Behind-the-scenes with Chuck's Greenhouses - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Behind-the-scenes with Chuck's Greenhouses

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NORTH JACKSON, Ohio -

Most of us go to a greenhouse, pick out our flowers, and don't give it another thought. If you stop for a minute and look around, though, there's a lot that goes into getting that plant into your garden.

After all, 'tis the season for gardening.

"Everybody's kind of getting that itch. They're tired of looking at gray skies and snow. They want color," said Jen Lehotsky.

For Chuck and Jen Lehotsky at Chuck's Greenhouses in North Jackson, their tools have been out for months.

"Just because everything is ready in May and that's the big season doesn't mean that's where it stops or starts," said Jen.

"We start planting mums by mid-June, so we're still selling spring stuff and we're already into fall gear," said Chuck.

"It's like the clothing shops," said Jen. "We're always a season ahead, but we're two or three seasons ahead."

In the end, we all get to enjoy the finished product. What we don't see is all the work they're putting in behind the scenes to get to that point.

It all starts with the soil, loading up a giant machine to get that mix just right. After that, it's onto the mesmerizing back-and-forth motion of the transplanter.

"It has little grippers that come down and pull the plant out. Pulls it out, then puts it into the cell that we sell it in," said Chuck.

"We don't really have a lot of employees," said Jen. "The majority of the labor-intensive work we have to do ourselves. You're looking at our workforce, it's my husband and I and my father-in-law helps out a lot. But there's not many of us here, so we're trying to work smarter."

Even the water lines are strategically placed, carefully delivering the right amount through a never-ending series of pipes and valves.  All of them, delivering re-purposed rainwater.

"Groundwater in this area has very high alkalinity level," said Chuck. "Because we're growing stuff in flats with these little tiny cells, it doesn't take much change to alter that PH a lot and certain plants were dying because of it... So we dug a 50-thousand gallon cistern, put it under the greenhouse to where we could collect the rainwater off our roofs and that's our primary source of water."

Rainwater, robots, and months of planning - all to bring a little beauty to your home every year.

The official opening day for Chuck's Greenhouses this year is less than two weeks away, set for Friday, April 28th. That's when you can see how much all their hard work has paid off.

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