Production and Maintenance of Plant Materials
This is just some of our nursery crew inside the Propagation Green House. We have invested heavily in mechanization to reduce costs and provide for a safer work environment. After the plants have been potted, several different environments keep the plants happy, healthy, adapted to rigors of the landscape.
Natural Predators, Limited Chemical Use
We use the natural resources available at our nursery as much as possible, limiting the use of pesticides, and we use no restricted-use pesticides. In addition, we make use of I.P.M and biocontrols such as dragonflies, wasps, lady bugs, frogs, and predatory mites that congregate and multiply naturally due to many ponds on the property. The fertilizer used is custom controlled release for each crop to avoid contaminating local water sources. And any runoff is mitigated through a natural water system that runs throughout the nursery. Next, it is filtered by the diverse plant life ecosystem, thus resulting in little runoff to surrounding areas.
An important conservation area here at Rode Groundcovers is the pocosin. It is a 12 acre wetland area with a five foot deep layer of peat, and a water depth of up to 42 foot deep. The water has a pH of 3.4, and the temperature is about 52 degrees year round. There are many varieties of plants growing in and on top of the water, including redroot, sphagnum moss, lyonia, red bay, sweet bay, loblolly bay, pond pine, smilax, osmunda fern, terrestrial orchids, water lilies. These plants attract an incredible array of insects, including dragonflies and butterflies, as both feeding and breeding grounds.
Renovating, Recycling, and Composting
Our employee break area and kitchen (left photo) is a farmhouse dating back to 1885 that we rescued from destruction. We avoid disposal of waste into landfills as much as possible. All plant and soil waste is composted. Trays and pots are sanitized and reused. Our office is a renovated Cracker-style house dating back to 1956.