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Some plants at local nurseries actually benefited from snowstorm

Some nurseries around the area don't do much business this time of year because of the snow and cold weather. But this recent snowstorm is actually a good thing for them. (WJAC)

JOHNSTOWN -- Some nurseries around the area don't do much business this time of year because of the snow and cold weather. But this recent snowstorm is actually a good thing for them.

Normally you would think cold weather is bad for plants, but as one nursery owner puts it, he can raise the heat in a greenhouse if he needs, but it's hard to vent when we've seen 70 degree days this winter.

Many people are dreading the snow and cold weather, just waiting for springtime and blooming flowers.

But Ray's Nurseries owner Ray Walylko says the cold and snow allows them to be more prepared for the spring.

"People think snow hurts the plants, but the cold hurts them in the sun,” Walylko said. “The snow actually keeps them from freezing so hard."

He said the snow insulates the outside plants in cold weather.

"We had such a mild winter, everything's pushing, Walylko said. “So this is actually good for the outside plants."

Over at Westwood Garden Haven, owner Doris Rosage said plants in the greenhouses are doing just fine.

"The plants haven't been affected with the cold weather,” Rosage said. “The gas runs a little bit more to keep them warm, but as long as you have them around 70 degrees and the plants are growing, and they're doing fine so far."

In fact, she said now is their busy time, doing all the planting.

"We'll start our tomatoes and stuff next week, so we'll get them growing,” Rosage said. “So it'll take a while, but we need the warmer weather to move the perennials outside, so we can fill the greenhouses with more plants."

For now, they make money from plowing snow and selling salt and firewood.

"We don't usually sell anything this time of year anyhow,” Walylko said. “The storm's tough on us as far as heating in the greenhouses, but the outside stuff's fine."

Walylko said they don't sell much until Easter when tulips and hyacinths are popular.

"The timing thing is to make them all be blooming on Easter Sunday," Walylko said.

And even after the snow is gone, Rosage says to wait to plant your flowers.

"And we tell them to wait until at least after the last frost, which is usually after the last full moon in May," Rosage said.

Walylko says since they don't sell much until April or May, the cold weather was perfect timing, so his plants wouldn't grow too fast from the warm weather we saw in February.

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