Grover Thornton 2016Every peer at Perry Wellness Center has a role in aiding the functions of the campus, from serving customers at the market to hosting touring visitors to making sure windows and doors are sparkling clean. One particularly hard-working peer, Grover Thornton, has been given a special job title: Chief Engineer in Charge of Watering and Fertilizing.

As grafted and re-potted plants begin to sprout new growth in our five campus greenhouses, a daily maintenance schedule is critical. That’s where Grover comes in! He follows a schedule that guides his efforts with our growing plants each day. The hanging baskets and other plants in our market rely on his dedication.

“During the really hot days, my watering is a challenge,” Grover reflects, “But Stuart [Perry] and Jeff [Williams] have run some drip systems that really help me with the hanging baskets.”

And yes, we’re talking about a literal, written schedule. As he was applying fertilizer for the first time this market season, Grover was handed his new, laminated schedule.

“Thanks for laminating this schedule,” was his response. “I will post it somewhere dry.” For a “watering engineer,” that in itself can be quite the feat.

We took a peek at his schedule, which reads:

“Monday – Full watering day for all plants that seem dry and need attention. Tell Connie Rutherford, lead plant grafter and maintenance contact for the market.

“Tuesday – If fertilizer is needed, apply lightly with water applicator.

“Wednesday – No watering or fertilizing on this day. If dry plants are detected, please apply adequate water, but not too much.

“Thursday – Apply liquid fertilizer on all hanging baskets and bedding plants in Happy Patch Market.

“Friday – Check moisture on all hanging baskets and bedding plants in market area. Do not water if already moist.

“Saturday – Check all plants and hanging baskets to be sure of moisture level through the weekend. If no water is needed, travel the market and greenhouses to cip all dead leaves and growth.”

Phyllis Smith, Market Manager at Rudy’s Happy Patch, explained, “This published schedule will assure our public that we are doing all the can to guarantee the best maintenance of our hanging baskets and bedding plants. We look for another great year at Happy Patch.”

The success of the new season will largely rely on the dedicated efforts of Grover Smith and his detailed schedule. Thanks, Grover!

In the photo above, Grover Thornton applies liquid fertilizer to a new shipment of Leyland Cypress trees.

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