The Lake County Horticulture Industry has a long and proud history dating back to the late 1800’s with the Storr’s and Harrison Nursery. Today over 100 licensed nurseries in Lake County are producing a wide variety of high quality container and field grown nursery stock on over 5000 acres. What makes the industry unique in this area is that it is concentrated in a narrow belt along Lake Erie 15 to 20 miles long running from Willoughby to Madison. Operations vary in size from less than one acre to over 900 acres. The Lake County nursery industry employs over 2,700 full and part-time workers and has an estimated annual wholesale figure of over $90,000,000 in sales.
Lake County’s location gives added benefits besides the moderate climate provided by Lake Erie. Most nurseries are located close to major freeways for ease of shipping. The Cleveland metropolitan area is a close and vital marketing and shipping neighbor to Lake County. The nurseries of Lake County are located within 500 miles of two-thirds of the U.S. population. Neighboring horticultural communities utilize county nurseries as sources of plant materials and technology.
Other advantages enjoyed by Lake County nurseries are moderating climate conditions, natural water supply, moisture, drainage, and other protective factors attributed to Lake Erie. Another important feature is the quality and diversity of soil types found in Lake County, which makes it possible to grow such a wide variety of plants.
Nurserymen from Lake County have long been known for new plant introductions and growing a wide variety of well-known woody ornamentals. This fact coupled with being strategically close to major shipping and marketing facilities, along with excellent climate and soil conditions, has earned Lake County a reputation that is second to none.
The Nursery Growers of Lake County Ohio, Inc. (NGLCO) is made up of active members whom are growers and associate members whom are those that support the nursery industry, such as trucking companies and chemical and other suppliers. We are a unified group that support each other in a variety of ways to help each become successful in the nursery industry.
The NGLCO holds an annual golf outing in every June with the proceeds benefiting many educational programs in Lake County. In the past, our annual field day was hosted by various member nurseries but now Debonne Vinyards hosts the event at their beautiful venue.
In September through November, the NGLCO holds dinner meetings on the second Tuesday of the month where members can get together to network and hear presentations by speakers relevant to our industry.
In December, the NGLCO has held Toys for Tots collections for the needy children in Lake County and have supported the local Salvation Army kettle campaign by ringing the bell.