July 14, 2010

Fiber Pots: Past And Future

The dark fiber pots of Western Pulp Products are complementary to plants and have been around longer than you may think, says Western Pulp’s Jim Lee. After all, back in the days when plants were knife-cut out of flats they were then wrapped in newspaper. “What’s new is old,” Lee says. Since 1954, Western Pulp has offered pots made from newspaper and paper fiber. Lee says the industry is best served with a range of product price points, and that’s reflected in the size Western Pulp offers. Sometimes in a good, better, best model, the better and best sells are more popular. There’s a definite trend toward the 12-inch pot over the 10-inch pot, Lee says. The history of the mixed container in the industry explains pricing trends that still stand today. “It [mixed containers] started as an end of the season way to get rid of leftovers,” Lee says. So […]

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July 11, 2010

The Top Hat Pot

A number of decorative, colorful pots caught my eye on the trade show floor Saturday at OFA Short Course. One company with standout pots is P.E.X., a Quincy, Mass.-based company that’s now in its second year. P.E.X.’s decorative pots stand out for a couple reasons: 1) they’re shaped like top hats; and 2) pots have shiny gold rims. Those gold rims might not necessarily stand out if a plant’s leaves are hanging over the pot’s edge, but the containers are still worth a look for growers in search of a unique decorative container. P.E.X.’s Jack Montanile says a few growers are even producing plants directly in the decorative containers. The company also offers basic planters, hanging baskets and bowls in addition to the decorative containers.

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June 11, 2010

Western Pulp’s Products Validated As Sustainable

Western Pulp Products headquartered in Corvallis, Ore., has chosen to recertify its products through the Scientific Certification Systems (SCS) for the third year in a row. Western Pulp chose SCS to verify its content because the company has internationally recognized standards and certification programs in pursuit of the highest level of environmental performance and social accountability. “This certification gives credence to the point that we want to be factual and stay away from any unsupported claims,” says Jim Lee, Western Pulp’s marketing and sales manager. “Anytime we state that our products are made from recycled paper fiber, we want consumers to know that it’s backed with credible SCS certification.” Adds Rick Hurley, vice president of technology: “Our success in paper recycling reflects a commitment to conserve natural resources and recognition that recovered paper is an important raw material in producing innovative molded fiber products. Our use of recovered paper keeps […]

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May 18, 2010

Bio-Pots Add Value, But How Much?

A Purdue University-led study finds consumers are willing to pay more for a variety of sustainable pots that use recycled materials. "The floriculture industry uses a lot of plastic, and, in recent years, has come under pressure to become more sustainable and use biodegradable or compostable pots," says Roberto Lopez, an assistant professor of horticulture at Purdue and co-author of the paper on the findings. "There is concern about recouping the costs of becoming sustainable. People say they are willing to spend 50 cents more for sustainable pots, so we wanted to see if they actually would." Surveys have consistently shown consumers say they are willing to pay more for sustainable products in the floriculture industry. Purdue’s Brian Wallheimer, however, says the industry has been slow to adopt items such as sustainable pots because growers have concerns about recouping the cost of investments in sustainable practices and materials. The Research […]

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March 16, 2010

New Trays From Blackmore

Blackmore recently introduced two new trays: the 102 Orphan and the Ellepot 72 Deep trays. 102 Orphan Blackmore’s 102 Orphan tray keeps six cuttings attached to the mother tray in an orphan strip that is easily broken off at the time of shipment. There’s no more looking for orphans to replace cuttings that didn’t take in the mother tray. The 1 5/8-inch deep tray has fluted walls for extra strength and is ideal for propagation with 25-millimeter Ellepots. Ellepot 72 Deep The Ellepot 72 Deep tray (11 x 21 1/2 inches) is designed to accept 35-millimeter Ellepots. The 2 ½-inch deep tray features fluted cell walls for extra strength that also act as a conduit to get air to the bottom of the cell and extra large drain holes. Soil volume for loose fill is 70 cc.  For more information on either product or additional products from Blackmore, visit BlackmoreCo.com […]

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January 14, 2010

New Product: Tray Accommodates 4.5-Inch Pots

Blackmore Company’s carrier tray for 4.5-inch pots is the newest addition to the company’s Water-Matic line designed for maximum and minimum watering of pots. Upper and lower drain holes and a community watering design allow each pot to get the same amount of water as the tray is flooded with water. The tray is the standard 21 by 10.75 inches. For more information, call Blackmore at 800-874-8660, e-mail [email protected] or visit BlackmoreCo.com.

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October 29, 2009

Blackmore Introduces New Ellepot Trays

The Blackmore Company unveiled two new products Thursday: 30-millimeter and 90-millimeter trays for Ellepots and Jumbo Ellepots, respectively. The Ellepot trays are 3 x 25 strip trays designed to accept 30-millimeter Ellepots. The tray has fluted cell walls for extra strength and staggered cells that allow nesting for shipment when empty, yet prevent compression of media when filled trays are stacked. A special bottom design allows Ellepots to be easily popped out of cells. The newest trays for Jumbo Ellepots, meanwhile, are ideal for landscapers. The 90-millimeter Jumbo Ellepots plant up to twice as fast as plastic pots because plants don’t need to be removed from pots. There are no plastic pots to pick up at the end of a planting job, either. For more information on either tray or other Blackmore products, visit the company’s website at BlackmoreCo.com.

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September 30, 2009

Online Only: Decorative Containers Give Instant Impact

If you’ve seen one black plastic grower’s pot, you’ve seen them all.” It’s not really an old saying, but it could be. Luckily more and more growers are trying their hand(s) at decorative pots–using them to differentiate themselves from other growers and to catch the eye of retailers and their consumers. Ryan Mast, national sales manager at Rush Creek Designs, contributes this growing trend to the huge increase in container gardening that started a couple of years ago. “The idea was that a younger generation was able to walk into a greenhouse or garden center, buy their already potted up flowers and put it on their front porch,” he says. “I think that’s now being taken to the next step and starting with more growers.” Mast says that many of the growers using Rush Creek decorative pots, use them as pot covers. “They take their grower pots, drop them right into […]

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September 25, 2009

Online Only: Pots And Trays Showcase

Want more on pots and trays? Check out October’s feature,Tomorrow’s Containers, for industry suppliers’ takes on changing customer demands, new materials, and recycling. And you can read about the latest trends in decorative containers here.   East Jordan Plastics: Project 100% Horticulture Container Recycling Program   East Jordan Plastics, building on its long history of plastic recycling, has engineered and implemented a closed loop recycling process that uses proven technology and ensures maximum energy efficiency and quality products. The company’s fist processing line in South Haven, Mich., has the capacity to recycle more than 10 million pounds of material annually. To arrange recycling of your plastic horticulture containers, or for more information, visit East Jordan Plastic’s Project 100% site.   Summit Plastic Company: Ä“co360   The Summit Plastic Company Ä“co360 line of products are engineered for the environmentally conscious grower and designed for the home gardener. OP47 Bio Pots, Poly-lactic Acid (PLA) Pots and […]

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September 16, 2009

Containers: Paper Or Plastic?

Sustainability has become a commonly discussed topic within the floriculture industry. Few studies, however, have quantified whether conversion to a sustainable production practice is a worthy investment. Therefore, we conducted a case study for a medium-sized Indiana commercial greenhouse interested in substituting plastic 4.5-inch pots with Ellepots for bedding plants. Ellepots are “pots” made from degradable non-woven paper that wraps around the growing media and can be planted directly into the soil. To determine if the proposed practice was a worthy investment, a net present value (NPV) and financial feasibility analysis was conducted. Net present value is defined as the discounted sum of the projected series of net cash flows for an investment, including the initial investment and the terminal value of the investment at the end of the planning horizon. NPV can be used as a strategic planning tool to determine the worthiness of a new investment. For this […]

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September 16, 2009

Tomorrow’s Containers

Pots and trays are a staple of greenhouse production, but there are some fairly dynamic developments taking place in containers, both for growers and suppliers. We spoke with representatives from several of the industry’s leading container manufacturers to get their takes on the issues driving the industry in 2009. Changing Customer Demands When your biggest customers come to you with new requirements, it’s often impossible to say no, even when fulfilling them means big changes. That’s what’s happening now with some of the box stores requiring more specific labeling – in some cases, asking for barcodes identifying the genus of the plant in the container. “Genus-specific labeling is challenging for us, and I think it’s even more challenging for the grower,” says Cal Diller, president of East Jordan Plastics. “It’s going to impact us,” agrees Norman Belliveau, CEO and president of Summit Plastics. “Up until now we’ve been putting on […]

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August 25, 2009

More Soil, Less Plastic In ECG Trays

Emerald Coast Growers has improved its tray sizes for Pennisetum xadvena ‘Rubrum’, Phlox paniculata, and Phlox subulata with a new 128-cell size. “With the new 128 tray size come two key advantages that go directly toward growers’ bottom lines: increased soil volume and a reduced amount of plastic per plant,” says Cheri Markowitz, sales manager at Emerald Coast Growers. “Like our customers, we’re focused on doing more with less.” Emerald Coast Growers is rolling the program out for the three plants we mentioned, but it soon plans to add even more choices to the 128 program. The additions should help lower input costs. Currently available in the 128-cell size are Pennisetum xadvena ‘Rubrum’ (Purple fountain grass); Phlox paniculata (Tall garden phlox) ‘Becky Towe,’ ‘Blue Paradise,’ ‘Bright Eyes’, ‘David,’ ‘Davids Lavender,’ ‘Franz Schubert,’ ‘Laura’ and ‘Starfire’; and Phlox subulata (Moss phlox) ‘Candy Stripe,’ ‘Crimson Beauty,’ ‘Emerald Blue,’ ‘Emerald Pink,’ ‘Fort Hill,’ […]

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