Saturday, August 31, 2013

New York State Fair 'One Thing' Series -- Today's Feature, Floriculture

Garden display at the Men's Garden Club of Syracuse
While most people thing of agriculture as being a vegetable or a cow, one of the largest segments of agriculture in New York state is floriculture.

Yes, each spring when you head out to the nursery or greenhouse or garden center to pick up a tree, shrubs or some annual or perennial flowers to surround your home, you are participating in the floriculture industry.

New York state ranks ninth in the nation in floriculture, according to USDA statistics. Commercial sales from stores with more than $10,000 in sales totaled $169 million in 2012.

Bedding and garden plants was the largest segment of that at $102 million. That was followed by potted flowering plants, with sales of $26.6 million in the state.

There were 577 growers in 2012, using 25.2 million square feet of area to grow their flowers, plants, shrubs and trees.

I talked with Mary Haynes, of Syracuse, with the Men's Garden Club of Syracuse, at the club's display inside the Horticulture Building. She said the 'one thing' she wants the public to know is: "The backbone of all gardens is the soil." Without nutritious, properly worked soil, plants and flowers won't do well.

She went on to talk about the importance of knowing the sunlight, water and nutrition requirements of whatever you are planting.

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