Nursery profitability is always a challenge. We talked to more than a dozen growers and industry colleagues who have become more efficient, and increased their bottom line, by improving their management, workflows, inputs and workspaces. Whether it’s a daffodil or a giant sequoia, a plant is a relatively simple closed system. Its ultimate growth is driven by basic environmental factors such as light, water, soil and accessible nutrients. The nurseries that produce these plants, however, are much more complicated.
Efficiency begins at the top. It starts with company leadership setting an expectation and empowering employees to contribute their ideas and expertise. It’s about encouraging dynamic, back-and-forth conversations in the workplace. Companies such as wholesale propagator JLPN Inc. in Salem, Oregon; wholesale grower Skagit Horticulture in Mount Vernon, Washington; Eshraghi Nurseries in Hillsboro, Oregon; wholesale […]
Although setting the tone for innovation is important, the production process is where the action takes place. Companies like Alpha Nurseries of Salem, Oregon; Robinson Nursery of Amity, Oregon; Woodburn Nursery & Azaleas of Woodburn, Oregon and others have realized great savings from revising their production processes to make them more efficient. At Alpha, manager […]
Although labor is the largest expense for many nurseries, it isn’t the only expense. Inputs such as water, fertilizer, growing media and even artificial light also impose significant costs for the grower. Entire books could be written on saving water and electricity in a nursery. The Oregon Association of Nurseries and the Oregon Environmental Council […]
In the nursery world, there’s a fine line between having too much space and not enough. Ben Verhoeven, president and general manager of Peoria Gardens, has found the secret to walking that line. “Lots of sleepless nights and coffee,” he said. “Deep breaths. Colorful language.” In all seriousness, though, utilizing a nursery’s space in the […]
Regardless of what part of the country you are in, it seems labor is tight for nurseries in need of help. We all know our businesses must reckon with limited options if we are going to remain open. One way to address the labor shortage is to do more with less. Everywhere we look, we […]
LEDs are helping nurseries gain all kinds of new efficiencies A mid-January morning in Hillsboro, Oregon: It’s gray, it’s drizzly and, most depressingly, it’s dark. Dark enough that 10:30 in the morning feels like dusk, which at this time of year comes far too early for most; dark enough that the region would be lucky to […]