Thursday, May 14, 2020

For The Love of The Rose

This month’s subject is without question, my favorite. I think back to my first two roses purchased in 1976 in the Jackson Perkins ready to plant boxes. The varieties were Chrysler Imperial, a majestic deep red hybrid tea with outstanding fragrance and the world’s most beloved rose, Peace, a stunning yellow blend with reddish edge hybrid tea. The cuttings of Peace were sent to Conard Pyle in West Grove, PA. from Francois Meilland on the last plane from France before German occupation in World War II. It was introduced in 1946 on tables at the first assembly of 51 countries which made up the United Nations after the war.

Bitten by the Rose Bug

Without the benefit of the internet back then, I had to read up on rose care by purchasing an Ortho All About Roses book from the local garden center. I joined a local rose society. I became a Consultant for the American Rose Society. My garden grew from those two rose plants and topped out at 275 roses in the mid eighties. I made every growing mistake you could possibly make and learned a lot about a fascinating plant that I loved. Back then, mistakes were part of the learning curve. Some roses were poor performers, some susceptible to disease, and they were time consuming to spray weekly, prune, and feed. A labor of love. Experience taught me that failure was necessary to succeed and not make the same mistake twice. Now, 44 years later, are your customers as passionate about roses besides the ones available on Valentine’s Day? Well, why not?

Our National Flower

The rose is the most versatile fragrant plant variety in the industry. You will find the rose standing tall in the home and municipal gardens (first was Elizabeth Park Rose Garden in Hartford, CT 1904), in zoos (Philadelphia Zoo), along roadways, shopping centers and banks, covering barns and hillsides, provides colorful displays in amusement parks (Disney World), and provides every color hue under the sun except a true blue and black. By an act of Congress and proclamation from President Ronald Reagan, the rose became our national flower on September 23, 1986. Coincidentally, the rose world changed radically in 1987 with the introduction of the variety, Bonica, which was the very first All-American shrub rose. Bred by House of Meilland for Star Roses, it had everything a consumer wanted in a flowering plant: disease resistance, vigorous growth, winter hardy, light rose fragrance, continuous bloom, and maintenance-free care by the homeowner. The hybridizers went from creating unique varieties to carefree no-maintenance rose types almost overnight. In 2000, the Knockout rose became the fastest growing variety in rose history, selling millions of plants worldwide each year. The decline of popularity in the traditional hybrid tea rose had just begun to make room for the impressive Knockout family.

Make It Easy

Continuing with the trend to make everything easy and convenient in rose gardening, the tasks needed to be successful are reduced greatly. To start, plant the rose deep enough in the hole to make the bud union level with the ground surface. Use high quality planting soils which are readily available today versus using manures. The rule of thumb to simplify is 1/3 existing topsoil, 1/3 high quality planting soil, and possibly 1/3 sand if drainage is needed. Roses don’t like “wet feet” or standing water as they are heavy feeders and need solid and steady uptake of nutrients and moisture from a good root system. Feeding is simple. Choose an organic rose fertilizer that won’t burn and feed as directed, usually monthly amounts until stopping the applications in September. There are combination chemicals that are mixed with water distributed around the base of the rose bush once every 4-6 weeks as directed using a drench method. These combo solutions prevent disease and insects as they are absorbed into the rose bush. Pruning may or may not be needed to remove spent blooms and maintain a tidy plant. It depends mostly upon the rose variety. Do not prune rose climbers during the first year as they need the long canes the following year to produce laterals for trusses of bloom. Some rose varieties are more susceptible to disease than others, especially blackspot. These are spotted leaves that “start” at the base of the plant and move upwards (and outwards to other roses) eventually defoliating the plant. When you see these spots form on leaves, remove them and the fallen leaf debris surrounding the base. Discard them in the trash before disease spores splatter and spread. Begin using a “curative” disease control that has the active ingredient, Daconil, by spraying the leaf surface as following the directions as stated on the bottle. Water only in the morning to allow leaves to dry throughout the day.

Did you know a climbing rose named New Dawn, was the very first plant patent issued in our country back in 1931? Ironically, it wasn’t a hybrid rose plant, but a sport or offspring. This historical plant in our industry is still sold today at many garden centers across the country.

The rose is a plant everyone should grow and share with family and friends. It’s OK to hand out a fresh bouquet of Knockout roses, too! It would make me smile.

Rose Related Products


Rose Rx Systemic Drench
No 80100150

Buy Now

Classic Gardener's Watering Can
No 80250318

Buy Now

Wooden Ladder Trellis Brown
No 80161246

Buy Now

Wooden Ladder Trellis White
No 80161248

Buy Now

Fung-onil RTU qt.
No 80100143

Buy Now

Fung-onil Con. Pt.
No 80100038

Buy Now

Fung-onil Con. Qt.
No 80100198

Buy Now

Rose-tone 4-3-2 4lb
No 80030021

Buy Now

Rose-tone 4-3-2 8lb
No 80030038

Buy Now

Rose-tone 4-3-2 18lb
No 80030111

Buy Now

Stonington Blend Organic Plant Food 5-2-4
No 81600015

Buy Now

Forged Aluminum Handle Bypass Pruner #2
No 81930004

Buy Now

Forged Aluminum Handle Bypass Pruner #6
No 81930005

Buy Now

Forged Aluminum Handle Bypass Pruner Angled 8.5"
No 81930007

Buy Now

Cobscook Blend Garden Soil 1 CF
No 81600004

Buy Now

Cobscook Blend Garden Soil 2 CF
No 81600003

Buy Now



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Friday, April 17, 2020

Emerging Trends from Homeowners

After a month of self-containment and communicating with garden center owners, sales team members, and listening to media reports, there are some interesting developments that are changing our lawn and garden industry…maybe forever. The early signals are evident that America is gardening, or at the very least trying to. Garden centers that are open are reporting brisk curbside sales of bagged and bulk mulch, soil conditioners, manures, and various garden soils. The store’s home delivery trucks have been busier than ever. There is audible activity in the neighborhood from chain saws, shovels, and power washers when the weather cooperates. The visible activity is shown by the yard debris roadside or fresh mulched garden beds. Plants, trees, and bulbs are blooming. The grass is greening up. What we don’t see, is what’s happening on the other side of the fence.
Retailers and even internet providers are reporting outages of packaged vegetable and herb seeds. Not just their store, but the supplier, too! Something else is selling down, as these seed packs need complimentary products: pots, trays, seed starting soil, and maybe lighting. Many retailers with live vegetable and herb plants are seeing them disappear as quickly as they arrive from the grower. It just feels more than just a trend, it seems more like a purpose. It’s anyone’s guess to see how this translates into sales throughout the spring and into the summer months when people are permitted to get out and shop at a garden center again. My humble opinion is that it is only the beginning and tip of the iceberg.
We have lived most, if not all our lives in a disposable world of excess and freedom to spend our time and money leisurely as we desired. My parents were “Depression” era children who reminded me many times during my childhood that some days their dinner feast was a dozen ears of corn and loaf of bread. The return of the Victory Gardens means you grow what you can not source. It resonates with today’s consumers that are struggling to find produce in their local supermarkets. A new normal might be to home garden and be confident that you will safely be in control what you put on your dinner table. With food demand strained by availability, combined with the possible decline of many local restaurants to choose from in the future, we are on the fast track of learning how to cook our own meals, eat healthier, and in some ways, conserve by preserving leftovers. We might need to keep a closer eye on the Food Network and their easy to make recipes using fresh veggies and herbs. The consumer is adjusting. Food and beverage are the two largest connecting points in our society next to family and maybe television.
Spring is coming soon. We are in this together for the long haul adjusting our business to meet the demands of the customer. Get ready. The homeowner has prepared in their mind, that they are going to spend more time around their home and…in the garden! Are you ready for the new demands?
View our Griffin Retail catalog online for more great vendors and products for your store shelves.
Stay safe!

Store Category Check List

Seed Starting
Seed Starting has seen a huge boost in sales from customers looking to start their own garden. The threat of produce shortages and fear from perishables becoming contaminated, puts more consumers in line with growing their own.


Vendors
: Jiffy, Delta, Luster Leaf, Premier, Coast of Maine, Hydrofarm, Espoma, Fox Farm

Products
: Seed starting soils, labels, trays, coir, spray bottles, heat mats, lighting, vermiculite, perlite

Vegetables & Herbs
Another segment that is taking hold is outdoors in the garden. The cries of a renewal of the Victory Garden is ringing clear to consumers everywhere. More first-time vegetable gardeners are on the doorstep and need help and guidance in our stores.
Vendors: Smart Pot, Novelty, Bonide, Coast of Maine, Frey Brothers, Espoma, Hoffman, Fox Farm, Premier, Lambert, Gilmore, Flexon, Panacea, Lebanon, Neptune’s Harvest, Healthy Grows, Safer, Luster Leaf, Radians, Bond Mfr.
Products: Containers, watering cans, planter boxes, composts, packaged granular fertilizers, liquid fertilizers, garden soils, soil amendments, soaker hoses, trellis, cages, labels, corn gluten, organic or all-natural chemistry, gloves, manures, hardwood stakes, vinyl coated garden stakes


Houseplants
Bringing some green indoors is breaking out across the country in foliage and small seasonal color plants. Indoor plants continue to rake in sales with cacti, succulents, ferns, and foliage.
Vendors: Jack’s Classic, Delta, Curtis Wagner, Novelty, Bloem, Curtis Wagner, Classic Home & Garden. Deroma, Arcadia, Espoma, Hoffman,
Products: small to medium containers and plastics, terra cotta, saucers, hand sprayers, liquid fertilizers, small bag indoor potting soils, soil covers, bark, small stone, plant stands and baker racks


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Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Spring Fever

There is only one kind of fever that we should look forward to, and that is spring fever. Our industry will be challenged to keep moving forward once we see an uptick in customers arriving at the garden centers. Consumers spending more time outside in your yard, brings a heightened awareness to extra tasks. With favorable weather across most of the USA, the homeowner is well ahead of clean up chores and chomping at the bit to get their lawns in shape. 

Lawn Care Dilemma

Are we ahead of schedule or not there just yet? If magnolia trees and forsythia are in bloom, it’s time to begin working in the yard. Temperature plays an important measure of timing. This year, the average temperatures have been 8 degrees warmer than normal in many regions.  There are some products that are perfect to use for preventing crabgrass when making a late application to prevent. Dimension is a trademarked chemical that works to prevent and kill crabgrass that germinates up to the second set of leaves. Usually any pre-emergent crabgrass application is applied within two weeks of the forsythia flower drop off. You can bet that post emergent solutions will have more demand due to the late start by many consumers. 

Newer technology offers some unique combination weed control products. These are granular applications that treat for crabgrass AND broadleaf weeds. Lebanon Spring Fertilizer with Weed Control & Crabgrass Preventer 24-0-6 is a complete food that lasts up to 12 weeks without excessive growth. Without the early fertilizer application in the lawn, all types of weeds begin to grow where soil is exposed in your lawn. Jonathan Green and Bonide also offer fantastic premium fertilizers that prevent crabgrass (with Dimension).

If your lawn has been consistently healthy without major weed issues, you may be able to ward off weeds naturally with a slow and steady diet of organic nutrients. There are a few noteworthy products to mention: Milorgonite, Ringer Lawn Restore, and Espoma All Season Lawn Food. Maintaining a healthy lawn is possible with scheduled feedings and spot treating visible weeds. The thicker the grass in your lawn, the less likely weed seeds will have access to sunlight to germinate. Cutting your grass at the correct height is also a must for success. Lowering the mower blade level and scalping grass tops will encourage disease, produce more weeds, heat buildup, and likely excessive watering.

Natural Broadleaf Weed Control

Corn gluten meal has been a proven broadleaf weed preventer that was successfully field tested as far back as 1974 at Iowa State University. One of the most unique products over the past decade, you may offer Espoma Weed Preventer 9-0-0 or Sustane Spring Weed & Feed 9-0-0 as an organic alternative for weed control that is safe for children and pets, too!

Starting Over

A basic knowledge of lawn care can go a long way towards success or failure. If you feel you need to start over, it all starts with a good grass seed that lasts years, not months. There are many perennial types to choose from: perennial, bluegrass, tall fescue, hard fescue, and special use types like poa trivialis, zoysia, and bentgrass. Avoid grass seed that is predominately annual grass seed unless you want quick coverage for a short duration. When you read a package label, it is either a blend (a combination of the same type of grass variety) a mixture (a combination of different type grass varieties) or one specific variety. To make it easier to sell consumers, grass seed packages are generally labelled for what consumers need for their home. Sunny, shady, sun & shade, bluegrass, drought tolerant, quick grow, sod quality, dense shade, might need a place on the shelf for these reasons. Some grass seeds are versatile enough to be used for both sun & shade (the most commonly sold grass seed in stores). The selection process can be difficult without asking your customer some questions about their grass conditions. 

The Final Word

Having the correct pH in your yard is important to ensuring that the fertilizer you put down will perform correctly. If the soil is too acidic, you will need to recommend lime to your customer, preferably a quick acting lime. Once applied at the correct rate, grass seed needs to germinate by contacting seed to the soil along with needed moisture. Your fertilizer choice for starting a new lawn or renovating existing grass, should be a quality starter fertilizer formulated for lawns. These specific fertilizers include needed phosphorous for enhancing root growth when seeding. This is the second number of the fertilizer formula. Espoma, Greenview, and Jonathan Green offer high quality lawn starters. Do not use a crabgrass preventer fertilizer UNLESS it is labeled for new lawn seeding. This specific type of pre-emergent chemical (Tupersan) is safe for seeding while preventing crabgrass. Greenview and Jonathan Green make a terrific crabgrass preventer and starter product for retail sales. It may cost a few dollars more out of pocket in the beginning, but it saves you time and more money in controlling future weeds. 



Great Lawn Care Products


Weed Preventer 9-0-0 25lb
No 80030083

Buy Now

All Season Lawn Food 9-0-0 14lb
No 80030126

Buy Now

All Season Lawn Food 9-0-0 28lb
No 80030125

Buy Now

Crabgrass Preventer and Fertilizer Granuals 5M
No 80100109

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Crabgrass Preventer and Fertilizer Granuals 15M
No 80100110

Buy Now

Sun and Shade Grass Seed 3lb
No 80100086

Buy Now

Sun and Shade Grass Seed 7lb
No 80100087

Buy Now

Spring Fertilizer with Weed Control & Crabgrass Preventer 24-0-6 5M
No 80350003

Buy Now

spring Fertilizer with Weed Control & Crabgrass Preventer 24-0-6 10M
No 80350004

Buy Now

Spring Weed & Feed 9-0-0 30lb
No 80950007

Buy Now

Ringer 0% Phosphate Lawn Restore Fertilizer 25lb
No 80191457

Buy Now

Green-Up Lawn Food & Crabgrass Preventer 20-0-3 5M
No 81430160

Buy Now

Green-Up Lawn Food & Crabgrass Preventer 20-0-3 15M
No 81430161

Buy Now

Black and Beauty Sun and Shade 1lb
No 81430048

Buy Now

Black and Beauty Sun and Shade 3lb
No 81430014

Buy Now

Black and Beauty Sun and Shade 7lb
No 81430050

Buy Now

Black and Beauty Sun and Shade 15lb
No 81430051

Buy Now



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Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Under Pressure



There are very few items sold in the garden center that we go to the effort of researching into product specifications, quality, and warranty/guarantee. Consumers are attracted to unique design elements and certainly packaging and color, but are they looking beyond these? Here are specific products that are sold in the garden center that should receive consideration from owner/buyers to satisfy a growing trend in meeting a higher expectation from the purchaser on performance needs.

Bend Me, Shape Me…and Please Don’t Break

One of the more commonly sold products in our garden centers is the garden hose. It provides a way to take water from the spigot to the source or task. There are many chores from watering lawns, filling pools, washing cars, draining objects, and extending run off. Did you know that there are different types of garden hoses with a wide range of performance, sizes, and composition? The quality of the hose is usually measured by light duty, medium duty, and heavy-duty types along with a varied range of burst strengths, and temperatures. Most common garden hose failures are due to using a non-specific hose that is not intended for any and all uses under any weather condition. Attraction to only a cheaply priced hose can lead to a replacement sooner than expected by your customer. Stock and sell the best suited garden hoses (and its warranty) for your customer base and their needs. 

Beauty Beyond Skin Depth

Garden hoses are made from reinforced vinyl or rubber. Vinyl hoses have multiple layers of rubber, vinyl, and nylon reinforcement cords surrounding all components. These cord reinforcements are referred to as ply. The same type of technology used when making vehicle tires. The higher the ply of a hose, it also increases the life of the hose as well. Gilmour manufactures their premium Flexogen and Flexogen Pro hose with 8-ply construction which is among the highest in the industry! It is designed to resist scuffing, abrasion, staining and is UV protected against the sun. No surprise in that it receives a lifetime warranty for purchasers. Companies like Flexon, use high quality recycled materials in their products with warranties up to 10 years. Heat or excess temperatures degrade the integrity of strength in hoses which causes many to burst or break. Many hoses kink and shut off water supply because of this. Most all contractor and heavy-duty hoses have crush proof couplings and increased burst strengths to handle pressure. Cold weather can also break or crack many reinforced types, which is why the year-round rubber hose is a better choice. Rubber hoses can also be water saving due to its inner depth. Dramm manufactures one of the highest quality retail rubber hoses on the market with a smaller opening to reduce product fatigue and conserve water flow. Growers have come to rely on Dramm professional hose as the best in the biz! Retailers also are finding out that their clientele are buying Dramm hose for more than just its bright color, too!

Proud to Be American

Another purchasing consideration for both owner/buyer and the consumer, is where the products are manufactured. The movement of today’s news and research from consumer feedback continues to drive pressure in buying and selling American made products in our retail store environments. Make sure you identify these companies and their products at the shelf or display. Dramm and Flexon have manufactured their hose products in the USA for many years. No pressure, just satisfied customers!


Products to Consider That Involve Pressure


Premium Rubber Hose 50'
No 80170053

Buy Now

Premium Soaker Hose 50'
No 80170054

Buy Now

Tree Soaker Ring 5'
No 80170058

Buy Now

Tree Soaker Ring 10'
No 80170059

Buy Now

Forever-Flow Premium HD 50'
No 80560004

Buy Now

Forever-Flow Premium HD 100'
No 80560006

Buy Now

Aqua Coil Hose 25'
No 80560075

Buy Now

Aqua Coil Hose 50'
No 80560076

Buy Now

Spraymaster Sprayer 32 oz.
No 81690013

Buy Now

ComfortGEL Bypass Pruner
No 81380008

Buy Now

LED Mini Greenhouse Kit
No 81740074

Buy Now

T5HO Mini Greenhouse Kit
No 81740075

Buy Now

LED Mini Greenhouse Kit with light stand
No 81740080

Buy Now

Light Warrior Potting Soil 1 cuft
No 82000169

Buy Now

American Hand Flag 4"x6"
No 80360017

Buy Now

American Hand Flag 8"x12"
No 80360018

Buy Now

American Hand Flag 12"x18"
No 80360019

Buy Now



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