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Gardening and landscaping prices on the rise

Labor shortages, supply chain challenges, and inflation force greenhouses and other businesses to increase prices.

OTTAWA COUNTY, Mich. — For anyone preparing summer gardening or landscaping projects, it might be a good idea to budget some extra money. 

Inflation, supply chain challenges, and labor shortages have caused greenhouses and landscaping companies to increase prices. 

"Every segment of our industry are seeing increases," said Amy Upton, executive director of the Michigan Nursery and Landscape Association

Upton said growers are having trouble finding plant containers, labor costs have increased, shipping costs have increased, fuel prices are skyrocketing and seed and fertilizer are hard to come by. That's causing places to raise their prices. 

"That is, they're not making any more money," said Upton, "In fact, that profit margin is decreasing daily."

At JW Greenhouses in Holland, it is their busiest time of year. Owner Joe Miedema said they planned ahead and ordered early, so they are doing alright on stock for now. 

However, they also had to raise prices 10-12%.

"I apologize for raised prices, none of us like it," said Miedema, "We didn’t raise prices more than we had to. We just want to stay competitive and stay in business."

Miedema said he consulted with other growers in the area to compare price increases at the start of spring. The concern is not raising prices enough to cover increased cost of supply and operation. It is not to make an extra buck. 

"It’s just to cover our costs," said Miedema, "I wish we didn’t have to raise prices, but we have to because, obviously. We want take care of our people, take care of our family, and pay our bills."

The good news is, Miedema said the quality and the demand is still there. Since the pandemic began, these industries have seen a huge increase in purchasing, which he said continues. 

"It's really picked up," said Miedema, "It's been really good. We've been really blessed."

Meanwhile, Upton said while customers may have to pay more for their gardening supplies, they should do so with patience. The supply chain challenges and inflation consumers see at restaurants, grocery stores, and more applies to this industry as well. 

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