Facilities

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Welcome to Casa Verde. Angelo purchased the 40-acre property from Green Circle Growers in the fall of 1995. At that time there was 426,219 sq ft (9 3/4 A) of glass greenhouses all controlled with a Priva environmental computer. The majority of the greenhouse was originally (70's) used for winter tomato growing. Green Circle purchased the property in 1983 and used the greenhouses for foliage production. Green Circle operated the greenhouse for 12 years, but with the downturn in foliage demand and not having a modern super efficient facility, decided to close down the greenhouses. At that time Angelo purchased the site.

In the fifteen years since, the greenhouse space has been increased to 895,000 sq ft (20 1/2A) and 7 A of outside growing space. Most of the new acreage is used for perennial production and cold annual production. It also is setup with drippers for 25,500 baskets. This cold area produces excellent petunia, and verbena baskets. The cold keeps the nodes very short, and makes a very nice mounded plant. When the temperature warms up we use a bonzi drench to get the same effect.

To give you an idea of how we use our acreage, I will start with perennials. One gallon and two gallon perennials are planted all summer long. Most plants are ready for sale in 4 to 8 weeks. The plants that are not sold are over wintered in the outside houses with no heat. The next are the seeded perennials, which are sowed in August. Transplanting starts in 4 to 8 weeks from sowing. These transplants are placed in 2 sections of our glass houses. We then proceed to grow these plants at 60 degrees. By December 1st the plants are ready to cool down. We do it in stages so by December 15th the temperature is 38 degrees. At this temperature the plants will grow very slowly all winter long, producing an outstanding plant. By March 1st the perennials will be move out into unheated houses. In most cases the plants are ready to sell, but the season isn't ready for our customers yet. By the end of March these plants will start to be shipped to our garden centers. If more space is needed for the perennials from the heated house, we will move older perennials from the unheated houses to the outside area with no cover. The inside greenhouses will in turn start to be refilled with flats of annuals. It's not uncommon to see trains of perennials being moved outside and trains of annuals moving back onto the same greenhouses on the same day. In late October unrooted cutting start to arrive. This is the start of our annual production for the following spring. Rooting is done in a state of art production house. Mist for controlled by computers which has been programmed for each individual crop. By January annual propagation is processing at full speed and continues thru March. As the annual propagation slows down perennial propagation picks up and keeps the crew busy until September. In the meantime the crew also works on foliage propagation, which doesn't take as much time.

The production barn is the heart of the facility. We make all soil we use. There are two different mixes, greenhouse mix has peat, and perlite, perennial mix has bark, peat and perlite. These different mixes are also used in our bagged soils sold thru our garden centers. Within the barn the soil is conveyed to one of three different machines. The Flier is used only for flats transplanting. This machine is too hard to change to different pot sizes. The two Urbinati are used to transplant from different plug tray (512's to 50's) sizes into many different pot sizes (flats to 10” hanging baskets). It take anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes to change the machine to a different planting size. Finally the fourth line is just a standard hand plant line. During March and April all four lines are operating at the same time. One other piece of equipment within the barn is a pot dispenser. This piece of equipment reduces pot production time in half. We use carts to transport plants from the barn to the appropriate greenhouse. As you tour the facility you will see miles of cement walks connecting all the greenhouses. This is the final touch needed to make our facility efficient. The same walks and carts are used for shipping.

Three years ago we built a four-acre Dutch greenhouse; one acre is dedicated to production. This house gives us the best light so we grow our poinsettia, spring annuals, newly planted hanging baskets, and summer pots. This structure will hold 28,800 baskets and will be turned 2 times. The floor can be watered with an ebb and flood system. Hanging baskets are grown over head on a watering carousel. Each carousel holds 900 baskets. There are a total of 32 carousels.

Production Statistics:

Hanging Baskets
175,000
Annual Flats
86,000
Annual Quarts
500,000
Ovals
24,000
Annual 4”
400,000
Annual 6”
90,000
Perennial 2 Gallon
120,000
Perennial Gallon
125,000
Grass 3 Gallon
8,000
Perennial Market Basket
24,000
Perennial Qts
160,000
Vegetable and Herb 3.5"
10,000
Violas and pansy 4”
100,000
Total Annual Pots 4”
1,802,300
Total Perennial Pots 4”
392,000
Total Vegetable Pots 4”
238,000

Employees

Greenhouse
65
Wholesale
12
Drivers
6