Simplify Your Combo Planting with Streamliners™
Check out these 5 ways our Streamliner™ Multi-Liner™ combinations can boost your production and profitability.
By Brian Bourdon, Offsite/Product Line Manager
Using our Streamliners will take the worry and hassle out of your combination production. When you are planning what combinations to produce, you have many factors to consider. Some of these are:
- Which colors can you put together to make a nice combination?
- Are the plants going to have similar vigor so one variety does not overtake another?
- Is the flowering time for these plants similar?
Other questions we are frequently asked are:
- What kind of a pattern should I plant the liners in, and
- What goes in the middle of the container?
Streamliners™ Make Combinations Easier
The Streamliner Multi-Liner™ process starts by propagating individual varieties in a small cell, each separate from each other. This gives us the advantage of treating each crop individually to its specific needs. Some get pinched while others may need a growth regulator. Tailoring our production to fit the needs of the liners results in more compatible plants that will finish as a uniform combination.
"Tailoring our production to fit the needs of the liners results in more compatible plants that will finish as a uniform combination."
— Brian Bourdon
Here's how we do it. After the plants are rooted, we then transplant them into a 50 cell. It is in the 50 cell tray that we continue to grow them and allow the different cells to root together. After several weeks, we then have a combo in every cell.
5 Advantages of Streamliners for Growers
There are several advantages to using Streamliners versus planting from standard 84 liners:
1. Planting is easier.
There is no decision on which variety you should put in the middle or on the outside, because every plug is a combo. For a 10" basket, you only need to plant three liners in a basket and you are done. We have seen a labor savings of 50-60% in planting time just by switching to Streamliners.
2. You can now easily have small container combinations.
While most growers will use Streamliners for hanging basket production, they can also be used with additional crops. Another popular size to use is the Proven Winners® 1 GL Royale container. Simply plant one liner in a gallon and in six to seven weeks, you will have a nice combination to sell at retail.
3. This method reduces shipping costs.
Fewer trays will give you more baskets planted. As a result, depending on your area and how many Streamliners you plant into your baskets, you could see a freight savings up to 40%!
4. Tagging is more efficient.
For example, if you are planting the Supertunia® combination "Above and Beyond" from 84 liners, you will need to put one tag of Vista Bubblegum, one tag of Vista Silverberry and one tag of Vista Fuschia into each container. The beauty of using Streamliners is not only do you place your order simply by combination name, but you receive one large combination-specific tag which has all the patent information of each variety. Just one tag per pot limits waste, while still increasing brand recognition!
5. These Streamliner combinations have been trialed over and over to ensure your success.
We selected 15 of our best-selling recipes with a good color mix and great performance characteristics. You can see these on Pages 26-27 of our 2013 print or digital catalog.
Brian Bourdon has worked for Four Star for 14 years and supervises production with contract growers. To contact Brian, call 734-654-7476 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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