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 Management...
SNA Logo

June 19, 2017

SNA, MANTS Plan to Co-Locate Their Events in 2018

There is crossover appeal for participants of both events, according to show organizers, and this cooperation will bring value and potential new business opportunities for both audiences.

Read More
Heat Safety App

June 18, 2017

Protect Your Employees from Heat-Related Illnesses with This Updated App

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration have released an updated app for smart phones that can help workers stay safe when working outdoors in hot weather.

Read More

June 1, 2017

Reimagining a Brand: How Did We Do With Greenhouse Grower?

Changing the design and content strategy of a brand isn't easy, but we think the new Greenhouse Grower will help carry our innovative industry forward and allow us to better serve your information needs.

Read More
Latest Stories
SNA Logo

June 19, 2017

SNA, MANTS Plan to Co-Locate Their Events in 2018

There is crossover appeal for participants of both events, according to show organizers, and this cooperation will bring value and potential new business opportunities for both audiences.

Read More
Heat Safety App

June 18, 2017

Protect Your Employees from Heat-Related Illnesses with…

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration have released an updated app for smart phones that can help workers stay safe when working outdoors in hot weather.

Read More

June 1, 2017

Reimagining a Brand: How Did We Do With Greenhouse Grow…

Changing the design and content strategy of a brand isn't easy, but we think the new Greenhouse Grower will help carry our innovative industry forward and allow us to better serve your information needs.

Read More
June 2017 Cover feature Image

June 1, 2017

Greenhouse Grower is Evolving With You

For 33 years, Greenhouse Grower has been the most trusted, independent resource for our industry and your operation. We’ll keep evolving to remain an indispensable partner for you in the months and years to come.

Read More

May 31, 2017

Customers Come First at Prides Corner Farms

This people-focused grower serves a diverse set of customers, successfully giving each one individual attention without sacrificing efficiency.

Read More
Art VanWingerden

May 31, 2017

Art VanWingerden on the Importance of Investing in Your…

When it comes to reinvesting in structures, Art VanWingerden of Metrolina Greenhouses says it's important maintain the longevity of the building so it will last to the next generation and the generation after that.

Read More
Stepables Tough-Ten Tags

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

May 23, 2017

6 Simple Ways to Acquire New Customers

Even the most successful brands need new customers if they want to grow their business, or stay profitable.

Read More
Dr. P. Allen Hammer, Dummen Orange

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.

Read More
The Greenhouse and Hoophouse growers handbook

May 19, 2017

New Book Highlights the Benefits of Growing Vegetables …

Andrew Mefferd’s new book, “The Greenhouse and Hoophouse Grower’s Handbook: Organic Vegetable Production Using Protected Culture,” covers the many benefits of protected culture food production, from being first to market, to more effective pest control.

Read More
MedMen New Facility

May 18, 2017

MedMen Cannabis Production Facility in Nevada Nearly Co…

Construction is expected to be completed this summer on the facility, which will include a 26,000-square-foot greenhouse and a 19,000-square-foot extraction and production wing.

Read More
New Frontier Cannabis Industry Annual Report

May 18, 2017

New Frontier Publishes Annual Report on the Cannabis In…

The 2017 Cannabis Industry Annual Report provides an up-to-date perspective on the growth and transformation of the legal cannabis industry, and what it means for each segment of the market, including producers.

Read More
ISO Cutting Machine

May 16, 2017

The Top 100 Growers are Investing in More Technology to…

Labor has traditionally been among growers’ most significant costs, but the continued rising costs and lack of available labor are currently two very heavy burdens that growers have to bear. As the labor supply dwindles, the Top 100 Growers discuss their next steps toward investing in technology to streamline efficiency at their respective operations.

Read More
Flores El Capiro, AIPH Grower of the Year 2017

May 16, 2017

Entries Now Open for International Grower of the Year A…

The International Association of Horticultural Producers’ International Grower of the Year Awards, sponsored by Royal Flora Holland, will take place at IPM Essen 2018 in Essen, Germany.

Read More
Cannabis Crop Protection

May 14, 2017

2017 Cannabis Regulatory Outlook: A Game of Wait and Se…

Medical and adult use legalization measures are on the legislative agenda in a total of 37 states in 2017 — and there's a sentiment gaining steam that the new administration may not be so scary after all.

Read More
2016 Top 100 Growers List

May 12, 2017

How the Top 100 Greenhouse Growers Tackle Managing Cost…

The country’s largest growers continue to strive to maintain a balance with price and costs while making sure they stand out from the competition.

Read More