On Thursday, April 22, Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA) Director Steve Wellman joined Governor Pete Ricketts for his daily Covid-19 briefing.
Wellman spoke about safely setting up and shopping at garden centers. Nebraska does have state health and local health directives in place. Wellman said the nurseries and garden centers need to follow those directives.
“In addition to that, we suggest they expand their footprint and give more space to customers to move around and allow for shopping to take place, purchases to take place, but allow for social distancing and work to crush the curve,” Wellman said.
The mild warm weather across Nebraska has seen people get outside and begin their planning for planting and landscaping. Many nurseries and garden centers are opening up for business, keeping Wellman’s advice in mind.
“We’ll take an order out to them, they can come in, we have enough space, and we’ll just be accommodating to everyone as we can. For the next few weeks, that’s just what we’ll have to do as everyone has a different comfort zone,” said Jim Neuwirth, owner of ABC Nursery in Scottsbluff.
Along with fresh plants for flowerbeds, new trees, and shrubs, Neuwirth said he’s seeing more people interested in growing their food this year. So, the nursery has seen a fair share of seeds going out the door. Most of the plants will end up in conventional gardens, but there are a variety of vegetables, such as tomatoes, carrots, radishes, and more, can be planted in pots or boxes.
The Covid-19 pandemic has seen shortages of toilet paper to beef. Neuwirth said he’s not worried about any gardening or plant shortages.
“A couple of the places I buy from, their crop is ready, and I don’t think there will be any shortages of anything,” he said.
ABC Nursery is open along with many of the other greenhouses and nurseries in the area.
The Nebraska Department of Ag and the CDC suggests people wear cloth face masks when out in public.