Here at Rush Creek Growers, Inc. our mission is to grow a wide variety of great plants for the wholesale trade in the upper-Midwest. We are committed to the unusual. Great customer service including pre-booking of orders for future delivery, custom growing, weekly availability updates and a collaborative relationship with our customers is a priority. We've been in business since 1995 here in the lovely Rush River valley of west central Wisconsin. We value the creation of a good workplace for ourselves and our plant-savvy crew. Rush Creek Growers Inc. was started by Suzanne Baker and Vicky Weis.
- 2019 Update on our Growing Methods
- Soilless Mix: For the spring crop we'll be using the same coir based soilless mix. And for next summer's crop we'll be switching over to a Minnesota peat product that will have Sustane composted turkey manure incorporated as a slow release fertilizer. We were very happy with the performance of this mix these past two summers. The crops stayed very green and seemed less prone to swings in pH.
- Pest Control: Our preventative releases of different species of predatory mites were successful in preventing outbreaks of broad mites, spider mites and thrips.
- Our banker plant systems of pest control were successful this past summer. Pots of Peppers and Dianthus hosted Minute Pirate Bugs which feed on thrips. These bankers were placed throughout the range. Another banker system we used were pots of grain aphids that were raised in a predator free cage. Then on a weekly basis the aphids were placed around the greenhouse to make sure that our predatory wasps and midges had a steady supply of food. Besides beneficial insects we used some fungi in our insect control efforts. Met 52, Preferal, and Mycotrol are all fungi that were sprayed onto pest outbreaks. Under warm moist conditions the spores hatch and attack the pests. Once again, Steinernema feltiae nematodes were applied through the irrigation water on a regular basis to consume fungus gnat and thrips larvae. Thanks so much to Amy who has been helping me with scouting and banker plants. As the years go by we have learned so much about how to stay ahead of pest outbreaks with beneficial insects.
- Root Zone Colonization: One of the keys to the health of our plants is the attention focused on colonizing the root zones of all our plants with a wide array of microbes. This year we'll be using Actinovate and Rootshield which are both tried and true products. I'm also trying a new mychorrhizal product called MycoApply. I hope to inoculate all the plants in the seedling and liner stage.
- Rainwater Harvesting: We're continuing to collect rainwater from some of our roofs. It's wonderful to have for propagation and as an emergency reserve.
- Keeping the plants happy, Suzanne
- Welcome to our 23rd season. It has been an interesting year for many of us in the Upper Midwest. 1) A snowstorm in mid-April was lovely but really… "We need to move those kale/pansies/wildflowers/ snapdragons, etc. outside". Yikes!: 2) Our "new normal," long spring shipping season turned into a quick 6 week mad shipping squeeze which emptied our greenhouses with amazing speed. Thanks to our great staff who made it all happen: 3) Another tornado skipped by us in Augustno damage. Whew! 4) PoliticsWe will say no more. But here we are and raring to go for another great season. Are you with us? Can you believe that there is only one more year of this decade? I remember Y2K! So what's up for 2019?
- Well, true to Rush Creek form, we have added 300 new varieties to our list. Suzanne has been out visiting public gardens, nurseries and growers for inspiration. We've all been digging in the dirt or planting containers at our homes trialing with successes and failures but so much fun.
- Our staff of veggie and herb lovers has come up with a creative, gardener friendly and, certainly, tasty list of heirloom, hybrid, ethnic, tried-and-true and container varieties. We're seeing an increasing interest in medicinal herbs and will continue to expand our list. Bench cards help your novice gardeners choose.
- We all seem to have an increasing awareness of pollinators and/or the lack of them around us. An unfamiliar bee in the greenhouse or yard results in a gathering to identify, photograph and appreciate. We have chosen plants with an eye toward supporting those wonderfully diverse families.
- We have heard that houseplant sales are going through the roof. Our plant list includes many plants that can be grown indoors from foliage to succulents to edibles. There is even a dwarf cherry tomato we have added that can be grown on the kitchen window.
- We can help with all these opportunities. Thanks again for your support of our plant choices and our methods.
- Fondly, Suzanne Baker, Vicky Weis & all the folks and critters that share our work days at Rush Creek Growers
- P.S. Did you know that someone is developing a solar powered weeding robot for the home gardener called the Tertill? Just sayin'. I feel better already. ~Vicky