The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia


May 11, 2014

Grown in a greenhouse

Daniels plant vendor moves into a new retail space

They’ve been in business for more than 25 years. But moving to a new selling location offers a new experience for Debbie Cadle and her daughter Hannah Radford.

The retail greenhouse is located behind the Daniels Post Office just off U.S. 19-21. Customers also can access the greenhouse from C&O Dam Road, first road on the right just past the Daniels Missionary Baptist Church.

“Hannah and I have eight greenhouses that we manage together,” Cadle explained of the family venture. “It’s been a wonderful experience for us. It has enabled us to meet folks from all over the country.”

The greenhouses are started at the end of January for the spring season to ensure flowers will be in full blooming capacity, Cadle said. “We transplant more than 10,000 seedlings daily.

“Everything is grown in our greenhouses from seeds and plugs. Nothing is shipped in; therefore, our flowers do extremely well all summer because they have already adapted to the local climate.”

The greenhouses now are stocked with 500,000 plants which consist of 100,000 vegetables, nearly 2,500 hanging baskets, and herbs; the remainder includes a colorful array of marigolds, pansies, geraniums, snap dragons, petunias, impatiens, coleus, waves, verbena, begonias and other varieties of bedding plants and filler flowers.

“We grow a large variety of annual flowers such as pansies, snap dragons, petunias, million bells, fuchsias and begonias,” Cadle explained. “We also grow a limited variety of perennials: phlox, black-eyed Susans and pampas grass, and will be expanding tremendously by next season.”

The women stock a wide variety of vegetable plants, including 50 kinds of tomatoes, 20 kinds of peppers (everything from ghost peppers to sweet bell peppers), squash, zucchini, cucumbers, eggplant, cabbage, broccoli, lettuce, onion sets and a great variety of herbs.

“We also have two tunnel houses full of strawberries that we will be selling at the greenhouse facility this year,” Cadle said. “Next year we will have tunnel houses at the facility for customers to pick their own strawberries, blackberries, raspberries and blueberries.”  

The eight greenhouses and three cold frames enclosed in floral splendor, covering some 15,000 square feet near their home in Daniels. The women are specializing in cone baskets this season that range in size from 12 to 24 inches.

“We are the only nursery in the area that carries this particular line,” explained Hannah. “They are quite impressive no matter where you hang them around your home.”

Knowing the right time to start the seedlings plays a big factor on the finished product as far as the size and blooms are concerned. Fertilizer is another key element, according to Hannah, who noted, “Every plant is different in its elemental needs. We use a variety of fertilizer ratios that are rotated frequently to provide plants with their needs. It is crucial for customers to continue fertilizing flowers after purchase and throughout the growing season to maintain quality of the plants.”

Once the greenhouses are under way, there’s very little leisure time for the women who toil around the clock at their flower and vegetable growing projects with occasional hired help when needed.

“It’s a seven-day-a-week process,” Hannah said. “We even have to go out to make periodic checks at night during the early spring to make sure the heaters are working properly.”

Mom and daughter do all the work that includes transplanting, starting seeds, spraying pesticides, watering, clipping and shaping plants and myriad other duties.

The greenhouse floral and vegetable products are on sale during weekdays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. On Saturday hours are from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday hours are from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Debbie’s Greenhouse opened this week and will remain open through the first week of July. The retail season is about 10 weeks long. Some of the most popular flowers are wave petunias, million bells, pansies and impatiens because of their radiant colors.

The spacious greenhouse and floral display racks near the Daniels Post Office offer a variety of items for flower lovers and gardeners:

- Hundreds of hanging baskets with exciting variations and colors. Some will tolerate direct sunlight and others like the shade.

- Wide selection of vegetables for the garden. More than 20 varieties of peppers from Chocolate Habanero to Sweet Banana to Orange Bells.

- More than 50 varieties of tomatoes. From tommy toes to Trip-L-Crop which produces fruit up to 3 pounds. The greenhouse specializes in providing several heirloom varieties as well.

- Cabbage, broccoli, cucumbers, squash, watermelon, cantaloupe, carrots, eggplant, onion sets and more.

- A nice selection of herbs that include basil, oregano, parsley, chives, sage, dill, coriander, and lavender.

- Professional advice for landscaping needs and also offers landscaping/planting services.

- Fresh strawberries to sell that are grown in a tunnel house.

“We think it’s a great privilege in life to have a business that enables Hannah and me to work together as a team,” Cadle added, smiling. “We enjoy every day of the work.”

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