Catoctin Mountain Growers, based in Detour, Maryland, primarily sells to big-box stores on the East Coast, as well as some grocery store chains and landscapers near Detour. According to head grower Julie Iferd, Catoctin primarily grows annuals in the summer before shifting to mum and poinsettia production heading into the fall in its 17-acre glasshouse facility. Iferd says Catoctin is also beginning to grow perennials for the first time, albeit on a small scale before possibly increasing production.
“We sell to Walmart, so we do all of their products, from packs up to hanging baskets, mixed containers,” Iferd says. “Everything that you can think of, we grow.”
A key part of Catoctin’s growing process is the use of PGRs, which it purchases from Fine Americas. According to Iferd, Catoctin has been using Fine Americas PGRs for most, if not all, of the 16 years she has worked at the business. And while its PGR of choice — Piccolo 10XC — is not used on every crop, it is used on many of its most popular crops, including calibrachoas, mums and petunias.
One reason Iferd and the Catoctin team prefers Piccolo 10XC is because of its concentrated formula.
“We go through fewer containers of it and it’s just easier in handling,” she says. “It’s also a different suspension. The old Piccolo can settle out to the bottom where you have to shake it or it needs mixing in the actual solution. But the 10XC is better suspended, so it does not settle.”
Iferd also says Fine Americas’ decision to sell Piccolo 10XC in bigger, one-gallon jugs for the first time makes her job easier because fewer empty containers accumulate over time. It also means carrying fewer jugs around the greenhouse when the PGR is being applied.
“They just started putting it in gallon jugs this year and it works better for me because it’s less plastic,” she says. “It’s a cleaner process and we need less containers. We don’t need more containers and don’t have to haul more containers out to where we are using it. It’s just easier to handle in a larger container.”
Iferd also stands by Fine Americas as a company. In the almost two decades she has used Fine Americas products at Catoctin, she has come to trust the company completely.
“I trust them based on past experience,” she says. “We’ve never had a problem with any of their products. They do send representatives out to talk with us and introduce new products. And, from experience, I trust their products.”