August 14, 2012

When Fertilizing, Don’t Neglect The Root Zone

Bedding and potted plants are traditionally fertilized daily or several times a week with water soluble fertilizer (WSF) applied in the irrigation water. With WSF, the fertilizer components are in a form that can be directly absorbed by the plant. This also means the fertilizer components can immediately impact the soluble salts and the pH of the substrate. WSF are also in a form that can readily be leached from the root zone. When using controlled-release fertilizers (CRF) the nutrients are primarily held within the CRF prills and are not available for plant absorption until they are released slowly over time. Thus, when a CRF is added to the substrate, its effects on pH and salts are not immediate. Instead, they occur slowly over time as nutrients diffuse from the prills. Use the results from three studies to better manage the root-zone pH and electrical conductivity (EC) when using CRFs. […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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July 26, 2012

BioWorks Partners With DCM Corp. To Offer Premium Fertilizers

BioWorks, Inc., a provider of environmentally responsible, safe and effective growing solutions, announced that it has entered a strategic alliance with DCM Corporation of Belgium, a leading producer of natural and organic-based fertilizers in Western Europe. The premier fertilizer product line that will be offered by BioWorks in the U.S. will be branded under the trade name Verdanta. Verdanta will include organic and organo-mineral fertilizers for professional horticulture and specialty agriculture growers. BioWorks plans to offer Verdanta fertilizers to growers of greenhouse ornamentals and vegetables, specialty agriculture and nursery and landscape plants in the latter part of 2012.  “This partnership represents BioWorks’ next exciting chapter. Growers trust our people, products and service; having the DCM name behind Verdanta will serve to strengthen that trust,” says Bill Foster, BioWorks president and CEO. “We are honored by the confidence DCM has placed in us and excited about the opportunities.” The high quality […]

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July 19, 2012

Dosatron Introduces New Product At OFA Short Course

Dosatron introduced the new 40 GPM–D8R at the 2012 OFA Short Course. As Lela Kelly, Dosatron’s vice president of horticulture says, “The D8R has been a staple to growers for over 26 years, and now, through new technology, innovation and with improved features, it is the must have fertilizer injector.” The 40 GPM offers: Improved chemical resistant housing Enhanced UV resistance Injection of corrosive chemicals Easy-to-adjust injection rates Easy-to-read graduated scales Other features include: Easily and accurately injects:–fertilizers –pesticides–acids Flow rate of 2.2 to 40 gallons per minute Injection rate of 1:500–1:50 Pressure range of 2.2 to 116 PSI

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June 12, 2012

Dosatron’s 40 GPM D8R Fertilizer Injector Updated With New Features

Dosatron International, Inc. has introduced the new 40 GPM – D8R fertilizer injector with improved chemical resistant housing and enhanced UV resistance, The new injector also allows injection of corrosive chemicals and features easy-to-adjust injection rates and easy-to read graduated scales. The D8R can easily inject fertilizers, pesticides and caustic chemicals accurately with a flow rate of 2.2 to 40 GPM, an injection ratio of 1:500 – 1:50, and a pressure range of 2 to 110 PSI. “We are very excited to offer the new 40 GPM fertilizer injector,” says Dosatron Vice President of Horticulture Lela Kelly. “The D8R has been a staple to growers for over 26 years and now, through new technology, innovation, and with improved features, it is the must have fertilizer injector.” For more information, contact Dosatron International’s customer service department at 800-523-8499 or visit the Dosatron International website.

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June 12, 2012

Everris’ Peters Excel pHLow Fertilizer Reduces Water Alkalility While Feeding

Everris’ Peters Excel pHLow Water Soluble Fertilizer reduces water’s alkalinity while also feeding plants the nutrients they need to flourish. The new “pHLow” technology (pronounced “flow”) is driven by a patented acidifying component designed as a safe alternative to conventional liquid acids. This unique material provides a pure, non-corrosive, highly soluble, single-source answer to better manage high alkalinity waters. Combined with optimum levels of N-P-K plus the exclusive M-77 package of chelated micronutrients, Everris created Peters Excel pHLow to give growers a water-soluble fertilizer in a convenient, one-bag solution for both nutrition and alkalinity management. High alkalinity water — defined as Types 3 and 4 by the Peters A-B-C Selection System — causes the pH levels in growing media to rise over time. According to Chris Buchheit, Everris’ marketing manager for ornamental horticulture, this situation used to leave growers with few options. They could add liquid acids to their irrigation […]

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November 10, 2011

Agrium Adds To Marketing Team

Agrium Advanced Technologies has added Ron Dekok as North America marketing manager for the company’s turf and ornamental wholesale division. In his new role, Dekok will have responsibility for each of the Polyon and Duration CR controlled-release fertilizer and Precise controlled-release protection product lines in North America. “Ron’s expertise, combined with his experience leading marketing efforts from a distribution perspective, will help us accomplish the upcoming sales goals for the turf and ornamental wholesale division,” says Andrew Mittag, president of Agrium. Learn more about Agrium online at

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October 28, 2011

When A Brand Becomes Your Company’s Identity

Greenhouse Grower recently connected with BioWorks President and CEO Bill Foster to discuss how businesses achieve culture and the challenge of being known in the market largely through one well-regarded product. GG: We heard a lot about "culture" and how BioWorks is actively seeking to change its culture. How exactly is BioWorks going about this change, and what benefits will its employees, customers and the floriculture industry see as a result of this change? BioWorks’ Bill Foster BF: The culture of BioWorks is very important to us; we want to provide employees with a challenging and rewarding environment built on trust and respect for each other and for our customers. The success of BioWorks is dependent on the success our customers have with our products. Our culture embraces our mission of providing environmentally responsible, safe and cost-effective products that meet the long-term needs of the floriculture industry Almost as soon […]

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September 16, 2011

Born, Styer Join Fides Oro

Fides Oro has added two horticultural experts, Judy Born and Roger Styer, to its sales team to provide customers with planting and growing advice for its line of annual, perennial and foliage cuttings. Born spent 10 years at the retail level, followed by 10 years with Milner Greenhouse managing the planning, scheduling and purchasing department. More recently, she was sales manager for Northern Innovators. Born has worked with Fides Oro plants in the greenhouse already. Styer worked for Ball Seed and PanAmerican Seed in research and technical services for 12 years before starting his own horticultural consulting firm, working with growers until late 2010. “With the addition of Judy and Roger we feel we are now positioned to address the needs of our clients even better,” says Reinoud Hagen, Fides Oro commercial manager. “Judy and Roger can help customers with sales support and technical advice. We believe in the outstanding […]

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September 12, 2011

Harrell’s Opens New Warehouse In Illinois

Harrell’s, a manufacturer and supplier of ornamental products, has opened a new warehouse in Lombard, Ill.  The warehouse is centrally located to improve delivery and customer service to Illinois and Southern Wisconsin customers. “With this new warehouse we can make sure our superintendent, landscape and sports turf customers have what they need, when they need it,” says Jack Harrell Jr., chairman and CEO. The new warehouse is stocking a complete line of fertilizers, seed and pesticides, as well as Harrell’s brand of wetting agents and liquid nutrition products. Learn more about Harrell’s online at

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July 29, 2011

Masterblend Completes $2.6 Million Facility Expansion

Since its move in early 2010 to Morris, Ill., Masterblend International and its Tyler Enterprises Division have invested more than $2.6 million in facility and productivity improvements to streamline and expand fertilizer manufacturing and blending operations, as well as warehouse and office space. The previous location in Ellwood, Ill., which was comprised of several small, older buildings, was inefficient and limited the ability to expand. The new 55,000-square-foot facility brings marked increases in efficiency by hosting every aspect of the operation, including manufacturing, precision blending and packaging, as well as having warehouse space and office staff under one roof. The new location also boasts dedicated CSX rail service, a river terminal within five miles and easy access to major freeways. Investments in blending, packaging and bagging automation systems have also provided benefits by allowing for the ability to double previous production volumes and slash employee hands-on time. “We found that […]

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