Regina Coronado’s Perennial Playbook

Regina Coronado's Perennial Playbook

Success in plant production or growing good, quality plants is greatly related to production methods and growing strategies. All plants have different requirements. Some require higher rates of fertilizer; others require more calcium, more boron, additional iron, more trace elements or regular Epson salts applications. Soil and water analysis are a key factor to determine the appropriate feeding regime.

Some plants are sensitive to certain pathogens more than others. Using a professional lab for disease diagnostics and building up the history of pathogens in a facility makes it easy to determine control strategies in a preventative manner. Always remember, preventative is easier than curative.

Chemical Controls

Pest control is easier to determine by season. Insect population varies with weather. When applying pesticides, it is very important to study the active ingredients and the modes of action. The chemistry of the pesticide will help structure a chemical rotation with different modes of action that will help reduce the risk of resistance and help create a pesticide program in an efficient way.

Another aspect to consider based on plant habit is height control. Growth regulators have to be applied at the right time and with the right rate. Growth regulators are variety specific. Treating plants more than necessary will lead to plants that might never perform in the landscape or will not look natural. Growing plants requires continued scouting, testing and decision making. Techniques and rates have to be adjusted on a constant basis.

Yet another factor to consider at all times is weather. Weather basically changes everything, from types of fertilizer used to rates and kinds of growth regulators used. Weather determines how much and when to irrigate, as well as the disease and insect pressures you experience.

Variety-Specific Planning

Having a protocol for each variety or genus of plants can be very time consuming, but there are some specific strategies and techniques that need to be followed in order to be successful.

It is important to keep track of dates like potting dates, pruning, top dressing (if needed), chemical applications and fertilization. When changing a procedure, make sure only one variable gets changed. Otherwise, whether the change works or doesn’t, it will be difficult to determine what worked or failed.

These days, it seems easier to test plants than it was many years ago. Take, for instance, Agdia test kits: They are reliable, easy to use and prompt. Sometimes, growers cannot afford to wait for results to return. A good example is the Agdia kit for Hosta Virus X. Virus X is specific to hostas and spreads by the use of infected tools only. Although it is not a “dangerous” virus, it can cause severe problems not only to plants but also to the operation. If Virus X is seen in stores by anybody, the word can spread to the Department of Agriculture, which definitely will lead to having an inspection at the facility. Testing the material as soon as it arrives will prevent further problems.

Handling Recommendations

At Stacy’s, we take samples from all shipments and all the varieties of hostas that arrive here. If we get 5 percent or more positives for each variety, the test will be repeated. Each bag that was opened to get a sample is marked. On the second test, more samples will be taken and if the result is more than 5 percent, the material will be returned to the vendor. It is wise to send some of the samples that tested positive to a professional lab to ensure the results.

It is very important to inspect plugs at the time of arrival. Some of the characteristics to evaluate are size, uniformity, root development, color, diseases and insects. Once the plugs pass a good inspection, a drench with the tank mix of your preference is recommended. Trying to avoid potting poor plugs can save any way growers look at it.

Remember, everything starts with a plug, a root or a cutting. If their condition is poor, the result will be a poor plant with low quality and very slim chances of selling at the stores.

Leave a Reply

More From Grower of the Year...
Sheridan Nurseries

September 3, 2015

Greenhouse Grower’s 2015 Operation Of The Year Sheridan Nurseries Raises The Bar

Ontario-based Sheridan Nurseries has long been an innovator in the Canadian market, but during the economic downturn, CEO Karl Stensson says the company decided to take things a step further. “We have survived the Great Depression, two World Wars and many other downturns in the economy,” he says. “During this last recession, our staff set out at being the best at what we do.” The company’s efforts have paid off. Sheridan Nurseries was named Operation of the Year at Greenhouse Grower’s Evening of Excellence, held July 13, at Cultivate’15 in Columbus, Ohio. The company was also awarded for Excellence In Perennials Production, based on its reputation for plant quality and the activities the nursery has led and been a part of, both within its company and in the industry at large. “We are elated and proud of our staff accomplishments,” says CEO Karl Stensson. “Over the last five years, we […]

Read More
Greenhouse Grower’s 2015 Head Grower Of The Year Tom Wheeler - Feature image

September 1, 2015

Bell Nursery USA Cultivates New Growers Through Internships

Bell Nursery USA started its internship program two years ago with the aim of identifying and training the growers of the future. Each season, the company’s internships give interns a broad overview of the company, exposing them to everything from growing and production to distribution, retail and finances.

Read More
Tom Wheeler, Bell Nursery USA

July 15, 2015

Tom Wheeler Of Bell Nursery Named Greenhouse Grower’s 2015 Grower Of The Year

Tom Wheeler of Bell Nursery is Greenhouse Grower's Head Grower of the Year for 2015. His leadership on a company level and throughout the industry and his willingness to share his knowledge to help others makes him a worthy recipient for this reward.

Read More
Latest Stories
Sheridan Nurseries

September 3, 2015

Greenhouse Grower’s 2015 Operation Of The …

Ontario-based Sheridan Nurseries has long been an innovator in the Canadian market, but during the economic downturn, CEO Karl Stensson says the company decided to take things a step further. “We have survived the Great Depression, two World Wars and many other downturns in the economy,” he says. “During this last recession, our staff set out at being the best at what we do.” The company’s efforts have paid off. Sheridan Nurseries was named Operation of the Year at Greenhouse Grower’s Evening of Excellence, held July 13, at Cultivate’15 in Columbus, Ohio. The company was also awarded for Excellence In Perennials Production, based on its reputation for plant quality and the activities the nursery has led and been a part of, both within its company and in the industry at large. “We are elated and proud of our staff accomplishments,” says CEO Karl Stensson. “Over the last five years, we […]

Read More
Greenhouse Grower’s 2015 Head Grower Of The Year Tom Wheeler - Feature image

September 1, 2015

Bell Nursery USA Cultivates New Growers Through Interns…

Bell Nursery USA started its internship program two years ago with the aim of identifying and training the growers of the future. Each season, the company’s internships give interns a broad overview of the company, exposing them to everything from growing and production to distribution, retail and finances.

Read More
Tom Wheeler, Bell Nursery USA

July 15, 2015

Tom Wheeler Of Bell Nursery Named Greenhouse Grower&…

Tom Wheeler of Bell Nursery is Greenhouse Grower's Head Grower of the Year for 2015. His leadership on a company level and throughout the industry and his willingness to share his knowledge to help others makes him a worthy recipient for this reward.

Read More
Ron Van der Hengst, South Central Growers

June 19, 2015

Ron Van der Hengst Of South Central Growers Is A Finali…

Ron Van de Hengst’s concentrated focus on improving production practices and finding better ways to turn out a top quality product makes him a deserving finalist for the 2015 Head Grower of the Year and recipient of the 2015 Excellence In Production award.

Read More
CEO Karl Stensson, Sheridan-Nurseries

June 18, 2015

Sheridan Nurseries Is A Finalist For 2015 Operation Of …

Sheridan Nurseries is Canada’s largest grower of hardy nursery plants and has been in business since 1913. It is one of three finalists for Greenhouse Grower’s Operation Of The Year award and winner of the Excellence In Perennials Production award for 2015.

Read More
Casey Houweling Houwelings Tomatoe

June 18, 2015

Houweling’s Tomatoes Is A Finalist For 2015 Operation O…

Houweling’s Tomatoes is an innovative greenhouse operation based in Delta, British Columbia that grows a full array of tomato and cucumber varieties. It is the winner of Greenhouse Grower’s Excellence in Vegetable Production for 2015.

Read More
Tom Wheeler, Bell Nursery USA

June 16, 2015

Bell Nursery USA’s Tom Wheeler Is A Finalist For …

Tom Wheeler’s individual-based and broad scale industry leadership and innovative ideas for high-quality production makes him a deserving finalist for the 2015 Head Grower of the Year and recipient of the 2015 Excellence In Leadership award.

Read More
Ed van Hoven and family_American Color

June 9, 2015

American Color Awarded Excellence In Annuals Production…

American Color, a grower located in Orange, Va. that started with one acre of land, received the Excellence In Annuals Production award for 2015 at Greenhouse Grower’s Evening of Excellence held July 13 during Cultivate'15.

Read More
Nick Gerace/Welby Gardens

June 3, 2015

Welby Gardens’ Nick Gerace Finalist For 2015 Head…

Nick Gerace’s enthusiastic leadership and focus on smarter growing with less hours on the job makes him a deserving finalist for the 2015 Head Grower of the Year and recipient of the 2015 Excellence In Innovation award.

Read More

November 11, 2014

2015 Grower Of The Year Awards Nominations Now Open

The Grower of the Year program encompasses two distinct awards: Operation Of The Year and Head Grower Of The Year. Tell us about an operation or head grower you believe we should consider today.

Read More

August 27, 2014

2014 Head Grower Of The Year Ivan Tchakarov: An Enthusi…

Greenhouse Grower’s 2014 Grower of the Year Ivan Tchakarov accepts challenges, embraces the latest technology and leads his team with a positive attitude.

Read More

August 27, 2014

Henry Mast Greenhouses/Masterpiece Flower Company Build…

Greenhouse Grower’s 2014 Operation of the Year builds long-standing, mutually beneficial customer relationships that last.

Read More

August 22, 2014

Highlights From Greenhouse Grower’s Evening Of Ex…

Greenhouse Grower’s Evening of Excellence, held at Cultivate’14’, celebrated outstanding efforts in breeding, growing and marketing, but more than that, it was a celebration of individuals and operations that strive for excellence in their daily work.  

Read More

July 15, 2014

Greenhouse Grower Thrilled To Honor 2014 Medal of Excel…

Check out the breeders, growers and new varieties that earned the Greenhouse Grower Medal of Excellence awards for 2014.

Read More

July 15, 2014

Ivan Tchakarov Of Metrolina Greenhouse Named Greenhouse…

Metrolina Greenhouse's Director of Growing Ivan Tchakarov was named Grower of the Year at Greenhouse Grower's Evening of Excellence, held July 14 at Cultivate'14 in Columbus, Ohio.

Read More

July 15, 2014

Henry Mast Greenhouses Named Greenhouse Grower’s …

Henry Mast Greenhouses is named as Operation of the Year at Greenhouse Grower's Evening of Excellence on Monday, July 14 at Cultivate'14 in Columbus, Ohio.

Read More

June 13, 2014

Ron Godden of Wenke Greenhouses Is A 2014 Finalist For …

Ron Godden of Wenke Greenhouses enjoys the challenge of growing and has a genuine love for the intensity of the spring season.

Read More

June 12, 2014

Andy Buist of Micandy Garden Greenhouses Is A 2014 Fina…

Head Grower Of The Year Finalist Andy Buist is a hardworking grower with over 50 years of experience who encourages his employees and spreads his passion to everyone around him.

Read More
[gravityform id="35" title="false" description="false"]