5 Steps To Simplify Spring Booking

It’s time to plan for spring production. Where should you begin? There’s so much to think about, and so many factors to consider. Do you feel a headache coming on? Put down the aspirin and keep reading for a five-step approach to less painful plant ordering.

1. Get ‘Em While They’re Hot

Start with what worked well this year. What had the best sell-through? Which items sold out completely? Secure those varieties first to ensure the quantities and ship weeks you need most. At the same time, review the items that were flat or down in sales, adjusting your 2015 plan accordingly to minimize your losses and make room for more top sellers.

2. Discover The Next Big Thing

Once you’ve taken care of your current must-haves, turn your attention to new varieties. Breeders are continuously upgrading their genetics for better performance and more efficient production. We’re also seeing plenty of all-new breeding breakthroughs including New Guinea impatiens from seed (Divine from PanAmerican Seed and Florific from Syngenta Flowers) and Kabloom seed calibrachoa from PanAmerican Seed.

Of the hundreds of new varieties for 2015, what has caught your eye? At a minimum, book trial quantities of a few introductions that excite you and fit your product mix. Today’s new variety could be tomorrow’s blockbuster, as we saw with Syngenta Flowers’ Calliope geranium several years ago. Consumers often enjoy discovering something new and different at the garden center and show their appreciation by becoming (or remaining) loyal customers.

3. Fill In The Blanks

Next, consider potential gaps in your product mix. What might be missing? Fruits, vegetables and herbs are hot right now. Be sure these categories are represented in your programs. Think, also, about using them as season extenders. Fall-fruiting items such as late-season raspberries are interesting additions to the home garden; interest in kale is fairly widespread. Cool-season vegetables can work well for both early spring and fall harvests.

In addition to adding new product categories, look for gaps in your existing programs. Is there room to broaden your offer? Take phlox as an example: P. subulata, P. divaricate and P. paniculata all flower at different times, extending your sales window and staggering color peaks in the home perennial garden. The same is true for varieties of iris and peony. Interest peaks when an item is in bloom; be ready with an offering that covers varying bloom times so you’re armed with color whenever the surge hits.

4. Consider The Combos

Now is also the ideal time to plan your mixed containers. If you develop your own custom combo recipes, try mixing perennials and annuals together. Consumers can enjoy the combination during the spring and summer months, then transplant perennial components into the landscape in the fall — some extra bang for their buck. Some varieties of miscanthus, such as ‘Morning Light,’ are well-suited as vertical elements and help keep combos looking great into autumn.

If you use designer mix programs, take full advantage of the ease and efficiency these programs provide. Again, you’ll want to consider what’s working for you now — and what, among the many new mixes for 2015, might captivate your customers. Do they prefer the upscale look of monochromatic mixes? Consider Kwik Kombos The Red Carpet Mix or new Confetti Garden Glossy Grape. Is your sell-through better with bright, high-contrast designs? In that case, try Confetti Garden Waterbury or Kwik Kombos Sour Patch Mix, both new for 2015.

5. Book Now, Beat The Rush

Connect early with your broker sales representative to work through your needs and wants for 2015. Booking early is your best bet to stock up on the basics and secure a spot near the front of the line for limited-availability items, particularly new varieties. It’s also prime time to boost your profit margins by way of early order discounts (EODs). Your broker sales rep is a terrific resource for program development and variety selection, as well, look to him or her for advice on what’s hot and what’s not.

 

Leave a Reply

More From Business Management...
Albert Grimm, Jefferys Greenhouses

August 25, 2016

7 Ways Albert Grimm Strives To Be An Effective Leader

Grimm, Greenhouse Grower's 2016 Head Grower Of The Year, tries to live by the "Seven Habits Of Highly Effective People” from author Stephen R. Covey.

Read More
Tidal Creek Growers

August 25, 2016

Maryland-Based SunMed Growers Nabs Cannabis License

The company was one of 15 licensees selected by the commission out of a pool of 145 grower applicants to receive one of the license pre-approvals.

Read More
Albert Grimm GOY feature

August 25, 2016

Up Close And Personal With Head Grower Of The Year Albert Grimm

According to Grimm, Greenhouse Grower’s 2016 Head Grower Of The Year, the key to being a successful grower is educating and inspiring yourself, your staff, your customers, and the next generation of growers.

Read More
Latest Stories
Albert Grimm, Jefferys Greenhouses

August 25, 2016

7 Ways Albert Grimm Strives To Be An Effective Leader

Grimm, Greenhouse Grower's 2016 Head Grower Of The Year, tries to live by the "Seven Habits Of Highly Effective People” from author Stephen R. Covey.

Read More
Tidal Creek Growers

August 25, 2016

Maryland-Based SunMed Growers Nabs Cannabis License

The company was one of 15 licensees selected by the commission out of a pool of 145 grower applicants to receive one of the license pre-approvals.

Read More
Albert Grimm GOY feature

August 25, 2016

Up Close And Personal With Head Grower Of The Year Albe…

According to Grimm, Greenhouse Grower’s 2016 Head Grower Of The Year, the key to being a successful grower is educating and inspiring yourself, your staff, your customers, and the next generation of growers.

Read More
Penn State Plant Bud

August 23, 2016

AmericanHort Is Helping Plant Importers Adjust To New R…

A report from Craig Regelbrugge at AmericanHort says the government is implementing a streamlined system for imports, in which all required data will be submitted electronically through a single window.

Read More
LuxFlora - feature

August 22, 2016

Check Out Luxflora’s International Adventures In Europe

A new, women-led professional organization provides its members the opportunity to gain insight, develop ideas, and build connections on its annual international trip.

Read More
MasterTag booth at Cultivate'16

August 17, 2016

5 Nuggets Of Wisdom From Cultivate’16

Here are five sweet pieces from the movers and shakers at Cultivate'16 to help improve your greenhouse business.

Read More
Cannabis ForwardGro

August 16, 2016

ForwardGro Receives License From Maryland Medical Canna…

The company, comprised of expert nursery growers, medical experts, business leaders, and patient advocates, says it can now apply its greenhouse growing experience, medical knowledge, and business expertise to effectively grow quality and consistent medical cannabis.

Read More
GreenhouseConnect 2015 Grower Supplier Meeting

August 16, 2016

5 Reasons You Need To Attend GreenhouseConnect

Greenhouse Grower’s annual event, which will take place Oct. 11-14 in Park City, UT, offers large-scale growing operations the chance to meet one on one with suppliers who can directly address your business needs.

Read More
Farwest Show Floor

August 14, 2016

Mobile App Now Available For 2016 Farwest Show

The app, available as a free download, can help attendees plan for everything from educational sessions to the New Varieties Showcase and Grower Showcase.

Read More

August 13, 2016

Plants Sales Are Up For Fourth Straight Year, According…

Growers declared spring 2016 to be a success in Greenhouse Grower’s 2016 State Of The Industry: Spring Crops Recap Survey.

Read More
Echinacea ‘Butterfly Rainbow Marcella’

August 12, 2016

IR-4 Project Receives Federal Funding For Pollinator An…

Grants from the Specialty Crop Research Initiative will fund IR-4 projects on protecting pollinators through ornamental horticulture, and downy mildew management strategies.

Read More
Emily Teng

August 11, 2016

American Floral Endowment Announces Its 2016 Scholarshi…

This year, thanks to the generosity of several donors, AFE awarded more than $35,000 to 17 students pursuing careers in horticulture.

Read More
Laura Drotleff

August 10, 2016

Customers Need Hand-Holding And TLC [Opinion]

If we want customers to use our plants, we need to provide basic information about the plants we produce.

Read More
Plug Connection Assortment

August 9, 2016

AmericanHort’s Plug And Cutting Conference Will Feature…

This year’s conference, which takes place Sept. 19-21 in Carlsbad, CA, features discussions on water, pest and disease control, and production inputs, as well as a biocontrols workshop and tour of local cuttings facilities.

Read More
Jim Nordlie

August 9, 2016

AFE Establishes Memorial Tribute For Long-Time Rose Gro…

Kennicott Brothers Company, Nordlie Inc., and The Pete Garcia Company established the Jim Nordlie Memorial Tribute through American Floral Endowment in honor of James “Jim” Nordlie, who passed away on July 1 at the age of 93.

Read More
Josh Henry, North Carolina State University

August 8, 2016

Get To Know Joshua Henry, Winner Of The 2016 Richard T.…

Henry, a graduate student at North Carolina State University, is pursuing a Master’s degree in horticultural sciences, with a focus on crop nutrition in bedding plants and flowering potted plants.

Read More
Andy And Micky Buist, Micandy Gardens

August 1, 2016

Micandy Gardens Uses New Technology And Energy Efficien…

With it's through energy efficiency, new technology, or the use of biocontrols, the Micandy ownership family of Andy, Micki, and Marcelyn Buist are constantly looking to make changes that will keep the company strong well into the future.

Read More
Obscura Screens From Svensson feature

July 28, 2016

3 New Products For Cannabis Producers

From screens to fertilizers to lighting, here are three new products that might help enhance your cannabis production system.

Read More
[gravityform id="35" title="false" description="false"]