Author Archives: Will Carlson

About Will Carlson

Will Carlson is a Michigan State University emeritus professor who has devoted his career to educating growers. He also had the vision to launch Greenhouse Grower magazine with Dick Meister more than 25 years ago.

Yukon Is Gone

Sixteen and a half years ago, my younger son Wayne asked if Barbara and I could take care of his dog for the weekend. The dog was about a month old, a very cute, small dog. Of course, Barbara said yes. Wayne dropped off the dog, his bed, water dish and 50 pounds of dog food.

Seeing What’s Next

With the 2007 spring season coming to an end, many of you are assessing the outcome of your efforts for that time. While some parts of the country have had wonderful weather conditions, other areas were just OK and some had significant problems with wildfires, tornadoes or flooding. It is very frustrating to make plans for

Stop, Look, Listen!

When I was in grade school, I lived in a town in northeastern Pennsylvania that had two industries: coal mining and railroading. I had to walk to school, which was about two miles away. On the way, I had to pass two railroad crossings. I was about 10 years old when we moved into this area.

Let the Concert Begin!

I’m sure you have spent months planning the 2008 growing season — what plants will be grown, how many of each, what sizes and types of containers and when your potential customers will want them. You also may have a marketing plan. Most companies do. Just as you look at production plans and check the plants

For Or With, That Is The Question

Over the past three months, I have asked more than 20 people, "How many jobs have you had since you started working?" Their answers ranged from 1 to 35 jobs. I then asked them, "With whom did you work?" Nineteen of the 20 responded that they worked "for" the companies. Only one said that he

The Five Great Zins of Harold Young

I was sad to hear of the death of Harold Young, who was the editor and publisher of the Pacific Coast Nurseryman magazine from 1973 to 2004. I first met Harold in 1974 when we were planning the 1975 Bedding Plant Conference for Newport Beach, Calif. I soon found out Harold was well connected to

Why Do Brands Exist?

There was an excellent article in the Harvard Business Review, September 2004, titled "Customer-Centered Brand Management" by R.T. Rust, V.A. Zeithami and K.N. Lemon. It focused on a discussion of the purpose of brands. The article posed the question, "Is the brand developed for the company or for the customer?" Their answer was that, "Brand

It’s Not Easy Being Green

A month ago I told you a fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen entitled, "There Is A Difference." The moral of the story was that all types of plants and people receive the same resources, such as sun, air and nutrients, and it is up to them to utilize these resources as best they can

Freakynomics

In the Dec. 10, 2007 issue of Fortune magazine, Stanley Bing wrote an article with the title "Freakynomics." It is a great spoof of all that the so-called financial experts are predicting, everything from recession to depression, stagflation to inflation. His subtitle is "Getting Your Finances Squared Away For The End Of The Year World."

Garden Writers Association – A Rewarding Investment

(Note: This month’s One To Grow On is written by Dr. William H. Carlson’s son William R. Carlson.)  Regular readers of this column know that my dad strongly believes that it is important to spend as much time marketing your products as you do growing them. (For more on that, check out the Marketing Your Product