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Room for Growth in Gardening

WHETHER IT'S SHOPPERS living in small spaces or shoppers with limited mobility, retail gardening centers and floral departments are adjusting their product offerings to meet the needs of very specific customer groups.

For instance, Hy-Vee Floral Supervisor Rita Peters said Hy-Vee tries to help people garden as long as they can. The retailer offers waist-high planting boxes that people in care facilities or in wheelchairs can easily access.

“So people that love to garden, they can keep doing it for a long, long time,” Peters told SN.

Many retailers are offering a variety of convenient plants that can be grown in container gardens and small spaces for people in apartments.

“This year we had strawberries in hanging baskets, so there are things out there for the people that are in apartments and don't have that big space to plant those [larger gardens],” said Peters.

Hy-Vee also offered tomato and lettuce plants in containers ready to be placed and grown in any available space.

For urban dwellers, floral consultant Sandy Hering said that retailers could also make people aware that home gardeners should test for contamination or build raised beds with new soil. “I would say garden centers that carried the materials for raised beds should help people understand how they can easily put these raised beds together,” said Hering, owner of Floral Marketing Innovations, Mattapoisett, Mass.