June 11, 2008

The Natural Fiber Container

For 50 years, Western Pulp Products Co. has manufactured Premium Molded Fiber Containers made from 100 percent recycled paper in the United States. This year, Western, based in Corvallis, Ore., will introduce a number of innovative new products to address the growing demand for sustainability. “Today’s consumers are looking for products that have a minimal impact on the environment, and can be considered earth-friendly or green,” says Jim Lee, Western’s marketing and sales manager. “We at Western feel that our products not only meet the demand for sustainability, but offer growers, retailers and consumers a better product to grow healthier plants.”  Go Green, Don’t Look Back Western’s containers provide for healthier plants because they let roots and soil breathe while insulating from temperature extremes. In all kinds of climates and conditions, Western’s containers look better, last longer and perform better, while helping customers differentiate their product and improve plant quality. […]

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June 11, 2008

What’s Old Is New Again

Anthura set out to build a new greenhouse that would centralize young plant production for the Anthura Plant, Anthura Microplants and Anthura Production departments. The design of the Palm house of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew in London was the source of the new design, which incorporates curved sidewalls and a second story. The greenhouse is being built by JM van der Hoeven B.V. under the guidance of architect Aad Bom. The construction is due to be completed by the end of 2008. The design of Anthura’s new facility is based on the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, which was built in 1848. Most greenhouses of the time were built near royal palaces, and many included orangeries, palm houses, in addition to botanic plant collections. The greenhouses of that period exhibited ancient examples of structural steelwork, which give the greenhouses of that era that still stand monument status. New Design While […]

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June 10, 2008

Meeting Irrigation Mandates

Every year, Carroll Brothers Nursery, Clearwater Fla., uses 18 million gallons of water to irrigate its 10 acres using overhead irrigation. The pricetag on that much water per year has jumped from $4,500 to $18,000 between 1991 and 2007, so owner Richard Carroll has been looking for ways to reduce cost. The goal when the gardenia grower first started searching for water alternatives was a second water source – one that would pump and clean water or one that would collect rainwater. "Either way, it was too expensive for a nurseryman to handle," Carroll says. "Knowing I couldn’t touch either of those, I was looking for a way to save water." Drought and water restrictions can cause a grower to rethink irrigation, but so can research. Looking for an irrigation method that would follow BMP practices, as well as provide consistent irrigation, Carroll Brothers did research comparing drip and overhead […]

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June 10, 2008

Irrigation Innovations

Solar-Powered Fertigation/Amiad Filtration: The Amiad Electric Fertilizer Injector (EFI) is compatible with a wide range of fertigation applications. It is programmable to deliver very precise injection rates with 2 to 5 percent accuracy. Easy to calibrate and operate, the EFI can be powered by solar panels feeding 12-volt direct current or by 110 or 220-volt AC power. For more information, call 800-969-4055 or visit www.amiad.com. Precise Injection/Chemilizer: The adjustable, non-electric CP33 injector is ideally suited for fertigation. It offers an unmatched ability to inject virtually any liquid treatment without dilution and is easily adaptable to accommodate products with different injection rates. Precisely inject fertilizers, insecticides, pH controls, algaecides, fungicides, disinfectants and sprout control agents. For more information, call 800-234-7211 or visit www.chemilizer.com. Happy Hanging Baskets/Cherry Creek Systems: The Echo System automated basket irrigation system allows for accurate measurement of water to each basket and allows fertilizer application to be consistently […]

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April 16, 2008

Meeting Irrigation Mandates

Every year, Carroll Brothers Nursery, Clearwater Fla., uses 18 million gallons of water to irrigate its 10 acres using overhead irrigation. The pricetag on that much water per year has jumped from $4,500 to $18,000 between 1991 and 2007, so owner Richard Carroll has been looking for ways to reduce cost. The goal when the gardenia grower first started searching for water alternatives was a second water source–one that would pump and clean water or one that would collect rainwater. “Either way, it was too expensive for a nurseryman to handle,” Carroll says. “Knowing I couldn’t touch either of those, I was looking for a way to save water.” Drought and water restrictions can cause a grower to rethink irrigation, but so can research. Looking for an irrigation method that would follow BMP practices, as well as provide consistent irrigation, Carroll Brothers did research comparing drip and overhead irrigation and […]

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March 19, 2008

Svensson Now Shades With White

Need to keep your plants from overheating? Ludvig Svensson has a solution.  Svensson has developed an external screen called OLS White, which reflects light and heat away from plants unlike black shades. OLS White is made with highly reflective white films and does not retain heat during the night. Instead, it provides daytime shade to cool greenhouse temperatures. OLS White also has an open structure that allows air and moisture to pass through easily, and it can be manufactured in 30-percent, 40-percent or 50-percent shading.  “OLS White is a great choice for growers simply looking to shade crops and avoid greenhouse overheating,” says Kurt Parbst, president of Svensson’s North and South American subsidiary. “It’s a powerful tool that contributes to a superior growing environment.”  For more information on OLS White or Svensson, go to www.svenssonamericas.com.

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March 19, 2008

Looking For Options In Hot Water Heating Systems?

Delta T Solutions has redesigned its Web site to make exploring for options and costs easier.  The redesigned corporate and customer Web site, found at www.deltatsolutions.com, features enhancements that include an interactive product selection and proposal section, extensive product overview and installation/maintenance pages, and client testimonials.  “When it came time to update the Delta T Solutions Web site, we decided to do a complete overhaul,” says Russ Zabel, Delta T Solutions general manager. “We wanted it to be more visually appealing and packed with easy-to-access information on our products and services.”

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March 19, 2008

The Liquid Crystaled Greenhouse

The Cleveland Botanical Garden has teamed with Kent State University’s Liquid Crystal Institute in an attempt to examine how greenhouse plants grow under sunlight that passes through liquid crystal windows.  The idea, highlighted in a recent edition of the (Cleveland) Plain Dealer, spawned from the botanical garden’s desire to reduce the cost of energy. If results of the experiment are positive enough, a second experiment will be conducted to determine whether ultraviolet and infrared waves can be modified enough to, perhaps, shorten the time it takes plants to grow.  And that’s where cost-saving enters play. If liquid crystals prove more beneficial in growing plants, greenhouse owners can use them instead of shade cloths to control the amount of sunlight entering their structures.  Liquid crystals aren’t common in greenhouse coverings. They’re usually found in television screens and wristwatches, but that didn’t stop Cleveland Botanical Garden from pursuing this experiment and considering […]

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January 16, 2008

Still Time To Weigh In On Top 25 Innovations

We kicked off our 25th anniversary celebration by publishing a list of the Top 25 Innovations that advanced greenhouse floriculture crop production. Twenty growers and industry experts completed the survey, which determined this list. Now we’ve opened up the survey to our entire readership to see if the results would be the same. If you’d like to take the survey, click through to this link. It will take about a half hour to complete. For a list of the Top 25 Innovations published in our January issue, click here.

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January 2, 2008

Grower Solution: Diesel-Heated Trucks

Blooming potted plant grower Jim Dickerson of Dickerson’s Greenhouse in Gobles, Mich., has found a cost effective way to add reliable heat to one of his trucks. While reefer units with both refrigeration and heat can cost between $15,000 and $20,000, the Proheat X45 auxiliary heater manufactured by Teleflex Power Systems is a more affordable option and fits nicely with winter deliveries. Dickerson’s delivers live plants to about 700 stores and warehouses over a wide area, from Michigan west into the Dakotas and Nebraska, using a 24-foot insulated dry van truck. The company’s delivery fleet also includes a truck with the reefer unit that can be set to keep plants at a constant temperature when outside temperatures plummet below freezing. Dickerson just finished shipping its signature crop, poinsettias, and is getting ready to ship winter and spring bulb crops—Easter lilies, tulips and hyacinths. Since he began using the Proheat X45 […]

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October 24, 2007

Al’s Loses Roof In Wind Storm

The Statesman Journal in Salem, Ore., reported this weekend that a heavy storm ripped the roof off a greenhouse at Al’s Garden Center and damaged several other structures on the property. According to the article, the garden center’s owner Jack Bigej said the roofs on the 82 greenhouses on the property are built to withstand at least 65 mph winds. Fortunately, none of the damaged structures housed poinsettias. Damage to the poinsettia crop would have been a hard hit to the business, Bigej said in the article. The National Weather Service is working to determine if a tornado touched down in the area. In addition to the production facility in Hubbard, Ore., near Woodburn, Al’s has retail locations in Portland’s suburbs Sherwood and Gresham. Al’s Garden Center happens to be our October cover story. Read it here.

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October 10, 2007

New Production Management Software

SBI Nursery Software in Portland, Ore., has introduced a new module that provides complete production management. Users begin by laying out a production plan by copying plans from previous years and comparing them to sales history, lost sales and inventory dumps. The user lays out how much of an item they want saleable on a specific finish date and then plans how to grow it by setting up the recipe. The system then automates purchasing of materials for produciton, which inclludes plant material and other inputs. The final functionality lets the user manage production with work orders being sent out to propagate, transplant and execute critical tasks. The greatest challenge whle developing this package has been to keep the user interface simple and efficient, says SBI partner Aaron Allison, who has worked in the green industry for 15 years. SBI has worked with several key customers during development, allowing the […]

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