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Welcome to 2015!

New Year, New You! These are words you see everywhere during the month of January. While I usually hear it in reference to going to the gym, I think the beginning of the year is a perfect time to look back at what worked and what can be improved upon whether it is in your home, yard or workplace. Besides, when it is so cold out, it is nice to think about flowers.

One of the things that we tried a couple years ago was marking our shipping carts with different colored electrical tape. It serves two purposes. 1) to make it easier to get the shelf on straight the first time, and 2) getting the spacing of the shelves correct for all the different sizes of pots we use during planting. Now that we know it works, we are going to paint the markings on the carts this winter. We just need a day that warm enough to paint. Luckily, the greenhouses warm up pretty quickly if we gets some sunny days above 0 degrees.

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Last year we tried labeling carts as we plant, both with a number and the day of the week (thank you, Mona). We can’t always unload plants right away so sometimes plants will have to stay on the carts for a day or two before they get placed. We try not to leave them on carts for more then two days because they will start to stretch. We found that we can plant well over 30 carts in one day.

We also started labeling the carts during shipping. By simply marking the ‘2nd’ or’18th’ we were able to streamline the shipping process quite a bit. Now, the delivery people can grab a cart and take it right where it goes without having to ask the people that are pulling the order. It is so simple that I can’t believe that we never did it before!

One big step we are doing to improve our efficiency for the upcoming year is utilizing some space for a Headhouse. This will be a spot that almost everything will move through before ending up where we will grow it. We will be moving our planting line and potting bench into the Headhouse and changing the space where we used to plant into a growing area. The original spot was such a hub for everything that the space got very tight, very quickly. While I’m sure that it will take a season or two to figure out the right placement for everything it will be nice to have a little more elbow room!

Something else to look forward to in the spring is the beautiful new Perennials we will be carrying in 2015. Here is a sneak peek at one of the new Daylilys!

Daylily_When_My_Sweetheart_Returns

To help with the winter doldrums, I’ll be doing some highlights on the new Perennial varieties for 2015 throughout the next couple months. Stay tuned!

Written by

Cathy Maxson is Sargent's Gardens Perennial Growing manager. In addition to making sure Sargent's grown plants thrive, she enjoys growing in her own garden, canning fruits and vegetables, traveling, and walking her dogs.