Evapotranspiration based irrigation at Saunders Brothers Nursery©
Saunders Brothers is a wholesale nursery located in central Virginia ― in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The company began in 1915 as a family farm, growing corn, tobacco, and raising cattle. In 1947, Paul Saunders stuck his first boxwood cuttings as part of a 4H project. In the 1980s as some of Pauls seven sons were finishing school and returning to the family business, the farm expanded to include an ornamental nursery. Like many folks in the industry, Saunders Brothers grew quickly in the 1990s and through the 2000s. We now grow over 500 different taxa of ornamental plants, 25 different cultivars of boxwoods, and 50 different types of fruit.
The company and the industry suffered during the recession of 2008. Supply outstripped demand and customers were reluctant to buy nursery product, as their expectations for quality increased. At the same time, the costs of our inputs were also increasing. This got us thinking: what can we do to decrease our input costs while also increasing quality?
Day, L. 2016. Evapotranspiration based irrigation at Saunders Brothers Nursery©. Acta Hort. (ISHS) 1140:383-386