May 22, 2014
Six Ways To Increase Energy Efficiency In The Greenhouse
As the spring season starts to wind down, it is never a bad time to look back at the last couple of months to evaluate what changes you might consider for next year. There is no better time than the off-season to make these changes for the next spring season. Few things you do will have a greater effect on your operation than how proficient you are with energy efficiency. In this installment of Basics and Beyond, we will look at a few items you should consider to save energy in the greenhouse, most of which will cost very little and will pay for themselves well within the first season if you implement them.
September 12, 2013
Greenhouse Growing Goes Electronic With Online Tools And Education
The world around us is moving faster and faster everyday. Just think of what you can do with your phone these days. Talk, surf the web, check eMail, snap photos, shoot video, play games — the list grows everyday. In this article, I will cover some of the ways that growers can harness this fast-paced world and the technologies that go with it. Do any of these describe you? 1) You went to college to learn to be a grower, but clothes styles have changed at least twice since you graduated. 2) You never went to college but you’ve been working in a greenhouse for years and learned with dirt under your fingernails. 3) You just got into this industry and are feeling overwhelmed with everything you have to learn. Regardless of your level of expertise, many of us find it necessary to go back to the basics and re-learn, […]
April 19, 2013
DLICALC Online Tool Helps Growers Caculate Daily Light Integral
Managing all the different environmental and cultural aspects of greenhouse crop production can be an intimidating and daunting task, especially during the peak production season. But it’s necessary to produce a high-quality, salable plant. The greenhouse is full of moving targets, from root zone pH and EC to plant growth, air temperature and light. Managing each of the parameters of greenhouse crop production to consistently produce quality crops on time can be a challenge. Thankfully, the development of decision-support tools can aid greenhouse growers. GROCALC is a suite of electronic grower decision support tools that include ALKCALC, FERTCALC and PGRCALC. These programs are useful for making calculations related to greenhouse crop culture including water acidification requirements, fertilizer solution and plant growth regulator (PGR) mixing. However, there are few or no tools available to help make calculations related to the greenhouse light environment. Although light is frequently discussed in terms of […]
October 24, 2012
How To Take A Water Sample
It is important to test your irrigation water on a regular basis, so you know what your water quality is and if any corrective treatments are needed. When And How Often It is always a good idea to test your water whenever you start using a new water source. Take another test if there are drastic changes in seasonal water availability due to a drought or high amounts of rainfall. These events can affect your water quality, especially if you are using a well or surface water for irrigating. Growers that produce year round should plan on testing their water twice a year, once in the winter and once in the summer. Seasonal growers should test their water just before the growing season. Getting Started Before you take your water sample, be sure to have a few materials gathered. You will need access to your water source, and a hose […]
September 5, 2012
Smart Greenhouse Heating Saves Money
As the days get shorter and temperatures drop, it’s a perfect time to start thinking about how to reduce your energy consumption this winter. There are a number of relatively simple methods you can use. The installation of thermal energy curtains has been popular in recent years due to the substantial energy savings associated with them. They can serve double duty in the spring and summer as retractable shade curtains. Energy curtains can be expensive. For example, a grower installed a 40-foot-by-78-foot energy curtain for the price of $12,000. If the grower heats the greenhouse without the curtain from January 1 to May 31 at a temperature of 65°F, it would cost almost $24,000 to heat. With the curtain, it only costs about $17,000. At the time of installation, heating oil cost $3.10 per gallon. The grower saved about $6,600 per year, making the payback on investment in less than […]
August 13, 2012
Bedding Plants and CRFs
While controlled-release fertilizers (CRFs) are not a recent addition to a grower’s toolbox, they are not nearly as common as traditional water-soluble fertilizers (WSF). Many growers comment that they don’t want to lose the control they have with traditional WSF programs. However, new formulations and technologies in CRF manufacturing, along with a desire for alternative methods of delivering mineral nutrients, have led to increased interest in using CRFs. The experiments below focus on using CRFs in greenhouse propagation and finishing of short-term bedding plant crops. How Fertilizer Studies During Propagation Were Conducted At Purdue, cuttings of several cultivars of angelonia, geranium, nemesia, New Guinea impatiens and petunia were stuck in 105-cell propagation trays filled with 3 parts soilless substrate and 1 part perlite. The trays either contained no fertilizer charge or 5, 10, 20 or 40 pounds of Osmocote Plus 15-9-12 with micros CRF per cubic yard of substrate. This […]
August 6, 2012
Potted Plants On CRFs
After seeing how bedding plants are affected by controlled-release fertilizers, three separate studies were conducted to show how the use of these fertilizers influenced the production of potted plants. The Poinsettia Experiments Rooted liners of ‘Premium Red’ poinsettias were potted into 4.5-inch containers filled with a commercial soilless substrate that was amended with CRFs: Osmocote Plus 15-9-12 and Osmocote Plus 16-9-12 applied at a rate of 7.9 and 7.4 pounds per square yard (lbs./yd³), respectively, and Nutricote 20-7-10 at 5.9 lbs./yd³. For comparison, a treatment of constant water soluble fertilizer (WSF) [15-4-15 Poinsettia FeED at 150 ppm nitrogen (N)] was also included. The plants were watered using drip irrigation as needed throughout the experiment, and a leaching fraction between 20 to 25 percent was maintained and adjusted weekly to accommodate for plant growth. Total leachate was also collected from the treatments and analyzed for nutrients each week. A second poinsettia […]
July 9, 2012
Tips For Controlling The Greenhouse Environment
Controlling the environment in a greenhouse can look fairly simple in some cases, and many of us don’t give it a lot of thought. When the temperature dips below or above certain points, we know how to turn on the heat or fans, respectively. Simple right? Well, to a certain point, but by studying a greenhouse’s environment, we realize that there is actually an intricate dance going on between many systems, even in a small hoophouse, to ensure the delivery of optimal conditions to our crops. Here are some of the principles and practices that will help maintain proper greenhouse temperatures and conditions. Greenhouse Volume And Size Matter The size and height of a greenhouse (think about overall volume) can have an effect on how it heats and cools. Two greenhouses with the same footprint but different gutter heights will have different air volumes inside the greenhouse, and the one […]
July 27, 2016
The Top 5 Myths About Cannabis Production Cleared Up
There is a lot of misleading information going around about growing cannabis. Industry insider James Lowe makes sure you know the truth about cannabis production.
July 26, 2016
SAF Partners With Cornerstone Government Affairs To Adv…
A new partnership between the Society of American Florists (SAF) and Cornerstone Government Affairs ensures that SAF will continue its highly effective work advocating for issues that affect the floriculture industry. “SAF and Cornerstone together provide experienced voices on Capitol Hill to protect our growers’ interests,” says SAF CEO Peter Moran. “We’ll continue to move major policy priorities forward on behalf of small business and agriculture.” Cornerstone is a public affairs firm specializing in government relations, strategic consulting, and advocacy. Its team of more than 50 senior professionals includes former senior professional staff from both authorization and appropriations committees and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), as well as veterans of the horticulture industry. Agricultural and horticultural issues of primary concern to SAF members include access to labor, immigration, crop protection, international trade and other matters related to the day-to-day operations of growers. Before she retired this year, SAF lobbyist Lin […]
July 26, 2016
AFE Releases New Videos Highlighting Industry Successes
The American Floral Endowment (AFE) recently released five new videos, created to highlight floriculture successes through industry collaboration, support, and participation. “Each video shares real stories from industry members on career development through scholarships and internships, and true examples of research solutions that have shaped how the industry operates today,” says Laura Shinall, President of Syndicate Sales, Inc., and AFE Public Relations and Development Chair. “We’re excited to be able to share some great success stories in an effort to increase industry participation.” The introductory video “Heard of the American Floral Endowment?” helps educate those who aren’t currently aware of AFE’s programs, while other segmented videos (retail, wholesale, grower) share how Endowment programs complement each group and why it’s so important that everyone in the industry participates: Retail Florists Share Why They Turn to AFE New Resources for Floral Wholesalers and Suppliers AFE Helping Growers Profit Ready for a Career in Floriculture or Horticulture? […]
July 26, 2016
How Your Retail Plant Sales Practices Compare
Editor’s note: Greenhouse Grower RETAILING asked growers and retailers to share their pricing methods in a survey sent out in mid June 2016. Of the 362 responses, 202 arefrom those whose primary business is garden retail. We will be sharing the results of what we learned throughout July, August, and September 2016. Discounting plants is a finely wielded weapon for plant retailers, Greenhouse Grower RETAILING‘s Plant Pricing Survey shows. It will come as no surprise that just about everyone holds sales at some point (93%). And so it makes sense that some expertise is shown. Take this first graph as an example. The most perishable plants — small annuals and vegetables — are the most likely to be placed on sale. That seems counter-intuitive. Why place the fastest turning inventory on sale? But when we took a closer look, we found that these sales are being used to lure […]
July 25, 2016
How You Can Stop Aphids By Understanding Their Interact…
Knowing which aphids target which crops and how aphids colonize and move on plants goes a long way toward setting up an effective management plan.
July 25, 2016
Cultivate Keynote Speaker Highlights Seven Principles O…
In his morning keynote address at Cultivate’16, best-selling author and speaker Jeremy Kingsley noted that if you want to make your business better, the process should start with making your people better by inspiring them.
July 24, 2016
Horticultural Lighting Conference To Take Place In Chic…
The one-day event is designed to provide cutting-edge information on the latest technologies and techniques impacting the advancement of the horticultural lighting market.
July 23, 2016
AmericanHort Kicks Off Cultivate’16 By Announcing Major…
Even though Cultivate’16 just wrapped up, it’s not too early to find out about the many changes you can expect for 2017.
July 22, 2016
Pleasant View Gardens Targets Millennials With Savor Ed…
Taking something as ubiquitous as vegetables and herbs and giving it a fresh new look is no easy task, but Pleasant View Gardens took on the challenge with extensive research and creative marketing.
July 21, 2016
Dümmen Orange Opens New North American Headquarters In …
The new office, which officially opened during Cultivate’16, supports the company’s vision to be integrated into a vibrant and inspiring community, and provides a bright, modern workspace for its approximately 30 local employees.
July 20, 2016
Sakata Seed Develops World’s First Pollen-Free Lisianth…
With no stamen to produce pollen, the new Lisianthus varieties have improved flower durability and the benefit of no scattered pollen that can cause staining of flowers and machines.
July 20, 2016
Research And Commercialization Unite At The New Vinelan…
The new, pre-scale commercial greenhouse facility at Vineland Research and Innovation Centre in Vineland Station, ON, will help accelerate the commercialization of innovative technologies and products coming out of research.
July 20, 2016
First-Ever Flower Run Was A Big Success, Luxflora Says
Kicking off Cultivate’16 on Sunday, July 10, Luxflora’s first annual 5K saw nearly 150 participants racing through the picturesque Scioto Audubon Park in Columbus under clear blue skies and perfect conditions. It was a great way to start the week, participants said. Congratulations to the winners of the first-ever Flower Run: First Place: Jacob Griffith Gardner Second Place: Mike Goyette Third Place: Jack Ford The top three winners — and all of the Flower Run participants — were showered with flower petals when they crossed the finish line, making for a colorful and fragrant finish to an invigorating experience. “Personally, I would consider it a grand success,” says Luxflora President Rebecca Lusk. “The overall mood was fantastic, from start to finish. There were many high fives and group hugs, numerous duo phone selfies and postings to social media, while participants enjoyed their bananas and bottled water donated by Experience Columbus. Most […]