September 19, 2012
Superior Automation Means Premium Plugs For Dümmen
Breeders develop the genetics and young plant growers produce them for regional customers. That’s typically the supply chain model employed here in the U.S., and it’s largely how breeders and young plant growers across Europe operate. One breeder who operates this way in the U.S. is Dümmen, which has formed a network of seven rooting stations that stretches from as far east as Plainview Growers in New Jersey to as far west as Plug Connection in California. But Dümmen’s European business based in Rheinberg, Germany, follows a different model. Dümmen not only breeds its own genetics in Rheinberg, but it grows virtually all of its own young plants to ship worldwide there. Dümmen, in fact, is able to reach 36 countries worldwide because of several automated systems it has introduced in recent years at Rheinberg. And, like U.S. growers continuously striving to establish stronger plugs, quicker bench turns and more […]
May 23, 2012
Edibles Are Showing Up In Greenhouses Everywhere
If there was one category that stood out during all of California Spring Trials in 2012, it was definitely the growth in edibles offerings. While vegetables and herbs have been a growing trend for a few years now, the number of breeders expanding existing lines or jumping in for the first time as striking. And it’s no wonder, as the demand seems to keep growing. The economic downturn in 2008 created heightened consumer interest in growing food at home. But even as fortunes have begun to improve for many Americans, there continues to be an increased desire for local, sustainable food production. That shift in attitudes may just be the sweet spot that helps our industry begin to seriously break through with a younger generation that, to this point, hasn’t been quite as excited aboutgardening as their parents and grandparents did. Edibles may just be the gateway to Generation Y. […]
May 23, 2012
Vegetable And Fruit Variety Introductions
If there was one category that stood out during all of California Spring Trials in 2012, it was definitely the growth in edibles offerings. While vegetables and herbs have been a growing trend for a few years now, the number of breeders expanding existing lines or jumping in for the first time was striking. Here are a few of the major new introductions to look out for in the future. Bumper Crop Grafted Tomato From Burpee Home Gardens One of Burpee Home Gardens’ big introductions in 2012 is this grafted tomato that combines flavorful traditional heirloom tomatoes and a disease-resistant rootstock. The increased vigor provided by the rootstock offers up to 50 percent more yield than a regular heirloom tomato plant. Burpee Home Gardens is introducing seven Bumper Crop varieties, including ‘Big Rainbow,’ ‘Brandywine Red,’ and ‘Sam Marzano.’ ‘Easy Pick Gold’ Zucchini From PanAmerican Seed One of a number […]
May 4, 2012
Delray Plants Says Marketing Is Now A Must
The Top 100 Growers were production-driven businesses just a few years ago. Many grew seemingly endless products and had the good fortune of finding buyers even in a pinch. Discounting was an option to keep product moving, and margins were favorable. Fast forward to todayâ€™s Top 100, and itâ€™s a sales-driven group that talks largely about tighter margins and the need to have the right product on the right shelves at the right time. The truth is todayâ€™s industry is vastly different than the one many of the Top 100 originally experienced. And the strongest growers are the ones adapting their operations and tailoring products to the retailerâ€™s needs. â€œYou just canâ€™t overproduce something today,â€� says Randy Gilde, an owner at Delray Plants. â€œYou can move some of it, but generally if your product isnâ€™t positioned at the right time and place for the store and its customers, you canâ€™t […]
May 4, 2012
Olson’s Greenhouse Uses Radio, Text Messages To Market
The best ideas are sometimes the ones someone else comes up with. But just because the original idea isn’t yours, it doesn’t mean you can’t execute the idea better. That’s the attitude Brian Lloyd, the vice president of sales and marketing at Olson’s Greenhouses, took when he further developed Containerfest, a one-day Home Depot event across stores in his region. Fred Meyer, a retail supermarket company and a Home Depot competitor, had been hosting a container planting event at its stores for years. Come early April, Fred Meyer customers would ritually line up with pots in hand and buy spring annuals that a grower vendor could plant into a beautiful spring container for them. Lloyd saw the demand Fred Meyer was creating. His goal was to create the same demand at Home Depot stores where consumers could purchase his plants. “There was always a long line for this, even if […]
May 4, 2012
Growers Who Help Retailers Market Raise Profits For Everyone
Some growers think of merchandising as the act of physically setting up a display in the retail environment. While that’s part of the definition, Lisa Wenke Ambrosio argues there’s more to merchandising than setting up a showy vignette. “When we are designing all of our packaging, from the pot color to the tag shape to whether we’re dealing with a tall or a short pot, we think about merchandising,” Wenke Ambrosio says. “You have to visualize what your product is going to look like at the store. I think all growers do this to some extent, but not to the extent that they should.” Many growers attempt to help their retail customers plan displays by sharing photographs of product in the greenhouse. This is a good start, Wenke Ambrosio says, but growers should consider taking their greenhouse photographs a step further. “A lot of growers send out pictures, but a […]
April 17, 2012
The Latest Dye-Infused Orchid
It’s been a few months since another dye-infused orchid color has been introduced but Plainview Growers unveiled its latest last week in ‘Yellow Tropics,’ the fourth color in its Colorfuze collection. “’Yellow Tropics’ is kind of out of the norm for dyed orchids,” says Tom Van Vugt, vice president of sales at Plainview Growers. “The other three are blushing and purple tones. We start [‘Yellow Tropics’] with a larger, 13-centimeter-flowered white orchid. There is no true yellow of this flower size or flower count.” Van Vugt says ‘Yellow Tropics’ sports a minimum of 10 flowers, all of which are cascading. An advantage for Plainview’s customers with ‘Yellow Tropics’ and the other Colorfuze orchids is uniformity across the four orchids. “A lot of times when you ship an orchid, you may have a tall white and the customer wants a yellow with it,” Van Vugt says. “You may have some shorter […]
April 3, 2012
Track Shipments More Efficiently & Accurately
Tracking 1,000 acres of plant material and staging it for shipping in one area is no easy task, as Karl Losely, the president of Herman Losely & Son. will tell you. But tracking material that comes into the shipping yard with an archaic manual paper system, as the nursery did for many years in Perry, Ohio, magnified the challenge Losely and his team faced. “Initially, we had a paper pallet tag in which crew leaders in the field would note specific data on the tag – customer name, ribbon color, order number, what the material was and the quantity,” Losely says. “There was a tear-off stub on that tag. It was torn off as pickup crews picked up orders and brought it into the office. We would then manually track the data.” Manually tracking was a nightmare, though. The paper-tracking system forced Losely and his wife, Kathy, into many late […]
March 29, 2012
New-Age Vegetables A Gateway To Next Gardening Gen
As we’ve made our way north this week from trial to trial in California, we continue to hear concerns about why 27-year-olds like me typically don’t garden. It’s no surprise to me that most 20- and 30-something-year-olds aren’t digging in the dirt quite like the 40-and-up crowd. We’ve got college debts to repay and less time on our hands than previous generations, as we’re spending more time at work and setting aside less time for ourselves. Costs are a big concern for young people like me. The price of gas is soaring and food prices are going up along with it. Fortunately, many of the breeders participating in the California Spring Trials are in tune with these economic developments, and they’re positioning themselves to reach new gardeners like me by launching their business into or expanding upon existing herb and/or vegetable programs. Just look at the evolution of edibles among […]
March 28, 2012
HGTV Collection Looks Like A Home Run
We’ve been hearing about the HGTV Home Plant Collection for months, dating back to late 2011 when select breeders were chosen to make their pitch to HGTV. Ultimately, Dümmen USA won the exclusive rights to produce the first annuals for the collection. For the first time Tuesday at the California Spring Trials, we saw which Dümmen genetics are featured in it and how the Agricola Management Group is positioning it. Coming from Southern California where we started our Spring Trials run four days earlier, the HGTV launch is one of the greatest stories of the week. By now, everyone knows the HGTV brand is heavily skewed to the “Home” and not so much the “Garden.” So the launch of this plant collection should help refocus the brand and elevate the concept of gardening to those who may not know much about plants but at least know HGTV. “The good thing […]
March 26, 2012
Seed-Plus-Vegetative Combos Now A Possibility
A year ago, when Selecta introduced the Trixi 2.0 method which roots three different species together into one single-stuck multiliner, General Manager Stefan Reiner pointed out that the combo possibilities to come were potentially limitless. This year, Ball Horticultural Company is taking a leap forward with Selecta’s innovation, introducing the first multiliners to feature both seed and vegetative species at the California Spring Trials. The innovation, called Synergy, falls under the relatively new Ball Ingenuity division. “Using the 2.0 technology, we can sow seed in trays, stick cuttings and fuse them into one component,” says Kevin Roethle, the head of Ball Ingenuity. All the combos on display Saturday at Ball were concepts that are still being evaluated, but Roethle says growers can expect selection announcements in June. “We’ve started with 290 combinations,” Roethle says. “We’re trying plants like grasses, violas and some cool-season crops. There are so many different options […]
March 25, 2012
5 Stops, 5 Standout Varieties & Programs
Sun Parasol Garden Crimson Mandevillas (Suntory Flowers) Mandevillas are one of Suntory Flowers’ many staples. Now, Suntory is offering something highly unique in mandevillas with the first bedding plant version. One of coolest features of this introduction is its scarlet container companion that has all the details consumers need for succeeding with Garden Crimson in their garden – no labels are really even necessary. Plug Connection’s Mighty Mato The grafted tomatoes have been an exciting development for Plug Connection, which adds 20 new Might varieties this year. Six peppers and three eggplants are among the new introductions. ‘Santa Cruz Sunset’ Begonia boliviensis (Benary) The first boliviensis from seed is the most exciting introduction this year from Benary. ‘Santa Cruz Sunset’ looked as good as it could this week in Southern California’s ideal conditions. We’ll see how the begonia performs away from sunny SoCal. If its flower power proves to be […]
March 24, 2012
Ecke Ranch Alleviating Marketing Stresses By Doing Work For You
There’s no doubting Paul Ecke Ranch is a breeder and grower first above all things. But a changing floriculture industry means a changing business model for the longtime poinsettia and geranium breeder. So in addition to introducing about 30 new varieties Friday as a prelude to the California Spring Trials, Ecke Ranch showed off its new Design Center that was created to help growers put seasonal plant programs together. “Some growers are still in the mindset of grow the plant and push out the door,” says CherylAnn Crysler, an Ecke Ranch marketing specialist. “Having to figure out how to package plants for the retailer is a big task.” To ease its grower customers’ troubles, Ecke Ranch has partnered with about a dozen packaging suppliers across the globe to build custom programs for particular seasons. Novelty Manufacturing, Scheurich and Wald Imports are among the packaging suppliers Ecke is teaming with. In […]
March 20, 2012
Spring Sales Picking Up Earlier Than Usual
The first day of spring officially arrived Tuesday, but growers across the country have been taking advantage of spring-like weather the last couple weeks with higher-volume shipments. Now, growers are keeping their fingers crossed that the 60-, 70- and 80-degree days persist. “Spring broke early and we’re shipping like crazy,” says Tom Van Vugt, the vice president of sales at Plainview Growers in Pompton Plains, N.J. “We’re shipping pansies, bowls and baskets. We always end up starting to ship in March, but we’re shipping a lot more than normal. Hopefully, the weather stays like this.” Plantpeddler is also experiencing increased demand for cool-season annuals in Cresco, Iowa. “The weather has helped us,” says Joan Leuenberger, Plantpeddler’s CFO. “Right now it’s crazy. Anything that had a flower opened on it today (March 19) is going to get shipped. We are shipping pansies in just about any format; strawberry baskets; and some […]
March 15, 2012
Miller: Saving IR-4 Critical To Greenhouse Crop Protection
Think about the high-profile plant diseases growers are encountering these days – downy mildew on impatiens, boxwood blight – and what the consequences will be if you don’t have the appropriate products to protect those plants. Take gloxinias for example. “We’ve virtually stopped growing them because we couldn’t control the pests,” says Marvin Miller, market research manager at Ball Horticultural Company. “We couldn’t solve the tomato spotted wilt virus with it. Really, we’ve had a whole list of crops we’ve stopped growing because we couldn’t control pests.” If funding for the IR-4 Project is reduced or eliminated, as Pres. Barack Obama’s 2013 budget plan is currently designed, Miller suggests the list of crops growers no longer produce will grow longer. According to OFA, Congress currently provides about $15 million to IR-4, which was established in the 1960s to facilitate the registration of safe and effective crop protection products for specialty […]
February 29, 2012
4 TPIE Takeaways
Looking for the next unusual tropical plants? Northland Floral’s Medinilla magnifica, which blooms multiple times with exotic flowers and was voted Best New Flowering Plant at January’s Tropical Plant Industry Exhibition (TPIE), is a good starting point in flowering plants. On the foliage side, Calathea lancifolia from Stewart’s Greenhouse in Mt. Dora, Fla., is worth a look, as it was voted Best New Foliage Plant at the tradeshow. What else do you need to know coming out of TPIE? Here are Greenhouse Grower’s top four takeaways after spending three days in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. 1. There’s Another ‘Blue Orchid Grower’ Silver Vase is to the Mystique orchids as Plainview Growers is to Colorfuze.That’s right: The New Jersey grower is also producing three orchids with the dye-infusion technique. Plainview’s dye-infused orchids, known as Colorfuze, are ‘Blue Diamond,’ ‘Purple Fusion’ and ‘Lavender Mist.’Silver Vase made the big splash when it launched the […]
February 29, 2012
Opinion: Impatiens Put To The Test
Impatiens are probably done in Europe. Those were the jaw-dropping words a long-time U.S. breeder shared with me at January’s IPM Essen. The breeder was referring specifically to the damage downy mildew did on Impatiens walleriana throughout Europe in 2011, wiping out landscapes and prompting some European retailers to avoid carrying the crop altogether this year. It’s yet to be determined if impatiens are officially done in Europe, but the very thought begs questions about impatiens’ fate here in the United States. Just imagine a widespread downy mildew problem unfolding in your region. I’m not saying the disease will spread in the U.S. this year or in 2013 like it has in Europe. But the fact downy mildew was spotted on impatiens in top floriculture states like California, Illinois and New York, as Michigan State’s Mary Hausbeck reported last October, is cause for concern. Consider the role impatiens play in […]
February 29, 2012
Cool New Plants & Merchandising Concepts From Essen
As a grower, your trade show travel budget may be restricted to OFA Short Course, a couple of regional shows and maybe one show within your own state – if that. But if you have the means to visit IPM Essen in Germany at least once over the next few years, you’ll be inspired by the countless number of ideas the European market has to offer. The biggest advantage of attending Essen is you’re exposed to hundreds of new vendors and thousands of new ideas you can take back and put into your business. Some of the Essen exhibitors may not serve the United States directly, but a number will. And if you contact a broker about buying a new variety, series or product, they may just do the heavy lifting for you to make something available to your business. With 12 exhibit halls to explore, it’s impossible to take […]
February 22, 2012
New Petunias At 2012 California Spring Trials
As with most years at the California Spring Trials, there are a number of new petunias growers can explore. 1) Ball Seed’s Pretty petunias, developed for less plant growth regular use, are among this year’s introductions. Suitable for cold-growing regimes, Pretty petunias are worth a look because of their better branching habit, which improves airflow and minimizes the chance for disease. And less disease, obviously, means less dump and more profits for growers. 2) Suntory Flowers also has a petunia introduction in its Summer Double Surfinias. Summer Doubles were developed for great heat and rain tolerance. They flower early for a double petunia and bloom even in small pots. These petunias have a tight, mounding shape with many branches, and they’re uniform across the colors. Flowers reportedly remain stable, even in 90-degree heat. 3) If you’re looking for a more miniature petunia series, Syngenta Flowers’ Picobella Cascades are worth a […]
February 3, 2012
Hello Kitty Concept Hits The Right Demographic
You name it, Hello Kitty’s got it. The brand’s got T-shirts and candles and watches and shoes. There are Hello Kitty accessories for your car, toys for your kids and greeting cards for birthdays and other occasions. So why not plants for Hello Kitty? That’s a question Top 100 Grower Delray Plants must have asked itself these last few months. Delray, which showcased tropicals in Hello Kitty gift bags and displays at last month’s Tropical Plant Industry Exhibition, is expected to handle Hello Kitty plants here in the United States. Last week, we posted a photo of a kalanchoe in a Hello Kitty gift bag on Greenhouse Grower’s Facebook page, asking our fans what they thought of the concept. We received a few responses that were mixed, including one from horticultural consultant Tara Herrera. “It makes me want to barf,” Herrera says, “but it will sell. I know plenty of […]
October 16, 2017
TTA Introduces New Transplanter Suited for Smaller Grow…
The PackPlanter S has 16 grippers and a capacity of 10,000 to 20,000 plugs per hour in a small frame.
October 14, 2017
PlantPeddler Hosting Poinsettia Variety Day in December
The event will feature side-by-side comparisons of more than 100 commercial and pre-released varieties from seven breeders.
October 13, 2017
Researchers Continue to Keep Close Tabs on Whitefly
Dr. Lance Osborne of the University of Florida and Dr. Cindy McKenzie of USDA’s Agricultural Research Service are evaluating insecticide efficacy and the impact of product rotations on whitefly biotype populations.
October 12, 2017
How to Deal With Common Greenhouse Maintenance Issues
The most common problems often come from a lack of cleanliness and faulty equipment. Here are a number of tips you can follow in each of these areas.
October 11, 2017
Bayer’s New Head of Environmental Science Has Roots in …
Mark Schneid says one of the biggest challenges the industry faces is the constantly evolving customer — particularly among millennials.
October 10, 2017
Houston-Based TreeTown USA Acquires Village Nurseries
With the addition of the new West Coast division, which will continue to operate under its trade name of Village Nurseries, TreeTown USA will now encompass 16 farm locations throughout California, Texas, and Florida, with more than 4,000 acres in production.
October 10, 2017
Sharpen Your Skills in Cost Management and Profitabilit…
The University of Florida is offering a new online course on costing and profitability. The course will take growers through the process of how to accurately evaluate cost of production, labor efficiency, pricing, and equipment investment decisions.
October 10, 2017
Coastal Callas Is a Dream Fulfilled for Founder Adrian …
Adrian Espinoza and his family founded Rancho Espinoza Inc. and Coastal Callas in California seven years ago with a mission and purpose to provide consistent quality and reliable supply of calla lilies to the marketplace.
October 10, 2017
Philips Lighting, Ball Seed Partner on Distribution
Ball Seed will now offer Philips GreenPower LED lighting as a complement to its liners, plugs, unrooted cuttings, seed, and prefinished products.
October 9, 2017
Maximize Your Labor Efficiency When Sticking Plant Cut…
Transplanting unrooted cuttings into trays is one of the most labor-intensive activities in greenhouse production.
October 8, 2017
Greenhouse Equipment Supplier AgriNomix is Expanding
In an effort to keep up with demand from growers venturing into automation, the company is adding almost 20,000 square feet of warehouses and offices.
October 7, 2017
Herbaceous Perennial Nutrition: What You Need to Know
Regardless of your production challenges, keeping containerized herbaceous perennials healthy is as simple as understanding the basics of their nutritional needs.
October 6, 2017
Team Empowerment Pays Off at Micandy Gardens Greenhouse…
With a strong team that acts more like family powering its success, the 2017 Operation of the Year mixes good business practices with the pleasure of spreading the joy of plants.
October 5, 2017
Greenhouse Lighting Suppliers Focused on Efficiency and…
Deciding the best lighting system for your greenhouse — whether you’re growing ornamentals, vegetables, herbs, or something else — can be challenging. Here’s a close look at some of the latest lighting options on the market, and how you can determine whether they are a good fit for your operation.
October 3, 2017
The Landscape Show is Back; Here’s All the Details
After being temporarily canceled due to Hurricane Irma, the FNGLA Landscape Show will return to Orlando in early November.