Businesses rake in some green before the frost

ST. JOESPH COUNTY, Ind. – Outdoor businesses were really rolling in the green early this spring thanks to an abnormally warm March. Now temperatures are creeping back to normal and even close to the freezing mark at night, which has some plants and businesses wilting.

Greenskeepers Lawn Care in South Bend said its normal spring business boom starts around the first week of April, but this year they had a jump start in March. This was almost a whole month early.

"It's just been nuts we have had so many new customers and we're happy for the business, but we just can't keep up," said Christy Shriver.

As she was busy answering phone call after phone call, the company’s three lawn technicians were busy with the extra jobs.

The lawn techs can normally cover about 12 yards a day, but they were working overtime in the warm temperatures.

"In a day I would say 60 to 80 yards," said Shriver. And yes, that’s in one day.

Other outdoor businesses were getting a chunk of the green, too.

Ginger Valley Garden Center in Granger said it had a streak of record high sales.

"It's been kind of a roller coaster," said General Manager Joel Houston. "We had record sales for about ten straight days there in March."

Houston said anytime temperatures drop near freezing they keep a close eye on their crops. Since the warm temperatures came first this year, anything that bloomed is in danger,

"It’s had everything bloom out very quickly, so when you get some cold weather you've got to protect those things or it will damage the flowers," said Houston.

He said they’ve been keeping some plant inside the greenhouse longer than normal, and are covering the plants with a breathable fabric at night to protect them from frost.

Both outdoor businesses said customers have gone back to normal now that the cooler spring weather is back.

But it is Michiana, and summer is probably right around the corner.


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