At Bloom’s Greenhouse Grower Outlet, quality reigns supreme, and every step of the growing process emphasizes that goal. From the type of soil used, to where greenhouse plants are placed, to the acidity level of the water, nothing is overlooked.
“Our strong point in our business is the quality of plants that we grow. It’s quality first, because that’s what sets us apart,” said Bill Christakes, Owner and General Manager at Bloom’s Greenhouse Grower Outlet.
As soon as the young plants arrive at Bloom’s Greenhouse Grower Outlet, they are transplanted into larger pots or trays in preparation for resale. Using a mechanical transplanter for this process gives Bloom’s Greenhouse Grower Outlets efficiency and accuracy. The transplanter plants each young plant at the precise depth and space within the pot for optimal growth.
“Any automation we can do, we do because it’s economically feasible,” Christakes said.
The soil used in planting is chosen specifically for its growing benefits. Using a mixture that contains 85% Canadian peat moss and 15% Perlite, growers give the plants a new home to thrive. The soil also contains a wetting agent and a pH buffer. It’s the best kind of earth for young plants to take strong root.
“When you’re putting plants into small trays, the conditions of the water can fluctuate quickly, so you have to have a very good soil to balance things out,” Christakes said.
After being transplanted, the plants are moved to different areas of the greenhouse depending on the type of plant and the temperature it needs to grow.
Growers at Bloom’s Greenhouse Grower Outlet also pay special attention to ventilation. Proper ventilation is needed for the plants to grow well and to prevent the growth of mildew or fungus. Fans blow constantly, and special windows and walls allow for air to freely move.
“We keep air moving as much as we can,” Christakes said.
Even the spacing of the plants is taken into consideration. At Bloom’s Greenhouse Grower Outlet, they ensure that all plants have enough space to receive the correct amount of air and light needed to grow big and healthy.
Scheduling when to receive the plants from the growers and when to transplant is important, and Christakes has the timing down to a science. The transplanting starts in early February. Every one to two weeks, new transplanting takes place according to what’s in season. The process continues through the summer until the planting season ends in early August. This schedule ensures that Bloom’s Greenhouse Grower Outlet always has plenty of good quality plants to offer.
“We always have plants that are at the right stage at the right time,” Christakes said. “Timing is very important, knowing when to plant and when you want the plant to be ready.”
Throughout the growing season, the expert staff at Bloom’s Greenhouse Grower Outlet keeps their plants healthy by monitoring the pH level of the water used in watering, watching out for insects, and taking the time to trim back plants.
“By taking that extra step, we get them to be fuller and have a lot more flowers, which adds value for the customer,” Christakes said.
During the off-season, the employees at Bloom’s Greenhouse Grower Outlet perform extra maintenance and special projects around the greenhouse so when planting season starts again, everything is clean, up-to-date, and functioning at the highest level.
Christakes’ extensive knowledge also helps ensure a quality product. He’s been in the business since he was 13 years old, and with a lifetime of experience, he knows all the best practices and products.
“It’s very satisfying to find new plant varieties,” Christakes said. “It’s gratifying to see plants that do really well and perform for the customer. There are a lot of plants out there that are really special, but they don’t do well as far as performance in the garden. We pride ourselves on trying to pick plants that actually will do well in the gardens. We pick the best and latest varieties and are always updating.”