Online Only: Smithers-Oasis On Substrates

Greenhouse Grower: Over the last 40 years, how has Smithers-Oasis evolved to keep meeting the rooting needs of growers?

Nathan Keil: From the earliest days, Smithers-Oasis has been solution oriented. Paul Ecke Jr. first approached Smithers-Oasis to make a foam media that he could root poinsettias in and ship all over the world, without worrying about spilled media during shipment. Since then, Smithers-Oasis has worked with virtually every university and scores of researchers to further improve and develop rooting/growing techniques for its cellular rooting media.

OASIS Grower Products has consistently provided the key attributes growers have valued for almost 40 years: uniformity, cleanliness, high degree of aeration, unitized configuration and just-in-time inventories for their rooting needs.

GG: What are growers looking for now?

NK: In general, growers are looking for products and services that will deliver consistent quality and value to their operation time and time again. Growers are looking for a systems approach that works with their production, one that provides reductions in shrink at all stages of the process, from rooting success on the bench to greater sell-through at retail.

GG: How does the FERTISS technology keep up with grower needs?

NK: The FERTISS Propagation Plug System was added to the OASIS Grower Products line to provide a peat moss-based rooting media to our offering. It provides another solution to propagate many types of plants and adds another tool for growers be successful.

GG: What are the advantages and benefits of FERTISS ? What kind of feedback have you gotten from growers on the Fertiss technology?

NK: The advantage of FERTISS propagation plugs is plugs are very consistent. All OASIS Grower Products are manufactured and tested against exacting specifications, and FERTISS is no different. Growers can rely upon the plugs being very uniform from cell to cell, case to case, pallet to pallet. Because of this, growers can expect easy water management and uniform root
establishment.

Our unique manufacturing method does not employ a vacuum-loading process. Instead, the FERTISS media is gravity fed into the fabric wrapping. Our method creates plugs that are soft and friable so as to make plant cutting insertion easy. It also creates plugs with good air porosity and drainage to encourage dense, fibrous root systems. Moreover, it allows us to manufacture with the media slightly wet so that FERTISS propagation plugs are ready to stick when received.

Beyond the product benefits, OASIS grower products are fully supported by a team of field representatives and complete technical assistance by our on-staff plant physiologists. There’s a piece of mind that growers have when working with our company.

GG: What opportunities have been presented to Smithers-Oasis over the last couple years because of the FERTISS technology?

NK: Beyond vegetative annual and perennial production, the FERTISS Propagation Plug System products have experienced considerable interest from the woody ornamental market.

GG: When and how did Smithers-Oasis realize there was an opportunity in grower foam?

NK: Almost 40 years ago, Smithers-Oasis identified opportunities to adapt its floral foam technologies to aid in the rooting of plants by providing a consistent and sterile rooting media. We have been improving and expanding our product offering ever since to help in the success of the industry, from stock plant production to the end consumer’s satisfaction of their plant purchases.

GG: How does the foam substrate for growers differ in its properties from the floral foam?

NK: The grower foam is only similar to floral foam in its base chemistry. Everything else is different. Floral foam focuses on heavy water absorption to cut flowers. Grower foam has much higher drainage to ensure proper aeration at the basal end of the cutting. The pH and other foam chemistry are likewise changed to be plant oriented.

Leave a Reply

2 comments on “Online Only: Smithers-Oasis On Substrates

  1. I received a case sample of your 105 Fertiss propagating plugs several years ago. I am unable to find a supplier that will sell me a case of the 105’s. I have searched the WEB, called Smither Oasis and NO ONE is willing to help me out. I am a small growing tissue culture lab in New England and have found your product the best for my application. I have exhausted all of my resources yet I continue to go back and look at the same sites, ask the same people for help and get the same answers. This is a new avenue for me.

    Can YOU help me out?

    Sandra Higgins
    Micro Propagating Services
    135 North Street
    Bellingham, MA 02019

    Email: Pelli77@aol.com
    Phone: 508-966-4121

  2. I received a case sample of your 105 Fertiss propagating plugs several years ago. I am unable to find a supplier that will sell me a case of the 105’s. I have searched the WEB, called Smither Oasis and NO ONE is willing to help me out. I am a small growing tissue culture lab in New England and have found your product the best for my application. I have exhausted all of my resources yet I continue to go back and look at the same sites, ask the same people for help and get the same answers. This is a new avenue for me.

    Can YOU help me out?

    Sandra Higgins
    Micro Propagating Services
    135 North Street
    Bellingham, MA 02019

    Email: Pelli77@aol.com
    Phone: 508-966-4121

More From Media...
crider-rd2-internal_Rough-Brothers_featured

July 1, 2015

Rough Brothers Is Acquired By Gibraltar Industries

RBI Solar Inc., Rough Brothers Manufacturing Inc. and affiliates have been acquired by Gibraltar Industries, a manufacturer and distributor of products for residential and industrial markets, for $130 million. Capitalizing on its 80 years of design-build experience and leadership as the largest greenhouse manufacturer in North America, Ohio-based RBI has established itself during the past five years as North America’s fastest-growing provider of photovoltaic (PV) solar racking solutions. The transaction will enable Gibraltar to leverage its expertise in structural metals manufacturing and materials sourcing to meet global demand for solar racking solutions. The company also announced that it anticipates its second-quarter 2015 financial results will be in line with its previous expectations. “Acquiring RBI is an important step in the transformation of Gibraltar into a company with a higher rate of growth and best-in-class financial metrics,” says Gibraltar CEO Frank Heard. “This acquisition directly aligns with key end markets and product platforms […]

Read More

June 30, 2015

Opportunities Abound For Women In Horticulture, Says Dosatron International’s Lela Kelly

My love for horticulture goes back to my grandparents who were farmers in upstate New York. My family’s involvement in agriculture left a lasting impression that has spanned decades, and still drives my passion for our industry today. I started my career in horticulture when I owned a greenhouse, nursery and garden center in Sayville, Long Island, N.Y. We specialized in ground cover production, later branching out to producing perennials and bedding plants.     I then went onto wholesale hard goods distribution. In the 1980s, I was the first woman salesperson on Long Island. What an eye opener that was! New York is a very special place, different from anywhere else in the country. You cannot imagine how difficult it was walking into greenhouses and nurseries as a woman, in a man’s world. Luckily, I grew up in New York City in an Italian family, who taught me great […]

Read More
Medal of Excellence Award

June 30, 2015

Get To Know The 9 Variety Finalists For Editor’s Choice And Industry’s Choice Awards

Greenhouse Grower‘s Evening Of Excellence reception is rapidly approaching. Here, you can learn more about the varieties that are finalists for the Medal Of Excellence Editor’s Choice and Industry’s Choice Breeding Awards. Thank you to the 2015 sponsors of Greenhouse Grower‘s Medal Of Excellence Awards, Landmark Plastic, Nufarm and Stockosorb. Editor’s Choice Asclepias ‘Monarch Promise’ (Hort Couture) Basil ‘Balsamic Blooms’ (EuroAmerican Propagators) Celosia ‘Dragon’s Breath’ (Sakata Seed) Dianthus Jolt Series (PanAmerican Seed) Salvia Grandstand Series (Green Fuse Botanicals) Scabiosa ‘Kudos Pink’ (Hishtil Nurseries) Industry’s Choice Basil ‘Balsamic Blooms’ (EuroAmerican Propagators) Bidens BeeDance Series (Suntory Flowers) Celosia ‘Dragon’s Breath’ (Sakata Seed) Dianthus Jolt Series (PanAmerican Seed) Lobelia ‘Starship Deep Rose’ (Kieft Seed) Vinca Valiant Series (PanAmerican Seed)     Join us Monday, July 13 in Ballroom 2 at the Columbus Convention Center to find out which varieties will receive the coveted awards. The reception begins at 5:15 p.m. and the ceremony […]

Read More
Latest Stories

December 2, 2014

Grow-Tech Announces BioStrate, Its Newest Hydroponic Gr…

Grow-Tech LLC recently announced the release of BioStrate Felt, a biobased textile specifically engineered for the growing of hydroponic microgreens and baby salad greens.

Read More

November 18, 2014

7 New Media And Light Products For Greenhouse Productio…

New media and light products cover a broad sweep of growing conditions.

Read More
Oakland Nursery plantings in Columbus_featured

November 17, 2014

Oakland Nursery Simplifies Streetscape Plantings And Ma…

The outdoor decorative containers that Oakland Nursery plants and maintains in downtown Columbus, Ohio, enhance the look of the city’s buildings and streets and hinder vandalism.

Read More

October 27, 2014

Peat Moss May Be In Short Supply This Year

Adverse weather conditions in Canada have played havoc with the peat moss harvest.

Read More

September 24, 2014

Canadian Harvest Of Peat Moss Is Below Average For 2014

The harvest season has been challenging, according to the Canadian Sphagnum Peat Moss Association (CSPMA), with lower-than-expected harvest of peat moss across most production regions in Canada, due primarily to adverse weather conditions across the country.

Read More

July 23, 2014

Liming Requirements And pH Modification For Pine Wood C…

In the last of a four-article series highlighting the production and use of pine wood chips as aggregates in greenhouse substrates, the researchers found growers do not need to adjust their production practices when 20 percent pine wood chips are used as a perlite replacement.

Read More

May 14, 2014

How Pine Wood Chips In Substrates Affect Plant Growth R…

This is the second article of the four article series highlighting the production and use of pine wood chips as aggregates in greenhouse substrates.

Read More

April 3, 2014

The Processing And Properties Of Pine Wood Chips

In the first of a four article series highlighting the use of pine wood chips as alternative aggregates to perlite in greenhouse substrates, researchers from North Carolina State University discuss the processing and physical properties of pine wood chips.

Read More

April 3, 2014

Water And Media Are The Foundations Of Your Business: T…

Electrical conductivity (EC) and pH, as well as water alkalinity, have the biggest effects on nutrient availability. Learn how to keep track of them through three common methods for better monitoring in the greenhouse.

Read More
PlugEase from Acme Group

March 3, 2014

Acme Group Introduces PlugEase, A Line Of Recyclable Ag…

The Acme Group recently announced its new line of recyclable Agrifabrics and plant plug substrate, PlugEase. The products make recycling affordable for greenhouse growers, farmers and horticulturalists.

Read More
Emerald Coast Growers

February 26, 2014

Emerald Coast Growers Constructs New Soil Facility

Emerald Coast Growers has constructed a new, consolidated soil mixing facility to increase efficiency and allow for easier custom blending by crop.

Read More
Combination pH and EC meter. Photo courtesy of Hanna Instruments

February 5, 2014

Test Media pH And EC With The 2:1 Technique, Pour-Throu…

Avoid a buildup of soluble salts and create an environment most conducive to nutrient uptake with these three common media testing methods.

Read More
Fertiss Growing Medium from Oasis Grower Solutions

November 18, 2013

Three New Options For Growing Media

From special blends to mycorrhizae, here are some new options for growth media.

Read More

November 14, 2013

Growing Media: To Mix Or Not To Mix

Thinking about making your own growing mixes to lower costs? There are many things to consider before taking the plunge.

Read More
Berger Logo

November 1, 2013

Berger Acquires Beaver & Lafaille Peat Moss

Berger, a producer of growing mixes, has acquired Beaver Peat Moss & Lafaille Peat Moss, consolidating a long-standing relationship between the companies. The transaction is effective on November 1, 2013. Under the agreement, Serge Lafaille, Beaver & Lafaille Peat Moss’ president, will join Berger’s sales team in order to ensure an easy transition for his current customers. “I am proud to join Berger’s team; we have the same business and growing philosophy, as well as a relentless commitment to being close to our customers in order to offer them what they truly need,” Lafaille says. Berger and Beaver & Lafaille Peat Moss have been partners since 1986. “For Berger, this transaction is a natural evolution of the strong relationship we’ve created with Beaver & Lafaille Peat Moss throughout the past 27 years,” says Berger CEO Claudin Berger. Located in St-Modeste, Quebec, Berger provides growing media and peat moss to professional […]

Read More

August 19, 2013

Students Evaluate Bio Char In Soil

Horticulture students from Olds College in Alberta, Canada, are investigating the viability of using bio char as a soil additive for greenhouse-grown crops. The group includes Emily Stanley, Michael Templeton and Heather Hood. Olds has a very good horticulture program, and I graduated from the greenhouse program there in 1996. Because of my involvement in the program, the group approached me to be a mentor for the study. In this role, I had conference calls with the group every two weeks to discuss the status of the project and offer any insight from a professional grower’s perspective. Bio char is a product derived from a special burning process of organic matter with limited amounts of oxygen. This holds the carbon in the organic matter. When the process is finished, you have a bio char product that can be used as a soil amendment. The students conducted trials on tomatoes and […]

Read More

June 6, 2013

Pro-Mix Is Now On Social Media

Premier Tech Horticulture, which is among the North American leaders of peat moss-based growing media production and distribution, has recently announced the launch of its social media strategy, including the unveiling of its Pro-Mix Facebook, Twitter and YouTube pages for professional and amateur gardeners. Known as a customer-focused and market-driven company, Premier Tech Horticulture strongly believes that today, people are expecting constant interactive communication with brands. As a result, interacting and communicating with external audiences through both new and traditional media remain important elements. Now, with Pro-Mix, this dialogue will also take place online, via new social media platforms that are easy to access for everybody. “These Pro-Mix social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, blogs, wikis, YouTube, etc.) present us with unique opportunities to listen to our customers and stakeholders, but also to share with people our 20 years of experience, knowledge and expertise,” says Chantal Duchesneau, marketing and […]

Read More

June 5, 2013

Webinar: Coir Chunk Media – A Good Choice For Lon…

Growing media manufacturers are looking for new components that can be added to their growing media to improve physical properties and address common problems that the grower and/or end user face. One such problem the homeowner experiences with peat-based growing medium in hanging baskets and long term-planters is that they are hard to re-wet with water after they have dried out. Join Horticulture Specialist Troy Buechel on Tuesday, June 11 at 2 p.m. Eastern, 11 a.m. Pacific for this informative webinar to learn how Premier Tech Horticulture is addressing this issue with a new growing medium called PRO-MIX HP-CC. This product contains a unique coir chunk that does not require a wetting agent to wet and helps to hold water while maintaining good air porosity. Find out how this unique product and ingredients can help reduce long-term wetting challenges for you and your customers. Also did you know that a chunk […]

Read More