Your Mother's Day Scores!

Having trouble viewing this e-mail? Click HERE to see it on the web
Be in the know
Timely news and commentary from GrowerTalks
Facebook Facebook GrowerTalks Magazine

Friday, May 13, 2022

Chris Beytes Subscribe

Acres Online

Mother's Day results
- Compared to previous years
A garden bar
Webinar: Inside "Intrinsa"
Knox, on costs & pricing
Finally ...

How was Mother’s Day 2022?

Let’s just say it was better than the last few weekends, but not as good as we’d like to see for a Mother’s Day Weekend. The national averages were 7.7 in the U.S. and 7.8 in Canada.

Here’s the map:

That’s based on 125 scores from 45 states and 8 Canadian provinces.

It's pretty clear where the sun was and where the rain was. Golly, if we'd had good weather up in the Northeast, this could have been a record weekend!

It was a mixed bag of scores you kids sent me this week and weather seemed to make all the difference. I don’t believe I’ve ever seen the country so split between “outstanding” and “miserable.” It was either amazing (10) or it was not so hot (6 or 7). I counted only 16 9s and 14 8s out of the 123 scores. Forty five of you (37%) sent in perfect 10s. But I also received a pair of 1s (Alaska, Delaware), five 2s (Maryland, Nevada, New Jersey—twice—and Pennsylvania) and a 3 (Virginia).

Where did you want to be? My state of Illinois (six 10s and a 9) and Ohio (five 10s and a 9.8) dominated. The Midwest was the highest-scoring region at 9.4. Missouri and Alabama, were stellar—both had three scores, all perfect 10s. Oklahoma and Wyoming each had two scores, both 10s. South Dakota scored two 10s and a 9.

Canada did MUCH better this time than in previous weeks, with three 10s (two from Ontario and one from BC). The lowest score from the country was 6 (six of them, from Saskatchewan, Ontario, Manitoba, BC and Alberta).

My favorite comment of the week comes from John Derrick from Victoria, British Columbia, who says, “This is strangest year I have seen in 40 years.”

Gratifyingly, a good swath of you told me your Mother’s Day broke all previous records. Here are some examples:

Ohio: “Best ever!”

Maine: “Best Mother’s Day ever!”

Ohio: “Set a new daily record on Saturday (we are closed Sundays)."

Missouri: “It was big—up 45% over last year’s record Mother’s Day Saturday.”

Wisconsin: “We shattered our single-day sales record on Saturday, followed by our best Sunday ever.”

Illinois: “Saturday was our busiest day in 13 years. Sunday was among our top 10 days in 13 years.”

Wyoming: “Saturday set a single-day sales record by 27%!”

Michigan: “From Wednesday through Sunday we experienced record sales!”

Alabama: “Best day and best week ever. Very happy.”

Illinois: “We couldn’t find a better day in history with the amount of sales we had this Mother’s Day Weekend.”

North Carolina: “Second highest day ever on Saturday.”

Iowa: “All-time store records on Saturday and Sunday.”

Wisconsin: “Best retail day ever on Saturday.”

Ontario: “It was our best Mother's Day weekend in over 60 years in business.”

I could keep going, but you get the picture: A few folks had reasonably okay weekends.

It was all about the weather. Steady rain all weekend long across the northeast, and snow and cold/wet/miserable across the West and upper Plains. Only a few spots in the South are starting to slow a bit due to heat and the nearing of the end of the season. Give consumers half a chance to get out and shop and they show up in droves!

How does this compare to other Mother’s Days?

Other than Memorial Day and Canada’s Victoria Day, this is our most important spring weekend. How did 2022 compare to previous years? Take a look:

                    US/Canada    % perfect 10s

2022                7.7/7.8             37%
2021                9.4/9.0             57%
2020                8.2/8.9             49%
2019                7.6/8.2             26%
2018                8.8/9.5             45%
2017                7.8/8.3             36%
2016                8.3/8.4             39%
2015                8.2/9.4             58%
2014                7.9/7.7             32%
2013                7.5/7.1             16%

Avg.                8.1/8.4             39.5%

As you can see, this was one of the lowest-scoring Mother’s Day in the 10 years that I’ve kept records. Only 2013 and 2019 were worse in the U.S.; in Canada, 2013 and 2014 were worse. And that in spite of the much higher percentage of you sending in 10s—four years were lower: 2019, 2017, 2014 and 2013. It shows that weather had a significant impact on the national average.

The best news to come from the holiday weekend? All those records indicate that the consumer is here and ready to shop! So for those of you still awaiting spring, take heart: When it arrives, and the customers with it, it’s coming with a vengeance!

Samuel Franklin, Jr. of Franklin Brothers Nursery in North Carolina paints a good picture of today’s consumer:

“The last three weekends have been extraordinary. The weather has been perfect and people have been buying literally everything. Yes, we raised our prices about 10%, but sales are up about 15%. Incredibly, we are seeing self-indulgent customers (and proud of it) with carts containing several hundred dollars mixed with houseplants, succulents, herbs, annuals and perennials. We love self-indulgent! On the wholesale side, we are also up and sales are strong.”

How Jolly Lane keeps the customers jolly (and shopping!)

With their Garden Bar, that’s how. Sounds like a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon in Rapid City, South Dakota!

Tim Sime, owner of Jolly Lane Greenhouse, gave his weekend a 10 “for sure,” writing, “Great weather, an overflowing parking lot, long lines (moving rather quickly though) and prices didn’t seem to be a concern at all.”

Then he really piqued my interest with this:

“We have a garden bar where we serve craft beer and wine, and we had live music on Sunday, so the people hang out for quite a while and enjoy the atmosphere and spend more $$. Couldn’t ask for a better weekend!”

I found the picture of his Garden Bar on his Facebook page. Talk about a looker!

I’ve always known that plants and adult beverages and music mix nicely. Have any of the rest of you found that to be an aid to business? Let me know HERE. And include a photo of your garden bar and/or live music setup.

Free webinar: Inside Dümmen’s “Intrinsa” breeding

If you want to know how and why modern breeding technology is creating better plants for you and your customers, you’ll definitely want to tune in to my next free GrowerTalks webinar. It’s titled “Intrinsa: Plants Powered for a Greener Future” and it’s slated for Tuesday, May 24 at my usual time—1:00 p.m. Eastern/Noon Central.

I won’t give away all the good stuff, but in a nutshell, “Intrinsa” refers to taking advantage of the intrinsic traits within plants themselves. They use a combination of modern “genotyping” using genetic mapping and markers, combined with traditional “phenotyping” or growing out the plants to look for desirable traits. It allows them to bring new plants to market more quickly than ever before, with desirable traits like disease resistance, new colors or what-have-you.

This is exciting stuff and all the world’s top breeders like Dümmen Orange are taking advantage of genetic mapping (note: NOT genetic modification!) to bring new plants to market, so you should be up on the basics of how it works.

Sign up at

See you there! (That’s because I’ll be the host and emcee.)

Oh, while you’re there, check out two more upcoming webinars I’m hosting:

“Edible Crops: Challenges of Organic Production in Greenhouses” on Thursday, June 2, sponsored by Premier Tech Horticulture


“Greenhouses: Traditional vs. New Technology” on Wednesday, June 8, sponsored by Argus Controls.

Knox, on costs and pricing

Last time, I asked if any of you were thinking about your pricing for 2023 and even beyond.

Stephen Weichsel, business systems manager for the young plants side of Knox Horticulture in Winter Garden, Florida, took the time to weigh in to my newsletter for the first time. Stephen said he handles the costing and pricing for Knox’s young plants and so can offer that perspective. Here’s what Stephen is up to:

“I am in the process this month of putting together the pricing model for 2023. It’s the same general formula that I’ve used in past years—applying direct costs, allocating indirect costs and then putting a margin on top.

“What I know now is that many of our direct costs are increasing significantly for next season—the second year in a row we’re having double-digit increases on our inputs. Our plug and liner trays are going up in cost to us 30%+. Soil media is also 30%+ up year over year. Our labor cost is about 20% up YoY. Plant input costs to us are pretty consistently up 5% YoY, although that can vary based on source and crop/series, and we don’t have quotes in yet from all of our plant input suppliers. A significant part of the increases we’re seeing for each part are due to freight.

“Regarding freight, just about two-thirds of all of the plants we ship are delivered on our own trucks. Diesel is hovering around $5 a gallon in most of delivery radius. Because of the world situation in Ukraine and domestic political priorities, it’s not wise to plan on a decrease in fuel cost for next season.

“I don’t know today what our average price increase will be for our young plants. I expect that we’ll have a pretty significant one and our freight price increase will be even higher. That’s just passing on the cost increases we are seeing. We will, of course, work on streamlining our program offerings and work to minimize the price increases as much as we can.”

Thanks for sharing your planning process, Stephen!

Any comments on what he’s seeing or doing and how it compares to your business? Let me know HERE.

Finally …

This timely quip from Lowell Halvorson of Liberty Family Farms in Massachusetts cracked me up … once I Googled Shrödinger, that is. (I should have paid more attention in physics class … had I taken physics class.)

“Chris, someday, I should tell you about Schrödinger's Planting Line, which sometimes appears this time of year. This is where the inputs inside the shipping box may or may not be dead, but you plant them up anyway.”

Lowell must have a physics background, or at least a bent in that direction, as a few weeks ago he sent me this one (which currently appears as the clever quote in my email signature):

“The entire region has shifted into gardening, so the farm has shifted to ‘Einstein Time’ (this is where you have to bend the laws of physics to get everything done).”

Feel free to email me at if you have ideas, comments or questions. Beefs, even ... especially if barbecued!

See you next time!

Chris sig

Chris Beytes
GrowerTalks and Green Profit

This e-mail received by 25,687 loyal readers!

Thanks to my loyal sponsors, who help me reach the 25,654 readers of Acres Online in more than 60 countries. Want to be one of them (a sponsor, that is)? Give Paul Black a shout and he'll hook you up.