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From the editors of American Nurseryman • March 21, 2013
American Nurseryman Magazine, Covering commercial horticulture since 1904

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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 March issue.

Home salesHousing on the rebound?
Bloomberg reports that the month of February saw an increase in permits for future housing construction—to the highest level in nearly five years. Plus, housing starts climbed by 0.8 percent. Pundits claim to see “a lot of positive signs,” including last year’s 12.1 percent rise in residential construction (which includes home improvements—read “landscape”). Brighter days ahead? Read more>

ONLPACOhio contractors receive OK for backflow certification
The Ohio Department of Commerce now is allowing landscape contractors who provide lawn irrigation services to upsell, in a way. The agency has okayed limited backflow certification for irrigation contractors, meaning they no longer have to refer clients to plumbers to complete the jobs they design, install and maintain. Read more>

MonroviaMonrovia achieves sustainability certification
Monrovia has been certified by the Food Alliance for sustainable agricultural and management practices at its Dayton, Ore., nursery. For the past 18 years, Food Alliance has provided comprehensive third-party certification for sustainable food handling practices. In the summer of 2012 the non-profit organization unveiled a sustainability standard for nurseries and greenhouses. Assessment criteria include fair working conditions; pesticide use reduction; composting; water recycling; waste reduction and wildlife habit. Read more here and here.

SakataSakata Seed celebrates its centennial
Sakata Seed Corporation is observing its 100th year in business in 2013. Founded in Japan in 1913, the company established Sakata Seed America in 1977. Sakata is recognized internationally for innovative flowers and vegetable genetics. Read more>


Aquascape Foundation volunteersAquascape Foundation installs rainwater system in Dominican Republic
A team of Aquascape Foundation volunteers installed a 15,000-gallon rainwater harvesting system in the Dominican Republic at FilterPure Filters, a non profit organization committed to providing safe drinking water to at-risk populations of the developing world. The captured and stored rainwater will be used to aid production of FilterPure’s ceramic water filtration device that is distributed throughout the region. Read more>

Flowerpots made from grapesFlowerpots made from grapes
Researchers at Oregon State University have succeeded in making more out of grapes than wine—or raisins. They’ve discovered how to turn the pulp from crushed wine grapes into a number of items, including a food preservative, biodegradable packaging materials and fiber suitable for molding into plant containers. The pots have been found to degrade by 50 to 80 percent when buried in soil for 30 days. We know you’re wondering this, so, yes: In terms of production methods, there’s a difference between white and red grapes. (Photo courtesy of Lynn Ketchum) Read more>

America in BloomAIB honored at Philly’s Flower Show
America in Bloom received the award for “Best Achievement for using Horticulture to Create a Sense of Place” for its exhibit at the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society’s Philadelphia Flower Show. “We’re so pleased that our display garden in this prestigious show has been so well received, not just by the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, but by the tens of thousands of people who have visited it. Opening day was a big success, with many visitors already familiar with America in Bloom and others learning about us for the first time,” said Delilah Onofrey, America in Bloom board member and co-founder. Read more>

MANTSMANTS “means business”
MANTS once again kicked off the trade show season with impressive numbers: Nearly 11,000 attendees from 46 states, five Canadian provinces and eight other countries; 984 exhibiting companies, 108 of which were new this year; more than 300,000 square feet of exhibit space. “We have no classes, professional certification tests, speakers, demonstrations, or mimes or jugglers,” says MANTS Executive Vice President, Vanessa Finney. “MANTS means business and by offering the opportunity to engage only in commerce, we believe that the show attracts the people that our exhibitors want and need to see.” Read more>

Penstemon calycosusWrite a Field Note for American Nurseryman
Calling all plant freaks! Do you have a favorite plant? Do you want to see your name in print? Of course you do. Then turn to the last page of your handy American Nurseryman magazine, put on your thinking cap and consider writing a Field Note for an upcoming issue. We’re looking for your perspective on why your favorite plant is unique—what makes it stand out? What’s your experience with it? Just why do you love it? Can you share a personal story, a little bit of history? Some interesting plant lore? Let us know which plant you’d like to write about—e-mail us—and we’ll check it against our master list and get back to you right away! What are you waiting for? (Photo courtesy of Kevin Tungesvick. Check out his Field Note on Penstemon calycosus in the January 2013 issue) Read more>

People News

Bill CobbRuppert promotes Cobb
Bill Cobb has been promoted to the position of Director of Information Systems for Ruppert Landscape, where he will be leading the information systems and information technology team in improving the company’s efficiency. Read more>

Douglas E. SuttorSuttor joins Engage Agro USA
Douglas E. Suttor has joined Engage Agro USA as Midwest Turf & Ornamental sales representative. He previously worked with Quali-Pro, United Horticultural Supply, Terra International, Chevron and Valent. Read more>

Samantha MillerChris QuinlanTwo join Barenbrug USA
Samantha Miller and Chris Quinlan have joined Barenbrug USA as marketing coordinator and Turf Territory Manager for the Midwest region, respectively. Miller previously worked for Gluten Free RN, and Quinlan comes to Barenbrug from Becker Underwood. Read more>

Hot Products

TerraCyte®PROTerraCyte®PRO algaecide/fungicide
TerraCyte®PRO broad spectrum algaecide/fungicide, an enhanced wettable powder, eradicates liverwort inoculums on contact. Researchers from the University of Maryland evaluated the product’s efficacy against liverwort control on littleleaf boxwood. Results found that TerraCytePRO granular reduced the percent of liverwort in the containers receiving 2 times the treatment by 94%. Results also showed on the second day of the second application, TerraCytePRO liquid significantly reduced liverwort cover by 81%. Overall there was no significant change in plant height and no phytotoxicity was observed on treated plants. Read more>

ArborSystems’ Portle KitTree injection kit
ArborSystems’ Portle Kit now is available with the company’s Wedgle Direct-Inject Tree Treatment System carry case. The kit consists of 12 Portles Tips, one Tip Setter, container for the Portle Tips and instruction guide. Users will be able to purchase the Kit with the current heavy-duty backpack or the carry case. The carry case holds the Portle Kit, up to four 120 ml chemical packs and all the tools for the Wedgle Direct-Inject Tree Treatment System. Read more>

new 3600 and 3650 hydrostatic drive utility vehicles from BobcatHydrostatic drive utility vehicles
The new 3600 and 3650 hydrostatic drive utility vehicles from Bobcat are designed to handle and haul more materials—plus, they’re the first in Bobcat’s line to offer cabs with heat and air conditioning. The combination of independent front dual A-arm suspension, with rear De Dion suspension that ties the two rear wheels together, improves the vehicle’s ride comfort and provides improved stability to haul and tow heavy loads. And the ability to change directions without shifting has improved operator convenience and maneuverability. Read more>

Qualcomm’s Mobile Computing PlatformMobile computing platform
Qualcomm’s Mobile Computing Platform 50 is a safety-focused, cost-effective solution that can help you monitor and manage your fleet’s safety and regulatory compliance and keep your fleet on the road. Easy to install, the MCP50 includes the following features: small form factor; In-Motion UI, CE 6.0 operating system; text-to-speech; over the air upgrades; 7-inch touch screen display; onboard navigation; and more. Read more>

SapIP wireless data logger networkMicroclimate weather station
Dynamax Inc. produces the new SapIP wireless data logger network for measuring plant water use, soil moisture and weather. The SapIP-Micro system is a wireless node with RH, air temperature, solar radiation, wind speed and direction, and rainfall sensors attached. This sensor set can be used to calculate ETp, which can be used for irrigation scheduling for crops or trees. The nodes can be up spaced up to 1800 ft. apart and can daisy-chain up to (7) hops, giving a total distance of over a mile. The SapIP-Micro is an excellent research grade weather station, and data is collected at the www.AgriSensors.com website, or directly using a USB connection. Read more>

Nature’s Source®Nature’s Source plant food
Ball DPF has launched Nature’s Source®, a new look for the former Daniels® Plant Food with the same proven performance from seed extract-based nutrition. The easy-to-use liquid mixes instantly with water, and its concentrated formulations make it an economical choice as well. The low-salt formula won’t burn crops and improves plant quality. Professional products include Nature’s Source 10-4-3 Professional Plant Food, 3-1-1 Organic Plant Food and 10-4-4 Landscape Plant Food. Read more>

Finally: Happy Easter!

Easter rabbit

Upcoming event
What: “Civic Horticulture” conference
When: May 17
Where: University of the Arts, Philadelphia
Sponsors: The Cultural Landscape Foundation and the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society
For more>

Sketchup: a Guide for the Landscape DesignerBuy this book!
Need something to anchor a client’s Midwest garden? Shrubs Large and Small: Natives and Ornamentals for Midwest Gardens addresses shrubs and how to determine which you should plant among your perennials and where. Shrubs provide the foundation for a pleasing, yet low-maintenance garden. They are long-lived, have the ornamental appeal of perennials, and provide variety in color, size, shape, and texture, as well as shelter and berries for birds. Shrubs can make attractive arrangements indoors and provide seasonal variation through the entire year. Gillian Harris’s illustrations are botanically correct works of art that make this book absolutely irresistible. Read more>

Thanks for reading Sprout! Got news you'd like to share? Pass it along! Send your tips to sbenson@mooserivermedia.com.

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