Let the sunshine in: Gertens grows with high-tech greenhouse

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Gertens Garden Center and Nursery in Inver Grove Heights has added an airy new building to its sprawling campus, a 2.5-acre greenhouse that features the latest in state-of-the-art growing technology, the Pioneer Press reports.

The $1.5 million greenhouse has high-tech environmental controls and other technology that save the business water, energy and labor costs, co-owner Lewis Gerten told the newspaper.

The building is a "finishing house," the final stop for growing plants on their way to the retail center next door, where shoppers will find them, Gerten said.

The sunny 114,000-square foot building was full of color last week, crowded with millions of plants, from petunias, snap dragons and dianthus, to geraniums and a number of other container plants, the Pioneer Press reported.

Gertens is a four-generation business that has grown since the 1920s, when it started as a truck farm.

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