Getting ready for 2015

Hi all! We’re already hard at work in the greenhouse, getting things ready for the 2015 season. Last year I got a little backed up with sharing photos (by which I mean, I shared none at all); it’s my sincere hope to do a better job of that this year so that everyone can see what goes into growing our great selection of plants. I take pictures of the whole greenhouse every week so that we have a visual record for our own use of where and when things get planted or building projects get completed. Every week from here on out I’ll try to share some of those so that you can see what goes on behind the scenes here at Sammis Greenhouse.

Mid-December, 2014: Our first shipments of around 100,000 unrooted cuttings arrive this time every year. Why so early? With the shorter days and lower temperatures (even with the heat on), it takes longer for the plants to grow. It can take several weeks for the cuttings to grow roots, a few more to get big enough to plant, and then after being planted, several more months to fill out a hanging basket! We actually started our ferns in August of 2014. Wow.

The boxes are held for us at the airport, and we have to pick them up so that the plants are not transported/held all day in an unheated truck. When they get to the greenhouse, we open the boxes and sort them out, grouping the bags of cuttings together by variety and species. This can get confusing, since we’re getting thousands at a time! Cuttings are typically sold in increments of 100, so the bags typically contain 50 or 100 depending on the size.Still— a lot of bags!

Each person on the team has a work station of trays and a nail for punching holes, and might be assigned certain cuttings based on their speed or skill level. Some cuttings do better in smaller or larger cells, so we have different types of trays on hand to work with. The trays have differing numbers of cells, but are the same overall size, so a tray of 200 has smaller cells than a 105, but both take up the same amount of space on the table. We have two long tables that are heated, and others that are not. Some plants need that heat to help them root well, some don’t mind the cool.

That’s all for now! I have the past few weeks to share, and at some point we’ll catch up and then have a weekly post. Enjoy! Stay warm!

–Leigh Ann

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