The STEM Podcast
Your Best Mum Crop Ever (Part 1)

Your Best Mum Crop Ever (Part 1)

April 15, 2019

Interview starts at 8:00 - Our guest today our guest today is Dr. Will Healy and he’s kicking off a three-part miniseries focused on garden mum production intended to help you produce the absolute best mum crops you possibly can – using the newest genetics and latest strategies. We’re not releasing these episodes back to back to back but instead when they are most relevant – because many of you listen in real time. This episode is all about starting your crop – getting them vegetative and keeping them vegetative. Dr. Healy will go in depth into the two most critical factors at this stage in the game – Temperature and Feeding. He’ll cover the most effective temperatures – mums like it hot – and we will learn all about thermophotoperiodicity. Then he’ll transition over to fertilizer strategies because mums are heavy feeders early. We we’ll also touch on other pieces of the production puzzle including, insect and disease prevention, PGRs and more. With plenty of tips and tricks peppered throughout. This will be a great episode to share with your entire team – because starting your mum crop during some of the busiest spring shipping weeks probably means all hands are on deck.

Looking ahead, Dr. Healy will be back in a couple months to cover your actively growing mum crop and discuss starting short days, catching any problems and timing the crop to be retail ready when it’s needed in store. The third episode in late Summer will continue the timing message and wrap up with finishing tips and tricks to make sure the absolute best crop is going to market.

 

Resources:

Ball Mums Catalog with Culture and Propagation Guides: https://www.ballseed.com/Virtual/2018_mums/index.aspx

Ball Seed Chrysanthemum White Rust Awareness Document: https://www.ballseed.com/PDF/Chrysanthemum-WhiteRust-Awareness-2018.pdf

Cornell University Chrysanthemum White Rust Alert & Management: https://www.ballseed.com/PDF/Chrysanthemum-WhiteRust-Alert&Management-June2018.pdf

Dr. Healy’s Past Episodes:

STEM Episode 21: The Language of Watering - https://stempodcast.podbean.com/e/the-language-of-watering/

STEM Episode 22: Watering: The Rest of the Story - https://stempodcast.podbean.com/e/watering-the-rest-of-the-story/

 

Contact Links:

Email Guest Dr. Will Healy: whealy@ballhort.com
Ball Seed Customer Relations and Mum Help: 1-800-879-BALL
Email Host Bill Calkins: bcalkins@ballhort.com

NEW! Connect on Instagram - @STEMGreenhousePodcast
#STEMGreenhousePodcast
Tweet Host Bill Calkins: @billcalkins
Connect with Ball Seed on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/ball-seed-co/
Follow The Gardens at Ball on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GardensAtBall/
See Ball Seed Videos on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/BallSeedVideo

Tales from the Trials

Tales from the Trials

April 1, 2019

For this episode of STEM, we tried something very different. It’s an episode of stories heard while attending California Spring Trials. (Note: This is NOT an April Fools Day episode – these stories are real!)

Walking through greenhouse and displays of innovative new plants at the 2019 California Spring Trials is inspirational. That’s where I am right now – so this podcast is somewhat live for the first time. Not completely live since I’m actually in my hotel room – but live in a sense since it’s day three of the trials and there are two more days left. Seeing and learning about cutting-edge solutions for professional growers, garden center retailers, landscapers and home gardeners is so exciting and the energy out here is amazingly high. And why wouldn’t it be? I’m surrounded by product managers, plant breeders and marketing managers who have worked for years to bring these amazing genetics and programs to market. For some, these trials are the first time their new varieties are being unveiled after years or decades of work. The hours, sweat and even tears have finally paid off.

And behind every one of these introductions is a person or team AND subsequently, a story. The breeding, selection, trialing, testing and vetting can take years. Most have been evaluated around the world and subjected to a wide variety of climates, production scenarios, disease screens, shipping trials and so much more than most of us will ever see. The path to introduction is complex and the effort required is monumental.

For many new plants, the pipeline is established and the process has been perfected. For others, the path is opportunistic. And for some, it involves outrunning baboons. Seriously – outrunning baboons. You’ll have to listen all the way to the end to hear that one.

So I hope you enjoy this fun episode. It was fun hearing these stories and more and what really sticks out to me is the passion with which they were told. The folks in our industry who breed and select plants are dedicated individuals who really know their stuff. Sometimes their years of work pay off bigtime and millions of plants are sold and sometimes the trials are thrown out. But no matter what, they keep at it in an effort to bring new technology to the world of horticulture year after year after year. When you see all of the amazing new products coming to market in the weeks and months after California Spring Trials, remember that each product has a story.

How about you? Do you have a fun or unexpected plant breeding story to share? I’d love to hear it! Email me at bcalkins@ballhort.com.

Contact Links:
Host Bill Calkins: bcalkins@ballhort.com
NEW! Connect on Instagram - @STEMGreenhousePodcast
#STEMGreenhousePodcast
Tweet Host Bill Calkins: @billcalkins
Connect with Ball Seed on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/ball-seed-co/
Follow The Gardens at Ball on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GardensAtBall/
See Ball Seed Videos on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/BallSeedVideo

Consumer Insights from GrowIt!

Consumer Insights from GrowIt!

March 13, 2019

Interview starts at 5:30 - The last time we heard from GrowIt! cofounder Mason Day he was accompanied by the other founder Seth Reed. This time, he’s joining us because he’s the data guy at GrowIt! and they have some fascinating data to share – or Insights as we will call the info this episode. Get ready to learn some of the favorite plants and current trends gleaned from hundreds of thousands of users and millions of data points. Also, this will be the very first time GrowIt! goes into detail publicly about their Insights program – a new product that will bring customized data and insights (there’s that word again…) to you – data you can use to drive decisions in your business. Let me remind you that as I shared the last time GrowIt was featured on the podcast, the team behind this unique tech company are hort people first and tech people second, so the info Mason will deliver this episode is firmly rooted in our industry and applicable for professional growers, garden center retailers and the landscape trade – our STEM listener base.

But to me, the most exciting part of this episode is NOT the current insights Mason will share. The part that has my brain spinning and thinking forward is predictive analytics – creating models and trend lines not just to claim Monstera is a hot plant with millennials (which it certainly is) but to determine why that happened and what the next in plants will be. And as Mason explains, this can be done with data. In our industry. Today. This is HUGE!

Download the GrowIt! Mobile App and learn more about this tech company: https://www.growitmobile.com/

10 Insights from the GrowIt! Plant Community: https://www.growitmobile.com/resources/gardenshops/

Past Episode with GrowIt! – What Today’s Shopper Wants: https://stempodcast.podbean.com/e/what-today%E2%80%99s-shopper-wants/

Contact Links:

Guest Mason Day: mday@growitmobile.com
Host Bill Calkins: bcalkins@ballhort.com

NEW! Connect on Instagram - @STEMGreenhousePodcast

#STEMGreenhousePodcast
Tweet Host Bill Calkins: @billcalkins
Connect with Ball Seed on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/ball-seed-co/
Follow The Gardens at Ball on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GardensAtBall/
See Ball Seed Videos on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/BallSeedVideo

Today’s Male Shopper

Today’s Male Shopper

February 28, 2019

Show starts at 4:23 - This episode is going to be a solocast – meaning it’ll be me the entire time with no guest. Generally, this podcast stems from my role as Product Marketing Manager for Ball Seed – where I work with many of the business units and breeding companies at Ball to position and promote products and programs available from our distribution team. The podcast is often a way to transfer technical information from our experts to you through the audio podcast platform. But here and there, I swap that hat with my other role at Ball, one of our retail business managers working with retailers and the professional growers who supply them. In past episodes, I discussed selling to different tribes or groups of customers – like business travelers, young professionals, parents, recently retired boomers and more. I have also talked about tips for being the absolute best wholesale provider for your retail customers – from a retailers’ perspective. This time, I’m going to tackle a topic that near and dear to my heart, and one in which I hold some expertise. I would say a little bit of expertise, but my wife might put that bar a bit higher. How Men Shop and more importantly Why It Matters to Lawn & Garden. I’ll start by sharing some baseline statistics and then move to some generalized shopping habit differences between men and women and finally work through some research and share ways I feel this can impact our industry – the business of selling more plants.

Past Episodes Referenced:

Contact Links:

Email Host Bill Calkins: bcalkins@ballhort.com
NEW! Connect on Instagram - @STEMGreenhousePodcast
#STEMGreenhousePodcast
Tweet Host Bill Calkins: @billcalkins
Connect with Ball Seed on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/ball-seed-co/
Follow The Gardens at Ball on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GardensAtBall/
See Ball Seed Videos on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/BallSeedVideo

Battling Disease with Beacon Impatiens

Battling Disease with Beacon Impatiens

February 15, 2019

Interview starts at 5:38 - Our guest today is Lisa Lacy and she is going to tell us all about a game changing new product that has the opportunity to impact every one of us in horticulture, as well as everyone who gardens and enjoys landscapes. You may have heard clips and stories and seen press releases about cutting edge new impatiens with resistance to the Impatiens Downy Mildew disease that has decimated one of the world’s most important bedding plants – Impatiens walleriana. Well, Lisa is the product manager and leading expert on Beacon Impatiens, a brand new series bred by PanAmerican Seed that’s proven to exhibit high resistance to the Plasmopara obducens microorganism that leads to Impatiens Downy Mildew.

To put this disease in scope, 10 years ago there were billions of seeds of Impatiens walleriana sold worldwide and PanAmerican Seed alone offered 9 impatiens series. Since then, due to the widespread nature of the disease, sales of Walleriana seeds have dropped as much as 50% and this garden mainstay has disappeared from retail shelves and commercial landscapes in a big way.

Now it’s time to hear the story that began in 2008 when PanAm started planning and building a team around the problem and continues to this spring, 2019, when the new Beacon series will debut at California Spring Trials. It’s a story filled with emotion but built on a foundation of science. It’s a story of collaboration. It’s a story with an amazing moral – because a portion of the sales of the new Beacon series will benefit lesser known causes and foundations. And most of all, it’s a story our guest, Lisa Lacy, is proud to share with the STEM listeners because as she clearly states in this discussion, seeing will lead to believing and it will take an industry effort to share the message that impatiens are back!

NEW Beacon Impatiens Website: http://www.beaconimpatiens.com/

Connect Four Article - Garden Design 2019 Trends: https://www.gardendesign.com/trends/2019.html

Contact Links:

PanAmerican Seed Website: https://www.panamseed.com/

Ball Seed Customer Relations: 1-800-879-BALL

Email Host Bill Calkins: bcalkins@ballhort.com

NEW! Connect on Instagram - @STEMGreenhousePodcast

#STEMGreenhousePodcast

Tweet Host Bill Calkins: @billcalkins

Connect with Ball Seed on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/ball-seed-co/

Follow The Gardens at Ball on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GardensAtBall/

See Ball Seed Videos on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/BallSeedVideo

Starting Strong with Vegetative Production

Starting Strong with Vegetative Production

January 31, 2019

Our guest this episode is Dr. Todd Cavins. Todd is one of our technical services experts at Ball Seed and has been helping professional growers solve greenhouse production challenges for more than ten years in the field and before that was a professor at Oklahoma State University. He was actually my second guest on STEM almost a year ago and shared tons of tips and advice for getting off to a great start with plugs and seed raised young plants. If you missed the episode or hadn’t started listening to STEM yet, I’ll put a link in the show notes. Well, Todd is back in episode 25 to talk about vegetative production – Unrooted Cuttings and Liners – and how to start strong and work to ensure a top-quality saleable crop with few to no losses.

This is a very informative discussion where we cover topics including some ways to be prepared to receive and handle inputs, the importance of maintaining an optimal environment for cuttings, managing conditions that are less than ideal and the overall life of a URC. He shares tips and tricks for creating a replicable process for your production team from high tech systems for misting and computerized VPD to low tech approaches like posting pictures and specs to get everyone involved in young plant production on the same page. We spend some time discussing what to do when things start to go wrong and common times the uh-ohs happen and a reminder to go back to the five factors of plant growth when challenges pop up. Todd ends by sharing specific crops that need to be treated differently and also some of his favorite resources and go to materials if you want to dig deeper into this critical topic. This is definitely an episode you’ll want to share widely within your greenhouse team.

Check out Todd’s previous podcast episode!

STEM Episode 2: Getting Off to a Great Start

Refer back to STEM episodes on Watering:

Pt. 1 - The Language of Watering: https://stempodcast.podbean.com/e/the-language-of-watering/

Pt. 2 – Watering, The Rest of the Story: https://stempodcast.podbean.com/e/watering-the-rest-of-the-story/

Technical Resources Referenced:

 

Contact Links:

Email Guest Dr. Todd Cavins: tcavins@ballhort.com

Ball Seed Customer Relations: 1-800-879-BALL

Email Host Bill Calkins: bcalkins@ballhort.com

NEW! Connect on Instagram - @STEMGreenhousePodcast

Tweet Host Bill Calkins: @billcalkins

Connect with Ball Seed on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/ball-seed-co/

Follow The Gardens at Ball on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GardensAtBall/

See Ball Seed Videos on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/BallSeedVideo

Creating Your Trial Plan

Creating Your Trial Plan

January 14, 2019

Our guest today is Jason Twaddell. Jason was one of the first guests on STEM almost a year ago, episode number 3. And he’s back to tackle a completely different topic this time. Jason is Sales and Marketing Manager with Ball FloraPlant and Selecta One, companies that sit on the cutting edge of new genetics in the vegetative world and also understand the importance of trialing for many reasons we will explore during this episode. Jason will dig into the Why, What and When of trialing in an effort to highlight the importance of this critical piece of the growing puzzle. With margins getting narrower and the tolerance for inefficiency and shrink dropping to near zero, trialing and testing new genetics before replacing existing varieties is more important than ever.

Some of the topics he covers include trialing to solve problems and not just to evaluate what’s new; improving labor–intensive processes and the importance of an internal champion to maximize resources. Jason details the steps to take when implementing an effective trial strategy and also how to plan and prioritize to achieve the goals you set. This episode is appropriate for many roles in your greenhouse operation from management to section growers. Getting your team aligned when putting trials in place is critical to the whole process.

Check out Jason’s previous podcast episode!

STEM Episode 3: Executing Your Plan with Priority and Timeliness

 

Ball FloraPlant & Selecta One Resources:

 

Contact Links:

Email Guest Jason Twaddell: jtwaddell@ballhort.com

Email Host Bill Calkins: bcalkins@ballhort.com

Tweet Host Bill Calkins: @billcalkins

Connect with Ball Seed on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/ball-seed-co/

Follow The Gardens at Ball on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GardensAtBall/

See Ball Seed Videos on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/BallSeedVideo

Tanya Brings the WOW!

Tanya Brings the WOW!

December 20, 2018

This is our first Holiday Episode and my guest definitely represents the cheer and energy of the season and just happens to spend a good part of her current role supporting poinsettias, one of our most traditional holiday crops. I’m welcoming Tanya to STEM to talk about the overall retail experience – what garden centers and nurseries AND the growers who supply them can do to inspire the shoppers of today and tomorrow.

Tanya brings a ton of energy but more importantly actionable ideas for offering in-demand products at retail, presented in inspirational packages. She shares tips and tricks for exciting customers, bringing communities together, putting on dazzling and effective events and igniting the senses. We get into some of her favorite WOW varieties, amazing greenhouse events she’s attended recently – like GLOW festivals – the importance of sharing knowledge and educating and also introduce a concept she calls the “full circle experience.”

When I asked Tanya to be on the podcast I had a feeling it would be a fun episode with plenty of great retail ideas, but I must admit I had no clue that her background includes a stint at Proctor & Gamble and how she brought some of those amazing consumer insights to the world of horticulture. I really enjoyed this conversation and I’m pretty sure you will, too. Definitely share this one widely throughout your organization and encourage your team to think about Tanya’s predictions for the future of horticultural retail. I have a feeling she’s on the right track.

 

Connect Four Article Link:

Ten Ways to be 10X More Productive at Work from Forbes: https://www.forbes.com/sites/lizryan/2018/02/17/ten-ways-to-be-more-productive-at-work/#649c1580126a

Ball FloraPlant & Selecta One Resources:

 

Contact Links:

Email Guest Tanya Carvalho: tcarvalho@ballhort.com

Email Host Bill Calkins: bcalkins@ballhort.com

Tweet Host Bill Calkins: @billcalkins

Connect with Ball Seed on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/ball-seed-co/

Follow The Gardens at Ball on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GardensAtBall/

See Ball Seed Videos on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/BallSeedVideo

Watering: The Rest of the Story

Watering: The Rest of the Story

December 13, 2018

We are once again joined by Ball Horticultural’s Senior Technical & Research Manager Dr. Will Healy who I referred to in episode 21 as one of the most experienced and knowledgeable experts in all things greenhouse production. Our topic continues… watering and water management. These two episodes work best in tandem so try to listen to part one – The Language of Watering – before jumping into this one.

In the first part – which you can find on your favorite podcast player or linked below - Dr. Healy delved into the importance of speaking the same language of watering throughout the company and qualitative and quantitative ways to teach water management so that accuracy and efficiency can be achieved.

This episode takes it to the next level getting into specific plant demands, how to determine wet/dry targets, how to optimize any greenhouse for water management and even suggests an inexpensive gift for all of your production team members.

PART ONE - Episode 21: The Language of Watering https://www.greenhousegrower.com/sponsor/ball-seed-company/the-language-of-watering/

 

Ball Seed Technical Resources:

Production Guides, Culture, Pests & Diseases, Charts and Tables: https://www.ballseed.com/QuickCulture/ProductionGuides/

Water Management Level 1-5 Training Presentation (English): https://www.slideshare.net/bcalkins/stem-episode-21-ball-seed-water-management-levels-15-english

Water Management Level 1-5 Training Presentation (Spanish): https://www.slideshare.net/bcalkins/stem-episode-21-ball-seed-water-management-levels-15-spanish

Good Scale for Weighing Pots and Trays: https://www.amazon.com/Ozeri-ZK14-S-Digital-Multifunction-Kitchen/dp/B004164SRA/ref=sr_1_5?s=kitchen&ie=UTF8&qid=1543593422&sr=1-5&keywords=kitchen+scale

 

Contact Links:

Email Guest Dr. Will Healy: whealy@ballhort.com

Email Host Bill Calkins: bcalkins@ballhort.com

Tweet Host Bill Calkins: @billcalkins

Connect with Ball Seed on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/ball-seed-co/

Follow The Gardens at Ball on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GardensAtBall/

See Ball Seed Videos on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/BallSeedVideo

The Language of Watering

The Language of Watering

November 30, 2018

The Language of Watering

This episode of STEM: Insider Tips for Greenhouse Pros addresses one of the most basic tasks in a professional greenhouse, watering. But proving that water management is fundamental and critical, we are joined by Ball Horticultural’s Senior Technical & Research Manager Dr. Will Healy – one of the most experienced and knowledgeable experts in all things greenhouse production. He’s also a great story teller, which you will learn throughout the episodes. And yes, I did say episodes because this one is a two-parter. Watering and water management is SO critical that we invited a PhD to help us learn as much as possible about it AND will spend two sessions on the topic. The first part will be all about The Language of Watering and this one is perfect to share with your entire production team and others across your organization.

As Dr. Healy will help us understand, speaking the same language of watering throughout the company is critical and there are qualitative and quantitative ways to teach water management so that accuracy and efficiency can be achieved. Getting watering right WILL reduce your costs and result in better crops.

So gather your team, grab a pen and notepad and get ready for part one in a two part session on watering.

 

Ball Seed Technical Resources:

Production Guides, Culture, Pests & Diseases, Charts and Tables: https://www.ballseed.com/QuickCulture/ProductionGuides/

Water Management Level 1-5 Training Presentation (English): https://www.slideshare.net/bcalkins/stem-episode-21-ball-seed-water-management-levels-15-english

Water Management Level 1-5 Training Presentation (Spanish): https://www.slideshare.net/bcalkins/stem-episode-21-ball-seed-water-management-levels-15-spanish

 

Contact Links:

Email Guest Dr. Will Healy: whealy@ballhort.com

Email Host Bill Calkins: bcalkins@ballhort.com

Tweet Host Bill Calkins: @billcalkins

Connect with Ball Seed on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/ball-seed-co/

Follow The Gardens at Ball on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GardensAtBall/

See Ball Seed Videos on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/BallSeedVideo