2024 Growing Methods

2024 Growing Methods

2024 Growing Methods

There’s going to be a bit of experimentation with soilless mixes in 2024. It will be a challenge to switch back and forth between the mixes but I have several improvements I’d like to see for the coming season. I’d like to have our hanging baskets retain more water. This will help you and your customers keep them watered and fed. We’ll be using a heavier mix for most of our basket crop. Another issue I’d like to address is the perennials that we grow that stay too wet for too long. This can be an issue with the native plants in particular. We’ll be using a bark mix that will improve the drainage in the quart pots. These two new mixes are coming from a producer that has a Veriflora certification for the sustainability of their peat harvesting methods. This is a meaningful certification, so if all goes well we may switch our annual production to use their mixes as well. The germination mix will remain the same. It is a great mix from Premier who has really figured out how to add beneficial organisms right in the mix. The annuals will remain in the same mix for this year. Coir remains to be hard to get a hold of except on the West Coast so this will be a peat based mix.

     The purchase of our transplanter has us focused on the development of the root systems of our plugs and liners. It might mean moving the trays an extra time or two but we are heartened by the progress we made this year. It’s such a crunch time, as you all know, to get everything transplanted in a timely manner!

     I learned an enormously important detail about biological pest control when some of our staff and I attended a talk in August at one of the rooting stations that held a trial garden gathering. This detail is that beneficial insects will not pursue Aphids in Calibrachoas!!!! We had quite a challenge this past year when some of the Calibrachoas that we bought in for planting our combination hanging baskets came in with aphids on them. Up until that point our greenhouses were completely free of aphids. I kept introducing beneficial insects to our Calibrachoa crop and couldn’t understand the struggle we had to achieve control of those aphids.

     That said, it’s extremely rewarding to walk through our greenhouses and see them buzzing with the activity of bees, hummingbirds, hoverflies and the myriad of other creatures that enjoy our crops.

       One big change that will affect our growing this year is the completion of the environmental control system. It is designed by Bartlett Instrument Company. All of the roofs and sidewall vents can now be set to open and close at different set points. This gives us much better control over the temperatures in the greenhouses and our ability to DIF the plants in the early mornings of the spring to control plant height without the use of chemical growth regulators. This is a phenomenal improvement.

We’re proud of the way that we grow plants and strive to live up to our motto,

“Exceptional Plants, Progressive Practices.




Here’s a table of the products that may be used in the production of your plants this year!

Sanitizing products



Used to wash used plug trays

GreenClean Pro

Sprinkle onto floors at cleaning time, use on algae prone spots-OMRI

GreenClean Acid Cleaner

flush all irrigation lines and hoses

Sanidate 5.0

flush all irrigation lines and hoses-OMRI


treat algae problems



Preventatives for diseases and insects



Endomycorrhizal fungi applied to all plants-OMRI

Steinernema feltiae

nematode that feeds on fungus gnats and thrip larvae-applied to all plants

Steinernema carpcapsae

nematode that feeds on shore flies



Beneficial Insects


Amblyseius cucumeris

mite that controls thrips, mites

Amblyseius swirskii

mite that controls broad mites, spider mites, whiteflies

Phytoseiulus persimilis

mite that controls spider mites

Orius insidiosus

Pirate bugs eat adult thrips

Amblyseius fallacis

mite that controls broad mites and spider mites even in cool temps


aphid midge whose larvae consume aphids


wasp that parasitizes aphids







Natures Source 10-4-3

fertilizer for all crops

Plantex 8-9-18 pH reducing fertilizer

fertilizer for summer when the pH can easily get out of whack



Chemicals used when needed



fungus that attacks insects-OMRI


fungus that attacks insects-OMRI


insect growth regulator-OMRI


microbe that kills fungi, bacteria including molds and mildews-OMRI


potassium carbonate kills and prevents fungi-OMRI


fungus Beauveria bassiana attacks insects


the fungus Burkholderia ssp attacks insects


Bacteria Chromobacterium that attacks insects


To use as a last resort : stops aphids from feeding