December 28, 2009

The 99-Cent Poinsettia

I sifted through the Black Friday ads like many people Thanksgiving morning to see which products retailers were offering at mega-low prices. Big-screen TVs, digital cameras and navigation devices, many of which were displayed on ad covers, were some of the biggest draws. The cover of Home Depot’s Black Friday ad in my region had a different look: 6-inch poinsettias originally priced at $3.98 were being offered for 99 cents. There was a limit of 10 poinsettias per purchase, and the offer was for Friday only. For the record, Lowe’s also had a 99-cent poinsettia promotion on the cover of its ad, but Home Depot’s was the one that shocked me most because of the space dedicated to the 99-cent doorbuster. The promotion, appearing near the top of the ad’s first sheet with a block of white lettering that read “99¢,” was the first thing my eyes were drawn to. […]

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December 28, 2009

Quantifying The Quality

For greenhouse growers, the U.S. Green Building Council is a tough nut to crack, especially when it comes to its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification process. LEED is a prestigious third-party certification program and a national benchmark that promotes a whole-building approach to sustainability in five key areas of human and environmental health, says Dr. Bodie Pennisi, Horticulture Department, University of Georgia. These five areas include: LEED development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality. Top 10 Most Beneficial Plants To House Indoors Areca Palm Lady Palm Bamboo Palm Rubber Plant Dracaena Janet Craig English Ivy Dwarf Date Palm Ficus Alii Boston Fern Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum) *Information provided by Green Plants For Green Buildings This certification lacks any official agricultural connection to indoor plants and the role they play in improving human health by improving indoor air quality, Pennisi says. Green Plants For Green […]

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December 28, 2009

Slideshow: Oglesby Plants International

Take a quick behind-the-scenes look at Oglesby Plants International.

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December 28, 2009

Open Your Mind To Open Roof

Why spend thousands of dollars every month to cool a greenhouse with exhaust fans when nature can do it for free? An open-roof greenhouse can drive down your energy costs significantly–but for many, this option has been priced out of reach.  X.S. Smith, however, believes the Sun Ridge is an answer to affordability questions. Unlike traditional polyethylene covered-roof vents that only provide a narrow opening on one side of the ridge, the Sun Ridge is a double-roof vent that provides a full 7-foot, 6-inch-wide opening at the center of the roof that leads straight up to the sky.    When used in combination with side-wall or end-wall vents, the Sun Ridge creates a solar chimney to naturally ventilate greenhouses. It allows a greater volume of hot air to escape at a much faster rate and mimics the outdoor-like feel of an open-roof greenhouse for a fraction of the cost. About […]

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December 23, 2009

Checking In With Rocket Farms

Based in Salinas, Calif., Rocket Farms is the largest poinsettia grower on the West Coast, devoting 4.4 million square feet of greenhouse space to producing the signature Christmas crop. Sales Manager Doug Brothers shares the trends from this season. Outside of floriculture, Rocket Farms is known for vegetable transplants. Poinsettias were its first big floriculture crop and the company has since expanded into phalaenopsis orchids. Rocket Farms is unique from most large operations growing poinsettias in that it still grows and maintains mother stock plants to take cuttings from instead of receiving cuttings from offshore.  As the season was getting under way Dec. 8, Brothers shared details on this year’s crop and retail demand. GG: How many poinsettias will Rocket Farms produce this year?  1,400,000 - In what sizes?   2.5″–4.5″–5″–6.5″–8″–10″  - Colors?  72 percent red, 28 percent colors.    - Varieties?  Too many to list..  Including red, we grow 45 different varieties from four different […]

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December 22, 2009

Five Questions With … Denise Godfrey

Denise Godfrey of Olive Hill Greenhouses in Fallbrook, Calif., shares her take on the state of the industry this week. How would you describe the state of the greenhouse floriculture industry today? Like the rest of the economic sectors, we are suffering from decreased demand and we hope to maintain during this uncertainty by looking at old and new ideas and technology; by relying more on relationships and working together with fellow growers, suppliers and customers to better define and react to what is happening; to take advantage of opportunities; and to maintain a positive outlook in order to overcome adversity and persevere. Has our industry entered a new era or paradigm shift? Please explain why or why not. We no longer grow in a vacuum, growing and selling plants and the customer deciding their purchase on beauty and a fair price. The public is having more and more influence […]

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December 22, 2009

Not Shipoopi – ‘Fubuki!’

In Japan, “Fubuki” means “snowstorm.” So ‘Fubuki,’ the new Hakonechloa ornamental grass from Briggs Nursery featuring white variegated Japanese Forest grass, lives up to its name. The contrasting tones of white and green foliage endure throughout the summer making Hakonechloa macra ‘Fubuki’ an outstanding plant for shade gardeners and partial sun locations. And for even greater impact, as soon as the weather changes in autumn, ‘Fubuki’ reveals a stunning pink color among the blades. “Our never-before-seen white Hakonechloa is a striking superior form adding unique sculptural features and wonderful color to landscapes,” says Dave Jarzynka, president of Briggs Nursery. ‘Fubuki’ is a compact and mounding habit plant that tends to be lower in height than comparable cultivars and reaches 14 by 18 inches. ‘Fubuki’ makes a great choice for beds, borders, as a specimen or grouped with three to five plants. It grows best in USDA Zone 5. For more […]

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December 21, 2009

Emerald Coast Growers Taps Friel For Marketing

Emerald Coast Growers has hired John Friel as its marketing manager. Friel brings over 30 years experience in the greenhouse industry to his new position. A familiar face on the lecture circuit, Friel served in a number of positions in transportation, sales and marketing with Green Leaf Enterprises, Yoder Brothers and the Green Leaf Plants division of Aris Horticulture. Emerald Coast Growers is a family-owned propagation nursery headquartered in Pensacola, Fla, with greenhouses in Lancaster County, Pa. Founded in 1991 by David and Wyona Babikow, the firm specializes in starter plants of ornamental grasses and herbaceous perennials, which it ships throughout North America. Friel is a former regional director and current president elect of the Perennial Plant Association. For more information on him or Emerald Coast Growers, visit ECGrowers.com.

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December 21, 2009

Wishing Will Well

A friend to hundreds of growers across the country, Will Carlson was hospitalized with a serious illness in late November. Will retired from Michigan State University in 2002 and has been active in his retirement writing his column for Greenhouse Grower, “One to Grow On,” and consulting for growers. This March will mark 36 years Will has been writing columns for Greenhouse Grower and before that American Vegetable Grower–a wonderful record of service to the horticulture industry. While Will recovers, we will be publishing a few of his best columns that continue to stand the test of time. These can also be found in the book we published in 2003, “One To Grow On.” Will’s friends and loved ones are pulling for his recovery. Cards may be sent to his home at 6330 Pine Hollow Drive, East Lansing, MI 48823. While Will recovers, he asks growers interested in getting in […]

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