Spring is finally in the air here in Wonder Lake, IL. Considering our adaptations due to COVID‐19, the team at Goodmark has had a great start to spring. Sales and shipping have been busy so far, and we are sending out great plant material for our customers. Many trees and shrubs are finally showing signs of life in the nursery after the long, dormant winter.

A few weeks ago, we started sending out a new publication called the Grower Gazette via email to our customers. This weekly email update is a quick glimpse into what is going on at the nursery and gives some insider info. To explain, we discuss what types of sprays are currently effective or when you can expect certain plants to flower. Throughout the year, we will cover lots of topics as they come up in the growing season.

What Is It? 

Early this spring, we have focused on a very useful tool called Grower Degree Days (GDD). We use GDD as a guideline when trying to determine what is going to leaf out or what types of bugs are going to be emerging and when. This tracking system has been used by plant producers of all kinds for years to help give them a timeline of when plants start to come out of winter dormancy. We have been tracking the accumulation of GDD for our location here at the nursery, and it has helped give us an idea of what to be on the lookout for each week as we continue to warm up into May.

How It’s Calculated 

There are many useful tools that can help you do this online as well by searching for a GDD Calculator and inserting your zip code. GDD is calculated based on daily high and low temperatures, so sometimes in early spring it might take a little while to start accumulating them, but once the warm weather becomes more consistent, they will really take off. Using this method of tracking the growing season can really help your pest management in your fields, holding yards, or garden centers.

Are you interested in receiving the Grower Gazette in your inbox? Send an email to andy.fields@goodmarknurseries.com 

This month’s blog was guest authored by Andy Fields, Grower and IPM manager. Check out his bio! 

Andy Fields, Grower, NurseryAndy is our new Grower and IPM Manager at Goodmark Nurseries. He moved from Cleveland, Ohio, and joined the team about three months ago. He is focusing on overhauling our production practices and plant healthcare program here at the nursery. Since starting, he has written and implemented a respirator program, purchased a new sprayer, and has built a shrub holding yard to allow customers to see and pick up their plant material at our Wonder Lake location. Andy graduated from the University of Mount Union with degrees in environmental science and geology and has been working as a grower for three years. He is excited to continue his career as a part of the Goodmark Nurseries team. Outside of work, he enjoys spending time in the outdoors fishing, hiking, or kayaking. He loves national parks and hopes to visit all of them one day. If you ever are at the nursery picking up an order and want to talk plants or Cleveland sports, make sure to ask if he’s around!


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