Mulch madness: Social distancing sprouts business boom at NC garden centers amid COVID-19

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Business is booming at gardening centers as North Carolina residents search for ways to stay busy during the crisis while practicing social distancing.

Guy Prevost owns Atlantic Gardening Company in north Raleigh and said he broke sales records this past weekend.

"It's absolutely crazy. I think on Saturday we had close to 500 customers," said Prevost. "The demand is really strong."

FULL CORONAVIRUS COVERAGE

At his Atlantic Avenue store, shelves are nearly bare. There are just a few vegetables left out for the tacking, all the cold weather ones are gone. Herbs are mostly sold out.

"All these pots were filled with herbs just last weekend," he said pointing to empty containers.

Mulch is also going quickly.

"Mulch madness!" joked Prevost. "We have two truckloads of mulch coming in today."

Prevost is the largest garden retailer in the state and said he has been trying to keep product stocked.

People are stuck home going stir crazy. Gardening can be a healthy activity where you can practice social distancing.

"Vegetables and herbs are really popular because they can grow them on their kitchen counters. They can grow them outside. It's a project they can do with their children," said Prevost.

He is making adjusts during these times.

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The shop is offering free delivery within a 10 mile radius, registers are being moved outdoors so customers won't have to stand in lines, and people are being asked to place orders online for curbside pickup.

"If we can figure out a way to keep customers shopping in the outdoors, keep them moving, keep them socially distanced - we should be able to weather the storm," he said.
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