Horticulture Club: It’s more than just watching grass grow

Poinsettias grow in the thousands in the green house behind Building 4. The plants are adolescent, but will be ready for sale by the end of November. Photo by Anna Duran.

Poinsettias grow in the thousands in the green house behind Building 4. The plants are adolescent, but will be ready for sale by the end of November. Photo by Anna Duran.

By Miriah Masching.

DMACC Horticulture students strive to create the best looking plants, not only for a grade but also for their upcoming plant sales.

The sales coincide with harvest times in the green houses, which are in fall, winter and spring.

The mum sales just ended, and now the students are focused on raising the prettiest poinsettias, which are intended for sale.

“All the money from the sales goes to the horticulture club to help pay for their trips and fun things like the fountains,” said Mitch Weinberg, the SAC Officer for the Horticulture Club.

The horticulture poinsettias differ from store plants in that each plant has a group of students dedicated to the observation and care of the specimen.

“We can’t advertise our sales outside of DMACC grounds because then we’re competing with the outside businesses, and then it wouldn’t be a student funded and run organization,” Weinberg said.

The plants are started from cuttings and grown to specifications demanded by the market.

“Lots of people don’t realize we have plant sales or even green houses,” Weinberg said.

Plant height is monitored weekly and graphed to insure proper growth. If the plants aren’t growing properly, the students take measures to help them, including adjusting the temperature in the green house or by adding hormones.

“Instead of herbicides and pesticides we use biologic control, where we bring in predators to take care of it, which won’t harm our plants, but gets rid of our pests. Like right now, we have parasitic wasps that are going for our white flies,” said Weinberg.

The plant sales are important for funding because the club tries to take a trip every semester. The trips help the students recognize the relevancy of their field.

“Its an industry tour, just to see what the industry is doing. There are three specifications [in horticulture], landscaping, green house, and there’s also turf grass management,” Weinberg said.

Information for the dates of the poinsettia sales is pending, but will be available in the DMACC Student Daily and information is also available on the club’s Facebook page by searching DMACC Horticulture Club.

“Stop over when we have our sales,” Weinberg said.

Poinsettias will be available in white and red this year.

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