Twin Orchards Nursery offers a way to stay busy outside

Tomato plants are popular right now at Twin Orchards Nursery in Shorewood. (Sun Photo by Lydia Christianson)

Twin Orchards Nursery in Shorewood is busier this year by a considerable margin, owner Jerod Fehrenbach said. The business reopened in early May when nurseries, which are considered essential, were allowed to do so. 

Plant popularity depends on the season. This time of year, and especially due to the COVID-19 pandemic, herbs and vegetables are popular, Fehrenbach said, adding anything that’s edible is selling really well.

The nursery sold out of vegetables and herbs last year. It hasn’t run out yet, but he anticipates selling out sooner than usual, he said.

Growing a garden is something people can do, Fehrenbach said. People are drawn to gardens because of concerns about the food supply. People can’t grow a cow or a chicken. But, they can grow a garden at home with relatively little effort, he said.

Fehrenbach has noticed an increase in new gardeners. Some haven’t visited his nursery before or have never gardened at all, he said. People are looking for something to do at home. They’re looking for things to plant and eat like cucumbers or tomatoes, he said.

New gardeners want to know the basics of what to grow and how to care for the plants, Fehrenbach said. He advises to look at the calendar rather than the weather outside when deciding when to plant, he said. The last frost usually lands around May 10, so he tells customers not to plant any earlier.

Hostas are good beginner plants for shaded gardens. They do very well and come in many different varieties, he said. Daylilies and ornamental grasses work well in the sun. Annual plants are quick sources of color that are usually easy, he added.

For families that want to garden together, fast-growing plants are best. It’s fun to watch them grow and get instant gratification, he said, noting that children aren’t as patient. On the vegetable side, cherry tomatoes and cucumbers work well with children. Or any vegetables your children like, he said, adding his daughters like cucumbers.

There aren’t many entertainment options or things to do right now, Fehrenbach said. People are at home looking for a way to occupy themselves. It’s a good time to start a garden, he said.

A garden is something people can look at over time. In the future, they will see the tree or hydrangea getting big and remember back to when they planted it, he said. People will remember they planted it in 2020 when they were all at home together, he added.

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