Over 14 million plants are just sitting and waiting to be planted, it is amazing to think that we accomplish that much in one growing season. Some of the plants start from seed, some from plugs, others from bare root, and some from cuttings. When people ask me ‘when do you start ramping up’ and I tell them February 12th they are a little surprised, but all great things take time. In reality, that’s how long some plants take to get to where we want them to be by the first week in May. Typically we plant New Guinea impatiens in patio tubs and hanging baskets first, along with pansies and geranium cuttings. Geranium cuttings are basically just a stem of the plant with one or two leaves on the stem. We simply “stick” the cutting into the soil of our pots and let them start rooting. Pansies are planted so early because they can take a little colder weather than other annuals and we like to try and get them to market a little sooner.
Temperature is a key ingredient to keeping things nice and compact. This allows the plant to stay nice and bushy instead of getting long and stretchy. There are different temperatures that we like to grow for certain crops, but the majority of our plants we try to keep around 65-68 degrees. Another key ingredient is soil. We primarily have two types of soil mixtures, one for our hanging baskets and patio tubs and the other for our 4.5 inch annuals that you will most likely be transplanting. Neither of which actually contain any soil. It all consists of other products such as bark and perlite. It is very important to have good healthy soil that contains no diseases and is hopefully sterile.
The start of the season is always an exciting time for me and the smell around the greenhouses is one of my favorites. A couple things to keep in mind throughout the last stretch of winter is your own growing experiences. It may be too cold for you to plant but we welcome you to come plant and watch them grow in our facility. In February we have the Plant a Seed Workshop, which is held on February 17th where you can come in and plant a pepper or tomato seed. Or involve the kids and plant a green bean seed to take home and watch grow! Our other famous event is our Moss Basket Days happening the 10th,13th, and 17th of March. Watch your basket or patio tub start from tiny little plugs and turn into a beautiful combination that you get to enjoy all summer long. So, stop in and start planting with us!