April/May 2014 • Volume 32 • Number 2
Colorado Nursery & Greenhouse Association • Serving Colorado, New Mexico, & Wyoming
Delivering the Goods
Ways to Deliver Healthy, Beautiful Plants
10 Tips for Preventing Problems when Unloading Trucks
11 Knowing the Facts about Impatiens Downy Mildew
12 EAB & JB Rx — Spread Facts to Avoid Spreading Damage
GrowiNG your busiNess cAN be A breeze. Now AvAilAble! East Wind Collection | Expanding Line of Co-Ex Containers
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DWF Grower Supply 4800 Dahlia St. Denver, CO 80216 email@example.com
Order Desk: 303-399-3235 Toll Free: 800-829-8280 Fax: 303-376-3125
©2013 Myers Industries Lawn & Garden Group/Myers Industries, Inc. 10/13
10/29/13 11:33 AM
LooseLeaf April/May 2014
Our Mission Professionals growing for a better tomorrow... your growing resource. Cover Photo Courtesy of Botanical Paradise, Littleton, Colo.
In This Issue 3 4 5 6
Contents, Board & Editorial Info CNGA Staff, Calendar, & New Members Classifieds & Advertisers List Message from the Board: Challenges
Welcome to the Lists Issue! Ways to Deliver Healthy, Beautiful Plants
10 Tips for Preventing Problems when Unloading Trucks 11 Knowing the Facts about Impatiens Downy Mildew 12 EAB & JB Rx â€“ Spread Facts to Avoid Spreading Damage Board Of Directors Bill Kluth, President Tagawa Greenhouse Enterprises, LLC 303.659.1260 x205 firstname.lastname@example.org Jesse Eastman, CCNP, Vice President Fort Collins Nursery 970.482.1984 email@example.com Dan Wise, CCNP, Secretary/Treasurer Fort Collins Wholesale Nursery 970.484.1289 firstname.lastname@example.org
The Cost of 24-Hour Reporting
18 CSU Update: Weed Control Product Study 20 Horticultural Science: Fundamentals of Fungicide Trials
21 Member Profiles: Botanical Paradise, ePlantSource, & Silver Sage Garden Centers
24 Psst... Pass It On: Book Recommendation by Debi Borden-Miller
Terry Shaw, CCNP Harding Nursery, Inc. 719.596.5712 email@example.com
Ex-Officio Members Jim Klett, Ph.D. CSU Dept. of Horticulture & Landscape Architecture 970.491.7179 firstname.lastname@example.org Sharon R. Harris, Executive Director CNGA 303.758.6672 or 888.758.6672 email@example.com
Sarada Krishnan, Ph.D. Denver Botanic Gardens 720.865.3679 firstname.lastname@example.org
Sharon R. Harris Executive Director Colorado Nursery & Greenhouse Association 303.758.6672 email@example.com
9137 S. Ridgeline Blvd., Ste. 210 Highlands Ranch, CO 80129 coloradocommunitymedia.com
17 Safety Corner:
Dan Gerace, CGG Welby Gardens Company, Inc. 303.288.3398 firstname.lastname@example.org
Colorado Nursery & Greenhouse Association
Colorado Community Media
16 Important Facts to Know about Labor Laws
Kirby Thompson, CCNP Britton Nursery, Inc. 719.495.3749 email@example.com
15 How to Garner Great Vendorâ€“ Buyer Relationships
Stan Brown, CCNP Alameda Wholesale Nursery, Inc. Phone: 303-761-6131 firstname.lastname@example.org
Publisher 959 S. Kipling Pkwy., Ste. 200 Lakewood, Colo. 80226 303.758.6672 or 888.758.6672 Fax: 303.758.6805 email@example.com coloradonga.org
14 Three Steps to Making Successful Substitutions
The LooseLeaf feature writer and editor is Tanya Ishikawa of Buffalo Trails Multimedia Communications buffalotrailsmultimedia.com Visit coloradonga.org for classified advertisements, plant publications, upcoming events, a member directory, and much more!
CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Debi Borden-Miller Tanya Ishikawa Dr. Jim Klett
DISPLAY Advertising Contact: Michelle Munoz, CNGA 303.758.6672 firstname.lastname@example.org The LooseLeaf is published six times a year with issues scheduled for February/March, April/May, June/July, August/September, October/November, and December/ January.
2014 calendar SAVE THE DATE for CNGA’s 2014 events and mark your calendars now! Colorado Certified Nursery Professional (CCNP) Summer Seminars
Owners’ & Managers’ Meeting
Colorado Certified Nursery Professional (CCNP) Exam
Tuesdays; Colorado Springs, Colo. (Locations TBD) CNGA’s CCNP program is designed to promote high quality standards and professionalism. The certified employee can be proud to be recognized as a professional by industry owners, their peers and the public – or feel free to enroll in a seminar (or two) just for the education! July 22, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., Perennials Seminar July 29, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., Trees Seminar Aug. 5, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., Shrubs Seminar Aug. 12, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., Landscape Design Seminar
Tuesday, Aug. 26, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. or Tuesday, Sept. 9, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Colorado Springs, Colo. (Location TBD) Employers can be assured that a Colorado Certified Nursery Professional is dedicated to the industry and can provide exceptional customer service, knowledge and professionalism. The CCNP exam can be taken on its own; enrolling in the seminars is not required.
Safety Training – Back Safety
Tuesday, Sept. 16, 9:30 – 11:30 a.m. Pinnacol Assurance, Denver, Colo. Open to all CNGA members! This FREE course covers best practices for preventing workplace back injuries, including risk factors, common injuries, preventative measures, and correct lifting and carrying techniques. This Pinnacol-approved training is for our Safety Group Members.
Women in Horticulture Luncheon
Thursday, Sept. 18, 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. Lakewood Country Club, Lakewood, Colo. An annual tradition for women in the green industry – come and enjoy a great speaker, lunch and networking with your peers and friends. Thank you to our sponsors: Wells Fargo Insurance Services and Welby Gardens!
CNREF & CFF Golf Tournament
Monday, Sept. 22, Noon shotgun start. Colorado National Golf Club, Erie, Colo. We’re excited about our new location this year! Located just 20 minutes north of Denver, Colorado National Golf Club (formerly Vista Ridge) was voted Colorado’s #1 Golf Club in 2010, 2011 and 2012! Come and see for yourself and have fun while supporting the foundations.
Safety Training – Slip, Trip and Fall Prevention
Wednesday, Oct. 15, 9:30 – 11:30 a.m. Pinnacol Assurance, Denver, Colo. Open to all CNGA members! This FREE course covers prevention strategies to help keep your employees safely on their feet and slips, trips, and falls safety techniques that work. This is a Pinnacol-approved training for our Safety Group Members.
Friday & Saturday, Nov. 7 & 8 Antlers Hilton, Colorado Springs, Colo. Mark your calendars to attend this meeting designed for decision makers to share experiences, ideas and practical information both in the meeting and social offerings. Thank you to our sponsors: Tagawa Greenhouses, Pinnacol Assurance, Wells Fargo Insurance Services, Arbor Valley Nursery, and Richards, Seeley, & Schaefer.
Alex Ogrinz Denver, Colo. 80211 303.709.1649
Nancy Julius Collbran, Colo. 81624 970.640.2861
Daniel LaValley Fort Collins, Colo. 80521 970.682.4785
Pagosa Verde, LLC 465 Pagosa St., Ste. C Pagosa Springs, Colo. 81147 Sally High, owner 970.335.8415 pagosaverde.com
Euphorbia, LLC 9620 Rio Grande Blvd. NW Albuquerque, N.M. 87114 Brian Heap, owner 505.503.3742 Marc Smith Morrison, Colo. 80465 303.478.0108 McCoy Tree Farm, Inc. P.O. Box 4009 Edwards, Colo. 81632 Laurence & Jean Guilmineau, owners 970.926.6430 mccoytreefarm.com
Paul Drago Lakewood, Colo. 80226 303.522.7093 Stuart Hansen Denver, Colo. 80221 303.319.2533 Thomas Zimmerman Fort Collins, Colo. 80521 303.590.4951
CNGA STAFF Sharon Harris
Membership Services Manager
LooseLeaf April/May 2014
classified ADS CNGA offers free posts of online classified ads to members, including items for sale or lease and job openings. For more information on the postings below and to see other current postings, visit coloradonga.org, click on the Resources tab and click on Classifieds.
Retail Sales Manager
Greenhouse – For Sale by Owner
Harmony Gardens, 4315 E. Harmony Rd., Fort Collins, Colo. 80525, is looking for a full-time Retail Sales Manager for our family-owned nursery for 2014. Daily interaction with retail and wholesale clientele. We are open to the public but also have a large number of landscaping customers. While some plant knowledge is necessary, we are willing to help grow your knowledge. We are looking for someone who enjoys working with people as much as they enjoy working with plants. Must have previous management experience. Please email resumes to Brad@harmonygardens.biz.
Turnkey greenhouse facility in sunny Las Cruces, N.M. 56,000 sq. ft. Gutter Connect greenhouses, all concrete/rolling benches, hot water and natural gas heating/evaporative cooling; 11,000 sq. ft. Warehouse with loading dock, two enclosed offices and large walk-in cooler. 2.92 Acres of land; 3 wells with 16 acre feet water rights; 10,000-gallon storage tank, also connected to city water; fertilizer injector and insecticide application systems; plumbed throughout. Established market. Trained employees. Price: $650,000. Please contact Lynn Payne at email@example.com or 505.988.9626.
Wholesale Sales Representative Harmony Gardens, 4315 E. Harmony Rd., Fort Collins, Colo. 80525, is looking for a Wholesale Sales Representative to assist current customers, find new customers, build and grow current business, create an amazing overall customer experience, and assist with daily tasks. While some plant knowledge is necessary, we are willing to help grow your knowledge. We are looking for someone who enjoys working with people as much as they enjoy working with plants. Must possess excellent customer relationship-building skills, strong communication and organizational skills. Please email resumes to Brad@harmonygardens.biz.
Garden Center Sales Associates Silver Sage Garden Centers, 9010 S. Santa Fe Dr., Littleton, Colo. 80125, is seeking full-time and part-time sales help for April through October 2014. Responsibilities will vary depending on strengths but sales will be the primary focus. Daily interaction with retail and wholesale clientele. While some plant knowledge is necessary, we are looking for those who enjoy working with people as much as plants. Any special skills are a bonus as we wear many hats. Both full-time and part-time positions require working weekends. Send resumes to Teddy Kane at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sales/Nursery Assistant Manager Mountain View Tree Farm and Nursery, 1100 County Road 294, Rifle, Colo. 81650, is seeking a full-time Sales/Nursery Assistant Manager to join our family-owned business from March to November. You will have daily interaction with both retail and wholesale clientele. We are looking for someone who enjoys working with people and plants. Need to be honest, hardworking, self-motivated, have good customer service skills and like to wear many hats. Position requires working weekends. Send resumes to Tammy Miernicki at email@example.com.
Outside Sales Manager Plant World, Inc., 250 El Pueblo Rd. NE, Albuquerque, N.M. 87113, is seeking a customer service-focused, goal-oriented, and sales-driven Outside Sales Manager with an assertive, results-oriented attitude. Position is responsible for direct outside sales activities within an exclusive territory. The Outside Sales Manager will be providing outstanding customer service to existing and prospective clients to retain, renew and build sales. Email resumes to Veleta Clay at firstname.lastname@example.org.
American Clay Works & Supply Co. . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Baxter Wholesale Nursery, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Britton Nursery, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Carlton Plants . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Circle D Farm Sales, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Clayton Tree Farm LLC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 DWF Grower Supply . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Flatiron Ventures, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Fort Collins Wholesale Nursery . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Harding Nursery, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Hash Tree Company . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Jayker Wholesale Nursery . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 McKay Nursery Company . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Richards, Seeley & Schaefer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
Register for calendar events with CNGA unless otherwise noted. Tel: 303.758.6672 • Fax: 303.758.6805 • Email: email@example.com CNGA is the host of calendar events unless otherwise noted. For more information, registration forms, and directions to programs, go to coloradonga.org and click on the Events tab to view the Calendar.
MESSAGE FROM THE BOARD
Challenges “Our customers come to us expecting us to be the experts – not just in providing quality products, but also in providing timely and optimum solutions.” Everyday we are faced with many challenges. How do we react to the driver that just cut us off so he/she can be one car length in front and then exits at the next street? Should I have beef, chicken, fish or salad for lunch – they all look good? It’s past curfew – where is my child?
By Bill Kluth CNGA Board President
Every challenge has the opportunity for a good, bad or unknown outcome. We make our decision on how to react based on our experience. And usually that experience is based on how the outcome affects me personally. That driver who just cut in almost hit my new car! I really want the loaded burger, but I’m trying to eat better. Now I have to stay up later and explain (again!) why curfew is critical and why grounding solves the problem. We tend to use a “me” filter while processing challenges. This spring we are faced with many challenges – most are typical (weather, labor, quality). And this year some are new or bigger than prior year’s challenges (EAB, impatiens downy mildew, Japanese Beetle). What should I do to
face these challenges? How are these challenges affecting me and my business? What do I need to do to correct or avoid the challenge? “I” and “me” are common pronouns as we evaluate the solutions. I would like to suggest that by avoiding first person pronouns (Yikes! Grammar?) and focusing instead on second and third person pronouns like “you, he, she, they, them” we may be able to solve the challenge in a way that, upon reflection, is more productive and supportive of our businesses. And by moving the focus away from ourselves, we usually have a more positive approach to challenge solving. Focus the solution back to the challenge of how to support our customers (the “you, he, she, they, them”). Our customers come to us expecting us to be the experts – not just in providing quality products, but also in providing timely and optimum solutions. We often have solutions readily at hand, but are we putting those solutions in a first personal pronoun twist or are we focused on how to help our customers? How do I address insect and disease problems? What if spring is early – or late? Will I be fully staffed and will that staff do a good job? These same challenges affect our customers in every bit as personal a way as it affects our business. So we need to be responsive to “their” (a pronoun used as a possessive adjective) needs and by addressing “their” needs, we solve “our” (also a pronoun used as a possessive adjective) challenge. What recommendations do you make when EAB is discussed? How do you identify Japanese beetle and control it? What can be planted early and what is best planted late (regardless of weather)? How does staff respond to these questions/challenges? By getting information and details, we evaluate challenges and can offer solutions. At ProGreen, we had many opportunities to gain information and details to apply to solving challenges. In this issue of the LooseLeaf, we receive more timely information. 2014 will be full of challenges. How we help our customers through those challenges will define our relationship with our customers and will build confidence that regardless of the challenge, we are ready to offer solutions and build customer loyalty. Spring is here. All the best to you for a great spring of solving challenges.
LooseLeaf April/May 2014
HASH TREE COMPANY WHOLESALE CONIFER NURSERY
Growers of Quality Specimen Conifers Selected Seed Sources of Pine, Fir & Spruce
877--875--8733 1199 Bear Creek Road Princeton, ID 83857
Fax: 208--875--0731 E--Mail: Sales@hashtree.com Web: www.hashtree.com
Welcome to the Lists Issue! It’s that time of year again – the busy spring season. Come along with the Colorado Nursery & Greenhouse Association into these LooseLeaf magazine pages to find handy guides in quick, easy-to-read lists that will help you get through the upcoming months (and the rest of the year for that matter). As has become a tradition over the last three years, the CNGA Communications Committee has put together several green industry topics that can help owners, managers and employees get through their workdays a little smoother. In these pages, members can find useful lists of tips, best practices and recommended guidelines for loading and transporting orders, accepting and unloading deliveries, handling the impatiens downy mildew problem, and recognizing the risk from Japanese Beetles and Emerald Ash Borers. We have also provided helpful lists outlining how your peers in the association handle substitutions on customer orders and maintain positive vendor-customer relationships through managing expectations. The last list offers a quick look at labor laws and highlights important considerations when hiring and scheduling staff. We invite you to clip these lists from the magazine and post them in your staff break room or other highly visible spots where every member of your team can see them and benefit from the shared insights of your many colleagues in Colorado and New Mexico. Special thanks to the group of CNGA members who stepped up to provide the input and photos for these lists: Steve Brown of Alameda Wholesale Nursery; Mike Bailey of Bailey Nursery; Steve Carlson of Carlton Plants; Krystal Keistler-Hawley of Echter’s Nursery and Garden Center; Jesse Eastman of Fort Collins Nursery; Gary Epstein, Scott Skogerboe and Dan Wise of Fort Collins Wholesale Nursery; Scot Campbell of Little Valley Wholesale Nursery; Lynn Payne of Sunland Nursery Company; and Jere Fukai of Tagawa Gardens. Additional thanks for the planning assistance of the Communications Committee: Merle Northrup of Business Solutions Advisory; Steve Echter of Echter’s Nursery and Garden Center; Dave Zach of Little Valley Wholesale Nursery; Kim Koonce of Plant World; Mark Phelan of Phelan Gardens; Nick Ozimek of Silver Sage Garden Centers; Dan Gerace and Giovanna Romero of Welby Gardens; and David Dickey, formerly of Willoway Nurseries.
LooseLeaf LooseLeaf April/May April/May 2014 2014
Ways to Deliver Healthy, Beautiful Plants CNGA members tend to agree that ensuring delivery of healthy, beautiful plants starts with the grower. A lot of teamwork from inventory to sales, production and shipping departments goes into delivering a quality product. Here are a few tips on how to deliver fresh, quality plants that are up to customer standards.
During transport & delivery:
• Start out with great looking plants from the best network of vendors. • Choose plants from specific vendors who meet your standards and have a reputation for growing the best. • Match each plant with the best soil mix to keep it strong and healthy. • Incorporate a timed-released fertilizer that is sulfur coated or poly coated, depending on the duration of release needed, into soil mixes to help plants to continue to thrive after leaving your property. • Train staff to understand that it takes months or years to produce quality plants but poor loading, transport and unloading could damage plants, reducing profitability and wasting all that previous labor. • Have an organized, quality-driven system for staff to follow in selecting, collecting and loading orders that will meet customer expectations. • Focus on accuracy and communication, using ticket systems and extra sets of eyes on orders to make sure the proper plant types and counts are pulled and loaded and minimize errors. • Ensure plants meet quality standards – uniform in size and form and maintained in a full, vigorous state, free of insect and disease, and in bloom or bud, before being loaded. (Plants that can’t meet standards can be further grown to meet standards or discarded.) • Always move plants by their container or soil ball. • Before collecting plants for shipping, ensure they are well-watered but be sure foliage is dry before loading. • Provide shading for the holding area or loading dock where plants are moved and tagged prior to loading on the truck. Be thorough with tagging and marking the exact plant material. • Remove any weeds and broken or misshapen branches. • Give over-wintered plants destined for garden centers an additional spring application of fertilizer. • Spray the trees with water to help reduce heat stress during the hotter months. • Use load locks, shrink wrap, boxes, sleeves or ropes to secure and protect plants in trucks so they do not shift during shipment.
• Make your goal to deliver plants in as great of shape as when they left the nursery. • Invest in customized trucks with lift gates or other mechanisms to carry, load and unload plant materials safely and securely. • Expect plants crossing state lines and traveling long distances to be delivered in temperature controlled, refrigerated or vented trucks. • For large B&B plants, use a truck equipped with a hydraulic or electric crane for unloading and an angled piece of metal on the end of the truck bed to hold up the heavy top end of trees during transport. • For smaller containerized plants, outfit a van with racks or shelves so plant material won’t have to be laid or stacked on top of each other and is easier to remove. • Ship bareroot plants in refrigerated trucks with moisture hold material mixed in around the roots to ensure customers receive these plants in good condition. • Keep plants cool by instructing drivers to ventilate the truck or trailer whenever it is not in transit. • When delivering to retailers, unload plants in an area separate from the sales area so they can be inspected and tagged before being placed before customers. • Be sure the buyer is present to inspect plants as they are unloaded so you can have the conversation immediately about whether any plants are unacceptable due to damage, size (under- or over-grown), or pest or disease issues. • Handle plants carefully during loading and unloading. For example, with bareroot be sure not to walk on top of the stacked plants and to separate and lift plants from the top instead of pulling out from the stack, which could cause broken roots and branches. • Assist customers in unloading and if plants are sub-standard because of damage in shipment or any other reason, phone the office for further instructions such as whether to issue the customer a credit and whether to leave or return the plant.
• Secure inside loads with protective curtains and outside loads on the flatbed with a tarp to keep the plants cool and avoid wind damage. • Deliver promptly after loading so plant materials remain fresh.
“Plants are received into an area separate from the retail sales area where they can be inspected and tagged before being placed on the sales floor.” Krystal Keistler-Hawley, Echter’s Nursery and Garden Center
“Our crews are trained to pull the very best of each item ordered. Their goal is to pull plants that we ourselves would purchase; plants that are full, lush, in bud or bloom and sufficiently watered.” Scot Campbell, Little Valley Wholesale Nursery Photo Courtesy of Little Valley Wholesale Nursery
Tips for Preventing Problems when Unloading Trucks General • Designate a specific area of your business such as a loading dock or outside entrance for receiving deliveries. • Keep the receiving area clean, orderly and ready for any delivery. • Delegate the responsibility of overseeing deliveries to a receiving manager who can implement protocol for staff and anyone helping to unload trucks. • Have a minimum of two people available during unloading– injuries, contamination and other safety and quality issues are easier to prevent with two sets of eyes on the situation. • Inform customers in advance if they are expected to assist drivers with unloading their orders.
• Stack racks or boxes on a palette and have a trained, certified and age-appropriate (over 18 years old) employee use a forklift when receiving large loads. • Move trailers as close as possible to material being unloaded to minimize distances the product has to be carried. • Do not walk on or climb onto the top of a stack of bareroot plants when unloading trucks, to avoid breaking branches as well workers falling and injuring themselves. • Send two people on deliveries of large trees, the driver and a helper, so one can operate the crane and the other can attach the chains, guide the trees off the truck and detach the chains. • Never stand under the load when using a crane and ensure that passersby and others don’t either. • Hook an aircraft-rated chain and rock/tree climbing-rated hooks for extra strength when lifting large trees. (The wire basket on the root ball or the string holding the tree inside the wire basket can fail, potentially causing a 150 to 1200 pound tree to fall.)
Avoiding Injury • Follow the OSHA safety guidelines for a safe workplace. • Keep all loading, unloading and moving equipment in good working order. • Train your employees on how to safely operate equipment and properly lift and load plants to avoid injury.
Avoiding Contamination • Stay up-to-date on regional pest issues and quarantined states.
• Instruct staff to always lift with their legs rather than their backs, provide lifting belts and encourage staff to use them.
• Know where plants have been grown and who your vendors are before ordering.
• Stress to staff that the safety of customers and themselves always comes first.
• Check for the certificate of nursery inspection from state departments of agriculture on out-of-state deliveries.
• Provide your staff with gloves and safety googles and require them to wear sturdy shoes.
• Visually inspect all products going in and out of your business to be vigilant for signs of insect or disease infestation while they are still in the loading area away from your other inventory.
• Wear rain pants and rubber boots when unloading wet trailers carrying bareroot. • Provide a tyvex suit, respirator mask, rubber boots and gloves for employee protection and follow OSHA worker protection standards while applying any pesticides. • Make sure all employees stand clear of lift gates so if a plant rack falls, nobody will be struck. • Handle any plants grown in 15-gallon containers or larger with two people and/or equipment.
“Know your vendor before ordering; Out of state shipments must have a certificate of nursery inspection from their state’s Department of Agriculture.” Gary Epstein, Scott Skogerboe and Dan Wise Fort Collins Wholesale Nursery
• Examine products more closely when receiving deliveries from vendors who have delivered contaminated plants in the past. • Refuse the load or quarantine plants, when insects or disease are discovered, until you and the vendor reach a mutually determined solution to the problem. • Do not move questionable materials into retail or back stock areas. • Send infested products back on the truck they arrived on or store them in an isolated area until the vendor can retrieve them.
“DO NOT move questionable material into retail or back stock areas – send it back on the truck it arrived on. If this is not possible, store it in an isolated area until vendor can retrieve infested merchandise.” Jesse Eastman, Fort Collins Nursery
“Any plant that is grown in a 15-gallon container or larger is handled by two people or equipment.” Lynn Payne, Sunland Nursery Company Photo Courtesy of Bailey Nursery
LooseLeaf April/May 2014
Knowing the Facts about Impatiens Downy Mildew Preparing staff to share factual information about impatiens downy mildew (IDM) will help your customers be more successful in their gardening. An additional benefit to this preparation is its contribution to your company’s image as the go-to garden experts.
What to know about plant disease: • Only Impatiens ballerina and its hybrids are susceptible. New guinea impatiens are not. • Be informed on your surroundings and history: - Did they notice IDM on the property or in last season?
• Pull all the plants and try to collect all the debris and dispose of it properly (e.g., bag it or burn it). The resting or overwintering structures of IDM are pretty durable and might be able to withstand composting.
What to suggest as replacements for impatiens:
- Are there reports of it in the area? If not, it will likely be okay.
• Flowering alternatives: Begonia, Cyclamen, Lobelia, New Guinea Impatiens
- Inform the homeowner of the potential risks, even if the disease wasn’t present in the area last year.
• Foliage alternatives: Coleus, Caladium, Lamum, Plectranthus…. to name a few.
• Reduce the risk: - Impatiens that are raised off the ground in planters or baskets are better suited to avoid coming in contact with the disease. - If the homeowner loves common impatiens but dealt with IDM in recent years do some crop rotation and try to bring it back in a couple of years.
Special thanks to Joe Bischoff, PhD, Regulatory & Legislative Affairs Director of AmericanHort: The Consolidation of ANLA and OFA, for providing CNGA with this information.
How to avoid or handle impatiens downy mildew: • General fungicide pretreatments might help for a particular bed, but if your neighbor is dealing with the disease, there’s a good chance the spores will blow into your beds during the season and cause infection. • If the disease shows don’t bother trying to treat for it. There is no curative.
QUALITY WHOLESALE PERENNIALS
Photo Courtesy of M. Daughtrey
Assisting Business Owners to Monitize Their Lifelong Investments
We are a wholesale grower of excellent quality Colorado-Grown herbaceous perennials & ornamental grasses. After experiencing the beauty of our plants and the convenience and personal touch of our service, we hope you will consider Britton Nursery your first Wholesale Nursery choice for all your flowering perennials and ornamental grasses.
F L AT I R O N V E N T U R E S I N C
Britton Nursery, Inc.
7075 Wyoming Lane Colorado Springs, CO 80923 Office: 719.495.3676 Fax: 719.495.3749 . info@BrittonFlowers.com www.BrittonFlowers.com
M e r l e T. N o r t h r o p Managing Broker F l a t i r o n Ve n t u r e s , I n c . 1 6 0 0 3 8 t h S t ., S u i t e 2 0 3 B o u l d e r, C O 8 0 3 0 1 3 0N3 V 4 4E0N - 6T1 U 4 1R E S I N C F L AT I R O
EAB & JB Rx – Spread Facts to Avoid Spreading Damage As Coloradoans turn their attention to a new invasive insect species, the green industry takes on yet another of nature’s challenges to making a profit with plants. While Emerald Ash Borer is attracting most of the study and efforts to prevent spread, Japanese Beetle remains a concern and should not be forgotten. Knowing what the risks are and implementing a few good practices will help nurseries and greenhouses manage or prevent damage on site and on customers’ properties.
Emerald Ash Borer Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) was found in Boulder, Colo. in September 2013. As a non-native insect, EAB lacks predators to keep it in check. The insect attacks only ash trees, and is responsible for the death of millions of ash trees in the midwest. Help protect Colorado’s ash trees! Ash trees are estimated to make up about 15 percent of Colorado’s urban forests. Ash trees are popular in Colorado with an estimated 98,000 in the city of Boulder alone. The Denver metropolitan area has an estimated 1.45 million ash trees. Here are facts that you can share with nursery and greenhouse staff and customers: • Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) is a very serious pest of ash trees. What does EAB do? Kills ash trees! Larvae feed under the bark, eventually girdling the tree and cutting off nutrients. • Ash trees, even previously healthy trees, are killed within two to four years of first symptoms. • Ash trees of all size can be attacked, from 1/2 inch saplings to largest mature trees. • This insect is very difficult to detect because it is under the bark and the adults are only around from May to September. • How did EAB get here? Infestations result from movement of infested ash trees and wood. The insect does not fly far on its own. Some of the items it moves on or in are: firewood, packing material, industrial wood material, live plant material including nursery stock, and Ash wood such as logs, branches and chips. • What is being done about this new pest? The goal is to determine the extent of the infestation in Colorado through a visual survey and branch sampling of ash trees. Control options have been published by Colorado State University, and information is available at www.eabcolorado.com.
• The main website for all Colorado EAB information is www. eabcolorado.com. More information can be found at www. emeraldashborer.info and www.dontmovefirewood.org.
Japanese Beetle Because Japanese Beetle (JB) is an invasive species under quarantine in Colorado, it is a violation of Colorado law for the insect to enter the state and move within the state. Nursery stock is a pathway on which this insect finds transport, so the following should be considered when handling stock and communicating with customers. • Stock entering Colorado from JB quarantined states (everywhere except California, Oregon, Washington, Arizona, Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana) must have an inspection certificate and permit stating the stock meets Colorado’s requirements for JB-free material. Keep these records; the Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA) will look at them during inspection. • Take precautions to deter JB from infesting your nursery stock. If it does, plants harboring the pest may not be sold. • Watch stock that is being unloaded carefully and report the presence of live adult beetles to CDA. Do your customers ask about JB? They have been asking in Jefferson and Arapahoe counties as well as Denver, Colorado Springs, Pueblo, and parts of Boulder. This means JB might be in your area and you and your customers should be aware of the following: • Susceptible species include, but are not limited to: Linden, Lilac, Virginia creeper, Roses, Grapes, Prunus spp., Crabapple, Hollyhock, and American Elm. • Protect susceptible species; spray and/or put roses, lilacs and other smaller sized hosts in a screen house.
• If you think you have EAB in your ash trees, or if you have any questions or concerns, please contact the Colorado Department of Agriculture at 888.248.5535 or email CAPS.firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Infestations result from movement of infested ash trees and wood. EAB does not fly far on its own.” Mitch Yergert, Director, Division of Plant Industry, Colorado Department of Agriculture Photos Courtesy of Lisa Perain, USDA
• Eliminate displays that contain turfgrass and other susceptible species. Why attract the pest with display plants that are not intended to be sold?
Special thanks to Laura Pottorff and Mitch Yergert of the Colorado Department of Agriculture for providing CNGA with this information.
Quarantines can only go so far; protect yourself, your industry and your customers by being vigilant. Do not inadvertently distribute the insect to someone else in this state or any other.
“Quarantines can only go so far; protect yourself, your industry and your customers by being vigilant.” Laura Pottorff, Industrial Hemp, Nursery, Seed and Phytosanitary Program Manager, Colorado Department of Agriculture
Photo Courtesy of Laura Pottorff, Colorado Dept. of Agriculture
Colorado-Grown NURSERY STOCK
ftcollinswholesalenursery.com availability password: hotwings 2224 North Shields Street Fort Collins, Colorado 80524 970-484-1289 | fax 970-484-1386
800-794-1289 Our quality is your success coloradonga.org
Three Steps to Making Successful Plant Substitutions Plant substitutions can be the most difficult and frustrating part of a sales person’s job. It seems like everyone handles it differently, but all suppliers and buyers are dealing with substitutions, especially as available stock tightens up.
• Know when a customer has requested a plant that will not perform well in their landscape, container or proposed location.
When substitutions are necessary, good communication with customers is the key to being successful in meeting their needs – which should be the focus of substitution suggestions. If done right, customers won’t care that they did not get the plant with the exact name they chose because they are happy to have a great, healthy alternative.
• Know the alternatives to the order including sizes, styles, colors and species that are a close match.
1st step: Preparation • Ensure that your sales staff is highly qualified (consider hiring Colorado Certified Nursery Professionals and offering that training option to your employees), so they have expertise to know whether a plant should be sold and what alternatives are the most suitable. • Stock a good selection of plants that lends itself to making easy substitutions i.e. similar plants and a variety of sizes. • Build a relationship of trust with every customer so they understand you are looking out for their best interests when making substitution recommendations. • Understand your customers’ needs and their willingness to accept substitutions. • Be ready to handle situations where substitutions are necessary due to a computer error showing the wrong inventory or the realization that stock is already reserved for a different customer. • Be familiar enough with your competition and confident enough in your customers’ recognition of your quality and service to recommend a competitor when you cannot fill a customer’s need.
2nd step: Knowledge • Know your inventory when taking orders so you can inform customers when you’re out of a requested item and size or it is not in prime condition, so they can make immediate decisions based on availability and quality.
“When an item is unavailable, our highly qualified and experienced sales staff who are all Colorado Certified Nursery Professionals will discuss possible substitutions with our customer directly.” Gary Epstein, Scott Skogerboe and Dan Wise Fort Collins Wholesale Nursery
“Our customer is the end user and it is paramount that the customer is satisfied with any changes we need to make.” Jere Fukai, Tagawa Gardens
Photo Courtesy of Fort Collins Wholesale Nursery
• Know when assembling orders whether plants are sub-standard and should not be shipped to customers.
• Know which plants will perform just as well if not better than the plant being replaced.
3rd step: Communication • Inform the customer of the necessity to change their order, before shipping, no matter how busy you are. • Determine whether the customer is able to make a substitution, whether they prefer to wait for the exact plant that was ordered, or whether they want to buy it elsewhere. • Find out what purpose the customer has for the plant and what qualities are important, such as being hardy, in bloom, a mature height or width, or a low price. • Recommend the best options to meet the customers’ needs. • Explain similarities and differences including color, size and water use, between the original order and the substitution, to allow the customer to make an informed decision. • Use technology to help the customer understand the substitution – text or email a photo and description to save them a trip to the nursery or you from hauling out an unwanted plant, but know which customers would rather see their options on the job site to make their decisions. • Don’t make the same mistake twice; have someone look at the actual substitution on your property to ensure its availability, quality and suitability before suggesting it to the customer. • Get verbal or written confirmation from the customer that a substitution is acceptable, prior to shipping. • Consider offering a discount or price break to show your appreciation for the customer’s willingness to accept the substitution and build customer loyalty.
“You should be confident in your quality and service and know the customer will be back for the value you offer.” Mike Bailey, Bailey Nursery
How to Garner Great Vendor-Buyer Relationships Good vendor-buyer relationships can lead to years of profitable interactions. Bad relationships – well, they’re not beneficial for either side and are bound to end before long. Making good relationships a companywide priority, from salesperson to driver, can help meet customer needs, ensure repeat sales and prevent wasted time on repairing problems. A strong emphasis on communication and customer service are often the keys to relationship success.
• Hire employees with service-friendly personalities. • Create a work environment that fosters employee retention, because having experienced employees interacting with clients can help avoid problems with buyers.
• Make sure you know your vendor’s policies and procedures related to warranties, returns, credits and other order-related terms and fees. • Let your vendor know your expectations about quality and service.
• Make sure employees know your policies and procedures on credit, returns and other order-related terms and fees.
• Get to know your vendors with calls and visits so they understand your needs better.
• Get familiar with your customers’ needs and habits.
• Don’t assume your vendors know what you want – describe it clearly and double-check whether they understand your needs.
• Realize that customers have a variety of demands and differences and be flexible enough to address them appropriately for each situation. • Encourage buyers to visit and introduce them to your staff to build rapport and an understanding of product selection and quality. • Be upfront with what you as a vendor can do for customers. • Ensure customers are informed and comfortable about the warranty, return and credit policies, before they receive the products. • Communicate both verbally and in print about policies and terms to better familiarize customers and give them a chance to question or review the information. • Handle purchase orders carefully to ensure you are fulfilling the requests as outlined. • Be sure your invoices match the prices quoted to the customer. • Provide factual information about your production methods when your buyer requests details such as about chemical applications, so the buyer can answer their customers’ questions. • Don’t assume anything; always get a confirmation from the customer on any order detail that is in question. • Provide customer service to the end of the transaction; don’t stop after the order is taken. • Inform customers of the name of the driver (and trucking service if an outside carrier) and let them know the estimated time of delivery arrival. • Instruct drivers to help customers unload their orders and ensure that customers are satisfied with the order before departing. • Allow drivers to help manage communication between the customer and your company when they are not satisfied to ensure the issues get settled.
• Photograph or document any issues with deliveries, before unloading if possible, to record evidence of damaged, infested or otherwise unacceptable products. • Insist that you, as the buyer, have the right to decide whether to accept merchandise based on its condition – don’t be convinced by a driver or other company representative to keep products that don’t meet your standards. • Communicate your claims about products in poor condition to the vendor immediately, within 24 hours if possible. • Ask for credits to be confirmed immediately, also within 24 hours if possible. • Take time to discuss your needs and the vendor’s products with delivery drivers. • Follow up with vendors when you are pleased with the service and quality of a delivery – they’ll appreciate the feedback and better understand your needs.
“Customers’ expectations vary greatly so being flexible and knowing who your customer is helps tremendously.” Steve Brown, Alameda Wholesale Nursery
“Don’t assume anything, always get a confirmation from the customer on anything that is in question.” Steve Carlson, Carlton Plants
• Let the buyers, not the driver or one of your employees on the phone, decide whether or not to accept merchandise based on its condition and their standards. • Provide the buyer with a plant health care guide and a review of the warranty during delivery. • Get feedback from drivers about how deliveries went, so you can find out if you need to head off any future issues.
Photographic documentation of a delivery of broken merchandise, returned to the vendor by Fort Collins Nursery.
Important Facts to Know about Labor Laws In the green industry, where labor needs are more complex than many other industries, understanding and complying with U.S. Department of Labor laws can be difficult. Nurseries and greenhouses hire a unique combination of employees, including family members, seasonal staff and an ever-changing mix of part-time and full-time laborers, to work under conditions dependent on the weather and nature. Both small and large company owners need to make sure they know the regulations that apply specifically to their businesses. From the length of lunch breaks to the type of work, a sometimes confusing and surprising array of employment practices are regulated. Lacking this important knowledge can lead to investigations, fines and too much time spent on activities other than making a profit or serving customers.
Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) This law outlines requirements related to the following employee matters.
Davis-Bacon & Related Acts: Contractors and subcontractors performing work for federally funded projects must pay laborers no less than the locally prevailing wages.
Minimum wage: Generally, employers must pay most employees the federal minimum wage ($7.25 per hour) for all hours worked.
Employee Polygraph Protection Act: Most private employers are prohibited from using lie detector tests for pre-employment screenings or on employees.
Overtime: Overtime pay must be at a rate of one and one-half times the regular rate of pay for all hours worked over 40 in a work week.
Consumer Credit Protection Act: Employers are prohibited from firing employees because their wages have been garnished for any one debt, and limits the amount of earnings that can be garnished.
Work hours: Hours worked generally include all the time during which an employee is required to be on duty, on the employerâ€™s premises, or at any prescribed place of work.
Migrant & Seasonal Agricultural Protection Action: Employers must comply with standards related to wages, housing, transportation, disclosures, and recordkeeping.
Recordkeeping: Employers must keep employee time and payroll records. CPAs suggest keeping them for seven years.
Field Sanitation Provisions of the Occupational Safety and Health Act: Minimum standards must be met for field sanitation facilities in specific agricultural settings.
Posters: Employers must display official posters outlining various requirements.
Other Labor Laws
H-2A Visa program & Immigration laws: Employers must comply with standards for hiring, wages, housing, transportation and recordkeeping for temporary and permanent immigrant workers.
The following are other important regulations that impact employers. For more descriptions of each law and its requirements for employers, see the Online Resources provided on the CNGA webiste at coloradonga.org/education-links.php. Child labor: Though 14 is the minimum age for most non-farm work, minors may work for parents in their solely owned non-farm businesses, gathering evergreens, making evergreen wreaths, and in specific cases in farm jobs under different regulations. The minimum age for operating machinery such as forklifts is 18. Family and Medical Leave Act: Covered employers must grant eligible employees up to a total of 12 work weeks of jobprotected, unpaid leave during any 12-month period for certain reasons outlined in the law.
Cold-hardy specimen trees. Shade, flowering and evergreen.
Employers must display official posters outlining various requirements. Photo Courtesy of Bailey Nursery
888-777-8199 Emmett, Idaho | baxternursery.com
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The Cost of 24-Hour Reporting Workers’ compensation claims can vary greatly in severity, complexity and duration, but one thing is certain – there is a direct correlation between reporting time and the cost of a claim. Studies show that claims reported more than three days after an incident occurred increased claim costs by 30 percent or more. Increased costs are related to medical expenses, attorney involvement and fraud. In addition to the potential increased costs, you can actually incur penalties if you delay reporting. Colorado law states you have 10 days from the time a worker notifies you of an injury to report it. If you report the injury after 10 days, and the specific claim meets certain criteria, you may be subject to fines and/or other penalties in the State of Colorado. Because claims are often complex, it is recommended that employers implement a 24-hour reporting process to ensure complete and accurate information. In addition to avoiding penalties and potential increased costs, administering and regulating a 24-hour claim reporting process can help by: • Ensuring the injured worker receives prompt medical attention which can mean a quicker return-to-work
• Decreasing potential for litigation, or attorney involvement • Securing a timely accident investigation while key information is still readily available Take a proactive stance by encouraging your employees to report injuries as soon as they occur. Conduct regular safety meetings and provide consistent reminders of the importance of prompt reporting. Use visuals such as safety and reminder posters, outline reporting processes in the employee handbook and regularly post information in common areas. You will also need access to the injured workers identification information including Social Security number, your organization’s policy number as well as details about the injury. Knowing where this information is can help move the reporting process along.
From Pinnacol Assurance
All in all, the costs of delayed reporting will vary case by case because each claim is different and varies by industry, circumstance, employer and nature of the injury. However, one thing holds true: the quicker a claim is reported, the faster and more controlled the claims process typically is.
Weed Control Product Study Effects on Herbaceous Ornamentals
By Ronda Koski, Research Associate
James E. Klett, Professor and Extension Landscape Horticulturist , Colorado State University, Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture
The IR-4 Project (http://ir4.rutgers.edu) evaluates the efficacy and safety of pest control products on greenhouse and nursery crops. In containerized production of ornamental plants, weedy plant species compete for moisture and nutrients, often resulting in ornamentals with reduced growth and poor aesthetics. Hand weeding is labor intensive and costly. Many currently available herbicide products cannot legally be used for weed control in many container-grown ornamentals because the safety of these products has not been determined. As part of the IR-4 Project, a study was conducted in 2013 to determine the safety of selected preemergent herbicides on containergrown herbaceous ornamental plants. Four preemergent herbicides were evaluated on one or more of eleven species of herbaceous perennials. Herbicide products evaluated included Biathlon (Oxyfluorfen + Prodiamine), Freehand (Dimethenamid-P + Pendimethalin), Echelon (Sulfentrazone + Prodiamine), and Tower (Dimethenamid-P). Ornamentals evaluated included Aquilegia chrysantha ‘Denver Gold’ (Denver Gold Columbine), Campanula carpatica ‘Blue Bliss’ (Blue Bliss Bellflower), Dendranthema
zawadskii ‘Clara Curt’ (Clara Curt Mum), Echinacea purpurea alba ‘White Swan’ (White Swan Coneflower), Erianthus ravennae (Plume or Ravenna Grass), Heuchera x brizoides ‘Firefly’ (Firefly Alumroot), Iberis sempervirens (Candytuft), Muhlenbergia dubia (Mexican Deergrass), Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ (Husker Red Beard-Tongue), Rudbeckia hirta ‘Denver Daisy’ (Denver Daisy Coneflower), and Teucrium chamaedrys (Dwarf Germander). Each herbicide product was evaluated at three rates, 1X (suggested label rate), 2X, and 4X; and treated plants were compared to non-treated “Control “ plants. The study was comprised of 16 experiments; each experiment evaluated the effects of a herbicide product on a herbaceous ornamental. Herbicide treatments were applied twice during the study period (June – August 2013). Containers were arranged on a graveled site and irrigated daily via a drip irrigation system. Phytotoxicity ratings were assigned at one week, two weeks and four weeks after each herbicide application. Height and width measurements were taken for each plant at the beginning and end of study. All study plants were harvested after the conclusion of the study. Findings in terms of phytotoxicity: Biathlon at all three rates caused no damage to Candytuft and Firefly Alumroot. Freehand at all three rates
IR-4 Project Study Site
LooseLeaf April/May 2014
caused no damage to Blue Bliss Bellflower, Plume Grass, Mexican Deergrass, and Denver Daisy Coneflower; however, all three rates caused some chlorosis and necrosis on new growth of Candytuft and Dwarf Germander. Echelon at all three rates caused some distortion, chlorosis, and necrosis on new growth of Husker Red Beard-Tongue; however, plants out-grew damage by the end of the study. Tower at all three rates caused significant necrosis and distortion to Denver Gold Columbine, Clara Curt Mum, White Swan Coneflower, Candytuft, Mexican Deergrass, and Dwarf Germander, and several 4X rate plants died by the end of the study. Findings in terms of reduction in growth: Biathlon at all three rates caused no reduction in growth of Candytuft; however, the 4X rate did cause reduction in growth of Firefly Alumroot. Freehand at all three rates caused reduction in growth of Blue Bliss Bellflower, Plume Grass, Candytuft, Mexican Deergrass, Denver Daisy Coneflower, and Dwarf Germander, with the 4X rate causing the greatest reduction in growth. Echelon at 4X rate caused reduction in growth of Husker Red Beard-Tongue. Tower at all three rates caused significant reduction in growth of
Denver Gold Columbine, Clara Curt Mum, White Swan Coneflower, Candytuft, Mexican Deergrass, Denver Daisy Coneflower, and Dwarf Germander.
Comparison of plant response to weed control products
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The Fundamentals of Fungicide Trials Fungicides are an essential part of production ornamentals; however, with everything a grower does with the crop it’s just one component in growing. An untreated fungal disease can literally wipe out an entire crop in a matter of days. While most growers have thankfully never experienced this catastrophe, many have had to battle fungal outbreaks at some time.
By Kyle Miller Senior Market Development Specialist BASF Professional Turf & Ornamentals
“To find out whether the latest fungicides will work well in their individual environments, growers should consider a doit-yourself fungicide trial.”
Growers generally turn to researchers and university partners for information about proven fungicide solutions. But while scientific trials provide evidence about how well a fungicide or other treatment performs in the field, every greenhouse or nursery has its own unique growing conditions. To find out whether the latest fungicides will work well in their individual environments, growers should consider a do-it-yourself fungicide trial. The process isn’t as complicated as many believe – especially when growers take advantage of available outside resources. New products have been scientifically proven to offer broad spectrum disease control and plant health benefits, including better tolerance in extreme temperatures and improved ability to withstand drought conditions. By conducting their own trials, growers can see the results for themselves.
Starting a trial Depending on your situation, your procedure may vary slightly. But here are the basic steps: Determine what to trial Before beginning the trial, establish the issue you want to resolve. Need to control a specific disease? Looking for a broader control method? Want to produce better plants? Know your goal before you start to test a new product or application approach. Talk to a trusted partner Manufacturer, industry consultants and distributor sales representatives can provide expertise in setting up a trial. They understand product capabilities and are versed on the newest chemistries on the market. These local experts can offer potential solutions that you can put to the test. Work with a consultant Partnering with a consultant to trial fungicides within your own operation is a sensible step to consider. Growers often lack the time and effort needed to take a product sample and conduct the trial themselves. A consultant can provide the amount of expertise that’s right
for you. Perhaps you want a partner who can simply help monitor the trial, or conduct it from beginning to end and then share the completed results. Consultants can also do hands-on work, like treating the plants, and compiling or evaluating the data. Define a plan Decide where the trial will take place on site, how long it will last, and how often the fungicide will be applied to the test plants. Be as thorough as possible in outlining these details so you get the most reliable – and potentially repeatable – results. For example, if the crop consistently experiences disease during a specific growing phase, such as in the finish house, that’s probably the best place and time to begin the trial. When partnering with your manufacturing rep, consultant, or distributor, he or she can help decide essential details for the trial. Begin the trial Ideally, you should begin the trial when you’re free from looming deadlines or the pressure of getting a crop out (and revenue in). Typically, the group of plants to be tested with should be placed on a bench that’s set apart from the “control” plants, but close enough that both groups grow under the same conditions. The only variable within your trial should be the fungicide regimen; watering, soil, fertilizers and other factors should remain the same. Also, communicate with staff, especially spray technicians, that you’re conducting a trial so they clearly understand that the test plants should not be treated like the rest. Collect data Throughout the trial, regularly collect data or have a consultant help you. Critical datacollection times, depending on the goals of the trial, need to be made; otherwise, you will not know the value the new product brings to your production Analyze results and determine next steps Once the trial is complete, review the data to see if the initial issue has been resolved using the new product and/or application regiment. If the results are favorable, you’ll probably want to incorporate the new product or approach into your disease-control rotation. For more information about BASF Professional Turf & Ornamentals visit www.betterplants.basf.us.
LooseLeaf April/May 2014
Horticultural Experts Supporting Customer Success Interview with Steve Koon, Botanical Paradise Tree Farm Owner
Please tell us about your companyâ€™s owner and manager. I opened Botanical Paradise Tree Farm in 2000, after nine years of owning and operating Steve Koon Landscape and Design. I grew up in the green industry and graduated with a horticulture degree from Colorado State University in 1974. I went on to open Steve and Sues Garden Center in Bear Valley and served as president of the Garden Centers of Colorado. Brett Yegge began managing Botanical Paradise Tree Farm in 2011, after receiving an environmental horticulture degree from Colorado State University. Together, Brett and I strive to provide customers with excellent Colorado-grown trees.
What sets your company apart from others? We provide an excellent product. Our plants are healthy and vigorous because we put in the time to ensure they receive adequate water and nutrition and are free from pests. Also, our customers get the best horticultural advice and training we can provide. This builds a relationship of trust and gives our customers confidence that their plants have long-term viability. We also offer planting services by experienced crews. Our crews use the best transporting and planting practices, and have the ability to assist customers on-site with questions on location, orientation and plant health care.
nursery. This includes careful loading and unloading, tarping and trunk protection. We also give all plants entering or leaving our nursery a thorough visual inspection to prevent pest and disease contamination.
How do you communicate with customers about plant substitutions? Our first goal is to give our customers the best possible plant, with long-term viability, for their specific circumstances. We do our best to explain the growth habit, features, and plant health requirements of all our plants to clients, so our customers can make informed decisions on both the plant and planting location specific to their unique needs.
Botanical Paradise Tree Farm 12475 W. Belleview Ave. Littleton, Colo. 80127 Tel: 303.933.4334 Fax: 303.781.4525 botanical-paradise.com email@example.com
What practices or policies do you set up to ensure expectations are met? Every customer is briefed in detail on our warranty and given a comprehensive plant health care guide. We also encourage all customers to call if they have questions or see any issues with the plants. We give our clients hundreds of hours of free horticultural advice, a practice that continues to pay off in the long term.
How do you ensure plant health and worker safety when unloading deliveries? We use the utmost care and caution loading and unloading plants to avoid damage to plants, people and property. We do everything we can to make sure our plants arrive on the job site looking just as good as when the customer picked them out in the
Streamlined Ordering with
Online Convenience Interview with Suzanne McKee, ePlantSource Director of Marketing
ePlantSource 10955 Westmoor Drive Westminster, Colo. 80021 855.674.8440 info@ePlantSource.com ePlantSource.com
Please tell us about the people at your company. ePlantSource was founded by industry veteran Gary Falkenstein and systems analyst Scott Hanks in 2013. They built a team of dedicated industry systems and marketing professionals (you will recognize them all from the Fischer USA days) working together to offer an online alternative to professional growers for the purchasing of live goods.
What sets your company apart from others? Transparency of information, user experience design and superior online ordering capabilities. ePlantSource is committed to providing an experience unlike any other in the industry. We appeal to customers who want to take more control over their ordering, so we committed from the beginning to create a website that is easy to navigate and will streamline purchases. By organizing pricing, availability and program details in an easy to digest format we give customers the information they need to make informed decisions.
How does your ordering system handle the needs of the green industry? Gary Falkenstein
ePlantSource.com is backed by custom-built software made specifically with our industry and business model in mind. We have placed the
utmost importance on master data and created a database that interfaces with our suppliersâ€™ programs and can handle all of the ins and outs associated with selling live goods. The system has been created to manage the details so that our customers can focus on the information important to their decision-making process.
What do you do to keep up with orders during your busy season? Our system was developed utilizing the latest in technology and has been continuously stress tested to handle not only a volume of users but more than 28,000 line items of products and 3.5 million availability records. Additionally, our customer service team has been empowered to respond to numerous customers in a timely and flexible manner.
How do you ensure customers have no surprises with orders? Being an online company does not detract from our customer service. On the contrary we strive to provide unbeatable customer service. We have seen that some of the biggest issues arise when customers are unaware of changes in their orders. With knowledge of the changes they can plan and be prepared. We communicate instantaneously with our customers, as soon as we are informed from our suppliers of any issues. It is critically important that confirmations, shipment notifications, order changes and even invoices be delivered timely to our customers to keep the supply chain moving smoothly.
LooseLeaf April/May 2014
A Diverse Team Delivering Detailed Service Interview with Nick Ozimek, Silver Sage Garden Centers Owner
Please tell us about your company. We opened for business in 2009. We focus on the “team” environment and have a variety of skill sets and backgrounds. One employee has a master’s degree in finance, one is an entomologist, and another has 30-plus years experience in the green industry. Our crew of laborers has stayed very consistent over the past six years and continues to be the backbone of our operation. We are a young company and always looking for enthusiastic members to join our growing team!
What sets your company apart from others? Our competitive advantage comes from our focus on customer service. We determined this approach as we knew we weren’t going to be the largest or cheapest supplier in town. Our core values of honesty and integrity have helped to develop trust with our clientele.
How do you ensure plants are loaded properly for deliveries? We offer a Monday through Friday delivery service to both wholesale and retail customers. Our main focus is accuracy, communication and quality of plant material – making sure we’ve selected the proper plants, double checking our counts and making sure the correct items are being pulled and loaded. We have a shaded holding area where we will tag and set plants prior to delivery. We are thorough with tagging and marking the exact plant material. We use a “Will Call” and “Delivery Ticket”
system to help communicate details. Having a couple sets of eyes helps minimize error. We make sure to cover our loads with a breathable tarp and give the plants a quick hose down with water before leaving the yard.
What do you do to ensure plant quality when unloading deliveries? We are diligent about unloading, placing the new plants under shade and watering immediately. We have found this practice helps minimize shock as the plants can easily experience a 40 degree temperature swing coming off of a refrigerated box car. We have designated unloading areas and spaces. Having room to work has allowed us to keep better organization, safer conditions and better systems. We always have a set of eyes keeping counts and watching for any quality issues or concerns.
Silver Sage Garden Centers 9010 S Santa Fe Dr. Littleton, Colo. 80125 Phone: 303.730.7243 Fax: 303.730.2195 silversageco.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Wrapping, watering, sizing, grading and placing trees into their rows helps minimize the amount of stress to the tree but also helps keep order in the yard. Certain plants need special care and we make every attempt to follow instructions from the growers/suppliers. Being a small company we all work as a team during the loading/unloading process. It is a common sight not only to find the labor staff but also the owner and manager out pulling orders, unloading plants and sizing trees.
Colorado Nursery & Greenhouse Association 959 S. Kipling Pky, #200 Lakewood, CO 80226
Acknowledging our Major Sponsors Corporate Sponsor – Tagawa Greenhouse Enterprises Marketing Sponsor – Pinnacol Assurance Wells Fargo Insurance Services
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Book Recommendation “Founding Gardeners: The Revolutionary Generation” by Andrea Wulf (2012)
By CNGA Member Debi Borden-Miller Sales & Marketing Coordinator Welby Gardens
I would highly recommend “Founding Gardeners: The Revolutionary Generation” by Andrea Wulf. I really loved this book. It’s a very interesting look at how the founding fathers’ political views were very entwined with their passion for plants and agriculture. It takes a look at the revolutionary fathers and how the philosophy of
their lives as gardeners, plantsmen and farmers affected their political views and helped shaped our new nation. Their passions for gardening, agriculture and botany were important and integral parts of their lives, thoughts and political views. They believed that the way to make America successful and strong was through a successful agricultural industry. It’s a look at how our nation was founded from a totally different perspective. Anyone who has a passion for plants will really enjoy this book.
LooseLeaf April/May 2014