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 […]
June 22, 2017
Japanese Breeder Ushio Sakazaki Wins Medal of Excellenc…
From Supertunias to Superbells, this innovative Japanese breeder has used wild genetics to create game-changing plants that help consumers reconnect with the beauty of nature.
June 21, 2017
New Tool from Koppert Provides More Effective Thrips Ma…
A newly patented sachet for the predatory mite Amblyseius swirskii is resistant to both low and high levels of humidity, helping growers combat thrips infestations.
June 20, 2017
Dümmen Orange Enters Calla Market With Acquisition of G…
Golden State will continue to supply the market through September 2018, at which time Dümmen Orange will assume supply and delivery of much of Golden State’s product line.
June 20, 2017
Sign Up For The Luxflora Flower Run At Cultivate’17
The5k walk/run race, sponsored by Luxflora, is an opportunity for industry members to network, build relationships, have some healthy fun, and start off Cultivate’17 with a flourish.
June 19, 2017
IGC Show Features Talks on How to Cash in on the Buy Lo…
This year’s event, which takes place Aug. 15-17 in Chicago, also includes a free workshop on what you might do when starting your business over from scratch.
June 18, 2017
Protect Your Employees from Heat-Related Illnesses with…
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration have released an updated app for smart phones that can help workers stay safe when working outdoors in hot weather.
June 17, 2017
Visser, Ball Partner on New Sticking Technology for Cut…
The new AutoStix system is designed to provide better consistency and uniformity with shipped cuttings, easier and more reliable counting, automatic transplanting, and optional buffering in the peak season.
June 16, 2017
Five Guidelines to Investing in Software for Your Green…
Any software improvement you make should make sense for your team and be worth the investment.
June 15, 2017
Greenhouse Grower’s 2017 Evening Of Excellence Will Rec…
Registration is now open for the 2017 Greenhouse Grower Evening Of Excellence, which takes place Monday, July 17, during Cultivate’17.
June 14, 2017
Plantpeddler Hosting Variety Day on Aug. 4 in Cresco, I…
The free event will allow attendees to tour Plantpeddler’s trial gardens, which include more than 1,200 varieties of vegetative annuals displayed in large containers, baskets, window boxes, and beds.
June 13, 2017
Are Your Geraniums Showing Signs of Iron or Manganese T…
Zonal geraniums with low pH can exhibit iron and manganese toxicity symptoms, including marginal chlorosis, leaf speckling, and upward-cupping of the leaves, according to Michigan State University experts.
June 13, 2017
New Research Explores Potential of Using Steam or Hot W…
USDA-Agricultural Research Service horticulturist Dr. James Altland is exploring an alternative method for controlling weeds in greenhouse propagation systems by using steam or hot water to kill weed seeds.
June 12, 2017
How to Improve Customer Success by Adding Residual Fert…
Even if it costs a few cents more per pot or extra labor, your customers will thank you with repeat sales.
June 9, 2017
New Head Grower at Emerald Coast Growers is Excited abo…
Jonathan Babikow, Emerald Coast Growers’ new general manager/head grower for its Lancaster, PA, location, talks about his favorite perennials, the advantages of growing in Pennsylvania, and his future hopes for his career.
June 8, 2017
AmericanHort Update on Genetically Engineered Petunias
AmericanHort is actively assisting affected plant breeders, distributors, growers, and retailers as the genetically modified petunia regulatory response continues. Since the last update, there have been several changes to the list of petunias confirmed or suspected of being genetically engineered and therefore unauthorized to be imported or sold. Also, the list of recognized laboratories for petunia variety confirmation testing has expanded. Most importantly, petunia varieties on the USDA-APHIS Biotechnology Regulatory Services (BRS) list require an APHIS Form 2000 for importation. APHIS also began requiring that any Petunia spp. Shipments, not including regulated GE varieties, must be accompanied by a list of variety names. This resulted in some inspection delays at the USDA-APHIS plant inspection station in Atlanta over the past two weeks. In response, AmericanHort has negotiated a more flexible approach with APHIS, and new guidance has just been posted for importing Petunia plants, cuttings, or seed. The new guidance allows […]
June 8, 2017
Bailey Nurseries Expo to Take Place in Late July in Min…
This year’s expo will focus on bridging the gap with Millennials and non-gardeners through creative marketing, engaging in-store displays, and heightened customer service.
June 6, 2017
How Was Your Spring? Let Us Know by Taking Greenhouse G…
Please take a few minutes to answer Greenhouse Grower’s 2017 Spring Recap Survey. The deadline for completing the survey is June 20.