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Environment & Energy

Ohio nurseries and their customers face rising costs with start of new growing season

Kollman's Greenhouse
One of the greenhouses at Kollman's Greenhouse in Twinsburg

The isolation of the pandemic and the supply chain challenges that came with it caused many people in the U.S. to take up gardening for the first time. Local garden centers, greenhouses and nurseries did their best to keep up with the increased demand, but now they’re also having to deal with inflationary pressures.

Betsy Bresky, owner of Kollman’s Greenhouse in Twinsburg says her costs have gone up, driven by everything from labor shortages to higher transportation expenses, and she’s had to pass that along to her customers.

But she says another challenge she faces is short supplies of what she needs to grow the plants she sells… like planters and fertilizer.

Betsy Bresky
The challenges that nurseries are facing.

“Those are difficult and complicated changes to make in a business where one little thing out of whack can kill a crop.”

Bresky says since the greenhouses are heated with natural gas, she anticipates unusually high utility bills. They’ve invested in machinery that fluffs and fills all their planters which she says has made them more efficient and saved them a small percentage on the soil they buy.

Bresky says she’s had to resort to placing orders for supplies a year in advance and even with increasing what she grows, she isn’t confident about meeting demand.

She says indoor house plants, succulents and a brand of plants called “Proven Winners” have gained popularity. Bresky says they’ve also received more requests than before for building municipal plant baskets that cities have on sidewalks.