My Garden Center
Nov. 20, 2014

2014 field trials: How to identify the best varieties for your store
Today's Garden Center
Plants are the lifeblood of the vast majority of independent garden centers. This means having a wide variety of the latest and greatest varieties that consumers find appealing, both in their beauty and how easy they might be to care for. For many retailers, the search for these top-notch varieties begins with looking at how they perform in trials in their area.More

Keep history alive
Green Profit
In this space, we try to come up with unique themes your customers can plant to make a connection with their garden. This garden is for your history buffs: The Early American Garden. It’s inspired by a segment in the U.S. National Arboretum, which also has a dye garden and medicinal garden, among other themes. Here’s how a placard at the Arboretum described this theme.More

Success-oriented gardening
Green Profit
Judy Sharpton writes: In this column last November, I outlined a series of reasons for our industry to be thankful. Among those reasons, which remain just as valid in 2014, is the continued interest of modern consumers in live plants and fresh food. In an era of plastic-fantastic, when you have to touch the orchid in the hotel lobby to determine if it is silk or live, humans still want a living garden. More

Western growers frustrated by shutdown of ports
Growing Produce
Congestion at West Coast ports is hurting growers’ ability to export fresh fruit, vegetables and tree nuts all while the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and the Pacific Maritime Association continue contract negotiations. The two sides have been negotiating a new contract since May. The previous contract expired July 1.More

7 simple ways to save energy in the greenhouse
Grower Talks
Your home is supposed to be your castle, but what about your greenhouse? If we treated our greenhouses as well as our homes in the winter we’d have the energy bills to prove it. And yet, we’re leaving doors open in January. We’re installing double pane windows, reinsulating and sealing all the crevices in our homes, but often we aren’t taking the same simple precautions at the greenhouse.More

5 social media tips for small business
Social media is a great way to get the word out about your business. But if it’s not delivering results, take a step back and see if you’re following these best practices.More

3 ways to create trust with customers
Trust is key for getting customers to sign on the dotted line. Unfortunately, gaining a potential client's confidence is not an easy task. It doesn't help either that there are so many salespeople who use unethical approaches to close deals. This makes the prospect walk into a meeting with you already thinking you're trying to scam them.More

6 traits that make up a likable leader
By Christina Nava
As a leader, you set the mood of the company you're in charge of. Whether a workplace environment is a positive or negative one depends on how you handle employees, clients and issues that arise. The only way you can be an inspiration to others around you is if they like and admire you. Now don't get me wrong here. Being likable isn't about being a people-pleaser or a pushover; it's about being a good leader and creating a positive workplace for the employees, so the company will succeed. More

10 ways to spy on competition
Small Business Trends
Knowing about your competition has always been important in the world of business. With the Internet, this marketing intelligence has never been easier to find out, but it does take discipline and planning. By doing this type of research, you can find where your competitors are strong or weak.More