March 22, 2017
An Inside Look at Emerald Coast Growers’ New Seed House
Florida-based liner producer Emerald Coast Growers custom retrofitted and expanded an existing greenhouse, with the goal of increasing production efficiency.
December 1, 2016
How Color Point Is Stopping Cart Theft With Plastic Shelves
Plastic shelving on carts acts as a deterrent to theft, and employees enjoy the benefits of being able to handle the racks without difficulty or injuries.
November 24, 2014
Biomass Six Years Later: Would Pleasant View Do It Again?
Pleasant View gardens installed its first biomass boiler six years ago and has added a second one since. Now it’s reaping the benefits of lower heating costs and dollars saved.
September 11, 2014
3D Hits Hort: Technology Streamlines Pot Production
McConkey Company changes the game in customized pot designs with 3D printing.
November 12, 2012
How To Produce A Great Catalog
When getting started with a catalog, the first step is to decide who’ll take the lead on this mammoth undertaking. Do you have someone in-house who can take it on or likes that type of work? That’s one option to consider. It’s also important to consider the level of work you expect. Unless the proper training is there, you’ll likely not receive the caliber of work you’d get from professionals who create catalogs regularly as their primary job. Outsource Or Divide And Conquer Most importantly, analyze this project like you would any project with your business. It’s easy for projects like these — ones that are completely different than what your team is accustomed to — to capture a huge amount of your staff’s time and energy. Figure out what’s the best use of time for your team and how you can accomplish the goal most effectively, economically and efficiently. […]
May 21, 2012
Black Shade Cloth Versus Reflective Screens
Few factors can affect plant development as much as temperature fluctuation, particularly in the heat of summer. Monitoring and controlling both air and leaf temperature can drastically affect a plant’s productivity and quality. Leaf and air temperature can differ greatly, by as much as 10°F to 30°F. Proper greenhouse shading, however, can help keep leaf temperatures in the most productive range. As greenhouses transmit sunlight, they also trap heat, raising the internal temperature of the structure. Both plants and workers become stressed, and reducing the heat load becomes imperative. But what is the best material to accomplish that goal? Recent studies conducted by Dr. Daniel H. Willits at North Carolina State University (NCSU) help shed light on the impact greenhouse shading selection has on plants. These studies found that common black, knitted shade cloth provided little to no thermal improvement in the greenhouse. Installing reflective materials for external shading, in […]
April 26, 2012
Turn Big Ideas Into Big Results
Bringing the team together is a great idea. Channeling all of the great ideas that come from your team, well, that’s a different challenge. So how do you take those ideas and make them work for you, rather than let them die a dusty death on the conference room table or in the circular file?Growers across the country are finding their own unique – and incredibly effective – ways to put big thinking to work in the greenhouse and behind the desk. Call them idea groups, quality councils or just your average manager’s meeting. Whatever you name them, these growers will tell you their groups are a source of their success. Create Order From Idea Overload At Homestead, Fla.-based orchid and bromeliad grower Silver Vase, the idea group started with a good problem – a surplus of ideas with nowhere to go. “We were always working on new ideas, but […]
September 13, 2011
Dianthus Is Done Right At Northwest Horticulture
Talk about making weather work for you. Northwest Horticulture has leveraged its ideal location, plus extensive perennial expertise, to become a major dianthus producer here in the United States. Each year, Northwest Horticulture plants 15 acres with more than 3,000 dianthus stock plants that produce millions of plugs for fall, winter and early spring sales. Northwest Horticulture’s home in Washington’s Yakima Valley, about 200 miles east of Seattle, offers the ideal climate for perennials production. Think Washington equals rain? The Yakima Valley is a world away from Seattle’s gloomy, wet climate. Instead, Northwest Horticulture is located in a desert-like climate that receives about seven inches of annual rainfall and more than 320 days of sun. Northwest Horticulture has a true winter with temperatures that can drop below 0°F, but it sees little snow. In summer, temperatures can be as high as 100°F but they’re balanced by comfortable nights in the […]
August 10, 2011
Pleasant View Gardens Is Buying Into Biomass
A wood chip isn’t a wood chip anymore. Who knew? Pleasant View Gardens for one, especially since it has installed a second biomass burner. Taking sustainability to the ultimate level, Pleasant View is now 95 percent oil free, heating both its Loudon and Pembroke, N.H., facilities almost entirely with wood chips. “It works really well for us because we’re a propagator,” says Henry Huntington, Pleasant View president. “We’re heating a lot of space at a critical time of year.” Between more than 11 acres across the two locations, Pleasant View was burning 600,000 gallons of No. 2 fuel oil per year. When heating bills nearly doubled to almost $2 million, the time for simply talking about adding a biomass burner was over. Always focused on reducing energy and labor costs, Pleasant View istalled a $2 million Hurst biomass burner in 2008. Though the learning curve was steeper than expected, the […]
April 25, 2011
Expand Your Designer Grasses Palette
High fashion isn’t just for the runway. Color sells and sizzles in these sure-to-please varieties. Emerald Coast Growers helped make ornamental grasses mainstream, and they’re loving these new varieties that are anything but. We asked Cheri Markowitz, sales manager and grass guru, for her favorite picks for this season. Kick your grass program up a notch with the latest designer grasses. Bold Burgundies Send spring sales soaring with one of the world’s hottest new grasses. Pennisetum ‘Fireworks’ is ready for liftoff. This international award winner is striped burgundy, pink, cream, white, green and ruby red on plants up to 36 inches tall. A grand finale of rich red plumes tops off the spectacular foliage. It’s hardy to Zones 9 and 10. Fire up success with pennisetum ‘Skyrocket.’ Pink projectile plumes sparkle above bright green and pristine white variegated foliage. This fiery, easy-growing, low-maintenance cultivar is a new sport of the […]
September 20, 2010
Combo Companion: Danziger’s Mixis
Standing out in the cluttered combos market takes ingenuity, creativity and flexibility. Gardeners won’t settle for the average or also-rans. They want brilliant new pairings bursting with blooms and exploding in color. To take your combo program up a notch, try these tips from the experts at Danziger. Maximize Your Choices Make it easy with a mixed liners program that gives you optimum flexibility and creativity. Choose a company that understands you want to be in control of creating your combos. Look for a product range that’s broad enough to help you fulfill the different tastes and needs of different customers. You want a program that adapts to your needs, with options like single crop mixes of two to three colors with the same habit and timing, multi-crop combinations of two to three varieties and a completely flexible option that lets you go freestyle and build your own program any […]
May 28, 2010
Danziger’s Musica Double Impatiens Series
Musica, a spectacular double Impatiens walleriana, is the result of Danziger Flower Farm’s intense and innovative breeding programs. Fully double, delicately formed rosebud flowers deliver a continuous dazzling display of irresistible color. Plants are tight and perfectly mounded, adding stem strength that’s vital in adverse weather conditions and enhancing the variety’s garden performance. Robust plants have attractive deep green foliage. Short internodes ensure flower buds are tightly stacked on the stem growth tips to provide a profuse, sustained blooming canopy. Twenty-eight unique commercial varieties are now available in various colors, including 12 of the latest Musica variety introductions for the 2010-11 season. One new example is the new ‘Music Pure White.’ This variety complements the existing two white varieties: ‘Musica Pearl’ and ‘Musica White Blush.’ ‘Musica Pure White’ is characterized by large flowers and a compact growth habit. The variety’s flowers are truly a pure white color–as white as fresh […]
December 30, 2009
Oglesby Plants: Liner Pioneers
Young Plant Possibilities “The young plant division is built around the idea that not everyone wants to wean plants from tissue culture,” Oglesby President Gary Hennen says. “We offer plants already grown, already greenhouse hardened and it makes customers’ lives much easier.” Since Oglesby started selling liners in 1978, the young plant division has leaped ahead, becoming the company’s largest component. More than 150,000 square feet of greenhouse space is dedicated to converting microcuttings to stage IV young plants. To help meet their uncompromising quality standards, Oglesby’s facilities employ a mix of advanced technology. Poly and polycarbonate greenhouses are computer climate-controlled and equipped with rolling European-style benches, cooling pads and Nexus shade and heat-retention systems. “Oglesby has maintained a very high bar on quality through the long history of the company,” Dagen says. “People rely on us to deliver the highest quality possible on our young plant liners.” […]
November 30, 2009
Putting Some Heat Into It
Since Athens Select’s launch in 1998, the collection has added a host of best-selling new varieties and initiated a partnership with the Southern Living Plant Collection that’s helped take the program to new heights. Hot Property Just two years into Athens Select’s partnership with the Southern Living Plant Collection, the program shines for its unique varieties and its ability to provide sizzling color even in summer heat. With 11 Athens Select varieties now part of the Southern Living Plant Collection, opportunities for growth abound. For Athens Select, the partnership was a no-brainer. After all, Southern Living is a premier lifestyle and entertainment magazine and the sixth largest monthly consumer magazine in the United States. It reaches nearly 16 million readers each month and enjoys a circulation of about 2.8 million. “Having the Southern Living brand behind your product and, for retailers, [having] the pot and tag […]
September 16, 2009
Digitizing The Catalog
Cheri Markowitz didn’t think Emerald Coast Growers needed an online ordering option. She was the naysayer. But then the orders came, and they came in full force for Cheri and her brothers Paul and Mark Babikow, the three minds behind Emerald Coast’s electronic marketing strategy. Since Emerald Coast launched a website in 1995, the Pensacola, Fla.-based business has developed a multi-pronged strategy of carefully targeted and meticulously selected digital tools that simultaneously build business and service existing customers and brokers. “As a business today, you have to be poised to respond to the growing need for electronic communications,” Paul says. And respond Emerald Coast has. It now has a website (ECGrowers.com), an electronic product database, e-newsletters, online availability updates, electronic ordering and a downloadable catalog to give customers an all-access pass to the true ease and convenience of doing business with Emerald Coast Growers. “We want to be the easy […]
January 16, 2009
Long before sustainability became a buzzword and corporations made headlines for using the right light bulbs, the Huntingtons made energy conservation a priority at Pleasant View Gardens in New Hampshire. But their latest innovations put even their own efforts in the shadows. Their new biomass boiler has the potential to reduce heating costs at their Pembroke, N.H., location by an incredible 85 percent. And their resume of energy- and labor-saving programs is helping their customers cut crop times by as much as 50 percent. Whatever it takes, Pleasant View puts the spotlight on increasing turns and decreasing costs. “We ask, ‘What can we do in our industry to be good to the environment and also save our grower customers and retailers money,'” says Carol Huntington, Pleasant View’s marketing manager. “We’re constantly being innovators and keeping our minds open.” Not Burning the Midnight Oil Installing a $2 million biomass burner and […]
May 29, 2017
New LED Options Designed to Boost Greenhouse Plant Qual…
LumiGrow and Philips recently introduced high-efficiency lighting options that are designed to reduce energy costs and improve crop consistency.
May 28, 2017
Growers Offer Advice on What to Know Before Your Next B…
Two Top 100 Growers discuss their most recent building projects, the challenges they addressed, and what they learned during the process.
May 27, 2017
How to Overcome Biocontrol Challenges by Thinking Outsi…
With a little creative thinking and adjustments to your strategy, you can overcome your greenhouse biocontrol challenges.
May 26, 2017
University of Florida Course Helps You Improve Greenhou…
The University of Florida (UF) Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences is offering an Advanced Nutrient Management course through its online greenhouse training program.
May 26, 2017
New Software System From Boxcar Central Takes Growing D…
Boxcar Central’s data-hub platform allows growers to log mass amounts of data and use it to compile information on crop quality.
May 25, 2017
Allan Armitage: Two Great Examples of Young People Movi…
In his latest column, Allan Armitage says perhaps we should, as an industry, extend our hands to our youngest members. We might be pleasantly surprised what happens.
May 25, 2017
Jury Awards Damages in Stepables Photo Copyright Case, …
According to a press release from Under A Foot Plant, Co,, a jury awarded Under A Foot Plant (which owns the Stepables product line) $900,000 in actual damages for The Perennial Farm’s use of Stepables’ copyrighted photographs.
May 25, 2017
AmericanHort Hosting Advocacy Visit to Capitol Hill in …
AmericanHort has announced it will be hosting Impact Washington, an inaugural advocacy and policy summit, in Washington, DC, Sept. 12-13.
May 25, 2017
Genetically Modified Petunia Update: Breeders Take Swif…
Now that the initial shock of genetically engineered petunias is wearing off, breeders continue testing for tainted stock and look toward the future. On the consumer side, uncertainties remain.
May 24, 2017
Sustainability in the Greenhouse is More Than Just Abou…
Bell Nursery has taken several steps over the years to make our operation more sustainable from a technological standpoint. Here’s how we are doing it.
May 24, 2017
What to Expect at the Perennial Plant Symposium in Denv…
The Perennial Plant Association’s annual Symposium takes place July 23-28 in Denver, CO, and features 28 educational sessions, six local tours, and a trade show.
May 23, 2017
The Road to Sustainability at Cavicchio Greenhouses
Incremental changes to reduce its carbon footprint have paid off in greater efficiency and public recognition for this Massachusetts greenhouse grower.
May 23, 2017
USDA-APHIS Bulletin on Unauthorized Distribution of Gen…
On May 2, 2017, USDA-APHIS was informed that an orange petunia variety was potentially genetically engineered and had been imported and moved interstate without required authorization by APHIS. This led to testing of numerous petunia varieties, which confirmed this particular variety and several others are genetically engineered, and meet the regulatory definition of a regulated article under APHIS regulations. APHIS continues to work with the industry to ensure unauthorized GE petunias are not distributed in the United States.
May 22, 2017
New Dümmen Orange Scholarship Honors Legacy of Dr. P. A…
“Our industry’s future depends on attracting and supporting bright, hard-working students into horticulture programs across North America, and the support of Dümmen Orange will aid that effort,” Hammer says.
May 22, 2017
Genetically Modified Petunia Update: Question and Answe…
AmericanHort’s key role interfacing with the USDA on the recall of genetically modified petunias has helped the horticulture industry rapidly address the problem. Senior Vice President Craig Regelbrugge talks about recent updates, the impact on the industry, and where it goes from here.
May 21, 2017
Final California Spring Trials Thoughts From Allan Armi…
“I went home from California Spring Trials realizing that the students enrolled in our Greenhouse Management program at Spokane Community College need to experience the trials. Attending opened many doors of opportunity for me.”