We have greatly expanded our greenhouse space this past year. Right now we are in final stages of assembling a 95×28’propagation greenhouse, purchased from the now-defunct Biltmore (Estate) Nursery in Asheville, NC. The facility features full temperature control, two hot water heaters, an evaporative pad cooling system, bench heating, 5 thermostats, and lots of automatic controllers.
The house was dismantled and moved February 2008 and is now up and having the complicated electrical and environmental control systems hooked up. We should have it all running in time for grafting season later this year. In fact, with its completion, we have added over 6000 square feet of shade area this year to keep the young plants happy. All cold frames are of Jaderloon Co. design, and will provide happy growing areas for years to come. The shade makes it much more comfortable for summertime visitors as well.
Crew members Shannon Carter and Jack Ginocchio have put in countless hours on construction this year, the tasks vary continually around here. In spite of our protected climate, 2007 was a dreadful growing year for most of us in the Southeast US. A devastating cold snap on Easter weekend and a subsequent crippling drought and unbelievable heat waves made for a most discouraging season. Well, in response, we have replanted all of our field losses, and filled the greenhouses to overflowing again. The field drip irrigation system is complete, hopefully eliminating most of the damage that could be inflicted by subsequent droughts (like this year’s, for instance!) And we have added two new field areas for spring 2008, and have another 500 specimens-to-be planted out, all irrigated by the drip system of course.
We now have over 4 miles of drip tubing irrigating plants in the most efficient manner possible.