Chesapeake Nurseries was started in 1962 with the first propagation in one unheated, deep cold frame. Our nursery now consists of more than 50,000 square feet of heated space including an acre Cravo retractable roof greenhouse, the first one of its kind on the East Coast. Over 800,000 liners are produced each year. Most liners start as softwood cuttings planted in pine bark and rooted under intermittent mist. These are just a few of the accomplishments and characteristics making our nurseries unique in our industry.
Chesapeake Nurseries' container operation started in the mid-80’s and is now producing over 800,000 plants per year in 3 to 20 gallon plastic pots. We are currently growing in 1200 300’ hoop houses. We primarily use bark as our growing media and fertilize with dry granular slow release fertilizers. Much emphasis is placed on growing full, dense, healthy, top quality plants. Tremendous time, effort and resources go into production techniques, over wintering, shipping and customer service. Plants are pruned many times during their production to develop well branched, properly shaped, full tops. Six key managers individually label plants by shipment with strict adherence to uniform grading.
No plants are pulled in advance; each plant is selected just prior to loading. In the pulling operations, all plants are placed on 4 x 6 pallets to eliminate additional lifting and handling. Currently 25 semi-trailers and two straight trucks are used to send out over 800 loads per year to markets in the Northeast and Midwest. All of our delivery vehicles are decked to insure plants arrive to you in excellent condition. No plant material is double-stacked. We are currently loading as many as 15 loads per day with three crews using four docks with conveyors.
We are currently developing new growing areas for above ground container production. We want to be able to increase the depth of our inventory so that we can supply the plant material you need in the quantities you want. I f you haven't been to the nursery in the last couple of years you cant imagine how much we've accomplished. We welcome the opportunity to show you around. We specialize in hardy broadleaf varieties for every landscape. Chesapeake Nurseries' extensive container nurseries offer a stunning selection of broadleaf evergreens, flowering shrubs, and ornamental grasses. Our uniformly beautiful plants are propagated, cultivated, and delivered with utmost care and quality control and are available year round. The BEST makes a big difference.
For over fifty years, Chesapeake Nurseries has been synonymous with top quality broadleaf evergreens on the Eastern Shore of Maryland and beyond. We now encompass over 1,300 acres in beautiful Maryland. Approximately half of our acreage is used for the production of high quality ornamental shrubs. We currently grow over 150 varieties of Azaleas, Barberry, Boxwood, Hydrangea, Ilex, Nandina, Ornamental Grasses, Pieris, and many more in various sizes suitable for garden centers, landscape contractors and re-distribution centers.
Over the last 10 years, we have converted all of our Ilex, Euonymus and Boxwood from field production to container production. This has been a monumental task. We have constructed over 700 300’ x 18’ hoop houses, two large wet well systems with four 75-horsepower, 2,000 gallon per-minute, vertical turbine pumps each, increased our water holding capacity by 30% and moved countless yards of earth for grading and road building.
It means more consistency, the container plants are grown in a more controlled environment and the crop is more uniform from beginning to end, year after year. Better winter protection means your early spring shipments are ready when you are. Container grown plants are much easier for you and your customers to handle and maintain in your yards.
The conversion to container growing has not allowed us to expand our product mix. Our next project is to construct an additional 100 houses to be able to add several new product lines to our mix to broaden your choices for quality plant material and increase the quantities of our existing production. If you haven’t been to the nursery in the last couple of years you can’t imagine how much we’ve accomplished. We welcome the opportunity to show you around.
Our sales office, propagation department and Pemberton Farm, are all located three miles West of Salisbury, Maryland on Pemberton Drive. Loading and shipping facilities, the repair and fabrication shop and the Green Hill Farm, are eleven miles West of Salisbury on MD Route 352.