Doctoral Dissertations

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Plant, Soil and Environmental Sciences

Major Professor

B.S. Pickett

Committee Members

Don B. Williams, David L. Coffey, William E. Goble


The object of this research was to evaluate the greenhouse flower production industry in Tennessee by studying various aspects such as the physical structure of each operation, managers' qualifications, managers' preference, production, sanitation, and marketing practices, operating efficiency, and how problems outside the greenhouse business affected management decisions.

A survey form of over 100 questions was completed by 70 greenhouse operators showing data on the growth and vitality of the greenhouse flower production industry in Tennessee after the turn of the century. The flower industry depends upon the economy for growth and vitality. The largest number (170) of producers was reported in 1940; after that a decline began that was to continue until 1954 at which time there were only 104 operators. A gradual but steady increase has continued since 1954. In 1970 it reached an all-time high of 176 operators and a total of 2.6 million square feet of greenhouse area with a business of over $4 million.

Most greenhouse operations fall under the family enterprise classification and 60.0 percent of the greenhouses are operated as proprietorships, 20.0 percent as partnerships, and 18.6 percent as corporations.

Wholesale and retail sale of flowers increased during the 1960-1970 period. The average wholesale sales volume in 1960 was $48,679 and in 1970 had increased to $69,218.

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