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The Art Of Growing Green
February 2016
From cutting and transplanting to flowering and finishing, a new line of plant nutrition products helps growers produce bigger, hardier and healthier crops. From the War on Drugs to so-called "Reefer Madness", plants used to get a bad rap. This wasn't always the case: According to Pbs.org's Marijuana Timeline, long before the Great Depression, hemp production was encouraged. In fact, the Virginia Assembly actually required farmers to grow it in 1619.
Nearly 300 years later, plant production is making a comeback. As of June 2015, four states legalized recreational use and 23 states allow the crop to be produced for medicinal purposes. The country is slowly and cautiously beginning to re-accept this cash crop. Production, though, is likely to be a whole lot different this time around. Today's growers are far better equipped to handle the crop's challenges than their 17th Century predecessors. From high-tech greenhouse structures to overhead irrigation systems, today's professional producers have the ability to meet the market's increasing demands. "The market for plants is undeniably growing like crazy," says Clare Reinbergen, President of Growth Products. "It's striking to look at all the crop inputs product lines servicing this market and see that people are purchasing subpar items because that's all that was available, and the industry became accustomed to that."
Plant nutrition is one area where watered-down, ineffective fertilizers and biopesticides have become the norm. That's the primary reason Growth Products introduced its NovaGreen line of fertilizers, micronutrients, OMRI-certified organics and biofungicides. With 12 premium products designed to ensure the plant thrives during every stage of the growth cycle, growers have the tools to safely and effectively ease transplant shock, fight Botrytis and properly feed their crops from germination to harvest.
The other reason for the NovaGreen debut? Growers in the west were already using the company's organic, nutrient-packed products. "A lot of customers were buying from us years ago and using the products for growing plants, but they weren't saying what they were growing," says Reinbergen. "Two years ago, we found a lot of customers were actually growers, and they were having great success using our products. We then started getting feedback, including from a couple in Oregon that mentioned they'd increased their yield." When the Washington State Department of Agriculture took the liberty of putting Growth Products' Companion, the first biological fungicide on the market, on a list of approved pesticides for plant production, it sealed the deal. "People wanted to use something natural that wasn't a chemical but would still help them with disease control," Reinbergen says. "When we heard our fertilizers, micronutrients and other products were helping growers solve problems, and they were impressed and liked our products, we made the formal decision to enter the market with the NovaGreen line."
With more than 30 years of experience in global markets ranging from landscape management to citrus production, Growth Products brought the full force of its resources and research to bear when building the NovaGreen line. This launch certainly wasn't the company's first garden show: If a plant grower had a problem, Growth Products had a solution. "People kept telling us that the seed code on plant seed is extremely hard," explains Nicole Campbell, Growth Products' Director of Marketing. "We know from other crop experiences worldwide that the NovaGreen Essential 1-0-1 softens the seed coat during germination, so that's what we'd suggest. The growers would inevitably try out the product and tell us it worked. It's all about using the knowledge we have in other markets and translating it for this market."