June 20, 2008
The retailing of garden goods continues to be an ever-changing scene. Many of this past season’s challenges were new to lawn and garden retailers. Here are some of the marketplace developments that provoked retail operators to take a hard look at how they might more effectively present plants to shoppers: – The ongoing upswing in the popularity of container gardening. – The continuing increase in outdoor living activities. Outdoor rooms have become living areas for more hours of the day or night. The season starts earlier in the year and lasts longer. – Water gardening has been a resounding success and an abysmal failure — often dependent upon how much space can be devoted to it. – While hardly a trend, there are conspicuous examples of garden centers getting into growing activities or enhancing their existing involvement. – As garden centers expand or upgrade their facilities or add new units, there […]
June 19, 2008
Repelling Radiant Energy
For bedding plant growers who grow every month of the year, shading, cooling and ventilating prevent greenhouses from overheating and creating a stressful environment for the plants. The greenhouse was developed for plant protection against local climatic extreme pressures such as wind, rain, snow and insects. The greenhouse structure is the starting point for controlling the climate or for creating a climate that is tolerable and ideal for plants. If one is growing year-round most anywhere in North America, there are certain months when overheating is a problem. The plants being grown need to be protected from a too stressful environment. Ventilating and/or cooling must be used to drive the temperature down. From a practical perspective, the first step in the cooling of a greenhouse is to ventilate it or exchange the captured heat with fresh, outdoor air. For example, let the wind extract the hot air or install exhaust fans […]
June 19, 2008
Grown By Al’s
As many growers were cutting back on selection and raising quantities on a select few varieties in the early ’80s, it’s no surprise that’s when the innovative Jack Bigej and Al’s Garden Center began growing its own plant material. “We picked up on the trend toward the mass merchandisers and knew we had to diversify in order to stay ahead of the tide,” Bigej says. That’s exactly what he has done. The grower-retailer now produces between 1,500 and 2,200 varieties of perennials, and as an example on the annuals side, around 125 varieties of petunias and calibrachoas. “We may have gone to an extreme, but we’ve certainly kept up diversity,” says Bigej. Having total control over what you grow is only one advantage of being a grower-retailer. Other advantages include the possibility of branding your product and the ability to set your own pricing. Branding At Al’s It is obvious […]
June 19, 2008
Attacking Growers’ Diverse Challenges
No two greenhouses are alike. Each has its own set of differences, such as the crops, the climate, the production volume, the existing facilities and more. It is also true that no two greenhouse builders are exactly alike in their approaches to the challenges provided by the diversity of growers. "Most of the commercial growers we deal with have a little bit of glass and have a little bit of polyethylene, as well as some longer-term plastics covering," says Scott Thompson, executive vice president at X.S. Smith Inc., Washington, N.C. "They like to see a mixture, because at certain times of the year or in stages of their production cycle, those areas are constantly in operation. Our mission is to try to design and create systems that will accommodate their particular production needs for the crop they grow, as well as the region where they are producing that crop." Maintaining temperatures […]
June 18, 2008
Texas Growers Tap Into Marketing
Texas growers look ahead to another year of volume-building promotional activities. The statewide Go Texan project has become a truly win-win experience for the state and for the program participants. Leave it to Texas to do something in a big way. As the Texas Department of Agriculture puts it: “Go Texan takes Texas bragging rights to new heights, stamping products from the Lone Star State with bona fide Texas pride.” The “stamping” referred to is the placing of the Go Texan logo on the program’s products, labels and fact tags or on promotion materials, such as signs or printed pieces. The range of goods embraced by the Go Texan program include wine, beef, fiber and most any horticultural product. A producer is eligible if the product is grown in Texas, it is processed there or value is added in the state. Richard De Los Santos heads up this program […]
June 18, 2008
Insights on Retractable Roof Greenhouses
Retractable roofs first came on the production greenhouse scene in 1991. In these past 16 years what have we learned about their role in cooling, ventilating and shading? The concept of opening the greenhouse’s roof to get cooler air to plants is a logical one that most growers are catching on to, according to Richard Vollebregt, President of Cravo Equipment Ltd., Brantford, Ontario, Canada. Long growing seasons, varied needs of plants and changing weather conditions make retractable roof greenhouses and their versatility an asset. This January, a freeze surprised growers on the West Coast, where the promise of mild temperatures lulled growers into leaving crops unprotected against the elements. “The plants that were in the greenhouse were okay,” Vollebregt says. “What happened to all the plants that were outside? They died.” The balance between healthy, strong plants that are grown outside and protected plants in the greenhouse that need to […]
June 17, 2008
Finding Success With Pay-by-Scan
Big box stores have embraced the pay-by-scan concept for years now. In the minds of many growers and independent garden centers, this was strictly a “big box thing.” It was not something for anyone but volume retailers to contemplate. The English Gardens chain of six upscale garden centers, all in suburban Detroit, was curious about the possibilities. After an exhaustive study by management, it was decided to test their approach during the spring and summer of 2006. In collaboration with two growers including Four Star Greenhouses, a system was developed and implemented under the direction of Frank Janosz, head of nursery products. A 25-year industry veteran, Janosz is one of the 10 family members who own and operate the 53-year-old firm. Based in Dearborn Heights, Mich., retail sales volume in 2006 was $30 million. The agreement between the participants can stand as a model for those contemplating a pay-by-scan relationship. […]
June 13, 2008
Five Profitable Weekends Add Up
Ten years ago, the Swanson’s Nursery team pondered if there was a profitable way to sell plants in the fall, to turn September into another May. Like many of their contemporaries across the country, retailers took the post season as an opportunity to reduce their existing inventory of plants that remained after several months of selling activity. Swanson’s Nursery, Seattle, Wash., was determined to find a new strategy to approaching this challenge. Wally Kerwin, owner of Swanson’s, wasn’t particularly enthused about focusing on a me-too business strategy like “Fall Is For Planting,” which seemed to them to be over-used. Nor was the Swanson team interested in compromising on their high standards of merchandise for the fall sale. Swanson’s needed to boost store traffic with a refreshingly different approach to plant selling in the fall. The garden center hoped the large numbers of customers looking to purchase plants at a discount […]
April 28, 2017
Growers Developing Strategies for Better Plant Growth R…
Whether it’s through new liner programs or more consistent grouping of plants, growers continue to find ways to effectively manage their plant growth regulator programs.
April 27, 2017
Hoffman Nursery Cheers On the Next Generation of Hortic…
Hoffman Nursery was a sponsor of the recent 41st National Collegiate Landscape Competition, an event that offers several opportunities for companies in the green industry to meet and recruit the next-generation of horticulturists.
April 26, 2017
Monitor Potential for Heat Stress in Your Geraniums
Heat stress, which can originate from a lack of air flow around baskets suspended in high areas, causes foliar bleaching and chlorosis of zonal geraniums.
April 25, 2017
Kelly Norris: Diversity is the Key to Growing the Ornam…
Offering a selection of ornamental grasses that cater to customer needs will keep sales from stagnating.
April 25, 2017
Out-Of-This-World Plant Nutrition: Fertilizer Company I…
NASA scientists are growing vegetables on the International Space Station using Florikan’s controlled release fertilizer.
April 25, 2017
41 New Vegetative Petunias From California Spring Trial…
With the abundance of new introductions for the 2018 retail season, we’ve made it easier for you to sift through them by separating out the vegetative petunias from the Northern sites, which includes selections from Westhoff Flowers, Sakata Ornamentals, Danziger, Proven Winners, and Syngenta flowers.
April 24, 2017
Ian Baldwin Offers Examples From Grower-Retailers on Pr…
In March, Baldwin wrote a blog advising grower-retailers to consider raising their prices this spring. The post inspired a number of creative suggestions.
April 22, 2017
American Floral Endowment Announces Winners of 2017 Pau…
Four students pursuing careers in horticulture now have scholarships to help them along the way, thanks to the American Floral Endowment.
April 20, 2017
Terra Nova Nurseries Releases Two New, Attractive Begon…
Stardust is the latest addition to Terra Nova Nurseries’ existing T Rex Begonia series, and Silver is the first introduction to the company’s new Spectre Begonia series.
April 19, 2017
Suppliers Can Offer Technical Solutions for New Cannabi…
Here’s a look at how a few manufacturers have partnered with growers to make their transition into cannabis a smooth one, whether it’s through hands-on guidance or partnering with other industry leaders.
April 18, 2017
Cool Combos From CAST 2017 – Editor’s Choic…
With container gardening becoming more of a lifestyle among consumers than a trend, and breeders continuing to put more effort in container mixes and components, I feel I would be remiss if I didn't share some of the special combinations that not only caught my eye at California Spring Trials, but absolutely took my breath away and made me want to immediately get started gardening.
April 17, 2017
LumiGrow’s Latest Lighting Research Highlighted in Grow…
Industry leaders representing a broad range of vegetable, floriculture, and cannabis producers gathered to learn how to implement modern lighting strategies for their own production.
April 16, 2017
Danziger Invests in Continued North American Business G…
As part of a new business structure for its North American market, Mike Fernandez has been appointed Market Manager North America for Bedding Plants and Perennials, and Kate Zvara was named as Key Account Manager and Retail Specialist.
April 15, 2017
How Oregon Growers Are Making Lean Improvements With He…
The Oregon Nursery Lean Consortium recently helped two Pacific Northwest growers realize significant productivity gains and labor savings.
April 14, 2017
How to Trial a New Product Before You Use It in Your Gr…
Before you apply a new product on a plant, you want to make sure it is safe and effective. Technical experts from Kemin have compiled a five-step guide designed to help you measure the benefits of a new product you want to incorporate into your operation.