2019 Plug & Cutting Conference Benefits All Growers

This time last year, we were preparing to welcome the horticulture industry to our area for the 2018 Plug & Cutting Conference. Then, Hurricane Florence decided it was going to threaten the Carolinas.

Instead of trying to reschedule the event on the fly, AmericanHort decided to move the event a year out. This time around for the 2019 Plug & Cutting Conference, the event will be in our own backyard at the Embassy Suites in Concord, North Carolina.

We are so happy to have the eyes of the horticulture world in our home town. For our part, Practical Software Solutions will co-sponsor the bus tour, which will make stops at Metrolina Greenhouses and Rockwell Farms.

Let’s take a look at what young plant growers will find at the 2019 Plug & Cutting Conference, as well as what there is to do in the Metrolina area.

Plug & Cutting Conference offers something for all greenhouse growers

The bi-annual Plug & Cutting Conference is one of the most successful regional conferences offered by AmericanHort. It makes sense since it offers education for the widest range of growers in the horticulture supply chain.

2019 Plug and Cutting Conference

Young plant growers can benefit from the 2019 Plug & Cutting Conference, but so can contract growers and finished growers.

Large-scale greenhouses may not produce all their plants from seed or a cutting. This allows them to save greenhouse space by not having a dedicated area (or as much of an area) to nursing young plants. However, there are young plant growers who focus their entire business on propagating seeds and plugs to a certain point in their young life cycle, then sell this product to larger greenhouses to finish their production. They may also go to contract growers who continue the growing cycle to a near finished or finished product, and then ship them to their contracted finished growers.

While a larger event, like Cultivate, may focus more on the largest group (finished growers), the Plug & Cutting Conference has something for all three groups of growers. Even though young plant growers may have the most to gain, all growers can benefit from learning the latest about how to grow better plants and how to better grow plants.

The benefits from this knowledge go through the life cycle of the ornamental plants all three segments of the industry deal with. The science of learning to grow a healthier plant from a seed or a cutting will lead to young plant growers providing a better product to their contract growers and finished growers. It stands to reason that not only can a young plant grower pass on this better product, but also pass on the knowledge of how to better care for a growing plant, no matter the stage.

Interestingly, at the 2019 Plug & Cutting Conference, the bus tour will be going to Metrolina Greenhouses in Huntersville and Rockwell Farms in Rockwell. While both of these growers specialize in finished plants, they both have area dedicated to growing young plants. It’s a testament to how important plug and cutting growing is to the entire industry, and not just specifically young plant growers.

Bonus info for 2019 Plug & Cutting Conference attendees

AmericanHort always does a great job of providing information about their events, both big and small. As I said earlier, the Plug & Cutting Conference was to take place in downtown Charlotte before we were interrupted by Hurricane Florence.

Now that it’s going to take place in our hometown of Concord, we’d like to point out a few things you may be interested in doing or seeing in the area. Especially since the 2019 Plug & Cutting Conference is taking place the week of Labor Day, some attendees may come down for a bit of relaxation along with their education.

  • Charlotte Motor Speedway/zMAX Dragway. For motorsports fans, Concord’s claim-to-fame is the home of the Charlotte Motor Speedway, which is right down the street from the Embassy Suites. It hosts two main events each year in May and October. The rest of the year, tours are available as well as various driving experiences. And the “Bellagio of drag strips,” the ZMAX Dragway, is right across the street.
  • Concord Mills. Concord Mills is the largest outlet and entertainment mall in North Carolina, and is conveniently located on the other side of Interstate 85 from the Embassy Suites. Aside from the tons of shopping, there’s also the AMC 24 with an IMAX theater, the Sea Life aquarium, an indoor speed park, and a Dave & Buster’s.
  • Great Wolf Lodge. Rain or shine, Great Wolf Lodge offers a great water park and much more all in the great indoors. Located across the street from the Embassy Suites, the Great Wolf Lodge¬†is a great place to stay with the family, or just visit for a day.
  • Bost Grist Mill. For those who want to see historical agriculture in Concord, check out Bost Grist Mill, which dates back to around 1810. At this time, they aren’t open for drop-ins, but they will take reservations to see the mill.
  • Gibson Mill. Formerly one of the famous Cannon Mills textile plants, Gibson Mill has transitioned into a huge shopping destination that retains much of its history. It features The Depot, the largest antiques mall in the Southeast, and Cabarrus Brewing Company (see below).
  • Cabarrus Brewing Company. The historic Gibson Mill also is the home of Cabarrus Brewing Company, a great craft beer tap room. While they do not sell food, they host at least one food truck every day and at least eight food trucks on Cabarrus County Food Truck Friday. If you’re looking for a spot where the locals go, this is a great spot.
  • Cabarrus County Fair. For those who may be staying after the 2019 Plug & Cutting Conference, the Cabarrus County Fair begins on Friday, Sept. 6. We all know what a county fair is, so I won’t go into all the details. But if you’re looking for a down-home good time, it’s worth the drive to the eastern part of Concord.

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