The Story Behind Our Lab
The story behind our lab has a meager beginning. In the early 2000’s, Hidden Acres Nursery was servicing about 480 Walmart stores in 9 states with Red Fountain grass as one of our crops. We produced it from breaking up left over crops from the year prior. In and around 2002 we had a crop failure of 300,000 liners due to disease and were unable to find them anywhere. This caused us to miss that season with product to our customer.
In Central Florida 4 miles from us, Venky Krishnamurthy worked as a lab manager/RD at Twyford Plants labs. Twyford had decided to close this location and Venky was one of their top researchers and didn’t want to move from our community. We started our lab in 2004 with the intention to do red fountain grass for our customer base. Our first 400 plants were planted Nov 8, 2005. In early January 2006 we had a freeze that caused all red fountain grass to brown out not to wake up until late March of that year, with the exception of these 400 plants that were perfect after being iced in during the freeze in the low 20°F. The 400 plants had 40 to 50 bibs, 12’’x12’’ in 6’’ pots, and gorgeous burgundy foliage that never stopped growing regardless of temperature down to the edge of freezing. I knew at that moment we had something special and had changed the nature of this plant through tissue culture.
Well, the rest is history! We changed one plant in our industry that has made a world of difference in thousands of nurseries and millions of landscapes in the US, Canada, Europe and the Caribbean. Today we have worked with hundreds of plant species and not all have been successful, but we are always searching, observing, testing and developing new product and creating protocol for our customers to be successful with growing our product lines. Believe me we are always on a search to learn more and we will always share this information with you, so you are successful to make a profit. Even more importantly, we ultimately want to give our end user customer great value. I hope you give us another look because we are not just “Red Fountain Grass” anymore.