Friday, November 28, 2008

Nursery and Greenhouse - Challenges and Opportunities V

This is a continuation of the series on challenges and opportunities for greenhouse and nursery businesses during the current economic downturn and in the near future.

  • Opportunities will continue to expand for native, locally grown plants. Opportunities exist for the selection and promotion of superior native plant cultivars. Team up with propagators that are working with native plants and promote superior selections.
  • Look to opportunities with sustainable urban landscape movements and other sustainable landscape movements. Remember, you are in the green industry and as such you are part of the environmental movement. Understand where green initiatives are occurring and where they will be expanding.
  • Use resource efficient practices - water, fertilization, energy, labor, and other inputs need to be used as efficiently as possible.
  • Work hand in hand with landscape architects and their plant choices. Educate each other on the plants available and what plants to grow and use in the future.
  • Look at plant lists for those projects that are forward thinking and use this as a guide for what to grow.
  • Consider pot in pot production in nurseries to reduce blow over and give better root conditions. Container plants give more flexibility in planting programs but more management and marketing skill is needed with container production.
  • Take advantage of networking opportunities – learn who is making decisions on what plants are being used in projects and develop one on one relationships with them

Gordon Johnson, Extension Horticulture Agent, UD, Kent County

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