January 1, 2017

Vineland improves container-grown blueberry

Edible container gardening is a popular trend among urban gardeners today. It fulfills the need for functional beauty that many Canadians, especially those living in urban areas, look for in potted plants. However, blueberries are not the easiest plant to keep alive in a container, let alone produce fruit, since they require fairly acidic soil.

Vineland Research and Innovation Centre (VRIC) research scientist, Youbin Zheng led blueberry trials, which largely focused on finding the ideal substrate to allow the bushes to grow in containers. Zheng’s findings have produced positive results that have produced protocols to grow the plants in a variety of ways. Zheng also mentions the lessons learned during the blueberry trials can potentially be applied to other fruits and berry bushes. Visit the VRIC website for more information on this and other exciting projects: www.vinelandresearch.ca.

Join us in Niagara Falls this September!

CNLA is hosting the International Garden Centre Association (IGCA) annual Congress in Niagara Falls, Ont., in 2017. This is a must-attend event for all garden retailers. Delegates will experience more than the average Canadian tourist and learn from some of Canada’s best garden centres. Southern Ontario boasts a high concentration of garden retailers and nursery growers; this means companies must be able to thrive in a competitive market. Each garden centre or nursery we visit has developed something unique. Whether it means integrating into the history of their community, implementing environmental initiatives, or simply displaying products in a new, fun way — these retailers work hard to set themselves apart.

Register early to secure a spot — this conference will sell out quickly! Registration form available at www.igcacanada2017.ca.

Encouraging women in horticulture

Last fall, the Canadian Apprenticeship Forum held a three-part webinar series, “Skilled Trades Opportunities for Women.” CNLA Industry HR Coordinator Stacey Porter was the speaker for Part Two, “Encouraging Women in Horticulture.” This webinar explains the exciting and diverse pathways that make up the horticulture industry. Check out the full series on CAF’s YouTube channel; www.youtube.com/user/cafapprenticeship.

Effective Leadership

The Effective Leadership online resource is built to provide insight into business management and effective leadership for green professionals. Several landscape and horticulture business managers and owners share their own experiences through each growth phase in their company. Elpathway.ca provides an opportunity to learn from peers, while learning best practices to apply in your business. View the tools and resources at www.elpathway.ca.

Utility locates online

The Canadian Common Ground Alliance has announced one-call centres for all homeowners, landowners and contractors across Canada. Anyone can call or visit www.digsafecanada.ca to get information on underground infrastructure before beginning a project.

Garden centre benchmarking software

Garden Centres Canada continues to offer free benchmarking software to help members leverage their sales data. Participants simply enter weekly sales information into the software, which then compiles it and allows for comparison between aggregate data of other participants in their region and across Canada. With this software, garden retailers will have easy access to reports on total sales, transaction count, labour and inventory spending, etc. Not only is this information helpful to the main user, it is also helps CNLA, to develop programs that are useful and relevant to members. Apply for your free access at www.cnla-acpp.ca.

Canadian Landscape Standard spreading across the country

Almost a year after the initial launch of Canada’s first national landscape standard, landscape contractors, landscape architects, landscape designers, municipalities, educators and others are ensuring they have at least a copy or two. The purpose of the Canadian Landscape Standard is to document Canadian landscape construction best practices, resulting from collaborative national industry input. It sets the guidelines and makes recommendations for all major aspects of the landscape industry. This document recognizes professional members of the Canadian Society of Landscape Architects and CNLA provincial associations, and promotes competence, conformity, consistency and compliance. Order your copy today at www.csla-aapc.ca/standard.    

The Canadian Nursery Landscape Association is the federation of Canada’s provincial horticultural trade associations. Visit www.cnla-acpp.ca for more information.