Delaware’s Green Industry

On October 18th, Tracy Wooten, Master Gardener State Coordinator and Valann Budischak, Executive Director of Delaware Nursery and Landscape Association, spoke to our class about Delaware’s Green Industry. The green industry in Delaware has a total cash receipt of $13.8 billion in 2014 and is a growing industry.

What and who make up the green industry? Producers, retailers, landscapers, land managers, and suppliers. Producers are those you grow the variety of crops and sell to retailers. Retailers in Delaware specialize in different categories and Delaware is the home to the biggest garden center on the East Coast – East Coast Garden Center. Next there are landscapers, they have a variety of jobs that design, build and maintain anyone’s landscape. Land managers typically work for the state and maintain the roads, railroads, open area and state parks. DELDOT is the largest land manager in Delaware. Lastly, suppliers do not directly work with plants, they are those who provide the tools and equipment needed to grow and maintain the crops.

I found it very interesting that when you buy plants, it is typically at its third home. It begins at one location that plants it and grows it to a seedling. Then the second company will grow it to a pot size, that then is sold to a Garden Center to sell to the public. Now in the Green Industry there are two crop groups; floriculture and nursery crops. Floriculture Crops are bedding/garden plants, cut cultivated greens, cut flowers, potted flowering plants, foliage plants, and propagative floriculture material. Whereas Nursery Crops are broadleaf greens, coniferous evergreens, deciduous shade trees, deciduous flowering trees, deciduous shrubs and other ornamentals, fruit and nut plants for home use, cur and to-be-cut christmas trees, and propagation material or lining-out stock.

Lastly, some organizations that you should look into if you like landscaping and the green industry are Delaware Nursery and Landscape Association, Livable Lawns as well as Master Gardeners. Delaware Nursery and Landscape Association is a non-profit trade organization serving Delaware’s horticultural related businesses and the companies that supply them. Livable Lawns certifies homeowners and lawn care companies that follow environmentally-friendly best practices in fertilizer application while educating homeowners on these best practices. Master Gardeners is volunteer educators whose mission is to provide residents with information to make the best possible choices for managing their home landscapes in ways that are environmentally responsible.


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