With the annual meeting over, now the real work begins as bare root orders of roses have arrived to be quickly pruned and potted as well as a whole slew of perennial plugs and bare root plants. Planting in our production house makes it pleasant as the temperature is about 55º F.

The perennials will be potted here as it saves so much time not having to pot elsewhere and then having to move them again.  Three potters pot the plants from a wagon with a bin that is filled with about 8 yds³ of tree and shrub mix.  Behind the potters is a conveyor on which a flat of 6 one gallon perennials are placed and will be progressively pushed onward to the end of the conveyor as they are fertilized and the picture tag fastened along with the price tag.

When complete, the flats are set down tightly and after which the plants are watered with a weak fertilizer solution of 20-10-20 and for which they will receive at least two more waterings until the slow release fertilizer comes online.

Roses are typically potted in the equipment barn where it is dark and cool which serves to help the roots from drying out.  The plants once potted are loaded onto a wagon with five across and then taken into what we call the rose house where they are fertilized and watered and will “cook” inside the house at about 28º-35ºF so that the roots have time to grow until available for sale just before Mother’s Day.

Next comes the opening of the nursery in a few days for which we have been preparing by cleaning and stocking the store shelves.

How did winter go by so fast?