The arrival of fall and the harvest season is a great time to slow down and have some fun at the garden center. From haunted houses to contests to free fun for the kids, there are lots of ways to have a great fall in the garden. Here's what a few garden centers are doing to take advantage of the cooler weather:
Host a harvest contest
Sickles Market in New Jersey just hosted its first biggest tomato contest to celebrate one of the Garden State’s best crops. The heaviest tomato was over 3 pounds, and the grower won a $100 gift certificate along with infamy in Sickles history.
The independent garden center opened the contest to all gardeners growing any kind of tomato from red to white. Encouraging even more participation, there was no entry fee. The center honored the winner on its social media outlets, and local news outlets picked up the story, giving the center some great publicity.
Celebrate a fall crop
The Hot & Stinky Garlic & Herb Festival at Zanolini Nursery & Country Shop has been going strong for 13 years, celebrating the season’s crop of garlic, chilies and more. There’s a hot pepper eating contest, Chinese auction, chili cookoff and garlic eating contest.
The event has a quirky, fun feel to it and encourages lots of customer participation, ensuring that people will definitely be talking about Zanolini’s through the winter.
Have a Fall Festival
Gethsemane Gardens & More has their Halloween Fest set for Oct. 29 with a petting zoo, pony rides, live music, traveling zoo, hay maze and more. The free day of fun draws a big crowd to the center, especially young families.
Burke Nursery has its own dedicated pumpkin playground during the month of October, with fun every day of the week. The 18th annual event will include the ghost tunnel slide, pirate’s camp, enchanted caste, farm animals and hayrides.
While a month-long event might sound a bit daunting, any garden center can host some sort of fun fall event, even if it’s just a scarecrow making class, a pumpkin carving contest or a garlic eating contest. Celebrate the season, and what makes your garden center special!