Editor’s Letter: Cruisin’ through California By Heather Machovina

California Spring Trials was a blast! It was my first time attending the event and, while it was a bit overwhelming, I learned so much. Four days filled with breeders showcasing their new genetics and lessons on why they are beneficial to our industry gave me a new appreciation for all the eye candy I see in garden centers and landscape designs.

Improved weather tolerance and season-extending varieties were a big highlight at many of the stops, giving both growers and consumers something to look forward to as these varieties come to market. There were also lots of varieties on display for use as cut flowers, with breeders saying the cut flowers trend is still on the rise.

I hope you had a chance to see our coverage during the event through our social media posts and newsletters. We will also be featuring CAST coverage in the June and July issues, so stay tuned for more!


This month, Vaughn Fletcher gives us the details on best annual introductions from his visit at the end of February to the Costa Farms Season Premiere spring trial in Miami, Florida. Trials are the final stop for new varieties before getting released to the industry, so it’s a great time to make decisions on what new plants you want to include in your 2024 lineup. If you can’t make it in person, page 38 is worth a visit to see what’s performing well and worth consideration.


Greenhouse automation is a hot topic right now, with labor shortages and increased demands fueling the need for production solutions. These technologies can be expensive, and figuring out what options fit your operation best can lead to struggles that further delay improvements. We chatted with some big growers about how they made decisions to start using automation and where it’s having the biggest positive impacts in their production. Give page 32 a read, and let me know what you are doing to implement automation in your business. Are you seeing similar results as these growers? Are you working on a plan to make changes using technology?

For an enhanced reading experience, view this article in our digital edition by clicking here.

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