With springtime in full swing, many flowers, plants and trees are in full bloom making a beautiful site in Middle Tennessee. With the heralding of spring, many want to get outdoors, maybe take a hike, participate in sports or even fly a kite.
Home gardeners are looking toward garden planting time and making improvements to their home landscape. Local greenhouses and outlets are in full color with bedding plants, and nurseries are in the midst of their spring shipping season.
A stop by McMinnville Super Rama can get anyone interested in planting, with a display of lush green ferns, colorful bedding plants and assorted vegetable plants all ready to go.
“We bring in assorted plants and tropicals in the spring, hanging baskets near Mother’s Day, and have a big display of mums in the fall,” said store manager Keith Hollingsworth.
He is proud to say all of his plants are purchased locally, therefore supporting the community and keeping the revenue at home.
“I really like this time of the year and enjoy the floral displays,” said Hollingsworth. “They put a smile on people’s faces and make them happy.”
With Warren County boasting approximately 250 growing operations, it’s understandable the area has earned the title of “Nursery Capital.” Information from the latest Census of Agriculture in 2012 shows Warren County nurseries produced $68.3 million in sales, providing employment for hundreds of workers.
According to local nurserymen, spring 2016 has been a busy one, with many of them attempting to rebound from the economic imbalance, horrific weather conditions and problems with supply and demand of their product.
Bob Flanders, CEO with Botanico, Inc. is glad to say the nursery is experiencing its second straight year of record sales following an eight-year struggle.
“The rebound has been real for us and we have expanded our container tree sales,” said Flanders. “That alone has helped us tremendously, we just need more plants.”
One might wonder what is it about the area that sustains the industry? Many feel the region’s fertile soil, favorable climate and geographic location is key. The silt-loam soil retains nutrients, and moisture mixed with the soil helps establish a strong root ball. Climate is a big factor, with an average high temperature of 69 degrees and 70 percent humidity, plants are conditioned to thrive in different growing zones across the country.
During this busy time of the year, it’s not unusual to see numerous semis loaded with nursery stock for delivery across the country. Tennessee’s geographic location is a plus, being situated within 1,000 miles of 46 percent of the U.S. population.
Since the late 1800s, Warren County has been rich in nursery tradition, with the industry continually growing and changing to meet the needs of the consumer.