Herbaceous Perennials Production: A Guide from Propagation to Marketing

Publication Number: NRAES-93
Cost: $27.00
Length: 208 pages
ISBN: 0-935817-29-8

This publication is a comprehensive information source that considers the diversity of situations encountered by perennial growers in businesses of all sizes. Key chapters in the book discuss production systems and schedules, propagation (including media, nutrients, environmental requirements, and methods); plug production; transplant and seedling care; nursery and field production; pest control (including deer and small animals); and forcing out-of-season bloom. Practical discussions about starting a business, marketing and customer service, setting prices for plants, and designing a production facility are included as well.

Appendices detail propagation methods and requirements for hundreds of species, optimum germination conditions for specific perennials and biennials, pests and diseases, and useful calculations and conversions. Thirty-eight figures, 45 tables, a glossary, and an extensive references section supplement the text. (1998)

At last...a publication about growing perennial plants for commercial production! In Herbaceous Perennials Production: A Guide from Propagation to Marketing, Dr. Leonard Perry of the University of Vermont Cooperative Extension System has created a book that will interest novice and experienced commercial growers, advanced hobbyists, and floriculture and horticulture students.

Herbaceous Perennials Production is a comprehensive information source that considers the diversity of situations encountered by growers in businesses of all sizes. The 220-page book maintains a focus on production and contains information that until now was available only in piecemeal form. It discusses the basics-such as taxonomy and nomenclature, plant hardiness, the physical needs of crops, and types of irrigation systems-as well as cutting-edge, research-based information about perennial propagation and production. The focus is on nursery and greenhouse production of field or container perennials, but the greenhouse plug and bedding plant methods of production are covered as well.

Key chapters in the book discuss production systems and schedules, propagation (including media, nutrients, environmental requirements, and methods), plug production, transplant and seedling care, nursery and field production, and pest control (including deer and small animals). A chapter about forcing out-of-season bloom includes up-to-date information about research on this topic as well as a table of specific forcing requirements for over 120 perennial species and cultivars. Practical discussions about starting a business, marketing and customer service, setting prices for plants, and designing a production facility are included as well.

The publication also features a lengthy 51-page appendix that details propagation methods and requirements for hundreds of species. Other appendixes cover optimum germination conditions for specific perennials and biennials, pests and diseases, and useful calculations and conversions. Thirty-eight figures, 45 tables, a glossary, and a references section supplement the text. This book is sure to be a valuable addition to any grower's bookshelf.

Dr. Leonard Perry has been growing perennials in the United States for twenty-eight years, both in the South and in the North. He has spent summers working in industry and at the renowned Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania. Since 1981, he has been with the extension system at the University of Vermont, working directly with the industry and region, speaking at meetings locally and internationally, and touring perennial gardens and nurseries worldwide. His research during his tenure in Vermont has covered all aspects of perennial culture, particularly overwintering and hardiness.

List of Figures

List of Tables

Introduction

About This Book



Chapter 1 Starting an Business

What Can I Expect to Earn?
Will I Need to Work Full-Time?
Is There a Market for Perennials in My Area?
How Can I Find a Niche?
I've Decided on a Perennial Business - What Now?
Where Can I Get Help with Financing and Business Decisions?
What Kind of Business Should I Have?
Which Perennials Should I Sell?
If I Grow My Own Plants, Should I Grow Them in the Field or in Containers?
How Do I Price My Plants?
Where Do I Get More Information?



Chapter 2 Species and Their Characteristics

Taxonomy and Nomenclature
Standards
Hardiness
Potentially Harmful Perennials
Invasive Perennials



Chapter 3 Engineering A Production Facility

Site Selection
Adequate Land
Adequate Water
Orientation
Topography
Location of Markets
Seasonal Labor Supply
Road Accessibility
Utilities
Regulations
Site Layout
Facilities Master Plan
Nursery Production Areas
Propagation Areas
Production Greenhouses
The Headhouse
Parking
Storage
Expansion
Other Considerations



Chapter 4 Production Systems and Schedules

Spring Bedding Plant Production
Spring Production from Bare-Root Plants and Plugs
Winter Production from Bare-Root Plants
Production and Overwintering of Purchased Small Plants, Rooted Cuttings, or Small Divisions
Start-to-Finish Perennial Production in Containers
Field Production



Chapter 5 Propagation

Propagation Media
Media Components
Media for Germinating Seeds
Media for Vegetative Propagation (Cuttings)
Nutrients
Nitrogen
Phosphorus
Potassium
Secondary Macroelements
Microelements
Temperature
Watering
Propagation from Seed
Sowing to Seed Flats, Market Packs, or Cell Packs
Direct Seeding for Plugs
Seedling Storage
Vegetative Methods of Propagation
Stem Cuttings
Rhizome Cuttings
Root Cuttings
Division
Layering
Grafting
Tissue Culture



Chapter 6 Plug Production

Preproduction
Stages
Factors Influencing Plugs
Water
Temperature
Chemicals
Light
Media
Finishing



Chapter 7 Transplant and Seedling Care

Transplanting
Seedlings from Flats
Plug Seedlings
Other Transplants
Growing Media
Cell Packs
Mechanization
Mechanized Flat-Filling
Mechanized Transplanting
Environmental Considerations and Seedling Care
Supplemental Lighting
Solar Radiation and Shading
Temperature
Watering
Fertilization
pH
Growth Retardants



Chapter 8 Nursery Production

Containers
Growing Media
Measuring Media Porosities
pH Adjustment of Mixes
Fertilization
Irrigation
Overwintering Containerized Perennials
Coverless Pot-to-Pot Technique
Thermoblanket Technique
Plastic/Straw/Plastic (Sandwich) Technique
Quonset Structure Technique (Polyhouses)
Other Methods
When to Cover Unprotected Plants or Uncover Protected Plants
Overwintering Disease and Rodent Control



Chapter 9 Field Production

Preparation
Planting
After Planting
Winter Protection of Field-Grown Plants



Chapter 10 Pest Control

Diseases
Bacteria
Botrytis
Damping-Off
Downy Mildew
Leaf Spots
Nematodes
Powdery Mildew
Root Rots
Rusts
Viruses
Insects and Related Pests
Aphids
Aster Leafhopper (Macrosteles qualrilineatus)
Black Vine Weevil (Otiorhynchus sulcatus)
Cyclamen Mite (Phytonemus pallidus)
European Corn Borer (Ostrinia nubilalis)
Four-Lined Plant Bug (Poecilocapsus lineatus)
Fungus Gnats (Bradysia or Sciara Species)
Whiteflies
Japanese Beetle (Popilliae japonica)
Asiatic Garden Beetle (Maladera castanea)
Lacebugs (Tingidae)
Oriental Beetle (Anomala orientalis)
Potato Leafhopper (Empoasca fabae)
Slugs (Mollusca)
Spittlebugs (Philaenus spumarius)
Stalk Borer (Papaipema nebris)
Tarnished Plant Bug (Lygus lineolaris)
Two-Spotted Spider Mite (Tetranychus urticae)
Western Flower Thrips (Frankliniella occidentalis)
Small Animals
Deer
Weed Control
Preplant or Site Preparation
Weed Competition
Mechanical Control
Mulches
Chemical Control



Chapter 11 The Final Product

Conditioning Plants for Sale
Transport and Storage
Marketing and Merchandising
Information
Selection
Trends



Chapter 12 Forcing Out-of-Season Bloom

Bare-Root Crowns
Temperature
Growth Regulators
Light
Age and Genetics



Appendix A

Propagation Methods for Herbaceous Perennials



Appendix B

Optimum Germination Conditions for Perennials and Biennials



Appendix C

Pests, Diseases, and Problems of Herbaceous Perennials



Appendix D

Useful Conversions and calculations
Temperature Conversion Formulas
Parts per Million (ppm) Conversions
Calculating the Volume of a Round Planting Container



References

Glossary

Recommended Reading and Other Sources of Information

Publications from Cornell University
Publications from NRAES
Publications from Other Sources (Categorized by Topic)
General
General Production/Greenhouses
Propagation
Specific Plants
Pests, Diseases, Weeds, and Other Problems
Societies
Trade Publications
Perennial Information on the Internet
Perry's Perennial Pages
Plant Sources and Supplies

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