June 11, 2008

Master Builders

While most growers got into the greenhouse business because they love to grow plants, others really take pride in building greenhouses and have dedicated employees and crews. One prime example is George Lucas of Lucas Greenhouse in Monroeville, N.J. While he and his wife founded the business with just 9,000 square feet of greenhouse about 30 years ago, today Lucas Greenhouse spans 630,000 square feet and ranks at No. 100 on our Top 100 Growers. The company has undergone three major buildouts with Nexus Greenhouse Systems since 2002 and just constructed 170,000 square feet of Dual Atrium greenhouses with a glass roof and polycarbonate sides and gables using its own crews. This summer, Lucas will be adding another 130,000 square feet. Where is all this growth coming from? Young plants. Forty percent of production is propagation and prefinished plants, and the rest is finished plants sold to independent garden centers within […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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.”

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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.

Read More

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 […]

Read More

September 26, 2007

GROWER TOOL: Greenhouse Heating Guide

Roberts-Gordon, LLC, in Buffalo, N.Y., is offering free copies of its guide, “Gas-Fired, Infrared Heating For Greenhouses. This manual is a concise, 60-page educational resource for commercial greenhouse growers, suppliers and heating professionals. To download the guide, go to www.greenhouse-heater.com.

Read More
[gravityform id="35" title="false" description="false"]