Fall is here! Turning the calendar page to September seems to happen quickly. We look forward to the harvest, back to school, football, tailgating and, believe it or not, some more gardening. Are you ready for some very fast-paced customers? Have you proactively stocked your store with seasonal goods that will sell “fast and furious” when consumers venture in, once or twice more before Christmas?
While some retailers think of fall as the stepping stone to Christmas and holiday sales, many others consider it to be the end of the season. Time to close up shop and relax. But, for those still open for business, Griffin has many products to stock up and sell (and, of course, save using our Retail Expo show book for their immediate orders!) Spoiler alert: Your season doesn’t have to be over!
This year was one of the more oppressive on record for temperatures and higher humidity in many regions. The lawn took a beating with disease, weeds and slowed growth. Those homeowners who wanted to conserve on their watering (by choice or by mandate) saw their lawns dry up and go dormant. Renovation should be one area that many homeowners will to perform on their lawns in September and October.
A good place to start is by testing the pH of the soil, and adjusting acidic soils upwards with lime. Thatch build-up happens when grass dies or as a characteristic of Kentucky bluegrass-type lawns. If a customer is interested in re-seeding, advise them to consider dethatching; removing the layer of thatch ensures good seed-to-soil contact for germination success. Fertilizing the lawn in the fall helps grass establish sturdy roots and provides needed re-nourishment prior to winter.
Fall is for Planting
Fall isn’t just great for the lawn; it’s prime time for planting trees and shrubs, too! Great buys are often available on leftover stock. These plantings benefit from cooler weather; root systems can still stretch out and become well established during the run-up to winter. Newly planted trees will need a good planting medium, mulch and, likely, a tree stake kit.
Some garden centers have reduced their bulb offerings in recent years, but I encourage you to think twice before giving up on this category. Consumers still value the first signs of spring with crocus, daffodil and tulips in their yards. Your display should include planting basics like bulb food and bulb planters. Customers with dogs or other digging animals in close proximity may also require a repellant to spread across the topsoil.
Of course, the success of a customer’s new planting is only as good as his or her planting know-how. Use signage or staff near your display to educate on the basics of soil preparation, planting depth and plant care. Planting depth for bulbs, for example, is generally 2½ times the bulb’s size.
Indoor gardening through the winter continues to be on-trend, thanks to lifestyle networks like HGTV and the Cooking Channel, as well as healthy-cooking programming on other channels. Windowsill herbs, in particular, are very popular; they can also drive impulse sales. Fall is a perfect time to plant up indoor herbs and watch them develop in sunny, brightly lit areas of the home.
Some homeowners also begin bringing tropical plants into their homes at this time of year, to protect them until spring returns. Give them a hand with supplies such as dormant oil and houseplant insecticide (e.g., Merit) to prevent unwanted pests from migrating indoors, too. Supplement your product offer with tips for trimming and repotting tropicals. Fall is also prime time for houseplants, as consumers look to liven up their indoor spaces for the winter. Don’t forget to restock your vinyl saucer display and order up your trunk mat liners.
There’s still plenty of time (and daylight) for consumers to make lawn and garden purchases before winter! We should be at the ready to fulfill those needs when they come calling.
This Month's Featured Products
Scram For Dogs™
Train dogs to keep out of your garden, bushes and yard the environmentally safe, naturally organic way. This unique organic formula provides strong, natural repelling power that trains dogs to stay away from these areas around your home without harming people, pets or the environment.
Fall Magic™ Mixture
A rich, premium blend of sphagnum peat moss, peat humus and perlite that has been enriched with Myco-tone®. For all seedling and cuttings. Promotes root growth and improves moisture retention.
Winter Survival Fall Fertilizer 10-0-20Fall and winter feeding formula keeps your lawn greener later into the year. Provides a well balanced formula, ideal for winter turf protection. Iron, sulfur and 30% slow release nitrogen help to keep the lawn a deepgreen color. A true fall/winter formula that promotes root growth and stores nutrients for the spring. Contains humates for root development. Ideal to use with a fall seeding.
Clear Plastic Saucers
Protects surfaces from water leaks and stains. Interior ridges keeps plant from sitting in pool of water. Keeps your plant roots healthy. Ideal for use with round planters.