.
Serna said some patrons were worried about food shortages. She said their attitude was, “If the grocery store doesn’t have food, at least we have seeds to grow our own vegetables.” She added it that made her sad to see people panicking.
Hillside Nursery still has plenty of inventory available, though, including tomato, squash, broccoli, pepper and cucumber plants and many seed varieties. They had stocked extra in preparation for an annual spring grand opening celebration, Serna said.
“I was scared if they shut us down, we’d have all these plants,” she said. “I think if this [coronavirus] didn’t happen, we’d still move them faster. We still have a lot.”
The nursery has been allowed to remain open, and it has added curbside pickup and delivery options for customers who want plants and social distance.
Codes about visitor numbers are being regularly reinforced and the staff is maintaining an appropriate distance, Serna added.
“We’ve received feedback that people are happy we’ve stayed open,” she said. “They want to get out and breathe fresh air.”
The business has seen many new gardeners with no idea how to start, and the staff has been helping them, Serna said.
“We’re here to support them in any way we can, and we appreciate their business during this difficult time we’re all going through,” she said.
Serna said she hopes people will discover the relaxing benefits of gardening.
“I think that’s one thing this coronavirus is going to bring out: the goodness of gardening,” she said. “A lot of people have never done it. They’re going to realize how enjoyable it is. It’s hard work and exercise, and at the same time, [it's] relaxing and enjoyable. Just get out and play with the dirt.”