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March 03, 2005
Managing insect and mite pests on ornamental plants is no longer just a matter of using the same pesticides that you’ve always relied on. A large array of biological and biorational pest management options are now available to growers. There are...
March 03, 2005
Just before the first of the year, a much-anticipated press release reached our office. Denmark, Wis.-based Floral Plant Growers (FPG), one of the only successful investor-owned companies in the industry, had been sold. We had been hearing rumors...
March 03, 2005
After attending the Hardlines Technology Forum in April 2004, I realized that a major restructuring of the behind-the-scenes processes used by mass market retailers was already well underway, but I didn’t know how quickly it would launch. When we...
March 03, 2005
The following cultivars performed best in the 2004 National Poinsettia Trials. To select these plants, we evaluated appearance, growth habit and consumer evaluations. Additionally, we considered whether or not each cultivar filled an important...
March 03, 2005
This year, we changed the way the recommended cultivars are presented. In recognition that poinsettia production is becoming increasingly specialized, we have placed more emphasis on the various container sizes used and how different cultivars...
March 03, 2005
At this time of year, growers of plugs and liners are running into two old friends of production — fungus gnats and shoreflies. I’m being facetious in referring to these pests as friends. Of course, most growers know that fungus gnat larvae feed on...
March 03, 2005
Sure enough, if you wait long enough all the old plants come around new again. The good old spike dracaena (Cordyline australis) will be making its come back soon as well. It may even be a little too early to find a lot of the newer types in the...
March 03, 2005
With many new selections of pulmonaria available today, lungwort is enjoying a resurgence of popularity. Pulmonaria ‘Polar Splash’ is one of the latest releases to hit the market. ‘Polar Splash’ offers perhaps the most superbly spotted foliage of...
March 03, 2005
The National Poinsettia Trials, sponsored by the poinsettia breeders, were established to provide an independent evaluation of the many new cultivars that are introduced every year. In years like this, it’s obvious why these trials are important....
March 03, 2005
Although traditionally considered an exercise for larger companies, business plans today are strategic tools not only for obtaining financing, but for forming alliances, recruiting key employees and managing external relationships for any size...
January 25, 2005
This industry is now worth over $40 billion in annual revenue, and gardening has become America’s number-one outdoor leisure activity. All major network morning shows have gardening segments, there’s a separate rack for gardening magazines at the...
January 25, 2005
You could receive a perfectly healthy liner or plug, but without correct fertilization crop quality (and profit) will quickly go downhill. Because the wide range of plant species we grow differ in nutritional needs it is often difficult to grow...
January 25, 2005
I really like a variation to a short story “Sharpen Your Axe.” It goes like this: A strong, young woodsman impressed the logging camp by felling more trees than usual in his first week of work. The logging foreman could see that the young woodsman...
January 25, 2005
Most materials that growers receive are handled on pallets. Bags of growing mix, bundles of containers, fertilizer and construction materials require less handling labor when pallets are used. Fortunately, there are many pieces of equipment that...
January 25, 2005
By the time you read this column, most people who made New Year’s resolutions will have broken many of them already. We start off with the best intentions every New Year, making resolutions to change our lives in some way, shape or form. But by the...
January 25, 2005
Even with a magical crystal ball most people think predicting what will happen in the future is more entertainment than science. I disagree. We may not be able to predict the future down to the smallest little detail, but if you can gather evidence...
January 25, 2005
Like many, many others, I too think it’s important to take stock this time of year and make a list of priorities, goals...resolutions. That’s why we asked so many people to help us out this year with our prognostications. Roger Styer lists his New...
January 25, 2005
With the advent of the Intensia phlox series a few years ago, the entire genus of phlox and its varied species are seeing resurgence in popularity, which is a great thing as this genus of plants is really pretty amazing. Most of the major breeding...
January 25, 2005
Let’s face facts… we’ve been a production-driven, male-dominated industry from time immemorial. Now, I’m not suggesting that this fact, in and of itself, is problematic. My concern is that there’s a wide and growing disconnect between who makes the...
January 25, 2005
Elephant ear or taro (colocasia) has been increasing in popularity because of both the wider range of color choices and improved cold hardiness. The species, Colocasia esculenta, produces 5- to 7-foot-tall plants that have very large (3 feet),...