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New 104 Liner Trays: Fast finish time, plus savings on shipping

Four Star’s innovative new 104 liner tray design adds more liners per square foot with a finish time equal to our 84 liner, so growers can get 20 percent more plants for their shipping dollars!

After three years of trialing, the new 104 Liner tray is available for the 2018 growing season.  According to Dennis Crum, Director of Growing Operations, the tray’s unique design fits 20 percent more liners into the same space as the 84 tray, but with the same finish time.  The development of the new tray is an answer to growers asking for ways to hold their plant and shipping costs down.

“As part of our initial trials, we did small-scale grow-outs of every variety, comparing them to our 84s,” he says. “We tested them in hanging baskets and Grande™ containers.  Now, we use the 104s for all our hanging baskets and 35% of the Grandes.”

Innovative tray design

Supertunia® Petunia liners are shown actual size. The 84 liner is on the left and the 104 liner is on the right.

 

The 104 tray has a standard size to fit automated systems, yet includes 20 more cells than the 84 tray.  Crum notes this doesn’t mean the cells are smaller.  “Don’t get hung up on the numbers, and don’t think these cells are small, unpinched or need more time to grow.

“We did not go backwards when we designed these liners,” he explains. “We developed something totally new. The soil volume is different, but almost the same as that of the 84 tray, and the cell size is very similar.  The difference is the way the cells are spaced in the tray.”

Crum adds that the 104 liner varieties do not need special treatment. “They use the same crop plan as the 84s. They look the same and they grow out the same.”  In 2018, the 104 tray will be available for 25 best-selling varieties (see the list below).

Tested by growers nationwide

Goldilocks Rocks® Bidens are shown from above in 10-in. hanging baskets. The 84 liner baskets are on the left and the 104 liner baskets are on the right.

 

“We sent samples of these trays earlier this year to about 30 growers across the country,” explains Curt Varsogea, Sales Manager.  “The feedback we got was extremely positive, and some growers couldn’t tell the difference between the 84 and the 104 liners.  They told us the 104s finished right on time.”

“We’re encouraging growers to switch to the new 104 liners this year so they can see for themselves and also save money on shipping right away!” he says.

84 liners now available as 104 liners

The innovative new 104 liner tray, shown here with Artist® Blue Ageratum, has cells spaced to get more into a standard tray format. The cells are similar size to 84 liners, so the 104 liners grow out at the same rate.

 

Find the Right Liner

In addition to the new 104 liner, we recommend growers consider the popular 84 liners or Supernova® liners for multiple turns (see related Product Spotlight article), as well as additional sizes for specific crops.  

84 Liners
The 84 trays are hand pinched and grown bright and cool for full branching and vigorous growth, and are excellent for hanging baskets, upright containers and other large sizes. 

Supernova liners
For fast turns, use Supernova liners in four sizes to get a jump-start on each crop.  These robust liners are treated for fast and consistent flowering and need less pinching and fewer PGRs. 

50 Liners
Grow Pegasus® Begonia, Hello™ Gerbera, selected Grasses and Colocasia in this size liner.

72 Liners
Ideal for Begonia, Toucan™ Canna, and EZdazy™ Gerbera. 72 liners are now sold as 70s.

75 Liners
Popular standard for Pelargonium.

465 Plug Tray
Receive 465 Begonia liners sold as 440.

Jumbo and #1 Tubers
Plant Jumbo Caladium tubers directly into the 1.0 GL Royale™ and larger containers. The smaller #1 tubers are perfect for planting into 4 — 6” containers.

Additional liners are available for perennials and shrubs. See more here.

"To meet increased customer demand for the 2018 growing season, 104 liner trays will be available in all items currently offered as 84 liners, available at last year’s 84 liner prices!" says Varsogea.

“The 104 liners are available for bestsellers and others – not just varieties that are fast and easy to grow like Supertunia Vista® Bubblegum®,” adds Crum.

The 104 Liner trays are sold as 102s. “Growers will receive tags in bundles of 84, and they will not be charged for the extras they receive,” Varsogea adds. “Now, it’s easy for growers to provide the same finish times for Grandes, hanging baskets and gallon containers.”

The top-selling 25 varieties are available for 2018 with no tray minimum and are listed below.  All other 104 liners are available with an 8-tray minimum by variety, per ship week, per customer, per location. Contact your Four Star representative for more details.

104 Liner Varieties for 2018
104 liners offered with no tray minimum for the 2018 growing season in the following varieties:

Ageratum Artist® Blue
Angelonia Angelface® Blue
Argyranthemum Golden Butterfly™
Bidens Goldilocks Rocks®
Calibrachoa Superbells® Grape Punch™
Calibrachoa Superbells® Holy Moly!®
Calibrachoa Superbells® Lemon Slice®
Calibrachoa Superbells® Pomegranate Punch™
Cyperus Graceful Grasses® Prince Tut™
Euphorbia Diamond Frost®
Evolvulus Blue My Mind®
Ipomoea Margarita
Ipomoea Sweet Caroline Sweetheart Lime
Lobelia Laguna™ Sky Blue
Lobularia Snow Princess®
Nemesia Sunsatia® Lemon
Osteospermum Orange Symphony
Petunia Supertunia® Bordeaux™
Petunia Supertunia® Royal Velvet™
Petunia Supertunia Vista® Bubblegum®
Petunia Supertunia Vista® Fuchsia
Petunia Supertunia Vista® Silverberry
Sedum Lemon Coral™
Sutera Snowstorm® Giant Snowflake®
Verbena Superbena® Royale Peachy Keen

For more information about the new 104 liner or other liner sizes, contact your Four Star representative at 734-654-6420 or mail@pwfourstar.com.