Nursery and Greenhouse Production of Ornamentals with Emphasis on Roses and Bedding Plants
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The rose industry of northeast Texas occurs within a 50-mile radius of Tyler. Several million rose plants are produced in Smith, Van Zandt and Cherokee County nurseries each growing season (Pemberton, 1992; Pemberton and Karlik, 2015). In all, close to 20 million plants are sold after value added processing with an approximate wholesale value of 100 million and is centered in Cherokee county. The largest crops are the various species of flowering bedding plants such as impatiens, pansies, petunias, begonias, and vinca. Most major trials of new plant introductions have been traditionally located in other regions of the country. Improvements in the selection of varieties and production methods adapted to local production and gardening conditions are needed. Research is needed to develop methods for height control and environmental manipulation. In addition to bedding plants, many flowering crops are grown such as poinsettias, chrysanthemums, and Easter Lilies, and even cut flowers. For expansion of production for these crops and others that continually emerge onto the market, research is needed to determine which crops can be grown successfully and to generate cultural and marketing recommendations. In addition, the northeast Texas area can be some distance from potential markets. Research on post-production requirements is needed for floricultural crops so that shipping and handling procedures can be optimized. Conserving and reducing the amount of water used for landscape irrigation continues to be a major issue for municipalities throughout Texas and the nation. Landscape irrigation increases dramatically during summer months and contributes substantially to peak demand placed on municipal water supplies. A survey of monthly water use indicated that average peak water consumption increased as much as 3.3 fold during the summer compared to the non-peak months of December, January, and February. Although conservation education programs typically suggest ways to reduce indoor and outdoor water use, information that can provide homeowners and commercial landscape managers with a realistic estimate of the amount of water required to sustain their landscape at an acceptable quality is lacking.