CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Mid-Atlantic Grower: The Agribusiness Newspaper for the Nursery, Greenhouse, Landscape, Turf and Horticultural Industries, isn't exactly riveting reading.
Yet this publication, sent to me by Beth Loflin of the West Virginia Nursery and Landscape Association, does have some interesting information for gardening enthusiasts.
An article by Jane Graham said a strange spring and the economy seem to have produced a mixed bag of sales results for nursery and landscape businesses. Sales were strong in March and April for most in our area, but the wet weekends of May made for below-average sales. June's heat didn't help sales, either.
A quick survey of garden centers around West Virginia shows that business is even with last year for most centers.
"No records broken," said Bill Mills of TerraSalis. "July is always very sleepy. Our landscape design and install business has been very strong, thankfully."
Other garden centers had similar replies.
In other "exciting" reading (this from the Country Folks Grower, the monthly newspaper for greenhouses, nurseries, fruit and vegetable growers), I saw a story about a nursery on Long Island that provides a recycling weekend for customers to turn in pots, flats and any other nursery containers. The nursery gave customers a discount coupon for their efforts, and the nursery received great publicity for the event.
I wonder if there's a way to make this happen in our area? I have a shed full of plastic pots. I reuse, but I would like to recycle!
According to the Long Beach (Calif.) Press-Telegram, U.S. Customs inspectors at Los Angeles International Airport intercepted and destroyed a highly aggressive plant-jumping bug with the potential to ravage the state's agriculture industry in July.
"The tiny rust-colored pest was identified by the U.S. Department of Agriculture as Toxoptera odinae (van der Goot), an insect from the aphids group, never seen before in the United States. Aphids attack grains, fruits, vegetables and ornamental plants causing plant deformities, scarring and loss of crops.