Growing Green

“Committed to provide clean, cost-effective energy solutions in efforts to protect our planet”

Water Recycling

At Dayton Nursery we believe in respect for our planet and do not want to be part of environmental degradation.  This is a major reason why we have installed an  “Ebb & Flow” bench system in our greenhouse. Since all the water and fertilizer for the plants is captured and recycled, less pressure is placed on local ground water supplies. Not only is no water wasted, but runoff from our greenhouse will not contaminate creeks and streams.

Rain water is also collected to help supply our irrigation lake for watering our plants.  Plus, all of the excess irrigation water is recycled and returned to the lake for reuse again.

Solar Panels

Our solar panels (by Yellowlite) produce electricity for the nursery and offset electricity use from the grid which, in Ohio, is largely produced from fossil fuels, mainly coal.

While not a stand alone system because of the lack of battery storage, the excess power produced in the daylight hours supplies the grid and will negate any net power. Usage from the grid thus saves money and the environment, making solar power good business.

See video

Here is the equlivalent of what we’ve done so far:

– 61,204 trees planted
– 2.6 million travel miles eliminated
– 754.88 tons of coal not burned

Reducing Chemical Use

Diseases such as powdery mildew and a gray mold called botrytis can wreak havoc on foliage and flowers, especially in the greenhouse environment.

From help and research from The Ohio State University Agricultural Technical Institute in Wooster, Ohio, we have begun applying a commonly used ice melter to prevent plant diseases in our greenhouse. Dowflake’s calcium chloride, while it’s inexpensive and natural, has shown to be very effective in controlling these common greenhouse diseases.

Reducing Pesticide Use

Good bugs are becoming a major part of our pest management system. The goal is to control insect and disease on our plants without the use of harmful chemicals which are not safe for the consumer or the applicator. These biocontrols can help reduce or eliminate insecticide use in the greenhouse.



The use of the following biocontrols (plus a few not listed) will help to control the insects listed in the BAG BUGS column in a safe way.

Beneficial Nematodes

Beneficial Nematodes are microscopic, non-segmented roundworms that occur naturally in soil throughout the world. Inside the nematode’s gut is the real weapon — symbiotic bacteria that when released inside an insect kill it within 24- 48 hours.

Predatory Insects & Mites

Parasitic wasps are used to control greenhouse whitefly. They lay eggs inside whitefly larvae, which young wasps later consume and kill. Predatory mites are larger and quicker mites than the dreaded two-spotted spider mite. This is a case of a fast mite that can run down and eat the undesirable slower mites.



Thrips are our most dreaded greenhouse pest. They can strip and scar petals, leaves and other plant parts and are best known for attacking verbenas, mums, gerberas and dahlias.

These small, soft-bodied insects can survive anywhere and multiply quickly, and attack leaves, stems, buds, flowers, fruit and roots, depending on species. Most all greenhouse stock is susceptible to aphid infestation.

Whitefly most commonly infests poinsettias in our greenhouse. The whiteflies feed on plant sap (common on poinsettia), much like aphids. Whiteflies can also infect, impatiens, lantana, coleus, mandevilla and hibiscus.



The use of many biocontrols from the Koppert Biological Systems helps us control thrips, aphids and whiteflies in the greenhouse environment.   Do not be alarmed when you see a hanging white bag or yellow tag when purchasing one of our hanging baskets, these items are safe and filled with the “good bugs”

Growing Green Blogs

Read Tom Dayton’s blogs related to the beginning of the “growing green” process here at the nursery from 2008 to 2011.