Sheridan Nurseries’ John McLaren Shares Advice For Commercial Growers

Sheridan Nurseries’ John McLaren and his award for being a finalist for Head Grower of the Year

Keeping informed is imperative to staying on the cutting edge in a competitive and ever-changing marketplace. In the greenhouse industry, there are constant innovations in production techniques, cultural practices and plant introductions, as well as improved technologies. These advancements can help any grower, from the most basic of operations to leaders of the industry. It is critical to understand the importance of how we gather and process this information to benefit and grow our businesses.

First, it is imperative to know what you are after. There are a number of outlets for gathering and sharing information. You can choose from publications, magazines, industry associations, professional organizations, trade shows and the list goes on. Understanding what you want to improve and targeting the appropriate source can save you time and money. Ensuring this information is handled properly is the next step to gaining the maximum value from the time and money spent to find it.

Utilize Partnerships

Sheridan Nurseries has partnered with a local university to conduct studies that are published and presented at trade shows. We are currently working on a study focusing on the effective and efficient use of controlled-release fertilizers (CRFs) in containerized crops. We use a significant amount of CRFs in containerized tree, shrub and perennial crops. When this study is completed, we will have the valuable information required to maximize our fertilizer inputs and minimize waste. We have also conducted studies to identify the best management practices for controlling diseases of plants that comprise a major portion of our business.

Suppliers are a great resource for growers. A good supplier understands that the success of their customer directly affects their success. Our suppliers invest significant time and money researching and developing their own products to ensure they are the best in the business. We can use this information to increase our yields and stay competitive in the marketplace.

Grow Your Business

The number of new plants introduced each year is staggering. Deciding which varieties will perform best for you is a challenge. Collecting the information required to make the decision about which plants will perform for you and your market can dramatically reduce wasted time and resources. Visiting trial gardens, attending trade shows and conferences and consulting with suppliers can help pin-point the best candidates.

Sheridan Nurseries is proud to be celebrating its 100th anniversary next year. We have worked closely with our plant suppliers to develop six new and exciting plant varieties. Tulipa ‘Sheridan Sunburst,’ Hosta ‘Flash Forward,’ Heuchera ‘Tropical Burst,’ Rosa ‘Sheridan’s Anniversary Blush,’ Syringa ‘Purple Be Dazzled’ and Physocarpus ‘Mahogany Magic‘ will be brand new to the industry next year, and we hope to create a buzz in the marketplace. The relationships we have developed over the years with our suppliers allow us to be involved with these initiatives.

These collaborative efforts are great examples of the ways growers can utilize information sources to improve their plant quality, yield and, ultimately, their bottom lines. Identifying your goals and needs before heading out to gather information on new ideas is a wise philosophy that can keep your company profitable and successful.

Leave a Reply

More From Business Management...
cannabis-planted-in-a-greenhouse

September 29, 2016

The 10 Most Common Misconceptions About Greenhouse Cannabis Production

In an emerging market such as cannabis, there can be a lot of bad information out there. One greenhouse supplier points out some common myths.

Read More

September 28, 2016

Pennsylvania Greenhouse Grower Applying For Cannabis License

Allen Wagner of Wagner’s Greenhouse in Grandview, PA, hopes to become one of 25 applicants — among as many as 150 — chosen for a grower-processor license.

Read More
The-Capitol

September 28, 2016

How The November Election Might Affect The Legalization Of Cannabis

National polls indicate Americans are largely divided on the topic, while this year’s presidential candidates generally feel it’s a state issue.

Read More
Latest Stories
cannabis-planted-in-a-greenhouse

September 29, 2016

The 10 Most Common Misconceptions About Greenhouse Cann…

In an emerging market such as cannabis, there can be a lot of bad information out there. One greenhouse supplier points out some common myths.

Read More

September 28, 2016

Pennsylvania Greenhouse Grower Applying For Cannabis Li…

Allen Wagner of Wagner’s Greenhouse in Grandview, PA, hopes to become one of 25 applicants — among as many as 150 — chosen for a grower-processor license.

Read More
The-Capitol

September 28, 2016

How The November Election Might Affect The Legalization…

National polls indicate Americans are largely divided on the topic, while this year’s presidential candidates generally feel it’s a state issue.

Read More
Vogel Alcove NGB Therapeutic Grant Winner

September 27, 2016

National Garden Bureau Announces Horticulture Therapy G…

The NGB’s annual grant program, Growing for Futures, recently selected three therapeutic gardens that will receive grants totaling $5,000.

Read More
cuttings-facility

September 27, 2016

How Global Suppliers Of Unrooted Cuttings Are Working T…

The world’s top vegetative producers discuss how they continue to evolve to overcome challenges and embrace opportunities to help growers and the varieties supply chain.

Read More
Employees separate the plants by stem count, bud development and height. “This process allows us to respond more quickly to specific requests from customers,” Van Wingerden says

September 22, 2016

AmericanHort Hosting Webinar On Overtime Rule Complianc…

The webinar takes place on Thursday, Sept. 29. AmericanHort is also throwing its support behind the Overtime Reform and Enhancement Act.

Read More
customer-base

September 21, 2016

6 Creative Ways To Expand Your Business

Marketing experts offer tips to help you catch the attention of new customers and grow your business.

Read More
OSU ATI Greenhouse

September 21, 2016

Your Support Is Essential For Current And Future Studen…

September is back to school time, and that means renewed opportunity to support the young people who are electing to pursue careers in horticulture. I continue to hear from growers of all sizes, from all over the country, that there just are not enough qualified graduates of two- or four-year horticulture programs. We also need to be active in promoting careers in horticulture to those who are not aware of the opportunities available. There have been some great success stories in this area recently. At University of Florida (UF) last fall, Anna Ball and Dr. Marvin Miller of Ball Horticultural Co. joined UF’s Dr. David Clark in an introductory environmental horticulture couse that’s open to any major. After the class, the line of students waiting to talk with Ball, Miller, and Clark was out the door. It is so important, Ball says, for each of us, individually and collectively to […]

Read More
Pansy ‘Cool Wave Blue Skies’ (Wave)

September 20, 2016

PanAmerican Seed Settles Alleged Trade Sanction Violati…

PanAmerican Seed, a division of Ball Horticultural Co., has been charged with violating trade sanctions to Iran over a number of years. According to a release from the U.S. Treasury department, PanAmerican Seed made 48 indirect sales of seeds to two Iranian distributors. The company shipped the seed to consignees based in countries in Europe and the Middle East. PanAmerican Seed’s customers then arranged for the re-exportation of the seeds to Iran. The release states that the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) determined PanAmerican Seed did not voluntarily self-disclose the alleged violations to OFAC, constituting an egregious case. “We believe that the settlement was extreme; however the alternative was to litigate with the U.S. government, which would take months, if not years,” says Todd Billings, Chief Financial Officer for Ball Horticultural Co. When asked what Ball Horticultural Co. has done to ensure that violations to trade sanctions do not […]

Read More
young-plants

September 20, 2016

The Top Young Plant Growers, And Four Critical Challeng…

In Greenhouse Grower’s 2016 Top Young Plant Growers Survey, growers discuss the latest challenges and opportunities in fulfillment, shipping, labor, and crop protection.

Read More
Dual Income No Kids (DINK) Young Couple

September 16, 2016

What You Need To Know About DINKs

DINKs (Dual Income, No Kids) are quickly becoming one of the fastest-growing demographics that marketers are targeting.

Read More
MANTS

September 15, 2016

Registration Is Now Open For MANTS 2017 In Baltimore

The 2017 Mid-Atlantic Nursery Trade Show takes place Jan. 11-13 in Baltimore, MD, and will feature more than 1,000 exhibitors from the green industry.

Read More
farwest-2016-photobooth

September 14, 2016

Farwest 2016 Marked By Expert Discussions On Green Indu…

Attendance at the 2016 Farwest Show in Portland was up 6% from last year, as visitors sought to learn more about emergent market opportunities.

Read More
Workers at Golden State Bulb Growers clean Calla tubers and select the best quality bulbs, placing them on conveyors to be graded, counted and sorted in the new system

September 13, 2016

Newly Signed California Law Expands Overtime To Farmwor…

The new law, which will be phased in beginning in 2019, is the first of its kind in the nation to end the 80-year-old practice of applying separate labor rules to agricultural laborers.

Read More
RISE New Governing Board 2016

September 11, 2016

RISE Appoints New Leadership, Hands Out Awards During 2…

“Our members’ enthusiasm is high, and we had great engagement as we work together to set objectives for 2017 and beyond,” said Aaron Hobbs, RISE President. “Our work ensures a vibrant future for our industry, so we can continue to deliver cutting-edge solutions to solve people’s pest and plant health problems.”

Read More
Workers at The Farm at Green Village

September 10, 2016

Now Is The Best Time To Demand Federal H-2B Program Sup…

Congress is expected to pass a continuing resolution spending bill in the near future, and whether or not that measure includes an H-2B returning worker exemption could impact your labor supply for 2017.

Read More
Cavicchio Greenhouses

September 6, 2016

Cavicchio Greenhouses Wins Inaugural Sustainability Awa…

The Sudbury, MA, growing operation sustains more than 250 acres of annuals, perennials, and nursery stock, with a number of practices to mitigate its impact on the environment.

Read More
Charlie Hall Feature Image

September 6, 2016

10 Insights From Charlie Hall’s Green Industry Economic…

With the uncertain current economic climate, Texas A&M economist Charlie Hall says now may be the perfect time to invest — as long as you do it smartly.

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