Health benefits of pyraclostrobin-based fungicides

July 7, 2014

Pyraclostrobin-Based Fungicides Provide Disease Control, And More Plant Health Benefits [Sponsor Content]

Take a look at the three ways pyraclostrobin-based fungicides provide additional plant health benefits, other than disease control.

Read More
Verbena estrella 'Voodoo Star.' The top row is untreated. The bottom row was treated with Pageant Intrinsic Brand Fungicide at 4 oz/100 gallons at sticking. This image was taken several days after sticking.

July 7, 2014

Want Better Rooting During Propagation? Try A Fungicide. [Sponsor Content]

Research shows that fungicide use can improve tolerance to stress and increase propagation speed.

Read More
Petunias with no fungicide protection. Photo courtesy of Margery Daughtrey.

July 7, 2014

8 Tips For Getting The Most From Your Fungicides [Sponsor Content]

Cornell’s Margery Daughtrey shares advice on best practices for keeping diseases off your crops and out of the greenhouse.

Read More
Joe Lara, BASF product manager

July 7, 2014

Resistance To Change – A Grower Conundrum [Sponsor Content]

If we’re not careful, the comfort we develop with our habits may make us our own worst enemy. This is the conundrum of conventional pest management, says BASF's Joe Lara.

Read More
Phosphorus deficiency (purpling of lower leaves) in pansies that were grown cold. Photo courtesy of Neil Mattson.

May 28, 2014

5 Tips To Diagnose A Nutrient Deficiency [Sponsor Content]

Here's advice from Cornell's Neil Mattson on ways to properly diagnose a nutrient deficiency.

Read More

May 28, 2014

Diagnosing Nutritional Disorders In Pansies [Sponsor Content]

Yellowing, purpling and necrosis on certain parts of pansy plants point to different nutrient deficiencies.

Read More

May 27, 2014

How To Maintain A Balanced Fertility Program [Sponsor Content]

It takes vigilance and frequent testing to keep plants at optimum fertility levels.

Read More
Joe Lara, BASF product manager

May 27, 2014

Plant Health, Business Health: A Convergence Of Management Practices [Sponsor Content]

The foundation of growing healthy, resilient plants is the culmination of well-honed horticulture skills, including the integration of various pest management techniques.

Read More

May 9, 2013

Four Foliar Diseases That Will Drive Down Profits

They say not to judge a book by its cover, but in the ornamental industry, it is the other way around. People equate plant quality with appearance. And they rarely, if ever, shell out their hard-earned money for plants that aren’t in pristine condition. Disease is one of the primary culprits in less-than-perfect-looking plants. These four pathogens, in particular, are worth avoiding in the greenhouse. Although not always fatal, these diseases will detract from crop aesthetics and make a dent in profits.   Powdery Mildew Susceptible Crops Many species of powdery mildew are host specific; others have a wide host range that includes poinsettias, roses, violas and zinnias. Symptoms Powdery mildew symptoms usually appear on the upper side of the leaves first, but they can also show up on the underside, especially on begonias and verbenas. A white, powdery growth, the result of thread-like hyphae strands and chains of spores […]

Read More

May 9, 2013

Eight Tips for Better Disease Control in the Greenhouse

The Disease Triangle: Where Growers Fit In The interaction between a susceptible host, a virulent pathogen and a favorable environment determines the severity of plant diseases in the greenhouse. Eliminate one of these three factors and you lower the probability of disease occurrence. The “human component” is an additional, but rarely talked-about factor that can be added to the disease triangle. Growers have more influence than they think on disease prevention. The management decisions they make, from the choice of cultivar to the amount of water they apply, have the potential to intensify, alleviate or eliminate conditions that favor disease. Be obsessive-compulsive about sanitation. Start clean and stay clean to prevent a majority of disease-related problems. Clear away dead plant materials, eradicate weeds, start with clean stock material and disinfect equipment and benches. Dry out. Saturated pots, water film on leaves and puddles on benches are open invitations for several […]

Read More

May 9, 2013

The Notorious Oomycetes

The oomycetes (Oomycota), also known as water molds, are a group of pathogens that play a large role in the decomposition of plants and the breakdown of organic matter. While this scenario is perfect for the great outdoors, it can cost greenhouse growers millions of dollars in yearly sales. Just as late blight (an oomycete, Phytophthora infestans) caused the devastating Irish potato famine that killed millions of people, oomycetes such as Phytophthora, Pythium and downy mildew leave a wake of destruction in their path when they run rampant in the greenhouse. Good Water Management Is Critical The name “water molds” is a bit of a misnomer. Although several species of oomycetes thrive in wet conditions, many do not. Where they were once classified as fungi, recent research shows they are more closely related to algae.“Water management is basic to controlling many of these pathogens,” says Janna Beckerman, associate professor of […]

Read More

April 17, 2013

Monitoring For Better Plant Health: Media pH and EC

What Should I Look For In A pH and EC Meter? Auto-shut Off: Battery-saving feature Accuracy And Resolution: Accuracy should be around ±0.02 and resolution at 0.01 pH units. Electrodes: Detachable electrodes are easier to replace. Purchase a commercially prepared solution for wet-storage electrodes. Calibration: Look for an auto-calibration feature. Two-point calibration is more accurate than one-point. Range And Readout: Digital readouts are easier to read than analog. Range should be from a pH of 2.0 to 12.0. Temperature Compensation: The automatic compensation feature measures solution temperature and pH at the same time. Standard temperature for measuring pH is 77° F (25° C). Waterproof vs. Water-resistant: Waterproof meters are better for measuring pH directly from a hose. EC Meters Although many of the considerations for choosing an EC meter are the same as for a pH meter, there are some critical differences. Accuracy And Resolution: Measurements should be to the […]

Read More

April 17, 2013

Strengthening Plants’ Natural Defense Systems

Thousands of years ago, plants lived their entire lives with little help from human hands. Times have changed since the advent of the modern-day greenhouse; plants are now at the mercy of the grower. While there is much a grower can do to control the environmental stresses that affect plant health, the unforeseen and unexpected still happens. At these times, it is comforting to know that the survival tactics that are an inherent part of plants’ nature are still in play today. One of the keys to minimizing environmental stresses such as pathogens, insects, drought, cold and heat may lie in strengthening plants’ natural defense systems. Natural Defense Systems Plants have developed several strategies to prevent pathogen attacks or hinder their development. Within hours of a pathogen attack, plants try to isolate the pathogen by killing off cells at the infection site, a process known as the hypersensitive response. The […]

Read More

April 17, 2013

A Drop Of Clean Water

A single drop of water can contain millions of bacteria, each one impossible to see with the naked eye. The same can be said for water in the greenhouse. What looks innocent at first glance may harbor waterborne pathogens, brim with toxic salts or have alkalinity issues. Without a regular plan in place to test water quality, how is a grower to know what he or she is really feeding their plants? Monitoring water quality is one of the first steps to better plant health throughout the greenhouse. “Testing irrigation water helps growers avoid surprises and detect changing trends so they can make small course corrections to prevent future problems,” says Paul Fisher, associate professor and Extension specialist in environmental horticulture for The University of Florida. “If you have a shallow well or water from a river or pond, testing is especially important because water quality can change throughout the […]

Read More

June 14, 2012

Disease Control And Plant Health

We’ve told you about the science behind the Intrinsic™ brand fungicides from BASF, and we’ve shared our lab research on disease control and plant health. Now it’s time to share the results of field research with Pageant® Intrinsic brand fungicide. As we uncovered benefits to plants such as tolerance to cold, heat and drought, it was time to see these at work in uncontrolled conditions like the kind growers face every day. Temperatures and other stresses are never regulated; Mother Nature’s microclimates and changeable weather sees to that. Sometimes shipping gives your plants a beating as well. As we took the plant health research to the field in 2009, 2010 and 2011, we worked with noted ornamental expert Paul Pilon of Perennial Solutions Consulting, and three growers: two in Michigan and one in Connecticut. We looked at both drought and cold tolerance, and the plant material studied included rooted liners […]

Read More