June 6, 2016
7 Steps To Create Great Combos
The numbers and range of combination baskets and containers grown for spring sales have increased tremendously in in the past 10 to 15 years. An explosion of new genera and improved genetics from breeders and suppliers over the same timeframe contributed to this trend, and consumers have reacted positively. Although single variety baskets and containers are still produced in large numbers, combinations are now the primary focus at retail. With the continuing realignment of production into combination plantings, a number of factors need to be considered when planning, planting and growing these crops. Such factors include color combinations, plant vigor, plant habit, planting design, container size, cultural requirements, and flowering time. Follow these seven tips to ensure success with each factor. 1. Get Color Combinations Right Color combination refers to the designing and blending of a certain mix of colors in the finished container. This combination can be as simple […]
April 5, 2014
Innovation Is Growers’ Salvation, Crum Says
It is critically important to the continued success of your operation that you are continuously observing various operations in action and evaluating crops on a regular basis. Growers must always pursue more efficient and consistent crop production practices.
October 3, 2013
Early Order Discount Programs Can Save Growers 1 To 5 Percent On Young Plant Orders
Each year, growers are faced with the decision of when to place their orders for the upcoming spring production season. Unfortunately, for numerous reasons, these orders are often placed quite late, which can result in a number of unintended challenges. At Four Star Greenhouse, we are both a young plant and finished product supplier, so we struggle with this issue both from a supplier’s and grower’s perspective. As a grower, timeliness in production planning, as well as early ordering, helps us maintain a smooth transition between growing seasons. But when is the most cost effective, efficient and accurate time to order? And why are so many orders placed late? Why You Might Be Waiting One situation growers often face is a delay in receiving orders from their established customer base. With the ever-changing retail environment, accuracy in inventory management and sell-through is critical for future success. However, undue delays in […]
May 7, 2013
Planning For Greenhouse Production
by DENNIS CRUM EACH year, growers devote more time and focus toward planning the next spring’s production. Businesses are under pressure to reduce shrink, increase sales and margins and satisfy market demands more than ever before.Because production planning is so critical to an operation’s profitability, growers should consider these factors for success. 1. Sell-ThroughDetailed records of the amount started versus the sold history for each line item should be kept and analyzed. Sales history by container size and type is helpful, but detailed records for each individual item is best. These records will better show the under- and over-performing items. 2. Timing Of SalesTracking the sales of specific items is important, but it is equally important is to analyze the timing of these sales. Knowing which items sold out very quickly in relationship to their scheduled finish date is very helpful information. This data should be compared to other items […]
January 31, 2013
Two Steps To Hiring Future Growers
When looking ahead to the future of greenhouse operations, one issue that concerns me is that of trained grower managers. To play off one of the most overused terms from late 2012, I believe that we are facing a “growers cliff.” The History Of The Grower Shortage Not to age myself more than necessary, but I do remember the ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s when students were graduating from universities trained in greenhouse operations. The numbers of students were growing at such a level that all growing operations’ needs could be filled. In the dawn of the new millennium, however, the situation began to change rather dramatically. Between the tech boom, multiple economic downturns, increasing college costs and low starting-pay levels, we are encountering an overall lack of interest in the profession. As a result, there seem to be fewer and fewer students graduating each year with an education based on […]
November 8, 2012
How To Decide What Varieties To Grow
Every fall, growers throughout our industry devote a great deal of time and effort to creating their production plans for the upcoming spring. This is after sifting through the new varieties shown at the California Spring Trials, the OFA Short Course and various other grower meetings, as well as from the stack of catalogs collected from various suppliers. When developing a production plan, what should a grower consider when selecting new varieties? Three key points to consider are: can I grow a quality plant, can I sell the finished product and can I make money on the finished product? Questioning your ability to grow a quality plant is not a criticism of your growing talents. But it is important to know the amount of knowledge you have about the growing requirements for the given plant. Over the course of many years there are often new genera or “resurrected” genera from […]
July 25, 2011
Making Water Work For Growing
Many articles have been written over the past few years on water quality and the need for growers to adapt to their individual water supply. Most of these articles have been written by university or industry experts, and they have done a tremendous job explaining the scientific aspects of various water types and how the chemistry of these water types affect the pH of the soil, nutrient availability and overall plant quality. My favorite reference source on this subject is a book titled “Understanding pH Management,” by Bill Argo and Paul Fisher published by Greenhouse Grower. Many frequently asked questions by our grower customers have focused on soil pH and plant nutrition. Countless callers have a question like this: “I grow in soil brand X, my salesman says the pH is 5.8 to 6.2 straight from the bag, I feed with 20-10-20, and my water pH is 6.0. So why […]
March 17, 2011
Teach Your Staff To Avoid Overwatering
Why does something as simple as watering a plant become an issue for growers each year? We growers know our crops and read all the culture guides, but when the time comes to turn our people loose with hoses each season, problems arise. I’ve come to the conclusion that far more plants are lost each year to overwatering than to underwatering. I truly believe the people we all hire each year are good people who want to do a good job caring for our crops. But human nature puts such a fear of drying down a plant and killing it into their heads that they overwater and kill the plants with kindness (instead of through neglect). This excess care can cause issues, including little or no root growth, high or low fertility levels, various fungal or bacterial diseases and undesirable plant habit. The Yin/Yang Of Plant Care There are occasions […]
February 24, 2017
AmericanHort Names New Board Members and Officers for 2…
The new board members are Steve Castorani of North Creek Nurseries, Tom Hughes of Hughes Nursery and Landscaping, and Cole Mangum of Bell Nursery.
February 22, 2017
Emerging Industry Leaders Earn Business Management Cert…
Dr. Charlie Hall, Ellison Chair for International Floriculture at Texas A&M University, recently announced the graduation of the fourth cohort of the elite Executive Academy for Growth & Leadership (EAGL) program for nursery and greenhouse growers.
February 21, 2017
Learn How Drones Could Eventually Replace Bees in Polli…
Researchers in Japan are using the principle of cross-pollination in bees to make a drone that could potentially transport pollen between flowers.
February 21, 2017
Ian Baldwin: 2017 is Off to a Strong Start For Plant Re…
Many garden retailers are telling garden retail consultant Ian Baldwin that sales and the consumer’s attitude toward spending have been very strong the last two months.
February 20, 2017
5 New Varieties Shaking Up the Poinsettia Tradition
With poinsettias trending toward non-traditional colors, growers may find new opportunities to spread sales beyond the winter holidays. Here are five of the newest euphorbia varieties to hit the market that may play a role in redefining the future of the poinsettia market.
February 17, 2017
How to Keep Customers Coming Back With Top-Notch Servic…
A recent article on Forbes.com outlines seven ways organizations can take their customer service from good to great and beyond.
February 17, 2017
Proven Winners Makes Improvements to Its Retailer Certi…
Understanding the challenges of training new and seasonal staff at independent garden centers, Proven Winners says it is working to equip managers with tools to prepare their employees to better handle customers’ questions and boost their confidence in selling plants this season.
February 17, 2017
Industry Veteran Tom Foley Discusses His New Role as Vi…
Foley, a greenhouse industry veteran who was most recently with EuroAmerican Propagators, will be responsible for North American sales of WaterPulse’s patent-pending capillary mats and associated irrigation systems to nurseries and growers.
February 17, 2017
Dan and Jerry’s Greenhouse Buys Iowa-Based DeJong Green…
The acquisition will allow Dan and Jerry’s, a bedding plant grower headquartered in Minnesota, to extend its seasonal product offerings and service a new customer base with local distribution.
February 16, 2017
Pleasant View Launches Updated Website for its Savor Ed…
The site is designed to offer a friendly and informative vehicle that delivers product information in an easy-to-navigate format.
February 15, 2017
Syngenta Introduces Two New Flower Series for 2017
‘Sunfinity’ Sunflower produces multiple branches with numerous flowers that bloom all season long, while ‘Obsession Cascade’ Verbena quickly fills containers with vibrant flower patterns.
February 15, 2017
New Greenhouse Cooling System in Development for Hot-Cl…
Researchers at McGill University in Quebec have developed an alternative evaporative cooling solution for greenhouses in warm climates, and are now seeking commercial partners.