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 […]
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.