2014 Recipient: South Valley Nursery

 

Tyler A. Buchanan, South Valley Nursery and Landscaping

$6,000—Greenhouse to Grow out Micropropagated Plants

Tyler is constructing a 60-foot by 26-foot greenhouse to grow out micropropagated plants for sale. He is expanding upon his successful 2013 WNC AgOptions project for which he used tissue culture to propagate rare and endangered native species and high value nursery plants in a special lab.

Tissue culture requires a significant upfront investment, specialized training and a sterile environment to be able to produce new plants in vitro (in a test tube).

“Adding the micropropagation lab to our operation last year allows us to produce a variety of unique plants for sale,” Tyler said. “However, I do not have sufficient space to grow these plants out to sizes that will sell well to the public. Adding a greenhouse to our operation will increase the quality, size and quantity of plants that we can offer for sale.”

The greenhouse, with heated benches, a drip water system and a double layer of plastic covering the hoop structure, is designed specifically for the delicate micropropagated plants, which require a precise environment for maximum growth.

Tyler is growing wildflowers such as the Carolina lily and Gray’s lily, orchids, grapes, five varieties of rhododendrons, three types of lilies, mountain laurels, arborvitae and a wide selection of evergreens.

Once the greenhouse is complete, Tyler plans open the nursery for public sales during the growing season. His family’s nursery, which has been in operation for more than 25 years, also sells both wholesale and retail.

A big motivation for Tyler is demonstration to other farmers. “Having a greenhouse will give me a place that other farmers and the public can visit to see what they can do with the technology,” he said.

Avery County

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