“Best to buy local” and “Know what you grow” are the themes for 15 greenhouses and nurseries in Morrow County. With a slow opening due to the cooler than usual April weather, local greenhouses saw the first surge in business with Mother’s Day.
Garden plants like peppers and tomatoes, annual flowers and perennials along with trees and native plants can be purchased in greenhouses in every corner of the county.
With Gov. Mike DeWine’s stay-at-home order, local greenhouses are seeing more interest in residents gardening and planting.
Every one of these businesses in the county is locally owned and operated, usually with family members or local residents employed.
*Louise Brutchey and her son Derek own J&L Nursery LLC located on State Route 19 at the northern tip of the county in North Bloomfield Township.
“Our business changed when the big box stores started carrying plants a few years ago,” Brutchey said. “Their quality is not the same as ours though.”
Brutchey added that a local greenhouse like theirs can really care for the plants and keep them watered in a way that the big box stores don’t, or can’t do. She said they usually contract with large companies for their plants and don’t give them the needed attention.
Brutchey started the nursery with her husband in 1986 at their home on Township Road 49. They opened at the present location on SR 19 in 1992 and built the main building and a Quonset greenhouse.
Every year J&L has added to their stock of plants with two rows of greenhouse filled with annuals, perennials, hanging baskets, vegetable plantings and seeds. The last few years they have also added a line of meats and groceries in their store.
• Growing Companions owners Janelle and John Lowry agree that knowledge and care of plants is best done by local growers and greenhouses.
Janelle said they grow plants from seed with some starters for vegetables and other plants. They have been at their location Chesterville-Sparta Road off State Route 314 for 15 years.
Lowry’s sell not only to local residents, but also to some Columbus stores Lucky’s Markets and Ace Hardware. Some customers come down from Mansfield, Butler and around the state. They keep coming back over the years.
“We sell mums at Prairie Peddler in the fall and sell to farmers markets,” Janelle said. “Know what you grow is what I stand by.”
Northmor and OSU grad Kelsey Jesson is the second generation to own and operate Pleasant View Nursery on CR 20 north of Williamsport.
“It was a slow start with cooler weather this year,” Jesson said. “But sales for Mother’s Day really picked up. We were amazed to sell more than 450 hanging baskets before Mother’s Day.”
• Singing Springs on the west side of Cardington has a full selection of annuals, perennials, mulch, soils and seeds. Their hours in May through early June are 10-5 Monday-Saturday and 11-3 Sunday.
They also have “The Nook” where they sell Gale’s original recipe Bratwurst and other meats as well as cheeses and Riverside Ice Cream.
Morrow County Extension Educator Carri Jagger is pleased to see local greenhouses thriving. She also sees that many have turned to gardening and planting in the months since the stay-at-home order.
• Jagger listed a variety of greenhouses in the county that range from Singing Springs and LincolnShire Farm and Greenhouse in the Cardington area to three Amish greenhouses south of Johnsville that include Brush Hollow, Clearview, and Greenhouse and Garden Supply.
• J&L Nursery LLC is in North Bloomfield and Pleasant View and Queens Greenhouse are north of Williamsport in Congress Township.
• The McRury Tebbe Tree Farm is north of Chesterville in Franklin Township and Growing Companions south of Chesterviile in Chester Township.
• The Marengo area has Goodge’s Greenhouse and Gifts, Natives in Harmony and the Common Milkweed. ACH Nursery and Groovy Plants Ranch are both near Fargo.
“People like to get their plants out at Mother’s Day,” Jagger noted. “But my rule of thumb is to wait until after Memorial Day to put out your tender plants.”