September 13, 2013

The State Of The Young Plant Market

The young plant market remained relatively stable in 2013, according to Greenhouse Grower’s annual Young Plant Grower Survey. While there was some shifting of position among the Top 20 growers as compared to our 2012 list, the shifts were mainly small, just up or down one position. The exception was Aris Horticulture. The combined total production from its three divisions — Keepsake Plants, Aris and Green Leaf Plants — was 29 to 33 million units, a drop of 47 million plants, which took the company off the Top 20 list this year. Overall, the results of our survey showed a net loss to the market of 94 million units compared with 2012 among our Top 20 young plant growers. Total production among the Top 20 in 2012 was 2.96 billion plants, so it was a reduction of about 3 percent. Annuals Continue To Decline Last year we reported that production […]

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September 13, 2013

Everything Matters To Customers

High-quality, clean plants. Shipping plants in small increments. Returning calls. Giving access to an on-call horticulturist. Informing customers of all costs up front. Sending thank-you notes. These are all things Jolly Farmer does that add up to good customer service, which is of utmost importance to the operation headquartered in the Saint John River Valley of New Brunswick, Canada. One might say the young plant grower has an old-fashioned view of the way customers should be treated, although its operations — and the way it does business — are fully modernized. But when it comes to customer service, everything matters right down to the last detail, and it can make a big difference in an operation’s bottom line, says Jolly Farmer Sales Manager Peter Darrow. “One of our goals is to make it easy to do business with our company,” Darrow says. “Part of that is being able to answer […]

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September 13, 2013

Perry Wismans On Supply Chain Changes In The Dümmen Group And Agribio Group

It’s been a year since Agribio Group bought Ecke Ranch and only a few months since Agribio Group and Dümmen merged and together formed the holding company DNA Green Group. With the continued consolidation of the industry’s plant breeding companies sparking some confusion among growers and allied industry members, we caught up with the Dümmen Group’s General Manager Perry Wismans to get some clarification. We asked him about the structure of the company and all of its pieces, how they will be marketed, what growers will need to know and what the company has in store for the future. GG: What are the roles of Agribio Group and the Dümmen Group in the new company and how will growers be impacted? Perry Wismans: After the merger, Agribio Group and the Dümmen Group will still operate independently in the market place. Both companies are now owned by the same shareholder, DNA […]

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September 12, 2013

Irrigating Crops On Demand

Automating greenhouse irrigation can be a huge labor saver, which is imperative for a modern greenhouse to be competitive. Irrigation controllers make it possible to automate greenhouse irrigation, but one usually programs the system to come on for a set time on a set schedule. Environmental conditions change such that a set program may be wrong more often than it is right. Sensing devices can be employed to aid a greenhouse operator making decisions about when to water, or one can take this a step further and let the substrate itself decide when it needs to be watered. Comparing On-Demand To Automated Irrigation Rather than have a set schedule programmed into a controller, it is possible to wire a moisture-sensing device, such as a tensiometer, between an electric valve and a source of electricity (transformer). When the moisture level in the substrate falls below a set-point, a switch on the […]

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September 9, 2013

Propagation And Production Of Zamioculcas zamiifolia (ZZ plant)

Foliage crops like the ZZ plant have consumer appeal and can be readily propagated and finished. In this episode of FloriCAST, look at the best types of cuttings to use for propagation of ZZ plants.

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August 26, 2013

Salad Greens As Greenhouse Gap Crops: Basics For Winter, Benchtop Production

Growers are using empty production space in the fall to produce greenhouse vegetables. The first in a two-part series on producing salad greens, learn about the materials and tools for successful production from Brian Krug of the University of New Hampshire.

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August 19, 2013

How Temperature and Photoperiod Impact Orchid Spiking

Orchids are everywhere and the demand is continuing to grow as the most popular blooming potted crop in the U.S. Between 2010 and 2011, production increased by 11 percent. Yet, for such a rapidly growing crop, do we understand enough of the science behind growing the best phalaenopsis? Bougainvillea requires short photoperiod to initiate flowers when it is warm, but is day-neutral under cool conditions. For other floral crops, such as poinsettia and chrysanthemum, exposing plants to a short photoperiod for an adequate period of time triggers the flower initiation process. Similarly, in orchids like cattleya and many of its hybrids, short photoperiod induces their floral initiation or causes the preformed floral primordia or buds to grow and bloom. By imposing the appropriate short photoperiod under the needed temperature, these plants can be forced to flower as desired. Photoperiod Not Required Most phalaenopsis species are native to areas close to […]

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August 14, 2013

Stress Is Good For Plants

Do your greenhouse plants live a life of luxury? Soaking up the sun, bathed in nourishing nutrients, in a temperature-controlled climate — your greenhouse is like Club Med for plants. But then reality hits as the plant is shipped to the retail environment and then brought into the “real world,” when the consumer brings it into his or her home or landscape. A plant that has been coddled in the greenhouse may not perform as well once taken to a more stressful environment. What’s a grower to do? One strategy is to purposely stress plants to make them more compact or enhance their ability to thrive once they hit a more stressful environment. Plant Stress, DefinedStress, as far as plants are concerned, can be generally split into two different groups: biotic and abiotic. Biotic stress is one caused by another living organism, such as disease or insect infestations. It is […]

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August 14, 2013

Four Star Greenhouse Will Offer Four Star University On September 10

In its first annual education event designed exclusively for growers, Four Star Greenhouse in Carleton, Mich., will present Four Star University on September 10, 2013. Four Star University is a focused, one-day opportunity for growers to work directly with Four Star’s staff of product line managers. As a bonus, growers who attend will be the first to receive a booklet highlighting Four Star’s all-new bench run collection program. The program was designed by Dennis Crum, Four Star’s director of growing and Greenhouse Grower‘s 2013 Head Grower of the Year, and will make it easier for growers to produce groups of plants together with the same environmental and cultural requirements. Grower sessions include:• Small Container Production• Large Container Production• Troubleshooting Common Crops• Outdoor Growing• Incorporating ColorChoice & Perennials• Better Plant Health Cost for the day of courses is $49 per person. For Monday night dinner and a hotel stay, plus the […]

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July 29, 2013

Echinacea Production Tips

New Echinacea cultivars can present challenges with establishing in containers and there can be issues with branching, pot fill and eliminating early flowers. In this episode of FloriCAST, get advice from Joyce Latimer of Virginia Tech’s Perennials Program and Paul Westervelt of Saunders Brothers Nursery on how to overcome these problems.

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June 25, 2013

Growing Produce In A Floating System

Growing vegetables in floating systems is a viable alternative to soil production. By focusing on crops with short roots, the floating system offers the opportunity to grow continuously throughout the year. Studies conducted by the University of Arizona conclude that by using a simple system, in one production period growers can produce around 1,400 high quality heads of lettuce obtaining high prices in the market. A Deep Flow Hydroponic System (DFHS) allows the grower to produce leafy vegetables with the roots completely submerged in water. The grower applies the nutrients before submerging the transplants, which are held upright in Styrofoam boards. Because the plant roots are submerged they’re able feed on the nutrients in the water during their growth stages until harvest, which is approximately five weeks after planting for lettuces. Beginning Production First off, you’re going to need a container to fill with water. You can choose to use […]

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June 17, 2013

Can Hanging Baskets Be Finished In Unheated High Tunnels?

Trials in upstate New York tested whether or not baskets could be finished in high tunnels. The trials show that plug size and the number of plugs per container matter. Get the results of this research and a review of how high tunnels can best be used in this episode of FloriCAST.

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