Skip to comments.Nurseries Struggle With Lagging Economy
Posted on 02/15/2010 7:10:14 AM PST by Diana in Wisconsin
PORTLAND, Ore. Like his father, grandfather and great-grandfather, David Niklas feels the quickening of spring as the season ramps up at his wholesale nursery in a farming community south of Portland. Niklas and his workers busily package plants for shipment.
These days, his flowers and vegetable seedlings have fewer places to go, as the housing bubble burst and the state and national economies flatlined.
Just three years after reaching a record high of almost $1 billion in sales, Oregon's nursery industry has plummeted into an historic slump. Nurseries are laying off employees, cutting costs and foregoing new buildings and equipment.
A few, like Niklas' Clackamas Greenhouses, have gone bankrupt.
"The family has poured money into it as we tried to restructure it and make new markets," said Niklas, who had to file bankruptcy after losing almost half his sales when his primary retailer was bought out. "Commercial lenders aren't talking to me because I'm coming out of bankruptcy.
"They aren't even talking to GM, so why would they talk to a little nursery?"
(Excerpt) Read more at google.com ...
How much work is there in planting blue berries?
Years ago, I brought one or two bunches of dry shallot bulbs home from the farm and planted them in my small garden. Every year I would pull the entire bunches out and break into separate plants and stick them back into the ground again.
During the summer, I would pull an entire bunch when there were about 12 or 15 individual stalks for eating. I gave away bunches of shallots every year. Late in the year, I would take two or three plants and let them air dry for fall planting.
Digging a hole in a sunny spot and amending the soil so it has a more alkaline PH is all there is to it. You also need a freezing cold winter for good fruit set the next season; that’s why blueberries are a Northern Thang.
Also - protection with netting or fencing from birds, rabbits and deer. The also attract raccoon and bear if there are bear in your area. ;)
I like ‘Patriot’ for a really big bush (6 foot!) with big, plentiful berries; also makes a nice landscape plant.
Yes; 3 or 4 types of gooseberries for sale, and currants. Lots of ‘Russian’ stuff like Seaberry and Moutain Ash, etc.
We looked; no luck for us as it was overcast. But thanks for the reminder. We spend a lot of time gazing up at the Heavens, feeling insignificant, LOL!
I have seen them a half dozen times over my life from this latitude; saw them in Canada a lot when summer camping in the Boundry Waters. :)
Zone 7/8? Oops! Then I don’t think blueberries will work for you, unless you grow them as annuals in big pots. Sorry!
Now, go enjoy your avacadoes and citrus...that WE can’t have up here, LOL!
What I'm interested in is strawberries. We have a local "pick your own" strawberry farm, but I'm interested in doing it myself.
oops, my bad we are in 6/7
Thanks.Doesn’t sound too hard.:) I’m here in central Missouri and we usually have at least one hard cold snap 0 to 10 below during the winter.
You’ll want to amend the soil to be more acidic (lower pH), not higher. A pH in the 4.5-5.5 range should work. I’d hate to know someone’s out there adding lime around their blueberries.
I know that you don’t add lime, but otherwise, what is the best stuff to add to your soil to lower the pH?
As to the “best”, someone else probably knows better than I, but adding sulfur is probably the easiest and most straightforward. Test your pH, then amend as needed to get into the right range. The granular sulfur you buy will likely have the Table and directions right on the bag for determining the right amount. I know peat moss is another option.
Good luck, I hope this helps.
Not much really. Find 2-3 varieties that do well in your climate/locale and just dig holes and set them in. There are probably instruction sites via google or dogpile that show you and maybe even a howto video on youtube. Once I’ve got mine planted I mulch with pinestraw. They love pinestraw down here.
You guys must have a different variety of blueberry up there. Southern highbush blueberries do splendidly down here. They’re one thing we don’t really have to worry about disease pressure and bugs with. Generally. Birds are another matter of course! Evil birds. I’m not sure which companies online would sell those though. We get ours locally at the little nursery up the road.
Cranberries and gooseberries on the other hand are definite no go’s down here. Ditto raspberries. Man, I miss fresh raspberries.
You ventilate as many as possible and follow the conservative creed of “never give up.”
more alkaline PH is all there is to it.”
Lady D, I thought the soil was supposed to be acid??
You can show me all the maps you want. I’m certain you can’t grow many northern small fruits down by you because it’s too d@mn warm! Even if there was snow in 49 of 50 states this year, that doesn’t change a thing, LOL!
You’ll just have to come ‘Up Nort’ for that stuff, or pay exorbitant prices in your grocery store...like I pay for avocados when I ‘really gotta have one!’ :)
Did I give the wrong advice?
No lime! Sulfur or Aluminum sulfate...but some people balk at adding ‘aluminum anything’ to the soil where food crops are concerned; supposedly there’s a link between aluminum and early onset Alzheimer’s.
But I forget... ;)
I’m glad to hear about the blueberries. We don’t sell a variety that does well down south, other than growing them as an annual. Let me know some varietal names if you have time, could you? Customers ask sometimes because they want to buy plants and ship them south.
“Man, I miss fresh raspberries.”
And after having picked raspberries for 8 hours at a stretch, (and sometimes in the dead of night with a flashlight when we sold to Whole Foods), I can tell you if I NEVER see a raspberry again in my life, it will be too soon, LOL!
Yes. Acidic soil is correct for blueberries, and Blue Hydrangea.
I’ll try anyway. Thanks.
The leafy sharpshooter in the mix though is this: Pierce's Disease may affect some blueberry cultivars. It's a new 'thing' but I'm keeping an eye on it as one of my main varieties is apparently susceptible. Argh. Pierce's disease is the reason we can't grow any 'good' varieties of grapes down here. That and the heat and humidity LOL.
This is a great thing every fall. Lots of people drive several hours to attend this. They have a 'test' garden with different varieties from different seed companies (lots of Johnny's). If y'all don't already participate you might try to find out what you'd need to do, contact info at the bottom.
I'm not sure I could ever get tired of picking fresh raspberries. MAYBE if I was picking them for someone else. At least it probably wasn't 95 degrees with 95% humidity when you were picking those *grin*. I still feel sorry for the little raspberry plants I unknowingly cooked last year. *sigh*. They apparently died a horrible death. There is a variety that will grown down here, developed at Mississippi State, unfortunately the compromise involved appears to involve taste. Maybe that'll just have to be a project of mine when the kids are a little older.
“Best” is probably sulfur, but “easiest” is to just plant them under a pine tree, or take the decomposing pine needles from under the tree and use it to mulch the blueberries with.
I’m holding off on blueberries until my pines are bigger for that reason, although if I find a really good deal I might just see if I can get some needles from a christmas tree farm.
Right now my biggest pine tree is a stately 8 inches tall :p
8 hours! Yowza!
May I ask what’s involved in selling to a place like Whole Foods? I’m hoping to grow enough exotic melons this year for that to be a consideration.
That’s the spirit! Let us know how it goes. :)
Well, first you have to get your foot in the door. Then you have to deliver. Then you have to put up with a lot of hippies and never getting paid on time, LOL!
I wouldn’t recommend it. We only sold to them for a few seasons.
I’d try a local grocer, first. ;)
See post 173 for southern blueberry cultivars...I’m not convinced they’re really ‘blueberries’ though, LOL!
I had my eye on a local foods place in Paoli to sell to first, but I’m trying to plan in case I get buried in melons :p
If we have a warm, wet summer, you will be! :)
I will say they taste a little different than the ones I usually find in mixes.
Now, I’ve got an arcane question for you. I’m on the totally tomatoes site looking to buy some seeds. Any idea approximately how many seeds are in 1/16 oz? Ball park is fine. Are we talking 500, 2000, etc. My dad wants to plant a particular variety that a lot of the older folks down here like and I’m thinking of starting some to sell.
There are 500-700 seeds in a 1/16 ounce package of tomato seeds. 1/32 oz. would give you 250-300 seeds.
I soooooooo want to get back to selling plants again for MYSELF.) There’s money to be made in that, for sure!
What amazes me is that the big growers can produce a tomato plant to sell wholesale for about 15-cents. Retail, you can get $2.99 EACH for an heirloom tomato if you have the buyers.
Learning to start your own veggie and flower plants is one of the best skills anyone can develop, IMHO, though sometimes I take the lazy way out and buy a 4-pack of this or that. :)
I’ll be starting my cole crops soon; cauliflower and chinese cabbage, some kale, etc. I have the basement all cleaned up and the grow racks ready to go. :)
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