We in the nursery industry would love to see more sales in fall. I remember last year reading a post by Amy at Garden Rant titled "Gardeners to Nurseries, Fall is the new Spring". Reading that you would think there are lots of gardeners out there that are just chomping on the bit to start fall planting". Amy even said "So there you go. Fall planting may be best for the garden, but I guess it's just not convenient for the nursery industry." So it was interesting to read this post today by Elisabeth at Garden Rant titled "Searching for Fall", where she says , "Iâ€™m totally ready to garden less. I love spending time outside in our current 80-plus October temps (soon to drop, I know), but Iâ€™d rather not weed, water, prune, or plant." She continues, "At this point in the year, Iâ€™d rather revel in nature than attempt to maintain it."
So there you have it. If you read the post by Amy, and then read the comments and the results of the poll she posted you would think that nurseries are missing the boat by not being stocked to the hilt with plants this time of year. Yet, Elisabeth who is an avid gardener most likely wont be visiting her local garden center this fall.
So which is it? Are you guys telling the horticulture industry to have more plants available for fall planting or not? I think realistically, that if you own a nursery and want to increase fall sales its going to be more a targeted campaign toward consumers like Amy. Mass media most likely won't pan out since most people feel like Elisabeth and will just pass over your ads. Thats why so many nurseries have fall festivals and what not since its these events that bring people in, not the urge to plant.
There are gardeners like Amy and the other commenter's who do want to garden in the fall, but they are in the minority. That's why lots of nurseries start looking empty this time of year. Despite our best wishes most gardeners are tired and really don't want to get to involved after gardening all spring and summer. Even here in California where in many cases fall is actually a better time to plant than spring, we just don't see that much action.
You have to imagine the courage of your local garden center if they do stock a great fall selection, since there is no guarantee that it will sell. Storm moves in, and it starts raining and your stuck with unsold merchandise. There is nothing quite like watching your money going down the drain, since most of these plants will not over winter well enough to be sold next year.