MASON — Bob’s Market and Greenhouses have been planting for the spring season.
Anna Barnitz, Bob’s Market Manager, explained spring is the company’s peak season for business. Anna shared approximately 50 seasonal workers are hired beginning in January and work until the end of April.
Barnitz said all greenhouses are nearly stocked full with about 5,000 to 6,000 seedlings. These will result in a finished product of 600 to 700 skews of varities added Scott Barnitz, Bob’s Market co-owner. Scott said they will produce approximately 100 million plants this spring. He explained there will be no new species of plants this spring season, but species such as petunias, impatiens, and geraniums will be available in new colors.
“We try to have production staggered, so everything is fresh every week all throughout the year,” said Scott.
Anna commented customers are excited to purchase plants with color for their yards. She said one of the most popular plants of the season is the Calibrachoa, also known as, “million bells.” Anna shared another plant on the rise in popularity is the succulent, a maintenance free plant.
Anna said Bob’s Market ships their plants all over the United States, if the product cannot be shipped by a truck, it will be shipped by Fed-Ex. She explained Bob’s Market has a total of 33 truck drivers that ship to approximately 20 states as far west as Texas, north to Michigan, east to New Jersey, and south to Georgia.
She explained they will begin shipping to their market in Atlanta, Ga. in mid-March. Anna shared customers will begin wanting to purchase their plants in this area around the middle to end of April, yet advised the last frost date falls on May 10.
A considerable amount of the work occurs in order to produce the plants of Spring. Scott explained a perfect blend of peat moss, perlite, and fertilizer are mixed together to make the soil they use. The seedlings are then sown into propagation trays. As the plants mature, they are transplanted as for the space required to grow. The plants are spread throughout the greenhouse and maintained receiving water and sunlight. Several workers help with the process of turning these seedlings into full grown plants.
“We have a wonderful force, we’re very fortunate to have the workers and team members that we have, we couldn’t do all we do without them,” said Anna.
Anna shared Bob’s Market and Greenhouses started in 1970 as a roadside market and began expanding their production in the late eighties, early nineties. Bob’s Market was considered having quality in their small seedling plants and was producing 7 million seedlings, today they produce close to 140 million. Bob’s Market purchased a wholesaler in Pittsburgh in 2012. Anna said Bob’s Market is in the top 10 of small plant growers in the United States and they have retail locations in Mason, Belpre, Gallipolis and Atlanta.
Erin Perkins is a staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing.