March 19, 2009

A Growing Medium To Consider

Densu Ventures Inc. has redesigned its website to share new sales information for growers, landscapers and retailers to highlight two research studies conducted by students and faculty at the University of Florida. You can check out the redesigned site here. The two most significant finds of the study on Densu Coir are its capability for holding water and that it’s more forgiving than other substrates when plants are over fertilized. According to the study, Densu Coir can absorb six to eight times its weight in water. Densu Coir can be hydrophilic when initially purchased with moisture content at 15 to 25 percent as observed by researchers at Jiffy. It takes up to 60 hours for Densu Coir to attain its maximum water holding capabilities. At that capability, Densu Coir still maintains porosity at 20 to 28 percent. Growing tests by New Style Gardening, an organic greenhouse operator in Burlington, Ontario, […]

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December 3, 2008

Media Matters

Always at the leading edge, in 1994, Berger Peat Moss was the first peat company in North America to obtain the ISO 9001 international quality control certification. This has permitted Berger to continue to develop and provide consistent high-quality products. For example, the introduction of the new “Euro Mix” line of mixes provided growers with a 100 percent quality peat mix with no added aggregates. The environment has always and will continue to be a priority in Berger’s operations, making sure that we protect the resource and other environmental issues for generations ahead. We have developed the 3Rs for a healthy environment: Reduce, Respect & Restore. We were the first peat producer to introduce the large volume packing. The “Skyscraper” was a revolutionary innovation that has helped to reduce plastic wastes considerably and increase productivity for growers. In an effort to respect the environment, one of Berger’s missions is to […]

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September 25, 2008

Berger Spanning Across Canada

Berger Peat Moss has been harvesting peat moss in Quebec for more than 45 years and in New Brunswick for more than 20. Now, with the opening of an operation in Manitoba, Berger has created 20 new jobs and will be able to provide its products to new territories. The new peat bog and production plant, located in Hadashville, Manitoba, required a $6 million investment. “We are extremely thankful for those who have participated in this project in making it a success,” says Martin Emond, sales and marketing coordinator at Berger. Berger officially opened in Manitoba on Sept. 10. Aside from its operations in Canada, the company also operates out of Texas. For more information on Berger, click here.

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September 16, 2008

Plan On Peat Moss Shortage

The Canadian Sphagnum Peat Moss Association (CSPMA), whose members represent 95 percent of North American peat production, has announced harvests are critically low for 2008 due to wet weather. CSPMA President Paul Short says the Canadian peat harvest is only at 43 percent at the end of August with a carry-over inventory of 17 percent. This is a record low of 60 percent compared to the last five-year average of 75 percent, he says.  “The inevitable result will likely be a shortage of professional grower peat,” he says. “Abnormal and persistently wet conditions throughout all Canadian peat harvest regions have impacted the ability of the industry to harvest expected volumes.” The area hit the hardest is Eastern Canada, with New Brunswick and Quebec accounting for 66 percent of all of Canada’s peat production. The outcome is the peat moss industry is facing one of its poorest peat harvest seasons on […]

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September 16, 2008

Berger Opens Peat Bog & Plant

Over the summer, Berger Peat Moss has opened a new peat bog and production plant in Hadashville, Manitoba. “The opening of the Hadashville operations will permit us to create apporoximately 20 new jobs and enable us to provide quality new products to new territories,” says Berger’s Sales and Marketing Coordinator Martin Emond, adding the new operations represent a $6 million investment. Based in Quebec, Berger has facilities in New Brunswick, Texas and now, Manitoba. The family-owned business has built its reputation internationally by providing high quality produts and services to professional growers in more than 15 countries, Emond say. ISO 9001:2000 certification combined with Berger quality control management are an integral part of Berger’s operations. For more information, visit

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August 25, 2008

Down And Dirty

Perfect For Germination Berger Peat Moss: The BM 2 Euro Germinating Mix provides the ideal growing conditions in developing healthy roots. The structure and particle size of the peat moss provides the roots with excellent air porosity and water-flowing capacity. BM 2 uses only selected quality sphagnum peat moss, and it is the base to having a solid foundation toward strong and healthy plants. Lightweight Mix Michigan Peat: BACCTO Professional Grower’s Mix is precisely formulated, screened and blended with unique Michigan sphagnum peat, resulting in quality and consistency. This lightweight, wettable mix is available in 2.8 cubic foot loose-filled bags, 3.8 cubic foot compressed bales and 70 cubic foot bulk bags. Growing/Potting Mix Urban Organics: Sweet Peet is a naturally nutritious, unique and versatile organic material made from virgin wood products, manure and plant fibers. It derives its deep dark color from naturally occurring tannins. Sweet Peet is […]

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August 18, 2008

Fafard Revitalizes Brand, Reveals New Look

Fafard is infusing new energy into its brand and reintroducing it to the marketplace, and it will unveil the new look this week at the Independent Garden Center Show in Chicago. The brand re-launch includes a modern version of the company logo, a brand video, new exhibits, packaging concepts and new ads and in-store point-of-purchase materials for 2009.   “We want to differentiate our brand in the marketplace and let home gardeners know they can have access to the same potting mix used by professional growers,” says Chuck Buffington, vice president of sales and marketing at Fafard.   The brand revitalization is about more than just appearance. Fafard may be an 87-year-old growing media company and a subsidiary of Syngenta, but it has a renewed retail strategy and brand position. To highlight its reputation among growers and its strong scientific background, the company has developed a new tagline–”the science behind […]

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July 23, 2008

Fafard Showcases Research And Leader Program

Some interns are assigned the greenhouse grunt work, but 13 interns in the Fafard Research Leader Program participated in a six-month research trial that tested advanced potting media formulations to help growers achieve healthier and more profitable plants. The research project, which launched in January and concluded in June, had three phases with different focuses: Phase 1 focused on unrooted cuttings and seedlings, Phase 2 on finished plants and Phase 3 on garden soil or container garden media. Other goals of the trials were to generate awareness in the horticultural industry of Fafard’s research and development capabilities, and enhance skill set and professionalism of horticultural interns seeking industry positions or advanced degrees. More than 300 individual experiments were conducted, and 37 plant types were evaluated at 27 separate greenhouse operations in 13 states. Data collected included photographs of treatment comparisons, visual quality, root quality, plant height, diameter and media pH […]

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June 13, 2008

Producing Consumer-Friendly Baskets

Growers have come under pressure to improve the lasting quality of their containerized plants. In this six-part series, we will discuss a number of options for making baskets and large containers more consumer friendly. In part one, we will discuss media selection and available water-holding capacity and their effects in keeping plants alive through the summer. The key concept is that containers with high available water-holding capacity require less irrigation by the consumer, but require extra care to avoid overwatering during greenhouse production.  Understanding Physical Properties A container root medium is like a sponge. A sponge is made up of holes (called pore spaces) and solids (the medium itself). If you soak the sponge in water and then allow it to drain, the larger holes (called macropores) will have drained and now be filled with air (air space). The smaller holes (called micropores) will have retained the water (water space). […]

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May 21, 2008

Fafard To Build Manitoba Plant

FPM Peat Moss Company, a Canadian subsidiary of Fafard, will begin construction on a 32,000-square foot peat processing and mix facility in Manitoba this month to improve service to its Central and Western United States markets. The facility is slated to open in November 2008, and packaged peat moss and peat-based professional mixes and potting soils will be manufactured there. The facility is even possible because of a partnership between FPM Peat Moss and local government, which is supplying land, access driveway and other incentives. “We are committed to growing the Fafard brand and presence,” Fafard President Keelan Pulliam says. “The new plant will build off our acquisition of peat bogs in Manitoba last year and is an important piece of our business strategy.” For more information on Fafard, go to

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April 23, 2008

Fafard To Host Demos At NYC Garden Festival

Fafard will provide free live instruction, gardening demos, kids planting activities and gardening advice and tips during the third annual New York City Grows Garden Festival on Sunday, April 27. Ellen Zachos, instructor at the New York City Botanical Garden and author of “Down and Dirty: 43 Fun & Funky First Time Projects & Activities to Get You Gardening,” will be giving “Garden in a Pot” demonstrations at the Fafard tent every hour beginning at 10:30 a.m. Demo participants will receive coupons for a free bag of Fafard potting soil. Additionally, kids are invited to plant a vegetable or flower seedling that they can take home and watch come to life.

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October 31, 2007

Gibson Joins Fafard

Former University of Florida professor Dr. Jamie Gibson has joined Conrad Fafard as the growing media producer’s corporate manager for quality control/technical services. Gibson will be based at Fafard’s Anderson, S.C., facility under the direction of Dr. HughPoole. In his new role, Gibson will oversee the quality control and analytical lab activities for all of Fafard’s production facilities, as well as provide technical supportfor Fafard’s customers and sales representatives. Along with potting mix development, Gibson will create grower-friendly tools for improved success in propagation, growth regulation, nutrition and retail management and marketing. “Dr. Gibson has an excellent blend of hands-on growing experience and academic credentials that will relate well to our customers and their challenges,” Poole says. “Quality control is an important aspect of maintaining the Fafard reputation for having a consistent, high performance product. He is an added resource for both our internal team and our customers.” Gibson graduated […]

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