Thursday, November 28, 2019

Prepping for winter.

Prepping for winter takes a lot of planning.  We've ordered new rolls of plastic covering for our greenhouses.  We use only Warp's Plastic and have for 30 years.  We did try a different variety one year and it literally sucked.  Warp's plastic is tough as nails.  If you get a hole in it you can pull pretty damn hard before it expands.  When you cover thousands of dollars of plants with a double layer of plastic - you want the very best plastic.  We really need to stay ahead of our plastic needs because a 200 foot roll length is a special order and it takes them several weeks to make it and a week longer to get it.  We try to keep five rolls on hand at all times.

We attended our buying show in Denver with GardenWise distributors in September.  We did buy a lot of garden and yard d├ęcor.  A big expense and hoping it will sell well.  Our plastic pots, inserts, and trays will arrive the first week of January.  Our soil arrived last month and we have much of it stored inside to keep it from freezing.

Our first shipment of plants will arrive the second week of January and I haven't even started to clean and prep the buildings for their arrival.  There is lots to do.  We do have one small building running as we have our cordyline growing so it's large enough to use the middle of February.  Our perennial building is full.  Daytime temps of about 45 to 50 degrees and nighttime temps of 35 to 40 degrees.  This allows us to overwinter a perennial with good success.  We'll clear this greenhouse out the middle of March and fill it with bump up pots.

We have just had our first major snow storm of the season.  Nine inches of snow and 35 mph winds have created some nice drifts and required about 3 hours on the tractor to clear a path to work.  I'm hoping winter it kind as last spring was a tough one.  We are due for a season with less grief and stress!

Sunday, March 24, 2019

March 24, 2019

2019 has been a tough spring.  We had one greenhouse that was a victim of the flooding in March.  This greenhouse was built seven years ago and we did some work with a transit and grading to assure the water would run away from the building during a typical rain.  What we had in March wasn't rain and definitely wasn't typical.  We have a four acre alfalfa field to the south of this greenhouse and when the snow melted and the rain came there was simply no place for it to go.  As the ground was frozen and could not penetrate the alfalfa field, it started heading north and one bay of this building was in the way.  We had approximately 1000 bump up pots that sat in water for a very short time.  We hung them as fast as we could in every place we could possible hang a pot.  When the water drained, I placed a call to my Ball Horticulture rep and asked him to find the best horticulturalist he knew and ask what the best systemic fungicide was to use in this situation.  We ordered it and applied as quickly as we could.  We had little to no damage from the flooding.  I believe we were lucky the flooding happened when it did.  Mature plants can take more abuse than young plants.  I believe if this flood would have occurred two weeks earlier we would have lost plants.  Interestingly enough, we learned that succulents love flood water.  A few days after the flooding, we had some succulent bowls that absolutely looked spectacular.  I checked this building at 5:00 am and there was no water in it.  At 8:00 am the building was flooded.  It was amazing how fast things can change.