We’ve all heard of supply chain issues, and we’re all rather tired of it, to be honest. The landscaping industry isn’t immune to the issues – but it is affected differently. At the ProGreen Conference this past February, I learned what landscape economists are forecasting for the coming year or years.
- Shortages in labor continue to affect landscape services. Everyone I know talks about hiring difficulties and landscape companies are no exception. If you’re looking to hire a contractor, expect the job will take longer and there will be a longer lead time.
- Shortages in labor also affect nursery stock availability. Planting seeds and propagating plants cannot be fully automated. Without workers, nurseries simply aren’t able to produce as many plants.
- Increased demand causes shortages in nursery stock. During the pandemic shut-down, many people decided to spend their vacation money fixing up the back yard. Shrubs and trees that take longer to get to a sale-able size will be in short supply.
- Conifers (needled evergreens) will be especially impacted by the increased demand of the past couple of years. Upright/columnar Junipers were in especially high demand as home owners sought to screen off their view. These Junipers may not be available in the 5-6 foot height.
- Colorado naturally has a later start date. Much of the available nursery stock is grown elsewhere and shipped here via truck. States that have an earlier last-frost date receive stock from these growers earlier in the year. Sure, “that’s not fair,” but growers are motivated to sell their stock to whomever is buying.
- Increased gas prices are sure to affect the landscaping and agriculture industries.
I don’t mean to discourage you from planning and planting! Rather, I hope that understanding the challenges will encourage you to be patient. I believe gardening is all about cultivating patience! I find real joy and excitement when my patience is rewarded by sprouting seeds!