Before Hunkering Down, People Prepare to Garden

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More and more people are staying home to help stop the spread of the coronavirus, and to help their cabin fever, they're spending more time in their yards.

For nurseries, good weather is always a good sign, but the lack of shoppers inside isn't.

RJ Domack, vice president of Moscarillo's Garden Shoppe in West Hartford says the past weekend was very good for them because he thinks people were grabbing items before hunkering down.

To help keep sales going while people stay home, Moscarillo's is bulking up their store online, and it's paying off. In the last week, they've seen sales over the phone and online double. With so many people ordering over the phone or online, they've eliminated delivery fees.

"I think our sales are staying pretty consistent because we moved a lot of stuff online, and people are definitely taking advantage of it. And they're texting us their orders," said Domack.

"I'm just looking around for some spring plants, anything to cheer up the mood, some color," said Glastonbury resident Christy Pettingell.

Whether in person or not, shoppers say getting items from a nursery is a chance to brighten up the home and stay busy.

Another garden center says some people are looking to grow veggies in case produce at the grocery store becomes sparse. At Moscarillo's, they haven't heard that but say their seed sales are higher than normal.

Outside the store, propane tanks are being filled. Sales on that end tripled in the last week as March continues to bring more sun and less snow.

"I just came in to fill up my propane tank. The weather is beautiful. I started using my grill, and I wanted to make sure I have enough gas to get me through," said West Hartford resident David Brofsky.

While venturing out, those we spoke to say staying healthy is on their mind. Moscarillo's says they're sanitizing carts and surfaces frequently and having employees work from home.

As the days pass, more people are searching for things to do and paying attention to gardens and lawns is a popular way to stave off boredom.

"Everyone's yards are going to look great this spring, I think, because everyone's hunkering down," said Domack.

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