ROBBINSVILLE, N.J. — This year’s cold, wet, Nor’easter-riddled spring has meant New Jersey’s nurseries and garden centers have greenhouses bursting with horticultural products and landscaping contractors have crews waiting to get out and work.
Residents have put off beautifying their homes and properties due to the inclement weather that characterized most of March and April. But now, state agricultural officials say, the weather has turned warmer and it is time for people to get out in their yards and gardens and start planting.
“New Jersey’s horticultural sector produces and offers some of the finest trees, plants, grasses and other horticultural products you can find anywhere,” said New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Douglas Fisher, while visiting Timothy’s Center for Gardening in Robbinsville, Mercer County. “It’s no mystery why this state is in the Top-10 of horticultural-producing states in the nation.”
Lori Jenssen, executive director of the New Jersey Nursery and Landscape Association, said the group’s members are urging New Jerseyans to “get out there and plant something.”
“Memorial Day weekend is a great time to use horticulture to honor those courageous men and women who have served and given their lives for the causes of freedom, liberty, and peace.” Jenssen said. “It is because of the sacrifices of our veterans that we get to enjoy the simpler things in life, such as gardening, parades and picnics.”
Flowers that can be used to show your patriotism are: Blue flowers: Lobelia, Petunia, Plumbago, Bellflower; Red flowers: Geranium, Superbells, Superbena, Dahlia, Begonia; White flowers: Supertunia, Sweet Alyssum, Geranium, Daisy and Petunia.
Horticulture, nursery, greenhouse and sod (collectively referred to as horticulture products) constitute the largest sector of New Jersey agriculture, with an annual value of approximately $400 million.
The NJNLA reminds residents that:
- A home’s resale value can increase by 15 percent for homes with a quality, low-maintenance landscape.
- Tree cover adds 2 percent to 9 percent to the value of existing homes, and a single tree can add as much as 2 percent.
- On average, a well-designed landscape saves enough energy to pay for itself in less than eight years, and carefully positioned plants and trees can cut as much as 25 percent off a household’s energy consumption for heating and cooling.
- Having just three properly placed trees can save an average household between $100 and $250 in annual heating and cooling costs.
- Spending time outdoors, in landscapes, and working with plants is proven to improve both mental and physical well-being in people of all ages.
- Planting of trees, shrubs, and perennials in urban environments can reduce crime, filter air and reduce noise pollution.
New Jersey’s garden centers, greenhouses and landscapers are ready to help you take advantage of these great benefits. For more information on NJNLA members in your area, visit www.njnla.org.
— New Jersey Department of Agriculture