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MILLIONS OF BEDDING PLANTS BIDE TIME

 COLUMBUS, Ohio, May 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Millions of bedding plants are biding time in Ohio greenhouses, nurseries and anywhere that plants are sold, anxiously waiting on the weather to motivate gardeners to buy them and "set them out."
 Unfortunately, the month of April wasn't very favorable for much planting of any kind, but now that May is here and danger of frost will soon be past the outlook for home gardeners should be much brighter. This news will likely please the ever-increasing number of homeowners who annually beautify their landscapes with the massive selection of bedding plants available to them.
 When bedding plants are mentioned, impatiens, petunias, geraniums and marigolds are usually the first to come to mind. But varieties and color choices number into the hundreds.
 Pansies are still popular, partly due to their hardiness. Vinca is gaining favor. It is dry-weather tolerant and requires minimal care. Although not number one or two, begonias, zinnias, salvia, gerbera, dusty miller, snapdragons, allysium, verbena, coleus and others have a share of the market.
 Which bedding plant will be number one for 1993 is easy to predict, according to Larry Schmidt, a Swanton, Ohio, grower who is chairman of the Ohio Vegetable and Potato Growers public relations committee. Schmidt says impatiens have topped the list as the home gardener's favorite for several years now and is unlikely to give up its number one position anytime soon.
 Ohio residents are particularly fortunate when it comes to plant availability and selection. The state ranks third in the nation in bedding plant production. California and Michigan are number one and number two respectively.
 In the most recent year for which complete figures are available, the bedding plants produced by Ohio growers had a wholesale value of over $60 million. This is more than the 1990 combined wholesale value of fresh market tomatoes ($9 million), processing tomatoes ($33 million) and sweet corn ($12.5 million). The wholesale value of Ohio apples in 1990 was $21.3 million.
 During the past 10 years, bedding plant production in Ohio has more than doubled and is still growing. Vegetable growers who have expanded their operations to include bedding plants are largely responsible for the increased production.
 Obviously, the huge amounts of plants produced in Ohio cannot all be sold here. Growers ship to dozens of other states where homeowners proudly enhance their landscape with Ohio-grown bedding plants, just as homeowners in Ohio do.
 -0- 5/5/93
 /CONTACT: Mike Pullins of the Ohio Vegetable and Potato Growers Association, 614-249-2424/


CO: Ohio Vegetable and Potato Growers Association ST: Ohio IN: AGR SU:

KL -- CL015 -- 4944 05/05/93 14:29 EDT
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Date:May 5, 1993
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