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Headstart Nursery logo HEADLINES
October 2011   

New Pericallis 'Spring Touch'

Headstart Nursery is one of the country's exclusive providers of the new 'Spring Touch' line of Pericallis from Danziger "Dan" Flower Farm.

Pericallis Spring Touch

Rooted liners are grown in a 72-cell tray. For more information about Pericallis or other ornamental crops from Headstart Nursery, please contact Mike Fernandez.

Outsmarting the Bagrada Bug

The brassica-loving Bagrada bug (Bagrada hilaris) has continued to plague growers in desert areas. However, this year Headstart Nursery has been able to eradicate the pest from its transplants by growing all sensitive crops (mostly cauliflower and broccoli) in its Gilroy greenhouses. The Bagrada bug thrives in hot, dry areas like the desert, but does not survive in mild climates like Gilroy.

In 2011, all brassica plants for desert customers were grown in Gilroy and only shipped down to our Desert Sea facility in the last week of production, so they could "harden off" in the desert sunshine. This strategy has helped Headstart avoid Bagrada bug problems and produce hardy, pest-free plants for all of its customers.

Jesse Barriga to Oversee Desert Logistics

We are pleased to welcome Jesus "Jesse" Barriga as Headstart Nursery's new Desert Logistics Coordinator.

Jesse Barriga

Jesse will manage all shipping and transportation for the desert facilities. He was born and raised in Thermal, just down the road from Headstart's greenhouses on Jackson Street. Jesse has worked in the ag business for many years, most recently as packing house supervisor at Oasis Date Gardens, and he also enjoys hunting and racing quads on the sand dunes. Welcome!

Headstart Expands to Castroville

Headstart Nursery recently signed a contract to acquire more than 460,000 square feet of greenhouse space at Golden Field Greenhouses in Castroville and Salinas. Headstart Nursery will use the extra space to supply plants to existing Golden Field customers and to handle overflow orders from Headstart’s other facilities in Gilroy and Mecca.

This acquisition represents a 25% increase for Headstart Nursery, bringing the company’s total greenhouse space to more than 2 million square feet. This significant expansion solidifies Headstart's position as one of the largest transplant producers on the west coast.

Steve Costa, President of Headstart Nursery, said, “We’re all very excited about this expansion. Because Headstart can move orders between Gilroy, the desert, and now Castroville, we will be able to take advantage of three different climate zones. This way, we can extend the growing season in all areas — and continue providing top quality plants and service to all of our customers year-round.”

Golden Fields Grower/Manager Chris Peck will continue to manage the Castroville greenhouses. In addition to growing vegetable transplants at the new facilities, Headstart Nursery will also continue working closely with Hans Gerritsen of the Hortus Group to grow cyclamen, gerbera, and other ornamental crops.

Poinsettias Selling Fast


Forget Cabbage Patch Kids, Tickle Me Elmo, Wii, or iPads. The hottest Christmas commodity this year seems to be Headstart Nursery’s gorgeous red poinsettias. By mid-October, our loyal customers have already booked orders for more plants than were sold in all of 2010!

Fortunately, Headstart Nursery has increased its poinsettia production for 2011, but supplies are still limited. Most of Headstart’s 2011 crop is the Prestige™ Red variety from Paul Ecke Ranch, which features dark green leaves and large, showy, deep red horizontal bracts. The nursery is also experimenting with some new trial varieties.

The majority of Headstart’s poinsettia sales go to local schools, churches, and non-profit organizations, who buy the plants at a special fundraiser discount. We estimate that Headstart helped these community groups raise nearly $100,000 last year. Now that’s the holiday spirit!

With a convenient new online order form, it’s now easier than ever to get a “headstart” on your holiday decorating. Headstart’s gorgeous red poinsettias sell for just $6 a plant and are shipped directly from our Gilroy greenhouses. Delivery is free to local areas for orders of three or more cases. But these beautiful poinsettias are going fast, so be sure to get your order in soon.

For more information, see the Poinsettia section of our website.
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Headstart Nursery, Inc.
4860 Monterey Road
Gilroy, CA 95020
(408) 842-3030

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