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 […]
December 16, 2008
Talking Shop: Maximizing Space
For more than 10 years, growers at Four Star Greenhouse in Carleton, Mich., have finished many spring crops outdoors, beginning in early April, with tremendous success. A wide array of container crops are finished outdoors, including 4.5-quart, 1-gallon and 13-, 18-, 10- and 12-inch containers and hanging baskets. Four Star feels its spring crops grown outdoors produce a high-quality finished container that can equal or rival those grown indoors, no matter how high tech and high quality the greenhouse structure may be. With the higher light levels, cooler temperatures and natural air movement provided by the outdoor areas, plants specifically selected for growing outdoors tend to finish fuller, tighter and have better branching and higher bud counts than identical containers grown in the greenhouse. A Little More Roomy By using these outdoor areas for growing on crops, not only is quality maintained, or in many cases improved, but also additional […]
December 15, 2017
Your AFE Donations Will Be Matched Between Now and the …
Between now and December 1, any donations made to the American Floral Endowment will be matched up to $20,000.
December 14, 2017
New Biofungicide Approved for Disease Control in Orname…
Certis USA recently introduced Carb-O-Nator, a new broad-spectrum foliar fungicide that works on contact to control powdery mildew, Alternaria, Anthracnose, Botrytis, Septoria leaf spot, and other diseases.
December 13, 2017
New Webinars Address Effective Propagation Techniques
e-Gro, an online clearing house for alerts about greenhouse disease, insect, environmental, physiological, and nutritional disorders, recently posted two new propagation-related webinars on YouTube.
December 12, 2017
New Products Designed to Protect the Quality of Plants …
The innovative technologies from Oasis Grower Solutions are aimed at ensuring that the supply chain delivers the best possible consumer plant experience.
December 12, 2017
Research Sheds Light on How to Manage Plant Stress With…
An innovative system developed by Chinese researchers uses rapid imagery to indicate plant health, enabling growers to respond quickly and automatically to plant stress.
December 11, 2017
Evaluating Robotic Transplanters for Plant Cuttings
There are several factors that might affect your decision to invest in transplant robots, based on initial observations and reported information about available equipment.
December 9, 2017
Southern California Wildfires Narrowly Miss Most Grower…
Here’s an update on horticulture businesses in the areas affected by the California wildfires.
December 9, 2017
Infrared Thermometers for Monitoring Plant and Substra…
Growers use many tools to monitor the greenhouse environment. Learn about the best practices for using an infrared thermometer to measuring plant temperature.
December 8, 2017
Spring Meadow’s New Logo Highlights Focus on New, Color…
In a move that highlights its commitment to developing new, colorful flowering shrubs, Spring Meadow Nursery has unveiled a new logo.
December 8, 2017
HortScholars Program Now Accepting Applications for 201…
Do you know any college students currently in a horticulture-related program? This unique program gives them a chance to connect with industry leaders and make new connections at Cultivate.
December 8, 2017
The Sustainability of the Peat Industry Looks Better T…
Despite talk about alternative products and differences of opinion over its sustainability as a resource, peat is here to stay.
December 7, 2017
Growing Tips From a Pro for SunStanding New Guinea Impa…
SunStanding New Guinea impatiens hybrids spruce up the landscape with vibrant blooms that explode with color in both sun and shade areas, and they hold up well in heat and humidity.
December 7, 2017
Suntory Pairs Princettia with Several Breast Cancer Awa…
Suntory Flowers is partnering with several major brands to support breast cancer awareness and fundraising, using its bright-pink Princettia euphorbias as the ideal plant for Pink Ribbon promotions.
December 6, 2017
How Mycorrhizae Provide Value at Your Greenhouse or Nur…
Mycorrhizae create a connection between the roots of a plant and the surrounding growing media. This ultimately leads to better crop health through enhanced nutrient and water uptake.