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 May issue.
Stand up and be counted
Time’s running short, but you still can participate in the USDA’s Census of Agriculture—just make sure you do so by May 31. Why should you? Because your response helps demonstrate the industry’s strength which, according to data from the census, comprises about 15 percent of U.S. agricultural crops, and one-third of total specialty crop production. Each time we need support in D.C., the figures from this census help to show that ornamental horticulture is a powerful market. Let’s help keep it that way. Read more here and here.
PANTS and ASLA registrations now open!
Registration is now open for PANTS13, scheduled for July 31 to August 1 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia. The Penn-Atlantic Nursery Trade Show is the mid-summer “must see” horticultural marketplace event in Eastern Pennsylvania. Plus, you can now register for the American Society of Landscape Architects’ 2013 ASLA Annual Meeting and Expo, scheduled for November 15 to 18 in Boston. “Gaining Ground” features more than 130 education sessions, workshops and field sessions. Read more here and here.
Burpee + American Heart Association for healthy kids
W. Atlee Burpee & Co. has teamed with the American Heart Association’s Teaching Garden program to launch the Teaching Gardens At Home seed starting kit, developed to promote healthy behaviors among kids and their families. Each seed starter kit contains 12 favorite Burpee vegetable seed packets, complemented by eight recipes using fresh ingredients from the garden and approved by the American Heart Association. Burpee has agreed to donate $1.50 to the American Heart Association for every Teaching Gardens At Home kit sold on its website. Read more>
Flowers help fight pests in orchards
Scientists at Washington State University have discovered what we all know: Flowers can cure just about anything. In practical terms, however, lead researcher Lessando Gontijo showed that sweet alyssum was very good at attracting syrphids, whose larvae often feed on aphid pests. Problem solved? Not so fast: Although the aphid population seemed to be decreasing, few hoverfly larvae were discovered among the flowers, but the research team tracked beneficial insects and spiders that had also visited the Alyssum. Conclusion: When integrated into standard orchard-management practices, flowers that attract beneficials can provide suitable biological control. (Photo of Gontijo netting syrphids courtesy of Betsy Beers, WSU) Read more>
Emerald Coast Growers adds greenhouse space
Emerald Coast Growers has grown by 18,000+ square feet at its Milton, Fla., location, giving the company the capacity to hold nearly 200,000 trays across all Florida sites. The new greenhouse facility will be used primarily for grass production, but flexibility of design and equipment will allow the company to produce a variety of material as needed. Read more>
Bobcat expands in North Dakota
Bobcat Company has broken ground on a $20 million expansion and renovation of its facility in Bismarck, N.D., creating the company’s Acceleration Center. The expansion of the existing building will include a two-story office building and provide a total of 160,000 square feet of modern workspace. Additionally, a 35,000-square-foot indoor testing arena will be constructed next to a 22-acre outdoor testing and track area. Construction is expected to be complete by summer 2014. Read more>
Douglas Dynamics Inc. acquires TrynEx Inc.
Douglas Dynamics Inc., a leading North American snow and ice control equipment company, has signed a definitive agreement to acquire TrynEx Inc., the leader in truck-mounted salt and sand spreader equipment under the SnowEx® brand name. TrynEx also provides turf application and industrial attachment products under the TurfEx® and SweepEx® brand names. Read more>
New website for Sun Gro
Sun Gro Horticulture has launched a new and improved company website, featuring a product database, full information on technical services and other essential resources including the Sun Gro’er Newsletter. The company also has launched www.fafard.com as a retail-only site. Read more>
Juniper Systems observes 20 years
Founded in 1993, Juniper Systems is celebrating its 20th year of designing and manufacturing rugged handheld computers for mobile data collection in extreme environments. The company continues to be family operated. Read more>
Ardans joins Skagit Gardens
Ted Ardans has joined Skagit Gardens as operations manager, where he’ll assume leadership for all growing operations. He has more than 30 years of experience in the green industry, most recently as director of production at Smith Gardens. Read more>
As part of a licensing agreement between powerhouse growers Terra Nova Nurseries and Blooms of Bressingham, the companies have introduced two new Heucherella selections available for growers to pre-order. Heucherella ‘Fire Frost’ (pictured) has yellow to lime leaves with a large red center and a strong white veil. Average size is 10 inches wide with an 18-inch flower height. H. ‘Honey Rose’ is sable colored with deeply incised and lobed foliage highlighted with darn veins; young leaves are a warm coral-rose, also sporting dark veins. Average size is 8 inches wide with a 12-inch flower height. Growers can book orders for liners of ‘Fire Frost’ and ‘Honey Rose’ for Fall 2013 and Spring 2014 seasons. Read more here and here.
Handy Twine Knife Co. has introduced a new blade style to its line of ring knives: Razor’s Edge is made in the U.S. of hardened stainless steel and designed with a pointed tip and straight edge to make it easier for nursery and landscape pros to cut burlap and ground cloth, to loosen root balls as well as prune and harvest flowers and fruits. Wear the blade on your hand—seriously—so it’s always handy. (You know we had to.) Read more>
Ultrasonic rodent repellent
Mice munching your Miscanthus? Rats ravaging your Ranunculus? Fear not. The new Ultra PestChaser ultrasonic rodent repellent from Victor emits an extremely high frequency sound that annoys the heck out of rodents and cannot be heard by humans. And it comes with three speakers, offering triple the coverage of ordinary sonic repellents. So let’s keep that greenhouse cat safe from rodenticides and get rid of the foul little gnawers. Read more>
XBLADE skid steer plows
Fisher now offers its popular XBLADE and HD Series snowplows for skid-steer loader applications. Equipped with a universal skid-steer mounting plate, the skid-steer’s standard auxiliary hydraulics provides the power to angle the blades left or right. Available in 8- and 9-foot widths, XBLADE units combine exclusive X-bracing with corrosion-resistant stainless steel moldboards for reliable, high-performance plowing. The rugged FISHER HD Series snowplows withstand the rigors of commercial plowing. Available in 7 foot-6 inch, 8-foot, 8 foot-6 inch and 9-foot widths. Read more>
21.2cc professional grade trimmer
Shindaiwa Outdoor Power Equipment now offers a 21.2cc professional grade trimmer option, featuring a solid shaft drive, comfortable and ergonomically correct grips, premium two-stage air filtration and full-wrap tank stand. Add to these a 20-inch cutting swath, easy reloading, higher capacity Speed-Feed® 400 head, and a high-torque gear box—and a 7-day money-back guarantee. Read more>
Skid steer adapters
Worksaver has introduced a new skid steer adapter for IH loaders; it increases versatility and is designed to allow skid steer type attachments on tractors with IH model 2250 and 2255 loaders with pin-on buckets retained by 1⅛-inch pins. Attachments can easily be switched between a skid steer loaders and a tractor loader. The company also offers a John Deere loader to skid steer adapter for tractors equipped with John Deere models 48/58 loaders with buckets retained by 1¼-inch pins. Read more>
Finally: Crabapple time