November, 2016
        November has arrived and with it comes the hustle and bustle of the holiday season.  Outside, we scurry around trying to prepare for cooler weather approaching.  Inside, the baking, cooking, and preparation for guests has begun.  In the midst of all this activity, take some time this month to stop and  name your blessings; your home, your car, your job, your church, your friends, your family. And while you're at it, say a prayer for those who are struggling and look for ways to be a blessing to others.   

        The invoices for the 2017 membership dues will be in the mail this week.  I encourage you to renew your membership for the 2017 year.  Our association is only as strong as our members, and it is through your support that we are able to continue to work for you and promote each of you and our industry.
        Our 2017 Trade Show is coming together nicely.  Our booth sales are up, and we have added more educational programs to help bring in more attendees.
         If you haven't looked at the Trade show's sponsorship opportunities  please check them out.  They are a great way to promote your brand and expand your business. There is no money needed now when you agree to a level of sponsorship. You will be billed after the first of the year.  If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask.
         Thursday, December 1 we will have an NTNGA meeting at 6:00pm at the Farmhouse Restaurant in Van, TX. We will be proofing the 2017 Buyer's Guide along with voting on the 2017 slate of officers.  We will also hear from Charlie Wood of Delta Plastics about an opportunity to recycle used greenhouse plastic.  Please make every effort to attend this meeting.   
In This Issue

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How Fall Can Be About More Than Pansies
         There are so many silly dogmas to be smashed that sometimes I don't know where to start. Toads cause warts. Black cats are bad luck. Avoid Friday the 13th, and only pansies and mums make money in the fall.
          I am not sure where some of these beliefs and superstitions arose, nor can I believe that anyone in this industry still adheres to the last one. People have been writing about enhancing fall sales since forever, so why am I reinventing the wheel?
          Perhaps because the more I plant shop, the more frustrated I get. So much is predicated on impulse. It seems we truly believe that nobody cares about cultivars, and we have given up hope that people will get smarter and actually ask for certain plants.
          That is frustrating to be sure, at least for me. Fall is upon us. What are we going to do about it? We can shove more pansies, violas, and mums down consumers' throats, or we can help guide the focus of their impulses.
          Here are a few focusable plants for the fall shoulder, fall sales, and spring shoulder seasons.

Shoulder Sales In The Fall
  • Cosmos. It seems that they have almost disappeared from standard bedding mixes. They have great colors and diversity of heights.
  • Annual Rudbeckia. They often poop out by mid-summer, so having refresher pots in late summer helps people take their color into late fall.
  • Celosia. The "brain" forms can get ratty by late summer. These work well in containers and in the ground and give a color boost when color is needed.
  • Love In-A-Mist (Nigella). We keep selling these as summer annuals, if we sell them at all. However, they tolerate lots of heat and cold and will go well into the fall with renewed plantings.
  • Calendula. Try using this as a shoulder plant in late summer. It tolerates cool temperatures much better than heat and will be beautiful all fall.
  • Cool-Season Veggies. Duh. Let's feed the masses. Grow them, and they will eat.
Fall Sales
  • Pansies, violas, mums - check, check, check. Ok, what else?
  • Bedding Dianthus (actually hybrids). These are no-brainers. They look good going through the fall, stay green all winter, if not under snow, and will pop out in the spring, thriving well into the summer.
  • Snapdragons. Ditto, although they do not have the same winter hardiness as dianthus. The breeding has provided earlier flowering in the spring and more heat tolerance. The standard upright forms are better than dwarf varieties for fall sales.
  • English Daisies (Bellis). This is another plant that was in favor 10 years ago that has all but disappeared. English daisies love the cool weather, overwinter in much of the country, and provide excellent color.
Shoulder Sales In Late Winter, Early Spring
  • Nasturtiums. Grandma's favorite - why have they disappeared? It's likely for the same reason other plants like larkspur and lupines have left us. They have a small window and without a doubt are more difficult to schedule. But everyone loves nasturtiums, they will move. They also can take some frost if grown cool.
  • Lupines. They are probably too expensive and too difficult to schedule for much of the country, but with the new breeding I saw at California Spring Trials, I believe there is a much brighter future for shoulder sales and perhaps even fall sales of lupines. They may never be a big item, but they are poised for better things.
  • Hybrid Bedding Primula. No matter how many people try to tell me about the heat tolerance of primroses, I still see them decline as temperatures heat up. As spring shoulder plants, they can be beautiful for months. They generally are not sufficiently cold tolerant to come through winters unblemished.
These are but a few ideas. Add these to your perennials for the fall and veggies in the spring, and you will soon have a Bacchus-like potpourri for sales all year.

by Allen Armitage.  article taken from Greenhouse Grower Magazine  
Did you know there are multiple ways to advertise in the newsletter? 
Call 903-272-0145 for pricing

 News and Articles from the Green Industry                 

  The Coolest Products For Grower-Retailers From The 2016 Landscape Show   by Brian Sparks   
         Grower-retailer members of The Garden Center Group have been recognizing some of their favorite findings at a number of events this summer. When it came time for the 2016 Landscape Show in Orlando in mid-September, group members upped the ante in presenting their favorite "Cool Product Awards."
         Led by The Garden Center Group's Danny Summers, the team of retailers presented awards to 15 companies, representing 19 products on the Trends Stage on the show floor. Products were selected by garden retailers and landscape professionals in search of the best new products, both live goods and hard goods, for their business. The awards were a joint presentation by Florida Nursery Growers & Landscape Association and The Garden Center Group.
         Here is a look at the products receiving recognition.  read more  

Expecting the unexpected by Connor Howard
          Every venture comes with its share of risks. All the preparation and wise management in the world may not be enough to prevent every possible mishap.This is what makes it all the more important to practice diligent and thorough risk management in all sectors of a business. Nursery stock growers, greenhouse managers and retail garden center owners understand the benefit of insuring their properties and products, but proactively mitigating risks before they can arise demands a more broad and thoughtful approach read more  
Finish The Year Strong
Fourteen Strategies to Drive Profit by Year-End by Jeffery Scott 
          Having a profitable year is ultimately determined by how much in sales you produce and bill out in the 4th quarter.  Succeeding at business is akin to winning a long distance sprint. You have to get a quick jump off the starter blocks, accelerate quickly to your top speed,and sprint through the finish line.  It is the final sprint that wins the race.
          Here are 14 ways to sprint through the finish line and end on a profitable
note read more 
Navigating H-2B by Brian Horn
           The hiring problem isn't going away for most of you, and with continued restrictions on H-2B, contractors need to be well-versed in the program. During the GIE+EXPO, Josh Denison of Denison Landscaping and Mari Medrano Meija of CoCal spoke to the ups and downs of the H-2B program - a program they have used for years.
           "This year was horrible; it was a bad year," Medrano Meija said. Denison received his workers 11 ½ weeks late while Meija wanted her workers on April 1 and received them mid-May. She said the delay cost $375,00 in lost contracts.
            While 2016 saw delays in receiving their H-2B workers, both Denison and Medrano Meija said they will continue to use the program.  read more 
 Events around the area                

Thursday, November 17, 2016 
  TNLA Region 3 Invites you to their
Annual "Christmas in November" Dinner

Rick's on the Square, Tyler, TX. 6:00pm.
 Cost $20.00 per person.
RSVP by Nov.11 to
KBW, 12601 CR 1114, Tyler, TX 75709, Attn: Sandy.
For more information, click here 

Friday, November 18, 2016
Greenhouse and Nursery Regulatory Compliance Workshop
Texas A&M Agrilife Research Center
1710 N. Hwy 3053, Overton, TX.   
Thursday, December 1, 2016    
NTNGA Officer Election Meeting.
Program by Charlie Wood of Delta Plastics Recycling  
Farmhouse Restaurant, Van, TX  6:00pm. 
Thursday and Friday, February 2-3, 2017
 NTNGA 23rd Annual Trade Show, 

Mesquite, TX

If you know of any events in  your area, or if you are hosting an event, please let me know and we can post it here.

 Classified Ads
For Sale:  Successful, well-established Garden Center with Real Estate for Sale.  Popular Lake Location 45 minutes southeast of Dallas, TX.   Prequalified for SBA Loan.   For details contact Dwayne at 972-458-8989 ext. 204 or Dwayne@TheVantGroup.com

If you would like to place a classified ad, or job posting, please call me for information.  903-272-0145
I hope to see you at the Holiday Party in Tyler. And have a Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Charlotte Yorkson 
Executive Director 
Northeast Texas Nursery Growers Association