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US (IA): Red Oak Greenhouse plans for future growth

Mum’s not the word when it comes to the secret behind Red Oak Greenhouse’s success of more than 140 years.

The secret producing a wide variety of greenhouse crops, said General Manager Bryce Johnson, is growing lifetime partnerships one customer at a time and having a dedicated, knowledgeable labor force.

Owned by Russell Johnson and Dennis Bloom, the business produces spring bedding plants, edibles, potted annuals, hanging baskets and plant combinations. Easter lilies, bulbs, mums, foliage and poinsettias round out their produce. It initially began in 1879 as a retail flower shop and greenhouse. In 1967, Howard and his son, Dallas Johnson, purchased the retail flower shop and greenhouse. Russell joined the business in 1970 after returning from serving his country in Vietnam.

In 1980, Russell’s brother, Dallas, left the business to start a new company. In 1987, Russell formed a partnership with Dennis Bloom and they have owned and operated Red Oak Greenhouse ever since. Several years ago, Russell’s sons, Bryce, Mark, and Jordan became part of the family business.

Red Oak Greenhouse operates an 895,000 square foot indoor production facility, which is equipped with the most up-to-date greenhouse industry equipment. However, Bryce said technology can only do so much when it comes to the start to finish production of horticulture.

Read more at The Red Oak Express (Tess Nelson)

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