January 9, 2013
Cool-Season Insect Control
AS growers ramp up production in late winter and into the early spring, they are often caught off-guard when they discover insects or mites feeding on the crops very early in the growing cycle. It can be very frustrating for growers to have to deal with insect pests this early in the season. Although the amount of insect activity and crop injury is usually minimal this time of the year (particularly when the production temperatures are low), if undetected, the populations of these pests can gradually increase and lead to significant crop injury later in the production cycle as temperatures rise. The presence of insects and mites in the early spring occurs frequently with perennials and woody ornamentals that have been overwintered, but they commonly occur in other crops under cool growing conditions, as well. In some instances, there are dormant life stages and eggs that overwinter on plant debris, […]
April 26, 2012
Ornamental Grasses: Not All Grasses Are Created Equal
With the popularity of ornamental grasses, many growers are offering them in their perennial product lines. Some growers handle and produce ornamental grasses as if they were all the same, but the truth is, growing several varieties in a similar manner will often lead to production and quality issues. Grasses can generally be categorized into three groups: cool-season grasses, warm-season grasses and sedges. These categories correlate with the seasonality or the time of year when they are actively growing. These groupings are also influenced by the origin of the individual grasses. When growers receive starting materials, how they grow the crops and their success is greatly influenced by the type of grasses they are producing. About Cool-Season Grasses Cool-season grasses are at their prime and flourish when they are grown with cool temperatures (60 to 75°F). These grasses typically begin to grow during the late winter or early spring and […]
March 23, 2012
Tips For Beautiful Bare Root Hibiscus
Hardy hibiscus continues to be a popular perennial grown for summer sales. One grower who began offering bare root hibiscus materials a few years ago is Walters Gardens. And although bare root hibiscus offers numerous benefits, many growers are still not familiar with this type of starting material. Bare root hibiscus are field grown and offer growers a much larger, more vigorous starter plant compared to the smaller liners typically used in the past. Bigger starter plants mean faster turnaround times, fuller containers with more flowers per pot and a high perceived quality. Flowering Characteristics Besides the benefits of using bare root plants, growers should consider thetype of flowering each cultivar offers. Not all hibiscuses are created equal. There are two types of flowering habits: determinate and indeterminate. Cultivars with determinate flowering develop flower buds near the terminal shoot. Indeterminate varieties develop flower buds at the nodes along much of […]
June 20, 2008
Misconceptions With Controlled Release Fertilizers
Pilon: How do rates vary between incorporation and topdressing? Passchier: There are two factors involved when speaking about incorporation and topdressing the fertilizer. The first is the potential differences in nutrient availability for the plant when incorporating versus topdressing. The second is the amount of fertilizer that is used when incorporated compared to the topdressing rate. Let’s remember that CRF fertilizers are released by temperature and research shows that different technologies are affected by the temperature changes around the CRF prill that can alter their expected release. Just think about the temperature fluctuations and moisture consistency in the media versus the temperature fluctuation and moisture consistency on top of the media. In general, there is likely to be less temperature fluctuation and more moisture consistency in the pot than on the surface of the pot. The surface of the media is subject to greater temperature changes between night to day […]
June 19, 2008
Q&A On Controlled-Release
Pilon: What are the methods controlled-release fertilizers (CRF) are applied? Passchier: The two most common methods of applying controlled-release fertilizers in greenhouses and nurseries is to incorporate them into growing mixes prior to planting (incorporation) or placing the fertilizer on top of the potting substrate (topdressing). Topdressing entails placing a predetermined amount of fertilizer on top of the growing medium of each container. Generally, topdressing is reserved for second-season crops, but there are some growers who topdress crops just after planting new liners. Care should be taken with this practice to make sure you have a first-season fertilizer and not a second-season topdress fertilizer. The first method I was exposed to 15 years ago was the "big hand" method. The grower/owner would show the hired help how much fertilizer to put in their hands and then place it on the surface of the container. Needless to say, the size of […]
June 18, 2008
Misconceptions About Controlled—Release Fertilizers
Delivering and managing nutrition is one of the primary tasks associated with producing greenhouse crops. Most growers deliver nutrients using various water-soluble fertilizers, some growers use controlled-release fertilizers (CRF), while others use a combination of controlled-release and water-soluble fertilizers. As I travel across the country to visit various growers, I’ve come to recognize that many growers would like to consider using controlled-release fertilizers at their facilities but do not understand these products well enough to implement them into their production systems. With a shift in irrigation and fertility practices, where growers must control leaching and water runoff from their production sites, the use of controlled release fertilizers will allow growers to produce high-quality crops and manage the nutrients that leave their production sites more effectively. From my perspective, there is a great need to educate growers of the benefits and risks associated with the use of controlled release technology. To help […]
June 18, 2008
What’s In Controlled-Release?
In the first installment of this four-part series, we began to introduce several important aspects regarding controlled release fertilizers (CRFs). Slow-release fertilizers are reacted urea formaldehyde products. Each has its own characteristic chain of polymers, which are gradually broken off by microbial activity and then made available for roots to uptake. Controlled-release fertilizers are fertilizers with nutrients that are encapsulated or coated, similar to an M&M candy, where there is an outer candy coating and the good stuff inside the coating. Fertilizer is released when moisture is drawn into the covered coated prill and turns the fertilizer salt into a semi-soluble form. The release of nutrients from the prill varies slightly with the technology used to formulate the coating. All CRFs typically have either a resin or polymer coating. The main difference is how the water soluble fertilizer comes out of the prill. The rate of release is often a function […]
June 18, 2008
Pilon: How does temperature affect release? Passchier: As we discussed previously (see the July 2007 issue), controlled release fertilizers can be compared to M&M candy since the good stuff is inside of the coating of each of these products. As the temperature increases so does the solubility of the candy and fertilizer on the inside. The main difference is the inside of the coated prill of the fertilizer contains some form of salt. Moisture needs to be present around the coated fertilizer prill in order for moisture to be drawn inside allowing the solid fertilizer salt to turn into a semi-soluble state. As the temperature increases, so does the solubility and the pressure inside the prill. Consequently, with higher temperatures and increased internal pressure, it requires less time for the fertilizer to come out of the prill and be available for plant uptake. The trick to formulating and using CRFs […]
May 23, 2018
Collegiate Plant Initiative Helps Foster a Love of Plan…
CPI offers a unique perspective of the plant world, with the goal of connecting college students with exciting plants and teaching them more about opportunities in the plant industry.
May 23, 2018
How Low Substrate pH Can Cause Lower Leaf Chlorosis
Geraniums grown in substrates below an optimal pH range will exhibit chlorotic leaf spotting between veins, interveinal chlorosis, and marginal and leaf necrosis of the lower foliage.
May 22, 2018
Little Leaf Farms Expands Its Indoor Baby Greens Produc…
The Massachusetts-based company has increased the size of its greenhouses to 5 acres, more than doubling its annual production of baby greens.
May 22, 2018
Register Now for Award-Winning Online Greenhouse Growin…
Learn about production cost and profit, as well as the basic behind plant science, via two online classes being offered by the University of Florida.
May 21, 2018
Insights From Lawmaker’s Visit to a Top 100 Greenhouse …
When Rep. Julia Brownley of California visited Sun Valley Group, she got a firsthand look at a very busy time in the life of a flower grower.
May 20, 2018
Smithers-Oasis Now Offering Rootcubes Foam Media in Ret…
Designed with smaller or hobby growers in mind, the Rootcubes packs are also ideal for larger growers to use for trials.
May 19, 2018
Westerlay Orchids Shows Its Support for Local Schools
Proceeds from all sales the company made during the Carpinteria Greenhouse and Nursery Tour will be donated to fund STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) programs.
May 17, 2018
Ian Baldwin: Why the Rise of the Under 35s Will Help Yo…
In his latest blog, garden retail consultant Ian Baldwin says this new generation of plant buyers is seriously engaged in gardening, and is using social media to help become successful plant owners.
May 16, 2018
2018 Perennial Plant Symposium Offering Power to the Pe…
Perennial and gardening enthusiasts of all experience levels are invited to attend plant discussions on Monday, July 30 for a chance to hear from the best in the field on a range of topics.
May 15, 2018
Floriculture’s Future Hangs in the Balance Between Labo…
The nation’s largest growers are investing heavily in technology, new structures, human resources, and efficiency measures to stay competitive and profitable, despite significant labor shortages.
May 15, 2018
Gotham Greens Expanding Greenhouse Production Into Balt…
Scheduled to open in early 2019, Gotham Greens’ Baltimore facility will bring a reliable, year-round, local supply of fresh produce to serve retail, restaurant, and foodservice customers throughout the mid-Atlantic region.
May 14, 2018
Growing Innovations Geared to Connect Specialty Ag With…
Innovation abounds in agriculture, yet it can feel sometimes as if the gap between exciting new developments and what growers actually need in their operations can be awfully wide. We at Meister Media Worldwide intend to help narrow this gap. Which is why we’re pleased to introduce Growing Innovations – an altogether new type of event that will debut Nov. 7-8 at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, NV. Unlike most agricultural events and trade shows, Growing Innovations is not about technology per se, nor is it about everyday issues that growers face. Instead, this new conference and tradeshow is very acutely solutions oriented. It takes as its starting point specialty crop growers’ most pressing real-world challenges – production efficiency, labor and water shortages, logistics, and data management to name just a few – and showcases advances, both current and up-and-coming, that have the greatest potential to bring […]
May 12, 2018
Fungicide Resistance in Botrytis is an International Ch…
Clemson University’s research team is exploring Botrytis in cut roses to find out how to help you maintain postharvest crop quality by avoiding fungicide resistance.
May 11, 2018
New Sterile Ornamental Grasses One Solution to Grass In…
Aggressive grass species can turn gardeners off to using ornamental grasses. Less fertile alternatives offer options for keeping grasses from taking over the garden.
May 10, 2018
Beekenkamp Plants Acquires Sunny Osteospermum Breeding …
Beekenkamp took over all Sunny Holland sales activities in 2017, and now has ownership of the company’s entire breeding program.
May 9, 2018
How Greenhouse Sanitation Helps You Start Clean and Sta…
If you keep your greenhouse clean from the start, you’ll save yourself money in the end.