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Local growers hope frost season is over

METROPOLIS (WSIL) — The chance for frost is becoming slimmer as we shift later into the spring months but as we found out Monday morning it can’t be yet ruled out. Spring months in recent years have local growers leaning on the side of caution this year.

Billy Hopkins, Owner of McPlants Garden Center in Metropolis says, "Normally by Easter we would be in full stock. But from what I hear, nobody is."

Hopkins typically has tropical plants in his shop by Easter but he decided to hold off this year, "I think people are still gun-shy, including me. That’s why I’m as empty as I am because I didn’t have the nerve to bring anything in, other than what I grow."

Playing it safe eased the stress of another cold snap. Hopkins explains, "Last year with that cold in the middle of April, I took a huge huge hit and I didn’t want to write that check again."

Thankfully, the recent frost didn’t cause any major problems. Hopkins says, "I heard a couple people say out in the country that they had frost on the ground, I didn’t see any of that so I don’t think we had enough to do any damage."

Hopkins says it seems that the growing season continues to change each year, "As the years have gone by it just keeps shifting later because we do next to nothing in March, April starts ramping up, May is big and the June stays big."

The weather plays a crucial role whether it’s frost, rain or even sunshine.

Hopkins says, "When you got three months to make a living, everyday you lose feels like the end of the world." Hopkins says he plans to have his shop fully stocked by next week.

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