November 1, 2013
Field Trials Help Deliver The Right Plant For Every Customer [Opinion]
Finding the right plants that will make consumers happy and keep them coming back for more is the benefit of an increasing number of industry trials — and it’s the benefit of having people like Allan Armitage.
October 18, 2013
Grower Trials Benefit The Whole Industry [Opinion]
Each year, growers are faced with the choice of what to grow for the following spring. It’s an important decision requiring evaluation of a number of factors: what sold well last year, what shipped well, what will fit into the production schedule, what had a decent profit margin. And then there are the hundreds of new varieties that are introduced each year. Which ones should a grower try, if any? This is where field trials come in, and is one reason we devote significant space to the results in our November issue each year. Trials are where the wheat is separated from the chaff. Field trials used to be the primary province of university horticulture departments, but more and more, growers are running their own. It is a significant investment of time and resources, so what is the reason? Al Gerace, owner of Welby Gardens in Fort Collins, Colo., says […]
October 18, 2013
Welby Gardens Finds Many Benefits In Having Its Own Trial Gardens
Running trial gardens used to be the primary responsibility of university horticulture departments and breeders. But the number of growers who are maintaining their own trials is increasing. Greenhouse Grower talked to Al Gerace, owner of Welby Gardens in Denver, Colo., about why he thinks it is worth the time and effort to have his own trial garden.
October 17, 2013
Industry, Academia Work Together To Inspire Future Generations Of Breeders
Coleus is inspiring a fresh generation of scientists at university programs dedicated to providing new genetics for the industry. David Clark, a professor in the environmental horticulture department at the University of Florida (UF), heads up the Coleus Breeding Program. It is part of the UF Plant Innovation Program, which has between 400 and 600 students enrolled. The coleus program has licensed out more than two dozen varieties since 2006, including a number of very popular varieties to Proven Winners, Ball Horticultural Co. and other companies, and the program continues to grow as a result. “We’re not a business; we’re a university, but it’s good to be able to provide the industry with a source of genetics,” Clark says. “Over time, varieties are getting better and better. We have good students working on breeding new coleus, and the university values the program because it’s growing. “I can’t emphasize enough how […]
October 17, 2013
Recruiting Future Floriculture Students With The American Floral Endowment
Inspiring future generations to cultivate a passion for flowers and plants, much less aspire to pursue a career in the floriculture or environmental horticulture industries, can sometimes seem like a monumental task. However, it is a task the industry must collectively adopt to ensure future generations experience a world where flowers and plants continue to improve everyday life in diverse and important ways. While scholarships and internships are time-tested and essential for the next generation to become great leaders, the industry must also focus on ways to capture young people who may not yet even know about their career options in floriculture or horticulture. Recruiting students is essential to securing a stronger, sustainable industry for future generations, and to increase enrollment, students must first know university programs actually exist to prepare them for excellence in the industry. Increasing awareness about floriculture and horticulture, especially the fact that students who graduate […]