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 […]
February 22, 2017
Emerging Industry Leaders Earn Business Management Cert…
Dr. Charlie Hall, Ellison Chair for International Floriculture at Texas A&M University, recently announced the graduation of the fourth cohort of the elite Executive Academy for Growth & Leadership (EAGL) program for nursery and greenhouse growers.
February 21, 2017
Learn How Drones Could Eventually Replace Bees in Polli…
Researchers in Japan are using the principle of cross-pollination in bees to make a drone that could potentially transport pollen between flowers.
February 21, 2017
Ian Baldwin: 2017 is Off to a Strong Start For Plant Re…
Many garden retailers are telling garden retail consultant Ian Baldwin that sales and the consumer’s attitude toward spending have been very strong the last two months.
February 20, 2017
5 New Varieties Shaking Up the Poinsettia Tradition
With poinsettias trending toward non-traditional colors, growers may find new opportunities to spread sales beyond the winter holidays. Here are five of the newest euphorbia varieties to hit the market that may play a role in redefining the future of the poinsettia market.
February 17, 2017
How to Keep Customers Coming Back With Top-Notch Servic…
A recent article on Forbes.com outlines seven ways organizations can take their customer service from good to great and beyond.
February 17, 2017
Proven Winners Makes Improvements to Its Retailer Certi…
Understanding the challenges of training new and seasonal staff at independent garden centers, Proven Winners says it is working to equip managers with tools to prepare their employees to better handle customers’ questions and boost their confidence in selling plants this season.
February 17, 2017
Industry Veteran Tom Foley Discusses His New Role as Vi…
Foley, a greenhouse industry veteran who was most recently with EuroAmerican Propagators, will be responsible for North American sales of WaterPulse’s patent-pending capillary mats and associated irrigation systems to nurseries and growers.
February 17, 2017
Dan and Jerry’s Greenhouse Buys Iowa-Based DeJong Green…
The acquisition will allow Dan and Jerry’s, a bedding plant grower headquartered in Minnesota, to extend its seasonal product offerings and service a new customer base with local distribution.
February 16, 2017
Pleasant View Launches Updated Website for its Savor Ed…
The site is designed to offer a friendly and informative vehicle that delivers product information in an easy-to-navigate format.
February 15, 2017
Syngenta Introduces Two New Flower Series for 2017
‘Sunfinity’ Sunflower produces multiple branches with numerous flowers that bloom all season long, while ‘Obsession Cascade’ Verbena quickly fills containers with vibrant flower patterns.
February 15, 2017
New Greenhouse Cooling System in Development for Hot-Cl…
Researchers at McGill University in Quebec have developed an alternative evaporative cooling solution for greenhouses in warm climates, and are now seeking commercial partners.
February 14, 2017
Suppliers Comment on Plant Genetics’ Fate After EuroAme…
Since the operation’s bankruptcy filing on January 23, 2017, suppliers associated with EuroAmerican Propagators have updated Greenhouse Grower on what the operation’s bankruptcy means for them – and how it will impact grower customers.