Wow. What a year so far. The intensity of the past spring has begun to wane, but the wholesale crew has already been busy getting ready for fall. In the past 2 weeks, 25,509 pots for 9-inch mums have been filled with soil, moved to the field, placed in rows, planted with 1 plant each, fertilized, and given a tag.
2,176 more mums have been planted into 6-inch pots and another 3,120 mums into 4.5-inch pots. We have also planted 1,552 ornamental peppers into 6-inch pots, and another 3,840 into 4.5-inch pots. While that’s a LOT of plants, we’re also trying new things! This year we will have a few crops of sunflowers; the first crop of 10-inch pots and 7-inch pots (just over 100 pots of each) were planted this week.
While the planting is going on, we are also still sticking cuttings for shipment to Ball Seed customers. Our largest shipment was 30,000 mums to a customer in Hopkinsville, Kentucky last month. And this week we shipped out our first crop of poinsettias to Illinois. It’s hard to believe that we’re already thinking of the holiday season.
Our fall and winter catalog is now available online – check out our online pdf here. Now’s the perfect time to start planning your fall plantings and holiday décor!
Mother Nature is keeping our native plants in dormancy right now, but Greenstreet Wholesale is busy growing all kinds of things. Since Jan 1st, more than a quarter of a million unrooted cuttings have shipped into Greenstreet Growers. They arrive via FedEx or UPS in small plastic baggies, 100 cuttings per bag. Our crew plants each cutting one at a time into a plug tray – this is known as “sticking” the cuttings. Most of these cuttings go into 102 plug trays – a tray with 102 cells for planting. Others will go into 50 cell plug trays. Each tray is given a label to correctly identify the variety as well as the week the plants were “stuck” and the week they will be ready to ship out or transplant. Not all plants have the same growth schedule. Many items need 4 to 5 weeks to root out in the plug tray, but some items like Duranta need 8 weeks and many Coleus only need 3 weeks to be ready.
In addition to sticking the unrooted cuttings, wholesale has transplanted over 10,550 plugs of begonias, portulaca, vinca, and a few other plants into slightly larger plug trays. Many plugs arrive in 288 or 512 trays (288 plants per 11″ x 21.5” tray or 512 plants per 11” x 21.5” tray). Most of these plugs get transplanted in 50 cell trays – 50 plugs per 11” x 21.5” tray. 3700 Canna Cannova seeds have been planted by our team into 50 cell trays. They will be transplanted to 1-gallon pots soon.
There are 19,050 geraniums sitting in our main greenhouse right now – waiting to be transplanted. They will go into hanging baskets, 8″ pots, 6″ pots, and many 4.5″ pots.
For more immediate use, more than 80,000 plugs of pansies, violas, snapdragons, and dianthus have been planted into 804 cell packs, 4″ pots, and 6″ pots. Those will be ready to arrive in the stores in early March.
1218 Hydrangeas arrived a couple of weeks ago. Our crew transplanted them into slightly larger pots and got them individually labeled.
More than 1300 perennial plugs have shipped in the last 2 weeks. The Greenstreet crew have planted some into quart containers, but most are going into 1-gallon pots. Every single one is hand-potted, labeled, and given a price sticker.
The succulent team has been very busy planting hundreds (maybe thousands?) of baby succulents – of all different shapes and colors.
January is probably the closest Wholesale comes to a “slow period”. For the next 10 weeks, the volume and the pace will continue to increase.
Summer is officially over and we are running full blast into fall. After various setbacks with soil delivery delays and machinery breaking down, the last of the 6″ pansies and violas were finally planted last Saturday.
More than 200,000 6″ pots, and 500,000 4″ pots have been planted by our crew. Already the first crops are looking fabulous and they are shipping out to customers from Delaware to Pennsylvania to Virginia to DC and across Maryland.
Even before the last pansies were planted, the crew had begun work on spacing out the large poinsettias. The 8″ and 10″ poinsettias had been kept in close quarters for the last few weeks to facilitate watering and pinching back. Now that they are really starting to grow, they need more space. All of Greenhouse 20 will be used to accommodate the large poinsettias. Each potted plant is set on an inverted black pot that gives it a little height off the ground to promote a little more air circulation. Each pot is spaced at very specific measurements – in all directions – to allow the maximum number of plants and still be given adequate spacing. After the plants are moved and set, irrigation lines are run and inserted into every pot.
Although we grow many of our wholesale products, there are some items we ship in. In the spring, it is the tropicals – the hibiscus, mandevilla, various palm trees, and more. In the fall, it is evergreens and other shrubs. Yuccas, boxwoods, and a few thujas arrived a few weeks ago. Today our largest fall order arrived from Oregon. More than 1100 items, from 1 gallon to 15 gallons showed up in a big 18-wheeler. It took more than 90 minutes to get those items offloaded with at least 10 people helping move material. All by hand. One at a time.
This week, 4,600 4.5″ and 5,000 6″ poinsettias have been trimmed. The 8″ and 10″ poinsettias are showing lots of new growth after their trimming.
Mums are shipping out – 2,641 mums are being delivered tomorrow; 2,486 are going to one customer alone.
Our team member Silvia has been making beautiful combo pots with a mixture of fall annuals with lots of colors.
2,000 kale have been planted in 4.5″ pots.
In the last 4 weeks, we have received 1,174,080 pansy/viola plugs. In a perfect world, we would have had everything planted by now, but delays due to soil machines breaking down, late deliveries of soil, and having all the pots have put us a little behind.
The majority of the 6in pots and trays arrived in July, but we found out 2 weeks ago that 40% of the trays had been back-ordered until November. We managed to track down some additional trays and pots – later in the season we will have some 6in pansies and violas in 6 count trays instead of 8 count trays. But we did get them!
80% of the 4in pots have been planted. About 68% of the 6in have been planted. Currently, there are 98 carts each with 40 trays of newly planted pots in our greenhouse waiting to be set down. This week the crew will be working hard to get the last 250,000 plants into their respective pots.
We hope to see some of the first crops of 4″ pansies ship to the stores this week.
The last 2 weeks in wholesale may not have had the feeling of urgency we normally experience, but there was still lots going on. 5000 poinsettias were planted into 6.5″ pots, 4000 poinsettias were planted into 4.5″ pots, and another 1125 poinsettias were planted into hanging baskets (there are only 125 baskets, but each one takes 9 poinsettia plants). And finally – every pot is appropriately tagged.
Additionally, 2800 6″ pots of mums and 4000 4.5″ pots of mums were spaced and separated to allow them additional room to grow. Each tray now has half the number of pots they normally carry – every other space is empty. 9″ pots for kale/cabbage were filled with soil and set out along the big production field. So far over 3000 pots are prepped and ready – but that is less than half of what will be needed for the plugs arriving this week.
Pots have also been getting prepped for pansy/viola planting. Right now there are 28 pallets of 4in pots stacked in trays in the production area. Each pallet has approximately 160 trays – giving us over 80,000 pots ready to go. However, we will need more than 110,000 pots for the first round of plugs arriving this week.
While greenhouses and the production area get cleaned and prepped for the fall planting about to start, the crew is still pulling landscape orders every day and shipping items to the stores. And there is always the watering to do.
We occasionally get asked when the “slow” season is for wholesale. After 20 years, we’re still wondering just when we might get a slow season……