June 15, 2011

Behind The Scenes At Jiffy

One advantage Dutch floriculture has over our industry here in the United States is its monocultural focus. Because the auction system is still very much in place, the market allows Dutch growers to focus on particular crops and become true experts on their production. And because growers have mastered particular crops, the quality of their product is arguably better than the quality you’ll find here in the U.S. Now, that notion isn’t a slight on U.S. growers. Instead, it’s more the result of our polyculture, which forces growers to manage a variety of production systems and become experts on a variety of crops. Just ask yourself how many SKUs your operation manages–the number for some of you might even be in the thousands–and think how much easier your job would be if you weren’t responsible for providing every last variety to your retailers. This, however, is how greenhouse floriculture in […]

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June 10, 2011

Research Supports PBH As Partial Pine Bark Replacement

Research from the Department of Horticulture at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, authenticates the use of PBH as a partial replacement for pine bark in nursery stock container media. The research concludes that pine bark substrates amended with up to 40 percent PBH Nature’s Media Amendment will not decrease plant growth or increase the volume or frequency of irrigation for the production of container-grown spirea over one (25 weeks) and two (70 weeks) growing seasons, respectively. Based on the research, pine bark-based substrates amended with up to 40 percent PBH retained physical properties that were generally within current guidelines for nursery container substrates after one or two growing seasons. Decomposition was not an issue. The research substantiating the use of PBH Nature’s Media Amendment as a partial pine bark substitute comes at a time when growers have seen pine bark availability decline, prices rise and freight charges increase. PBH gives growers a […]

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June 3, 2011

Harrell’s Offering Peat For Florida

Harrell’s has acquired a peat bog containing more than 9 million cubic yards of organic Florida peat. “We already supply Harrell’s branded fertilizers, foliar spray adjutants and wetting agents, says Rick Helpingstine, president of Harrell’s Horticultural Products. “When we saw the exceptional quality of this peat, it made sense for us to expand our offerings to include Harrell’s branded peat and peat-based mixes.” Harrell’s bog, manufacturing and distribution facilities are centrally located for timely delivery throughout Florida. Harrell’s also has technical field representatives throughout Florida that offer media, fertility, pest management and water-quality expertise to the grower market. For more information contact Scott Martiniere, regional sales manager, at smartiniere@harrells.com. Learn more about Harrell’s at Harrells.com.

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April 25, 2011

Poll: UK Gardeners Support Peat Alternatives

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds polled 27 influential gardeners, broadcasters and writers in the United Kingdom about whether they use peat in their gardens. According to The Yorkshire Post, 80 percent of those polled use little or no peat in their garden and two-thirds agree with the UK government’s goal of phasing out peat products. UK conservationists say extracting peat for use in gardens, much of which comes from Ireland and the Baltic, leads to carbon dioxide emissions and damages natural habitats and wildlife. Learn more about peat’s sustainability in Greenhouse Grower’s 2010 Peat Report.

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March 30, 2011

Jiffy’s Special Blend

Jiffy is introducing its new Jiffy-Mix for growers at this week’s California Spring Trials. Jiffy-Mix is unique in that Jiffy is sourcing peat moss from both Canada and Europe, blending it at a Macon, Ga., facility and distributing it throughout the United States to growers. In all, there are seven standard mixes plus a seedling mix under the Jiffy-Mix label. This particular mix is special, Jiffy’s John Bonin says, because European peat is cut in blocks, whose long fibers improve air-to-water ratios and reduce the need for perlite and other amendments. Jiffy also has the ability to make custom blends with Jiffy-Mix. Tref, which is now part of the Jiffy group, has developed more than 1,000 custom mixes for growers in Europe. Tref’s technologies are now available to Jiffy. Another Jiffy development is its retail concept called Plant In A Jiffy, which we first saw at last year’s Spring Trials. The […]

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February 3, 2011

Notes On Densu Coir

Kimberly Moore, an associate professor in the Environmental Horticulture Department at the University of Florida, has spent parts of the last four years evaluating a product called Densu Coir, an organic and soiless substrate that’s produced from coconut husks. Moore shares her observations of Densu Coir and a summary of its performance in her research below: Densu Coir Summary In each case, we grew the plants in 100 percent Densu coir. The peat-based substrates were blends of approximately 60 to 80 percent Sphagnum peat with perlite, vermiculite, etc. All comparisons were unbiased experiments. Results presented do not constitute an endorsement of this product. 2009/2010 Densu coir was one of three substrates used to grow Jatopha curcas, a potential biofuel crop. Jatropha plants grown in containers with coir were comparable to growth in containers with peat-based substrate. This study is being published in HortTechnology this year. October 2008 Densu coir was […]

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February 1, 2011

Berger Shaped By Consistent Quality, Responsible Peatland Management

John Allen, the U.S. national sales manager for Berger Peat Moss, has been with the company since it first achieved an ISO (International Organization for Standardization) standard in 1994. And in Allen’s years with Berger, he’s realized one certainty about ISO. “ISO hasn’t gotten us the customer, it keeps the customer with us,” he says. Last November, Berger culminated the pursuit of yet another standard – VeriFlora’s standard for responsible peatland management – making the company the only North American peat producer whose product meets standards for both ISO and Scientific Certification Systems (SCS), which administers the peatland-specific VeriFlora certification program. The driving forces of the two standards are, of course, different. ISO focuses on product quality while VeriFlora is more about environmental management. But both standards have helped Berger focus its business on meeting the needs of its grower customers and the environment. Maximizing Quality With ISO Berger’s original […]

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January 20, 2011

Sun Gro Sold To Roofing Company

Peat producer Sun Gro Horticulture has entered into a support agreement with IKO Enterprises, a privately held Canadian company that produces and distributes roofing, waterproofing and insulation board products. IKO has agreed to make an offer to acquire all of the issued and outstanding common shares of Sun Gro, other than shares IKO already holds. IKO will acquire Sun Gro for $6.60 per share. Currently, IKO and its affiliates own or control about 19 percent of Sun Gro’s outstanding shares. The transaction is expected to close in March 2011. “We are satisfied that the transaction with IKO results in the best value available to our shareholders,” says Mitch Weaver, president and CEO of Sun Gro and a member of its board of directors. Adds Derek Fee, manager of corporate communications for IKO: “We are very pleased to be increasing our ownership interest in Sun Gro and look forward to building […]

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