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.
- 2018 Update on our Growing Methods
- Soilless Mix: For the spring crop we'll be using the same coir based soilless mix. For next summer's crop however 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 last summer. The crops stayed very green and seemed less prone to swings in pH. There are two experiments in the works this year. We will be trialing a peat free mix called Pitmoss that is made from recycled paper, and we will be mulching some of perennials with rice hulls in an effort to keep them weed free.
- Pest Control: We were taken off guard this year by the appearance of Broad Mites. These mites are much smaller than two-spotted spider mites. Their mysterious damage was our first clue. Luckily they can be controlled by a predatory mite named Neoseiulus fallacis. This year we will preventatively release the falacis.
- Our banker plant systems of pest control were highly successful this past summer. Pots of Purple Flash Pepper 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,