Welcome to 'Sprout,' American Nurseryman's e-newsletter published on the first and third Thursdays of each month. For even more, be sure to read our December issue.
Wage & benefits survey
How does your payroll compare to the competition’s? Is your benefits package in line with the rest of the industry? How can you find out? You can turn to American Nurseryman’s annual wage and benefits survey. Since 1984, American Nurseryman magazine has provided the commercial horticulture industry with wage and benefits statistics. In that time, the industry has seen some dramatic changes. Do you know how far you’ve come? Please help us provide this important information—and help yourself to critical information—by completing this year’s survey. We’ve made it easy for you, but remember that these statistics are only as good as the information you give us. Read more>
Supreme Court will address AZ’s immigration law
The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to review Arizona’s immigration law, considered one of the most restrictive in the nation. Many of the most controversial elements of the law had been blocked by lower courts, but the debate over the effectiveness and legality of several such laws across the country rages on. The Justice Department has filed suit against similar laws in Alabama, South Carolina and Utah. It also is reviewing legislation in Georgia and Indiana. (Photo courtesy of Rocky Mountain Research Station/Forest Pathology Archive, USDA Forest Service; Bugwood.org.) Read more>
Another day, another dollar
Need help with your finances? Really, who doesn’t? Well, look no further than Michigan State University for help understanding the costs of doing business—and how to keep your nursery in the black. Or green. Extension folks from MSU have developed nifty—and inexpensive—software that will help you evaluate your nursery operation from a financial perspective. Called “Estimating the Wholesale Cost of Nursery Production,” the DVD is available from the MSU online bookstore. But before you even purchase the program, you can read all about it if you click the links below. The group has issued some easy-to-read guides; a third guide will be released shortly.
Read more here and here.
“Unauthorized” immigrants long-term residents
Almost two-thirds of the 10+ million unauthorized immigrants currently in the U.S. have lived here for at least 10 years, according to research recently published by the Pew Hispanic Center, an arm of the Pew Research Center. Of those, nearly half are parents of minor children. Pew Hispanic’s analysis of the U.S. Census Bureau’s March 2010 data revealed that 35% of unauthorized adult immigrants have lived in the U.S. for 15 years or more, and 28% for 10 to 14 years. The full report can be accessed through the link below. Read more>
What’s on trend for 2012?
The Garden Media Group has spotted a number of trends for 2012, and among them we find such delights as “Urban-Knights,” those diehard urbanites who are determined to create green refuges wherever they can. Eco-scaping also is big, as are water-watchers and techno-gardening. Free e-zines, like the one from Costa Farms titled “Growing Style,” connect younger and other tech-savvy gardeners with growers and designers. Just so long as they’re still planting, and not looking for an app that will do the digging for them. Read more>
More counterfeit Knock Outs found
You’d think they’d learn, wouldn’t you? Apparently not. More Knock Out knock-offs were discovered at a nursery in Louisiana, and The Conard-Pyle Co. has reached a settlement requiring the offending nursery to destroy all of the patent-infringing rose plants. A binding agreement also promises substantial penalties should the nursery err again. So seriously, folks; let that be a lesson. If you’re going to participate in the Knock Out rose program, do it the right way. Read more>
NASS to reinstate floriculture report
The USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) has announced that it will reinstate its annual floriculture report—and, if you’re interested, the annual hops production report and the annual mink report, among others, also will be revived. We’re thrilled that the annual bee and honey report is also on the list. Read more>
Teaming up for greening up
McKay Nursery, Waterloo, Wis., has teamed with the Milwaukee Brewers to plant native trees along the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources’ Hank Aaron State Trail. The baseballers donated 150 landscape-sized saplings provided by McKay as part of the “Root, Root, Root for the Brewers” tree-planting campaign. Get it? Root? Anyway, for every 20,000 tickets sold during the regular season, the team donated a tree to the DNR. Fifteen native species, including serviceberry, pagoda dogwood, hackberry, hawthorn and Kentucky coffee tree will be planted along the bike trail and a pedestrian bridge. Read more>
Bandit welcomes new dealers
Bandit Industries welcomes new dealers whose combined experience offers 172 years of expertise to the Midwest and the South. Central Illinois AG has locations in Atlanta, Farmer City and Clinton, Ill.; and Williams Equipment and Supply has six locations throughout Arkansas, Mississippi and Tennessee. Read more here and here
John A.A. Thompson
Dr. John Ansel Armstron Thomson, inventor of horticultural vitamin-hormone solution SUPERthrive, passed away Nov. 28. He was 100. Read more>
Fall Creek Farm & Nursery Inc., the world’s leading blueberry breeder and producer, will unveil its new “BrazelBerries” collection of small ornamental fruit shrubs at MANTS in January—but you get a preview right here. How cute is this li’l raspberry? The collection comprises fruit-bearing shrubs that are ornamental as well as abundant producers. The BrazelBerries web site will be up and running soon; keep on the lookout for http://www.brazelberries.com. In the meantime, though, you can find more information at the links below. Read more here and here
Ivory Prince hellebore
Helleborus Ivory Prince (‘Walhelivor’) from PlantHaven has prolific ivory flowers flushed with pink and streaked with green and rose hues that deepen with time. The outward-facing, long-lasting blooms appear late winter-early spring. The unusual silvery mottled evergreen foliage makes Ivory Prince attractive through fall. It prefers well-drained, moist, fertilized soil. In mild climates it will tolerate full sun, plant in part shade elsewhere. In cold areas mulch will help protect the plant during winter. Ivory Prince tends to be resistant to deer and voles and is drought resistant once rooted in. Read more>
Educational bench cards from Ball, AIB
Free, downloadable bench cards that illustrate the value of plants now are available from Ball Horticultural and America in Bloom. The two entities collaborated to develop colorful, informative signs that help retailers tell the story behind the plants, and help customers understand the many benefits of plants in the indoor and outdoor environments. Read more>
Growums teams with Bonnie Plants
Preferred Commerce Inc., announces the first licensing program for its nationally recognized, successful Growums garden brand with the renowned Bonnie Plants, the largest producer of vegetable and herb plants in North America. In a program developed to help promote the two companies’ mission to encourage green gardening and healthy eating, Bonnie is licensing eight of the engaging, interactive vegetable and herb characters. The agreement designates that Growums’ Bonni, Juane Pear, Coco, Belle Peppa, Hal E. Peno, Princess Strawberry, Melonie and Duke the Cuke will be featured on “stick tags” in each of the plants they represent and the “Growums family” will be positioned on the “wrap” for each of the plantable, biodegradeable pots. Read more>
Companion® now available for retail
Companion®, the biological fungicide from Growth Products Ltd., now is available to home gardeners. The product contains the patented GB03 strain of Bacillus subtilis, a naturally occurring beneficial microbe that controls and suppresses a wide range of foliar and soil-borne plant diseases such as powdery mildew, leaf blight, rust, damping off, dollar spot, and more. Unlike chemical fungicides that can stunt a plant’s growth, Companion’s natural ingredients revitalize plants, stimulating stronger root development and promoting plant vigor. Companion is environmentally friendly and is non-toxic to bees, birds, pets, fish and wildlife. It can safely be applied up to the day of harvest on fruits and vegetables, and children and pets can play on treated lawns directly after application. Read more>
LED landscape light
WAC Lighting now offers LEDme step and wall lights for landscape applications. Easy to retrofit on to a single gang rectangular style junction box, these luminaires offer a wide beam angle for broad lighting distribution and deliver balanced, consistent lighting free of shadows and glare. Constructed with a cast aluminum body, the new Step Lights can be dimmed with an ELV dimmer and feature a replaceable LED module. The LED luminaires minimize energy consumption and maintenance while extending their life to 50,000 hours. Read more>
Mobile web site for ECG
Emerald Coast Growers, one of the industry’s largest suppliers of ornamental grass liners and perennial starter plants, has enhanced its web site with a mobile version for those busy, time-starved growers-on-the-go. A QR code that can be snapped from your smartphone allows immediate access. Read more>
Finally: Happy Holidays to all!