Archive for January, 2014
Some of us here are heading out to the Arkansas PLANTS 2014 show in Hot Springs. This show is partnered with the Arkansas Turf Grass Association and together we have 60 exhibitors on the show floor. In addition to the show we have education sessions Wednesday and Thursday. This year we are excited to have Carol Miller, the editor of Today’s Garden Center magazine, speaking during two different sessions. We will also hear about new plants from both Proven Winners and Ball Hort, and talks from Dr. Jim Robbins (UA), Sherri Smith (UA), Travis Klosterboer (BASF), Dr. John Hopkins (UA), Ples Spradley (UA) and Seth Dunlap (State Plant Board).
You can see the whole schedule, registration form and even register online on the AGIA website www.argia.org.
This week we have been busy sticking cuttings and transplanting our plugs and liners. We sow almost all our own seed items except for a few plugs we buy in early. We also grow all our own vegetative plants from cuttings when possible. Some items like our clematis, mandevilla and tropical hibiscus we buy in as liners.
I usually differentiate between plugs and liners by saying that the plugs are usually grown from seed and the liners are usually grown from a vegetative cutting. However, you can also differentiate by size. Some lists show that anything in a 288 size or smaller (number represents the total number of plants in a tray so more plants corresponds to smaller sizes) is a plug, and larger sizes like 84’s and 50’s are liners.
But that’s just how I look at it. I could be completely wrong. Here are some Confetti and petunia liners we are planting this week.
Our first planting is scheduled to be ready the week of March 17 (give or take a few days) and we will have 3 more plantings scheduled to be ready every 2 weeks after that. Not all varieties will be available in each planting. More of the cooler season plants and fewer warm season varieties will be ready early and vice versa.
The varieties we will be growing are listed below. You can go to our Proven Winners page to see pictures and more information on the varieties we are growing.
- Bacopa Snowstorm Giant Snowflake
- Bidens Goldilocks Rocks
- Calibrachoa Superbells Blackberry Punch
- Calibrachoa Superbells Cherry Star
- Calibrachoa Superbells Lemon Slice
- Calibrachoa Superbells Pomegranate Punch
- Evolvulus Blue My Mind
- Lobularia Snow Princess
- Petunia Supertunia Picasso In Pink
- Petunia Supertunia Raspberry Blast
- Petunia Supertunia Vista Bubblegum
- Petunia Supertunia Vista Silverberry
- Nemesia Sunsatia Lemon
- Nemesia Sunsatia Mango
- Osteospermum Symphony Orange
- Verbena Superbena Royale Iced Cherry
- Verbena Superbena Royale Peachy Keen
- Verbena Superbena Royale Plum Wine
Sorry for not having posted anything in a while. I have been sort of busy with things here and sort of lazy and procrastinating this first post of the year. One of the reason’s I didn’t post was that I really didn’t have much to talk about. I don’t really have much to say now but here goes.
The poinsettia season ended OK. We didn’t sell them all but that was because they were not up to our specs, and we didn’t try. Overall we cut back a little on poinsettia production and could probably have sold that last little bit had it been good enough to ship. Next year we are looking at producing approximately the same amount of poinsettia. We are also going to do a few trials to make sure we are growing the best poinsettias for you.
A couple of white poinsettias caught my eye in the Dummen catalog. Unfortunately with these white poinsettias shown below, you can never be sure if the color is true to the catalog until you trial them. Environments can affect the color as will photoshopping the color in the catalogs as these producers sometimes do. Also even if the Glace is that white, a 10 week poinsettia wouldn’t color up until Christmas and would miss your selling window. Glace Early (right) looks promising.
After the New Year, we went to the Western Show in Kansas City. It’s been a few years since I have been to that show. It shrunk.
In my opinion, the economy has hit that show particularly hard. The IGC market which that show caters too is tenuous at best in the central US. There have been a lot of IGC’s fold up in the last few years. Several growers and suppliers have folded as well. The ones left seem to only attend the bigger shows. I think the Western Show can hang in there for now but it will have some tough years to get through until it can get it’s legs back under it. I don’t see a whole lot more exhibitors or attendees showing up than were there this year which is bad news for exhibitors looking for more attendees. Just my opinion. As long as the show was in the black this year, it should be able to continue to operate in the present format and model until the industry picks back up and more people start going to their state and regional shows again.
An unexpected outcome of the economic downturn as it relates to these shows is that the people who have been attending and are now not are finding out that they can still operate, find new products and run business as usual without attending. It will be a challenge to attract them back into attending the shows. The show planners will need to keep up the educational and social sides of the show to get these folks back in the door.
After we got back from the show, I have been trying to catch up on the work I fell behind on when I goofed off the last couple of weeks of 2013. Now I am paying for it in a big way. There is a lot of work that needs to be done on the website, marketing and scheduling for fall and winter of 2014.
While all of that was and wasn’t happening we have been planting our early crops of baskets and annuals. Here is some of what we have planted.