August 10, 2015
Technology Provides Solutions For Growing In Drought
In April, California Gov. Jerry Brown directed the State Water Resources Control Board to institute reductions in cities and towns across the state with the goal of reducing water usage by 25 percent. The announcement comes following the lowest snowpack ever recorded in the High Sierra. It was the first time in state history that action was taken to implement mandatory water restrictions. In May, the farmers in California’s Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta agreed to reduce their water use by 25 percent in exchange for assurance that they will not face further curtailment during the June to September growing season. Their proposal was approved by the State Water Resources Control Board. Growers who participate in the program could opt to either reduce water diversions under their riparian rights by 25 percent, or fallow 25 percent of their land. Given these conditions, growers and retailers are in need of methods and […]
July 29, 2015
Backyard Success: Mike McGroarty Educates Aspiring Growers
Mike’s Backyard Nursery sits on a long, narrow, 5-acre property located in Perry, Ohio. There, customers can find a variety of flowering shrubs available, all in 2-quart pots, and all for sale for $5.97 each. Owner Mike McGroarty, a lifelong resident of Perry, says the town has a lot of plant nurseries, including 100 wholesale growers within a 10-mile radius of his house. That doesn’t discourage McGroarty, because he knows that while there are a lot of nurseries in his area, no one else is doing what he is doing. McGroarty has learned about plants — and marketing them to his audience — through decades of experience. He has never hesitated to pass along his knowledge to other growers looking to start their own backyard operations, and has created an entire program to educate aspiring growers. McGroarty Likes To Practice What He Preaches McGroarty’s operation serves as the laboratory for […]
July 22, 2015
Cultivate’15: Keynote Nancy Fire Says Use Passion, Trends And Branding To Stay Relevant
In the second keynote presentation at Cultivate’15, Nancy Fire, founder and creative director of Design Works International, discussed how the horticulture industry can capitalize on the latest design and lifestyle trends. Fire works with companies to help bring their designs to the next level, and she has expertise with textiles and surface design, market analysis and corporate rebranding. She was appointed as design director for HGTV HOME in 2011. Fire says customers today are interested in companies that show passion for what they do. That, combined with following the general direction of trends and maintaining a brand, are what will keep horticulture businesses relevant to their customers. A trend isn’t just a passing fad, Fire says, but rather, it indicates that something is developing or changing in a certain direction. Plants are important to consumers today, and fit into current trends, both inside and outside the home, Fire says. “I don’t […]
July 15, 2015
Sheridan Nurseries Named Greenhouse Grower’s Operation Of The Year
Sheridan Nurseries was named Operation of the Year at Greenhouse Grower’s Evening of Excellence, held July 13, at Cultivate’15 in Columbus, Ohio. The company was also awarded for Excellence In Perennials Prouction, based on its reputation for plant quality and the activities the nursery has led and been a part of, both within its company and in the industry at large. Sheridan Nurseries is Canada’s largest grower of hardy nursery plants and has been in business for more than a century, having opened in 1913. The operation has two production facilities with a combined 900 acres, plus eight retail garden centers. Its Norval, Ontario, facility includes 83 acres and 340,000 square feet of heated production space. There, Sheridan grows annuals, perennials and vines and propagates its own nursery stock liners. Woody plants, including trees, shrubs, evergreens and broadleaf evergreens, are produced at its Glen Williams, Ontario, container and field nursery, which […]
May 20, 2015
Fall Creek Farm & Nursery’s Amy Daniel Supports Women And Young People Rising Through The Ranks
Amy Daniel, marketing and brand manager at Fall Creek Farm & Nursery, has a passion for marketing and branding that led her into the green industry early in her career, when she and a friend started their own agency, and she began helping her parents — then owners of a retail nursery — with marketing services. Daniel’s career in the field started in the 1980s, after she finished college with degrees in journalism and advertising. It wasn’t long before she began to feel frustrated with the status quo in the industry. She and a friend from college, agreeing there was a better way to do things, decided to start a business. “I guess now looking back, we were probably young and naive, but it all worked out really well,” Daniel says. “We started our own advertising agency/marketing and PR firm. I ran that for two decades. It was very successful.” […]
April 8, 2015
California Institutes First Ever Statewide Mandatory Water Restrictions
California Gov. Jerry Brown announced April 1 that, for the first time in state history, action will be taken to implement mandatory water restrictions, with the ultimate goal of reducing water usage by 25 percent. As Californians are pushed to conserve more, growers will need to think about how demand for products will be affected.
March 16, 2015
Cozy Acres Greenhouses: Operating With Zero Emissions
With the help of federal funding, Cozy Acres Greenhouses was able to take a greener approach to its latest expansion, building a zero emissions greenhouse that operates year round.
March 13, 2015
GGS Helps North Creek Nurseries Take Efficiency To A New Level
North Creek Nurseries recently built a new GGS gutter connected poly greenhouse range with the intent of saving energy and implementing Lean Flow Practices. The aim was to help North Creek improve the quality of products and meet increased customer demand, while at the same time saving money on labor.
January 29, 2015
IR-4: A Pest Management Resource For Growers
Almost 40 years ago, IR-4 (Interregional Research Project Number 4) began serving the ornamental horticulture industry, helping to facilitate the registration of pest management tools. IR-4 does this primarily by surveying growers about their pest management issues and then hosting workshops to review survey results and set priorities for the coming years. Most recently, IR-4 coordinated a meeting of researchers and industry members on pollinator health and neonicotinoid chemistries to start a discussion on the needed research. The next step will be to get the outcomes from that workshop out to the public.
January 7, 2015
Industry Speaks Out Against “Waters Of The U.S.” Rule
The Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed rule change to the Clean Water Act, known as “waters of the U.S.,” has the potential to disrupt normal business practices for growers across the country.
August 27, 2015
The Perennial Plant Association’s Regional Sympos…
The Perennial Plant Association plans to hold its Regional Symposium October 5 in Dallas, Texas, in conjunction with the All-America Selections/Home Garden Seed Association's Summer/Fall Summit held October 5 to 8.
August 25, 2015
Hospitals Are Getting Into The Organic Food Business
Growers investing in the organic food movement could serve a growing new area with vegetable transplants and starts, as well as produce, as hospitals begin to prescribe healthy diets and nutrition, and even go so far as to grow their own food. As part of a new phenomenon among progressive hospitals, health professionals are beginning to realize that without health and nutrition, programs and techniques may be done in vain or worse — obsolete. As more patients seeking a healthy diet turn to nutritionists, who recommend sugar-free, alkaline diets to prevent disease and aid in recovery, hospitals recognizing this trend are taking action. St. Luke’s Hospital in Bethlehem, Pa., recently contracted with the nearby Rodale Institute to manage an organic farm, established in 2014. The hospital, part of a six-campus network, aims to provide excellent healthcare, part of which includes educating patients about the benefits of a plant-based, organic diet. […]
August 21, 2015
Sole-Source LED Lighting In Horticulture: Microgreens P…
In Part 2 of a four-part lighting series highlighting the multiple uses of light-emitting diodes (LEDs), researchers examine the effects of sole-source LED lighting on microgreen production to achieve the highest quality crop possible in an energy efficient manner.
August 20, 2015
Farwest 2015 Offers Tours And Showcases Vegetables, Fru…
Three 2015 Farwest offsite tours, planned for Wednesday, August 26, offer a range of focus for the industry from nursery/greenhouse growing to landscape and garden retail.
August 20, 2015
Syngenta Plans To Divest Flowers Business
Changes on the breeder front continue as Syngenta announces it intends to divest the Flowers seed business from its Lawn and Garden operating unit. According to an August 19 press release, “divestment would enable the new entity to play a leading role in the consolidation of the home gardening market, which is taking place in response to changes in the distribution and retail channels, driven by shifts in consumer preference.” The high-quality and profitable Flowers business will be sold in its entirety, including Syngenta’s seed and vegetative flower genetics, as well as its facilities in Gilroy, Calif., and offshore, says Paul Minehart, Syngenta’s head of corporate communications for North America. Differences in the corporation’s offerings and little overlap with the agricultural seeds and crop protection side of the business are the primary reasons behind the sale, Minehart says. “Flowers is a premium, consumer-focused business,” he says. “Syngenta is a market leader […]
August 20, 2015
David Savoia To Serve As AmericanHort’s Interim P…
Following Michael Geary’s announcement that he has resigned as president and CEO of AmericanHort, the association has announced that CFO and Senior Vice President for Operations David Savoia will serve as interim president and CEO while the board conducts a search for a new staff executive. Craig Regelbrugge, the senior vice president for advocacy and research, will support Savoia with the association’s external affairs. Geary announced August 12 that he will be leaving his position after September 30 to serve as CEO of the Society for Marketing Professional Services, an organization dedicated to creating business opportunities in the architecture, engineering and construction industries. “As some of you know, I grew up connected to the horticulture industry so this was not an easy decision for me,” Geary said in an eMail. “I have loved working with our organizations and our talented members, staff and partners. However, my choice to return full time to Washington, D.C. will allow me […]
August 19, 2015
Why A Step Backward Can Propel Your Greenhouse Business…
Taking a step backward to reflect on the past and plan for the future helps you confidently move your growing operation forward from a position of power.
August 18, 2015
Farwest Show New Varieties Showcase Will Spotlight 2016…
Featuring a spectrum of new market introductions, the 2015 Farwest Show, August 27-29 in Portland, Ore., will display 49 plants in the New Varieties Showcase, a mainstay favorite every year on the show floor. Seventeen companies from all corners of North America, the Netherlands and Canada have submitted material that covers the best and brightest of perennials, shrubs, conifers, shade and flowering trees and edibles being introduced for 2016. This year’s entries will display the prized characteristics that growers and retailers are seeking— new features, improved performance in production environments and landscape, compact sizes, enhanced disease resistance, performance in urban settings and drought tolerance. In particular for garden retail benefit, consumer appeal for this year’s showcase is excellent with choices for spectacular foliage, blooms, seasonal interest and overall wow factor. Check out the slideshow for a sampling of the new varieties. Plants are creatively displayed in retail fashion and well tagged with full descriptions, compliments of showcase […]
August 18, 2015
Michael Geary Is Leaving AmericanHort
AmericanHort president and CEO Michael Geary announced last Wednesday that he will be leaving his position at the end of September to serve as CEO of the Society for Marketing Professional Services. “I am writing to share with you that on October 8 I will begin a new professional chapter as CEO of the Society for Marketing Professional Services, an organization dedicated to creating business opportunities in the architecture, engineering and construction industries,” Geary said in an email. His last day with AmericanHort will be Sept. 30, 2015. “As some of you know, I grew up connected to the horticulture industry so this was not an easy decision for me,” he said. “I have loved working with our organizations and our talented members, staff and partners. However, my choice to return full time to Washington, D.C. will allow me to be closer to my family and aging parents and to re-engage with another industry […]
August 18, 2015
University Of Florida Will Offer Online Course For Grow…
The University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences’ (UF/IFAS) next online course, “Nutrient Management for Container-Grown Crops: Level 1” will be offered in English and Spanish. For grower staff who are irrigating and fertilizing greenhouse crops, but have not had formal training in horticulture, the course can help teach them the “why” of making better crop management decisions. The class will be offered Aug. 24-Sept. 18, 2015. The UF/IFAS Extension recently started providing online courses designed for people already working in the ornamental plant industry. This year it offered nutrient and greenhouse management courses for the first time, with a good response (85 and 110 students in the two courses so far, with about half from outside the U.S.). The courses run for four weeks, cost $200 per participant and include a personalized certificate of completion. Each week there are two streaming classes and one activity (about a 3-4 hour commitment per week), […]
August 17, 2015
21 New Blooming Potted Plants For Trouble-Free Greenhou…
Blooming potted plants brighten up almost any occasion. With new colors and an abundance of blooms, these 21 new introductions add a unique, finishing touch to even the most diversified crop mix. Here are 21 new varieties available in 2015 that will hit retail in 2016.
August 15, 2015
Ball Horticultural Co. Buys Conard-Pyle/Star Roses And …
Ball Horticultural Co. plans to add Conard-Pyle/Star Roses and Plants to its family of breeding and distribution companies, according to a press release dated August 14, which announced the company’s recent acquisition of the famous introducer of Knock Out Roses and other perennials and woody plants to the market. Ball plans to capitalize on the expertise of its Ball Ornamentals woody ornamentals division, as well as Conard-Pyle’s market-leading position as a top rose breeder to strengthen its product line. The sale is scheduled to close by the end of September 2015. Conard-Pyle’s in-house breeding division NovaFlora, along with its intellectual properties and the distribution, production and administration facilities of its wholesale division are also part of the acquisition. NovaFlora is the driving force behind the Star Roses and Plants brand. “Conard-Pyle has been the leader in roses in its market and has been actively diversifying its offering with other woody […]
August 14, 2015
GrowIt! Announces Student Winners For Friends & Fam…
GrowIt! Garden Socially announced the two grand-prize winners of its 2015 Friends & Family app contest. Horticulture students Brett Weiss and Sarah Swofford will receive all-expenses paid trips to Chicago, Aug. 17-20, to attend the IGC Show at Navy Pier. They’ll have access to educational seminars and the tradeshow and get quality networking time with industry influencers. The spring contest was open to horticulture students who competed to see who could get the most followers on the GrowIt! platform. Five finalists were selected, and from those five, two grand-prize winners were chosen. Weiss is a student at Ferrum College in Ferrum, Va. He picked up his love for plants at an early age and never really let go. This summer he had the opportunity to intern at Disney World in the horticulture department. Swofford will graduate from Texas A&M University this August. She’s had the opportunity to work in several different facets […]
August 14, 2015
Customizing Crop Foliage Color With LEDs: Ornamental Cr…
Do you find that your purple fountain grass (Pennisetum setaceum ‘Rubrum’) crop is often green to light purple? What if we told you there is a quick solution to enhance and darken the foliage of purple fountain grass or other floriculture crops? In this second article of a four-part series highlighting the multiple uses of high-intensity light-emitting diodes (LEDs), we will discuss our research methodology and findings for enhancing the foliage color of ornamental crops with end-of-production (EOP) supplemental lighting (SL) in the greenhouse. Many ornamental crops that greenhouse and nursery growers produce vary in size, shape and color. These variables are often influenced by the growing environment. For example, leaf color (intensity, distribution or both) of ornamental crops such as purple fountain grass is a key component that often influences the consumer’s perception and ultimately an impulse purchase. The red or purple pigmentation of purple fountain grass leaves is […]
August 13, 2015
Craig Regelbrugge Receives National Plant Board Partner…
The National Plant Board has awarded Craig Regelbrugge, the AmericanHort senior vice president with its Outstanding Partnership Award for industry advocacy and research. The award was presented at the Plant Board’s annual meeting, held August 3-6, 2015, in Arizona. In presenting the award, Plant Board president Geir Friisoe of the Minnesota Department of Agriculture noted that Regelbrugge has collaborated with the board for more than 25 years. He has represented the horticulture industry in numerous initiatives to improve federal and state plant health programs and to harmonize plant pest quarantine efforts such as for the Japanese beetle. Regelbrugge led the effort to publish the first nationwide summary of each state’s plant quarantine and shipping requirements. The summaries are now available online at nationalplantboard.org. In 1999, Regelbrugge was invited by the National Plant Board to co-chair an in-depth stakeholder review of the USDA’s plant pest prevention and early detection programs. The Safeguarding American […]
August 13, 2015
Soil System Improves Growing And Sales
My father started our company 45 years ago growing bedding plants, mainly early season production and finished plants for our West Virginia market. It was in the early 1980s that we started growing earlier spring production and shipping materials to southern markets, and by the late 1980s, we also produced pansies for fall. We started using hydrogels when they first came on the market in the early 1990s and found that they really helped with our production by keeping plants healthier for these new markets. Over the years, we’ve grown to be a large young plant producer and have a sizable business growing finished plants in cell packs, 4 1/2-inch pots, 6-inch pots, gallon containers, hanging baskets, multiple sizes of large containers and large baskets for municipal use. Creating The Ideal Soil Mix With our old system, it took several workers to mix pre-made soil with slow-release fertilizers in cement […]