Perry Laboratory


Winter 2014

January 2014

Will it ever rain again??? We are starting out with yet another dry year and hopefully it will not be like the last two years. This week brings unseasonably cold temperatures as a cold air mass has descended from Canada to cover most of the nation, including California.  

This has been a much better year for the nursery industry and is a good sign of things to come. The cut flower industry has had a good year with prices staying up for the most part throughout the year. This may also be due to the lack of producers these days and the supply may be in line with demand. 

The landscape nursery industry has also had a resurgence of sort with the rebound in housing, most landscape nurseries also had a very good year with demand staying up through the summer months. 

The pot plant nurseries have also had a fairly good year and so far the poinsettia season is also fairly good. Many of the larger nurseries had all of their poinsettias sold early and with any luck the stores will honor their commitments.  

The landscape contractors we see are also reporting more work these days and I am sure this is also tied to the better housing industry. There seems to be a bit of pent up demand for people to garden and fix up their landscape.  

The viticulture industry had another banner year for grapes. Both the quantity and quality of this year’s crop is excellent and should provide for some great wine in the near future. This was somewhat of a surprise with the large crop experienced in 2012, however it is welcome. We have had some very good wines that have come in for testing and everyone seems to be more optimistic these days.  

The berry industries have also had a decent year, especially in the northern districts. The southern district had a very poor strawberry year as the very cool early spring weather delayed their crop and by the time they were into the main harvest, the central district was starting and the southern growers were not able to recover. The substrate research with strawberries continues on and we have added an organic farm to the mix this year. There is some talk of discontinuing the substrate cane berries as there may be some other less costly alternatives to provide fruit during the fall market. The blueberries in substrate continue to look promising and these trials will continue in the coming year to see if they are truly the future growing method for this crop.  

As we look forward to 2014, there are many reasons for optimism and we will all hope this comes to pass. If the housing market can continue to improve and the stock market continues its upward trends, there should be a good economy for all of the horticultural industries. 

We hope everyone has a healthy and prosperous 2014.

Cliff Low

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Winter-Spring '12
Fall '10
Fall '09  •  Spring '09  •  Winter '09
Fall '08  •  Summer '08  •  Spring '08
Fall '07  •  Summer '07  •  May '07  •  Mar '07  •  Feb '07  •  Jan '07

These newsletters are intended to introduce you to some observations and growing tips for various horticultural situations. As I am sometimes the only outside person who walks through nurseries, I often see things I feel may help others who may be experiencing the same issues at their operations. I will never intentionally reveal where the observation originated, as I will always try to respect our clients' privacy. If you have anything you would like to share with other readers of this section, please feel free to email it to me at

Perry Laboratory - Serving Horticultural Industries since 1938