March 28, 2010 Newsletter

In This Issue
Who is your Customer?
Survival Guide for Garden Centers
Focus on Value
Spider Mites and Thrips
Success with Calibrachoa
Testing for Phytotoxicity
Ethylene in the Greenhouse
2010 Michigan Garden Tour
2010 IGC Show
Business Cards
Quick Links
Join Our List
Join Our Mailing List
Eileen Nelson
UW-Madison Department of Horticulture
Who is your Customer?
Ball Horticultural Co. collected data just over a year ago about gardening consumers. . .
Based on the data collected, the average customer is an active gardener who is casual to enthusiastic about gardening. This customer is age 35 to 55 years old and has a limited amount of time to garden. She is looking for convenience and healthy plants that will last through the season. Retailers and growers alike need to be very conscious of product quality and the shopping environment. Seasonal changes stimulate gardening customer sales, and growers and retailers should to be ready to meet these changes. Look, listen and follow the trends your customers are reacting to.
For complete details see the 3.17.2010 article in GardenCenterMagazine.com.
Ultimate Survival Guide For Garden Centers
 Garden Center Magazine is carrying a Survival Guide in their latest issue.  The information included:
Training seasonal employees
The season opener is just around the corner! Will you go into it with well-equipped temporary help? Or will it be another spring dealing with overwhelmed and bewildered seasonal hires?
Closing the Deal

Use these practical tips to turn talk into action on the sales floor
Trigger the buying impulse with thematic displays
For details link to the article.
Focus on Value
 Our industry needs to make a concerted effort to remain a real and relevant value for nearly every U.S. household. 
Bridget Behe, horticulture professor at Michigan State University discusses how to make your products and services valuable from the consumer perspective. 
Spider Mites and Thrips
  Michigan State University's latest Greenhouse Crop Advisory provides information on watching for spider mites and thrips in late March and April.
Secrets to Success With Calibrachoa
 Calibrachoa isn't always the easiest crop to grow but there are strategies you can follow to ensure quality plants, according to Stefan Reiner of Selecta First Class.
Testing for Phytotoxicity
Ann Chase begins a series of articles on maximizing fungicide benefits with this first article on Phytotoxicity 
Slideshow: Ethylene in the Greenhouse
In Greenhouse Grower, a series of pictures on the effects of Ethylene on greenhouse crops. 
2010 Michigan Garden Plant Tour
 The 2010 Michigan Garden Plant Tour is set to take place Aug. 2 to 13 at various locations throughout lower Michigan. Attend this open house to see how plants perform in a variety of settings, both outdoors and in containers.
2010 Independent Garden Center Show
This year's Independent Garden Center Show, scheduled to run August 17-19 at downtown Chicago's stunning waterfront Navy Pier facility, will present more vendors and new products specifically targeted for the garden center market than any other show in the world.
What's On the Back of Your Business Card
You are losing valuable marketing opportunities if the backside of your business card is blank. Everyone in your organization that comes in contact with people needs a personal business card a case to keep them clean and that card needs to set the tone for how your business is perceived by the customer/client.
Many times the face of the business card it too busy with services and other information while the back remains completely blank. This is a waste of your printing dollars. Keep the face clean and simple (supply the basic contact information and your company logo) and then place additional information about products, services and/or affiliations of your company on the back.
By the way, there is a school of thought in the sales world that says when you are paying for the services of others, they should always know what business you are in as well (and where the money to pay them comes from). That is why you should include a business card with your payments to vendors, the person at the gas station or the waiter/ress at your favorite breakfast spot or restaurant (leave it with your tip) and everyone inbetween!
Don't try to conserve the amount of business cards you give out as they are the cheapest form of promotion you can ever use. You never know where your business information may become of value to someone who can use your services.
Perennial Plant Association Annual Conference
 The 28th Perennial Plant Association Symposium will be held in Portland, Oregon, July 18-24, 2010.  Link here for registration information.
Please forward this newsletter on to others. 
Eileen Nelson  (eonelson@wisc.edu)