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Case Study: Creekside Nursery

Don't Mess with Plant Health in Texas

How one nursery uses Empress® Intrinsic® brand fungicide in its propagation efforts to help its plants thrive.

They say everything is bigger in Texas, and Creekside Nursery is no exception. Sitting on a 500-acre stretch of land outside the town of Hempstead, Creekside grows a diverse mix of ornamentals, ranging from 4-inch annual trays to perennials, cacti, roses, shrubs and 200-gallon trees. This level of output is necessary to supply their customer base and meeting that demand requires a calculated approach in order to manage plant health on a massive scale.

 

No one understands this more than Jessica Lowery, Production Manager at Creekside and the person in charge of the entire nursery’s propagation efforts. Outside of managing more than 250 employees, it’s her job to make sure every plant begins its growth cycle as healthy and clean as possible. That means battling numerous environmental factors like changing weather patterns, resistance and disease.

 

For Jessica, success starts with prevention. “We are growing a wide variety of material in very large quantities, so prevention is key for us. So, working to keep those soilborne diseases under control preventatively is much easier to manage than having to apply fungicide securing them,” she says.

 

Creekside has relied on a number of BASF products since opening in 1992, and for Jessica’s entire 13-year tenure, BASF products have been the cornerstone of the nursery’s preventative spray programs, especially in their propagation efforts. These days, her broad spectrum go-to has been Empress [Intrinsic brand fungicide] to help fight common diseases such as Rhizoctonia, Pythium or Phytophthora and to help start the plant life-cycle off on a healthy, positive note.

 

That positive note begins with powerful control of soilborne diseases and proven plant health benefits like stronger roots and a greater tolerance to stress. “All plant material is treated with Empress whether it was grown on site or brokered in,” she says. “There are some crops we know might get Phytophthora or crown rot, and they stay strong throughout their whole cycle, and that’s due to the application of Empress [Intrinsic brand fungicide].”

"Empress [Intrinsic brand fungicide] helps us start our crops out as clean as possible, and it’s performed very consistently for us." 


- Jessica Lowery, Production Manager, Creekside Nursery

Jessica and her team know how important their role is in setting Creekside up for success. “Plants in propagation are essentially the future of our business, so if the plants coming out of prop to go to transplant are not clean, we could possibly spread diseases within our own footprint and have a much larger problem to battle,” Jessica says. “So, Empress [Intrinsic brand fungicide] helps us start our crops out as clean as possible, and it’s performed very consistently for us.”

 

Managing propagation at the scale that Creekside Nursery requires is not an easy feat, and Jessica’s advice is to think one step ahead of potential problems. “We try to stay ahead preventatively as much as we can using products like Empress [Intrinsic brand fungicide], because they help put up a strong defense against plant-damaging stress, so that will hopefully result in a higher crop yield.”

*Always read and follow label directions.

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Empress® Intrinsic® Brand Fungicide

Empress® Intrinsic® Brand Fungicide protects young plants from root-infecting pathogens in plug, propagation and transplant stages production.

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