Archive for August, 2008

The mums look 100 percent better than they did a month ago. They are nice and green and have new root development. We finally found out that the Fafard soil we used did not have a starter charge of nitrogen and other nutrients. A starter charge in an infusion of nutrients added to soilless media to help new transplants get established and provide essential micro nutrients like iron. It doesn’t seem that ours had that, hence, the chlorosis. Fafard has been pretty quiet so far. No word yet on whether or not they will stand behind their product.

Over all the mums are a little bit smaller than we would like to see them at this time of year. We will shoot the nitrogen to them to try to get an additional few inches of head size. Unfortunately it has rained here all week and we have not had the opportunity yet. We still have several weeks of growing time and I feel confident that we will be able to get a nice finished head size. I will be gone next week on vacation to the lake, but as soon as I get back, I will get some more pictures for you on the mums and what to expect this season. In the meantime here are some pictures I took today.

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I haven’t had much time this week to keep the blog up to date. Sorry for that. Here’s a quick rundown of what’s going on.

The Nursery Landscape Expo is going on in Houston this weekend. Clay is down there checking things out for us. Yesterday morning Clay and I went through and tentatively scheduled production numbers for next spring. Our next steps are to finalize the planting specifics and pricing. We are working on some new stuff for next spring that I’m really excited about.

We have our first 2 crops of pansies, snaps and dianthus planted along with the first crop of #4 pansies, #4, #6 and #8 kale/cabbage and J6 petunias.

The mums are looking alright. The Grolink mums did not come through the iron deficiency as well as the Yoder mums did. The Grolink mums are stunted and have not filled out well. We still do not know what caused the iron deficiency. The soil and fertilizer people that analyzed the samples we sent them both say that it wasn’t their product that caused it. We did find out that the batch of Fafard soil that we had did not have a sufficient started charge of nitrogen. Farfard takes a sample of each batch they run and keeps it on hand to do comparison analysis. Their sample had plenty of nitrogen. I wonder if there was some sort of chemical reaction that happened in the bags of soil or in the pots after planting that used up the nitrogen and iron or otherwise made it unavailable for the mums. If I was smarter I might be able to figure it out.

We also started planting our first crop of poinsettias last week. They should be done planting them today. The plants look great, and shouldn’t have any problems getting established.  At bottom of this post there is a video of the girls planting some #6 pink in one of our smaller houses.

The weather here has been some thing else these last two weeks. Twelve days ago it was 104 degrees. Then it cooled off to 95 degrees 10 days ago. Then it started raining 7 days ago and rained for 5 days. We got 5 inches and the temperatures have been around 90 for the highs and 65-70 for the lows. Perfect mum weather. Now it’s supposed to rain again for the next 4-5 days. Too much rain is not good for the mums.

I did this fast so sorry for any typos.

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We are currently working on our item list for Spring of 2009, and we need your help. To better serve you, we need to know what you need. Help us pick out the items and sizes that you need most, and in addition to that tell us what new items have caught your eye or have been requested by your customers. Please, take a few minutes to click on the comments link below and answer the following questions. Be sure to give us your name and your company’s name as well. All names and comments will be kept strictly confidential. Thanks for your time and feedback!

  1. Which pack/flat size do you prefer to sell your begonias, petunias and other annuals in?
  2. Which pot size do you prefer to sell your upgrade plants like geraniums, mexican heather, calibrachoas and etc. in?
  3. Are there any items that you have a hard time finding or keeping in stock? If so, please list them.
  4. Are there any new items or existing items that we do not currently grow that you would like to see us add to our product line? If so, please list them.
  5. What can we do better (i.e better delivery, availability, customer service, etc.)?
  6. Please feel free to leave any additional comments or suggestions. We want to hear from you!

Thanks again for taking the time to give us your feedback. We sincerely appreciate working with all of you. I hope that by utilizing new technology like this blog we can develop closer relationships with all our customers to better provide you the products, service and quality that you have come to depend on from us.

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Howdy All,

The mobile blogging from my Treo didn’t happen. Mainly because the trip was mostly uneventful which was good and also because we rarely got to a motel before 8 or 9 o’clock and blogging was the last thing on my mind. I’m back in the office again trying to get caught up. There wasn’t much piled up on my desk, but it has still taken me all day to go through it. Our trip was a long, hard one with lots of driving between stops, but I feel that it was a good trip. We got to to see some familiar faces and meet a lot of new ones.

Here at the farm this week while I was away they planted our first crops of pansies, snapdragons, panolas and dianthus. As you can see from the pictures that they are tiny. We use the cooling pads to keep the early crops as cool as we can to improve the quality. The pads can lower the greenhouse temperature about 10 degrees versus the outside temperatures.

They have also started planting the poinsettias. This finished the first batch of #8 and #10 pots today and will move on to the #6’s next week along with our second planting of snaps and dianthus and first planting of #4 pansies. The plugs are supposed to be here Monday.

Here are some pictures of the freshly planted flats. I’ll get some more pictures of the poinsettias and post them next week. Have a great weekend.

Pansies

Pansies

First crop of pansies

First crop of pansies

Cooling Pads

Cooling Pads

Pansies

Pansies

Smile for the blog, Clay

Smile for the blog, Clay

#4 Snaps

#4 Snaps

Dianthus

Dianthus

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I finally got around to figuring out how to post entries via my Treo. I hope this works.

Poinsettias are looking good. We will start planting next week. The mums are hanging in there. It’s supposed to be even hotter next week so it will be tough to keep the mums and poinsettias from stressing.

I will be travelling on a sales trip next week with Annette, our new salesperson. We will be travelling all over southern Arkansas. So if any of you are from there, be sure to keep an eye out for us and have some iced tea ready.

If this works, I will continue to post blog entries about our trip. If not, the postings will depend on us finding a motel with high speed internet.

I’m stopping now. My thumbs are cramping. Sorry for any typos.

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