SALT LAKE CITY — Many people don't like it when stores put out items early — think Christmas trees and Santa Claus statues in August.
But when Gordy Olson saw his local Home Depot store with garden items already on shelves ... well, he can't remember a winter quite like this one.
"This is ridiculous, really. We need another 4 feet of snow,” Olson said with a laugh.
The signs inside the garden section of the Home Depot at 3398 S. Highland Drive say to "plant in the spring." However, many customers have been asking if now is a good time to start planting, or what they should do about their plants at home that have already started to pop up.
"Everyone coming in now has got the bug,” said Johnny Welsh, the store's garden department supervisor. “As of late, mulching is a great thing to do right now. It gives you a little bit of ground cover."
Home Depot stores across the Salt Lake Valley are now looking to hire 525 extra workers to work in their garden departments because of the earlier start to warmer temperatures.
“In our store alone, we'll bring on 40, 50, 60 people,” said Elana Johnson, one the Salt Lake City store's sales managers. “This year, I think that the weather reminds us every day a little bit more so that we have to get that going."
Nationally, Home Depot is planning on hiring 80,000 permanent, part-time and seasonal workers.
No snow or ice in the outdoors section of the garden department makes it hard to believe it is still February. However, don't give up on winter just yet.
"We are going to get some type of a freeze here. It’s going to happen,” Welsh said.
That’s also why snow shovels are still for sale just across the aisle from the planting pots.
Contributing: Mark Wetzel