It started with a question: What if?

When Abe Van Wingerden left Metrolina Greenhouses to work for a well-known manufacturer of household goods, little did he realize he would bring back the spark of a software innovation not only for his family’s company, but also for growers everywhere. When Metrolina Grennhouses wanted to upgrade their upgrade their ERP system, they asked, “What if we were able to do it in a way that would account for the unique challenges of growing a live product instead of manufacturing set items?”

The company already used Sage MAS 90 ERP (as it was known at the time), but wanted to work with a more local Sage partner for this project. Only fifteen miles down the road, Practical Software Solutions was there to take on the challenge. While Metrolina brought in their grower knowledge of grow cycle management and specialized item attributes, Practical brought in the technical know-how to develop an integrated solution to Sage 500 that could translate the needs of growers into an ERP system.

Because Metrolina had so many friends and family in the horticulture industry, word got out quickly. It wasn’t long before Metrolina agreed to allow Grower Vertical to be available for purchase through Practical Software Solutions. Over the years, more growers started asking, "What if ...?" These questions produced more advancements for Grower Vertical, including Scan by Cart and Space Management.

Through many changes, updates, and improvements, Grower Vertical for Sage X3 continues to be the gold standard for grower software systems throughout North America.


  • Young's Plant Farm migrates to Sage X3 subscription
  • 2020

  • Practical Software signs a grower to a Sage X3 subscription for the first time
  • 2018

  • Costa Farms in Miami purchases Grower Vertical for Sage X3. Costa Farms becomes the largest grower using Grower Vertical, based on Greenhouse Grower's Top 100 Growers
  • 2016

  • Practical Software Solutions begins work with its first Christmas tree farm customer
  • June

  • Practical Software Solutions demonstrates Grower Vertical on the web-native Sage platform during Cultivate'16
  • March

  • Space Management is demonstrated to the Grower Vertical user group for the first time after successful implementation and use at Jolly Farmer
  • 2015


  • Practical Software Solutions announces plans to develop Grower Vertical for Sage's new web-based platform
  • May

  • Sage introduces its new web-native platform for manufacturing and distribution
  • 2014


  • Practical Software Solutions announces partnershp with DemandLink to provide integration with Grower Vertical
  • January

  • Practical Software Solutions and Harvest Automation announce partnership to integrate Harvest Knowledge and Grower Vertical
  • 2013


  • Jolly Farmer Products migrates to Sage X3 for financials
  • 2012


  • Work begins on a Space Management module with Jolly Farmer Products
  • June

  • Practical Software Solutions begins work with its first two perennial grower customers


  • Jolly Farmer Products becomes Practical Software Solutions' first Canadian grower customer
  • 2011


  • Practical Software Solutions begins work with its first edible grower customer
  • August

  • Young's Plant Farm wins the Sage Customer Award for Innovation for Scan by Cart
  • February

  • Metrolina Greenhouses purchases the Scan by Cart module for Grower Vertical
  • January

  • After hearing positive reports from Young's Plant Farm, Metrolina Greenhouses approaches Practical Software Solutions about adding Scan by Cart
  • 2010


  • Grower Vertical is featured in a horticulture trade magazine for the first time in the article "Software Savvy" in Greenhouse Grower magazine
  • August

  • Young's Plant Farm finalizes its implememtation of their customized solution for Grower Vertical, now called Scan by Cart
  • July

  • Practical Software Solutions exhibits Grower Vertical at the OFA Short Course for the first time
  • June

  • Sage publishes a Customer Success Story video on Young's Plant Farm and Practical Software Solutions

    In the video, Bryan Young explains the modifications they were working on to improve customer receipt errors.

  • February

  • Speedling, Inc., becomes the first young plant grower to implement Grower Vertical
  • 2009


  • Young's Plant Farm becomes the third Grower Vertical customer

    Work begins on finding a solution to improve customer receipt errors at Young's Plant Farm.

  • September

  • Practical Software Solutions sells Grower Vertical for the first time
  • July

  • Representatives from Practical Software Solutions attend the OFA Short Course (now known as Cultivate) for the first time as guests of Metrolina Greenhouses
  • March

  • Recognizing they've produced a system that can benefit the horticulture industry as a whole, Metrolina Greenhouses agrees to allow Grower Vertical to become commercially available
  • Metrolina Greenhouses wins Progressive Manufacturing 100 Award
  • January

  • Sage nominates Metrolina Greenhouses for the Progressive Manufacturing 100 Award from Managing Automation Media for their work on Grower Vertical
  • 2008


  • Metrolina Greenhouses wins the first-ever Sage Customer Award for Best Use of Customization for Grower Vertical
  • 2007


  • Sage publishes a Customer Success Story video on Metrolina Greenhouses and Practical Software Solutions

    The name "Grower Vertical" is used publicly for the first time in the video.

  • March

  • Metrolina Greenhouses first entertains the idea of sharing their modifications with other growers
  • February

  • Metrolina Greenhouses goes live on Sage ERP MAS 500 (now known as Sage 500 ERP)
  • 2006


  • Metrolina Greenhouses signs on with Practical Software Solutions to upgrade its Sage ERP system and design a solution to account for the unique needs of manufacturing a live product
  • April

  • Metrolina Greenhouses first meets with Practical Software Solutions during an 18-month process of re-evaluating its software system

    Practical Software Solutions was recommended by Charles Childers, Metrolina's IT director at the time, who previously met with Practical at a former job.

  • 2003

  • Practical Software Solutions moves from Charlotte to Concord, North Carolina
  • 2002

  • Practical Software Solutions becomes a Best Software Development Partner

    Sage Software was known as Best Software in the United States between 2001-06.

  • 1996

  • Metrolina Greenhouses of Huntersville, North Carolina, implements Sage ERP MAS 90 (now known as Sage 100) to track accounting data
  • 1993

  • Practical Software Solutions opens in Charlotte, North Carolina