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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October 3, 2007

News From Florida’s Peat Producers

Canadian peat giant Sun Gro Horticulture has purchased Grow Best Holdings in Orlando, Fla., which owns Potting Soils Inc. and Sunshine Peat Inc. In separate news, C&C Peat Co. of Clermont, Fla., is operating a brand new facility. Based in Vancouver, Sun Gro Horticulture Income Fund paid $22.4 million in cash and trust units for Grow Best Holdings, the company’s fourth acquisition this year. Sun Gro is North America’s largest producer of sphagnum peat and the biggest distributor of peat moss and bark-based growing media. Earlier acquisitions include Sun-Up Horticulture and Kellogg-Rich Grow in California and Quebec peat moss producer Tourbiere Omer Belanger. Mitch Weaver, CEO of Sun Gro Horticulture Canada told the Toronto Star the acquisition will solidify Sun Gro’s leadership in the large and growing Florida horticultural market, as well as it’s position in the Southeastern United States. “With our acquisitions in California earlier this year, we will […]

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