ARTICLE UPDATED: 05/12/2020
The timing of the COVID-19 pandemic has jeopardized the Indiana green industry’s ability to maintain traditional activities related to maintenance, planting, sales and/or public interaction.
At this time, there may be instances under which products from the green industry — i.e., plants that can be purchased for purposes of growing food — fall under definitions of essential functions during Indiana’s statewide shelter-in-place.
For those who have such products, we recommend consulting the following Purdue Extension guides:
- A Guide for Local Producers to Navigate the COVID-19 Outbreak
- A Guide to Alternative Delivery Systems for Local Producers During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Maintenance activities provided by the green industry are also defined as essential functions. These include:
- Removal and pruning of hazardous trees to protect the public from falling limbs
- Landscape maintenance activities (mowing, brush clearing) to mitigate mosquito or tick populations that transmit human diseases
Purdue Extension’s green industry specialists also will continue to support you as much as possible during this time.
- Specialists are readily available for your questions by phone or email.
- Websites will be updated with timely, appropriate information.
- Blogs will operate on regular schedules, including the Purdue Landscape Report.
- Plant Doctor and Turf Doctor apps will be maintained, updated and supported.
- The Purdue Plant and Pest Diagnostic Laboratory will continue to help you identify landscape problems — with updates as necessary on how to safely send samples.
We also suggest bookmarking applicable trade association websites to stay updated on their latest efforts.
When undertaking any activity related to essential work, we advise that you:
- Communicate to all that if someone feels ill, they should stay home and avoid any site
- Do not allow anyone with signs of illness — or who has tested positive for COVID-19 within two weeks or had known contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 onto any site
- Limit any necessary work groups to 10 people or fewer
- Enforce social distancing guidelines and remain at least 6 feet apart at all times
- Ask workers to bring their own tools or maintain rigorous disinfection of tools
- The Office of Indiana State Chemist website offers a searchable list of EPA-registered disinfectant products for COVID-19. Consult this site to determine if disinfectants are safe and recommended for use in this environment.
- Undertake additional cleaning and sanitation protocols and recommendations, such as
- Regular cleaning of contact services
- Hand-washing or hand-sanitizer stations
- Reminders on how to properly wash hands (i.e., thoroughly and for 20 seconds)
- Signage / encouragement for all to regularly wash or sanitize their hands
In such a public setting, the Centers for Disease Control now recommend wearing cloth face coverings. For a guide on how to create your own cloth face coverings, visit the CDC website.
Below, we have included a list of online resources that we advise you consult regularly for the most up-to-date and accurate information.
- OSHA Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19
- CDC COVID-19 guidance for companies
- CDC COVID-19 resources in English, Spanish and Chinese
- Governor Holcomb's Stay-at-Home Executive Order
- Purdue Extension COVID-19 Response and Resources
- Office of the Indiana State Chemist
- Indiana Nursery and Landscape Association
- Indiana Professional Lawn and Landscape Association
Sample Critical Infrastructure Travel Permits (only for essential work)
Trade Association Websites
- Coronavirus and Your Golf Business (National Golf Course Owners Association)
- Responding to the Coronavirus (National Club Association)
- Coronavirus Special Club Update Podcast (National Club Association)
Nursery and Greenhouse
- COVID-19 Resources (Indiana Nursery and Landscape Association)
- Coronavirus Resource Center (AmericanHort)
- COVID-19 Resources (Society of American Florists)
Landscape Maintenance and Arboriculture
- Lawn and Landscape Maintenance as Essential Services (National Association of Landscape Professionals)
- How Arborists and Tree Care Professionals Protect the Public (Tree Care Industry Association / International Society of Arboriculture)
Cliff Sadof, Purdue University Professor of Entomology and Purdue Extension Entomology Coordinator
Janna Beckerman, Purdue University Professor of Botany and Plant Pathology
Tom Creswell, Purdue University Clinical Engagement Professor of Botany and Plant Pathology and Director of the Purdue Plant and Pest Diagnostic Laboratory
Kyle Daniel, Purdue Extension Nursery and Landscape Outreach Specialist
Aaron Patton, Purdue University Professor of Horticulture and Interim Head of the Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture
Lindsey Purcell, Purdue Extension Urban Forestry Specialist
Doug Richmond, Purdue University Associate Professor of Entomology