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Premium Quality Containers

Biopots - courtesy Iowa State University

Looking for the ultimate biocontainer

Today, biocontainers are made out of everything from rice hulls and wheat straw to coir and cow manure. Almost 60 years after the first biopots were introduced in the U.S., dozens of biopots are on the market or in the development stage, and claims about their effectiveness abound. Scientists decided it was time to investigate.

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Clip hanger

Increasing installation speed

Western Pulp is introducing a revolutionary product to the nursery industry: our new clip-on nylon hanger. Until now, hanger installation was often a bottle-neck in the process of planting molded fiber hanging baskets. Our new hanger removes that bottle-neck, increasing installation speed by as much as 50 percent.

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Personally designed hanging baskets.

Consumers design their own hanging baskets.

Chris Beytes profiles a unique program at Pahl’s Market in Minnesota for GrowerTalks.

“Amy is one of more than 1,000 customers who planted 1,250 hanging baskets during Pahl’s 15th annual Moss Basket Day, an event that lets consumers design and plant their own large hanging basket (a moss basket in the beginning, but today they use Western Pulp fiber baskets). Amy, her daughter, two sisters and a niece have made this a 10-year family tradition.”

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redesigned basket

We have updated our line of premium hanging baskets and extra strong nylon hangers. Our molded-fiber baskets now have a rounded or “rolled” rim, de-nesting lugs, and an optional reservoir bottom. To further increase speed and ease of hanger installation, we made 3 improvements to our hanger. An infographic and video clearly explain these improvements.

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Root growth comparison with Western container.

Effect of biocontainer type on shoot and root growth of tomatoes and coir pot effect on field establishment of tomato plants.

From the Abstract: “We designed a trial to test the effect of biocontainers on shoot and root growth, and for the degradability of the pot in the soil. We tested four types of biocontainers, DOT pot, CowPots, paper pulp pots and coconut coir pots and compared them to black plastic pots.

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Poinsettias in containers

Although innovations like recycling are still taking place in the firmly planted roots of plastic containers, there are a number of alternative choices, collectively termed “biocontainers” or “biopots.” It is not uncommon to produce or market herbs and vegetables in these containers. Recent studies have focused on trialing biocontainers for use in bedding plant production, typically with a four- to six-week turnover. But growing and selling a long-term crop such as poinsettia or cyclamen in a container that has the tendency to “return to nature” is potentially more challenging.

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What’s driving demand today?

Biodegradable horticultural containers predate plastic but are capturing fresh interest from growers, retailers and consumers. One company that has seen sustainability come full circle is Western Pulp in Covallis, Ore.

Starting with a bushel of old magazines and $250 for homemade experimental equipment, in 1954 Ralph Chapman was the first to bring fiber molded floral containers out West. Western Pulp’s current owners purchased the business in 1958 and now have operations in six states. Even back then, before the environment was a societal concern, Western Pulp was diverting tons of paper from landfills.

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Plant selection at Home Depot in Atlanta

A marketing consultant shared his findings on plant size, color, and more.

As an industry, we are struggling to grow our consumer sales, some of our largest customers have declining same-store sales, and the consumer is under more economic pressure than at anytime in recent history. Now is the time to do everything we can to provide products that ensure consumer success. Provide retailers with products that say “wow,” making it hard for the consumer to pass up.

 

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