Cold weather takes its toll on LI greenhouses

The harsh, prolonged winter is beginning to impact Long Island's multimillion-dollar greenhouse industry.



Most greenhouses make the bulk of their profits between March and Mother's Day, but the cold weather has kept customers away from their gardens.



"We don't want the pansies to freeze at the stores at this point," said Jillanne Johnson, of Kurt Weiss Greenhouses in Center Moriches. "I think a lot of the customers are afraid to dig in the ground because the ground is still frozen."



Kurt Weiss is the second largest greenhouse operation in the country. It supplies Home Depot, Costco, and supermarkets with plants and flowers. There are more than 200 greenhouse operations in Suffolk County that make up about half of Long Island's agriculture industry.



For now, all greenhouse owners and workers can hope for is a major warm-up in the forecast.


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