|Just a small sampling of our pile.|
We also talk to our soil reps...and order lots and lots of soil mix...a whole semi truckload in fact. The soil mix comes in large bags like you see here.
Next we begin in Febuar to begin to get the greenhouses ready for a new crop. New plastic is often put on the greenhouses and benches are put in place.
Growing from SeedSome of our plants are grown from seed....like vegetable plants, Wave petunias, and zinnias. Mike starts these with his special seeder. The seeder uses air suction t
o make sure you can get only one seed in each of the little holes. It's important not to waist seed as some of it is very very small and can be very expensive (impatien seeds are actually more valubale by weight then gold). At the right you can see the planter. The seeds are poured out into the silver tray. Then the planter uses air to pick up one seed for each of the different nozels. Then he presses a lever to release the air and let the seeds fall into each of the different mini "pots". The seeds are watered from below by setting them in a tub of water. This insures that they don't get washed away.
Mike then puts these seed trays under grow lamps (which you may see in the back of the farm store in the spring) and on heating pads to help them germinate. When they have germinated they can be moved over to the greenhouses to continue to grow and be transplanted.
Growing from Plugs
In today's world of plants, there are many plants that we can't grow from seed. This may be because this particular plant (typically flowers) are only propogated by cuttings (like in the case of the geraniums we grow) or because the plant is patented and is only available in baby plant format from a supplier (like the Proven Winners plants we sell). So...most of our flowers actually come to us as very small plants. They arrive either by Next Day Air Fedex or often they are flown in and we drive to the airport to pick them up. (Yes, your plants actually may have been on a plane before they get to you!) We get these plants when they are very very young. You can see here pictured some of the plants.
|Baby Proven Winners Plants|
|Baby Vinca Plants|
|They are quite small.|
So, how do we get those plants in pots? Well...first we have to fill the pots with soil.
|Our pot filler. The soil goes in the top and you feed the pots through.|
|The forkflift is used to lift the large bags of soil up to put it in the pot filler.|
We use a special board to poke holes for the plants. Then we use another tool to take the plants out of their trays...and we put them into the tray of soil.
|Freshly transplated impatiens.|
Then the plants are ready for Mike's TLC. He waters them and fertilizes them...and we think talks to them to. He really does treat each type of plant with just what is needed to be able to thrive.