Spring is in the air! Over the past few months, greenhouses across the state have been planning for the gardening season. We talked with Minnesota Grown member Floyd Broman from Broman’s Greenhouse LLC in Rogers about greenhouse technology, production, and advice for landscaping with garden plants.
During the months leading up to spring, many greenhouses produce fast-growing bedding plants to be used in colorful, temporary, and seasonal displays in the springtime, including plants for use in pots and other containers to be positioned on patios, terraces, or decking. Plants in landscaping are typically neat, dwarf habit plants that uniformly flower. Greenhouse managers work year-round to ensure their products’ readiness when customers are itching to get outside to plant.
The controlled environment of a greenhouse is ideal for any growth stage as plants can be moved outdoors for the warmer months and then returned to shelter during the winter months. “A greenhouse needs to have systematic ventilation, watering, and heating,” explained Broman. “There are thermostats to control temperatures. It will stay 65˚ F during the growing season, but can be up to 80˚ F during plant the germination stage.” Greenhouses are generally made of glass or plastic, and heated with the visible sunlight. Earlier production allows growers to prepare for the planting season and ensure healthy, transplant-ready plants each spring.
Planting for a landscape or garden
Bedding plants are split up by season. In spring bedding, biennials or hardy perennials flourish. Oftentimes, tulips are paired up with forget-me-nots, wallflowers, winter pansies, or polyanthus. Annuals that are used in summer bedding are grown in greenhouses during the spring and are acclimated to outdoor conditions before planting around the last frosts.
Summer bedding plant varieties are begonia, sweet peas, busy lizzie, geranium, antirrhinum, lobelia, petunia, rudbeckia, Californian poppy, and cosmos. Since they are acknowledged for their height, scent, and color, these are great options to spruce up your landscape.
The ideal characteristics for bedding plants are strong color themes with a simple design to render the most effective display in your landscape. Balancing different heights can be an effective method to create more informal and impromptu arrangements. As the season progresses and the temperatures increase, it is helpful to mark out the design of your bed in the soil using sand when transplanting them outdoors. “Research shade to sun requirements for your plants,” Broman shared. “Watering will depend on wind, temperature, size of container [a small pot may demand more water compared to a planter or landscape], and the weather. If the conditions are good to dry your clothes outside, your plants will need to be watered.”
Additionally, some greenhouses may offer fun classes and workshops. Celebrate spring by planting succulents or terrariums with friends or families. Potted plants or gift certificates to a garden center could also be a wonderful gift (hint: Mother’s Day is approaching). The options are endless and always best when Minnesota Grown!
Thank you Floyd Broman for speaking with us! Search our online Directory today to find a greenhouse or garden center near you. Minnesota Grown boasts over 78 producers of bedding plants. For more help with landscape design, visit our friends at the Minnesota Nursery and Landscape Association. Happy planting!
Photo courtesy of Minnesota Grown Member, Olympic Trail Greenhouse