October 27, 2011

HortiPro’s Sub-R As A Peat Substitute

Growers in North America are aware that a large shortage of peat moss is projected for the coming growing season. HortiPro is bringing a replacement for peat moss to the market with a growing medium called Substrate-R, or Sub-R. Some of the attributes of Sub-R include: • Water-holding capacity over 60 percent and low salt below 0.4 EC is comparable to peat moss. • High readily available water of more than 30 percent to plants with superior capillary properties • Uniform quality • Antiseptic, Sub-R naturally suppresses root disease • Continuous availability Sub-R can be custom produced for different needs for different growers in more fine or coarse forms, and in blends with different amendments. Complete physical and chemical property reports are available to growers. Similar To Peat Growers who take advantage of Sub-R as a peat moss replacement for growing in smaller containers and propagation trays will find that […]

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October 24, 2011

How You Can Use Compost As A Substrate Additive

Longwood Gardens, an 1,100-acre display garden in Kennett Square, Pa., has a compost production facility that produces more than 2,500 cubic yards of quality compost every year. This compost is used in a variety of ways at the gardens, including greenhouse production. Using compost as a substrate additive for greenhouse crops has several benefits. First, most compost is locally produced from waste products, making it one of the most sustainable substrate ingredients. This feature can also be used as a marketing tool to let consumers know they are buying a “green” product. Properly produced compost also contains large amounts of beneficial microorganisms and has been shown to provide some level of disease suppression. The beneficial microorganisms out-compete the pathogenic microorganisms, making it more difficult to establish themselves in the substrate and on the roots of growing plants. Additionally, compost typically contains a nutrient charge that can offset some fertilizer costs. […]

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October 24, 2011

Tips For Best Use Of Coir

Impatiens comparison between Densu coir, Metro mix and Pro mix A lot of research has been done in the last 20 years on the use of coir or the fibers that are harvested from coconut husks. There are several companies that supply and manufacture growing substrates with coir. As with any substrate or substrate component, growers should conduct their own trials to evaluate the effectiveness in their operation. Several trials have been conducted at the University of Florida’s Fort Lauderdale Research and Education Center on the use of Densu coir to grow both foliage plants and bedding plants. In each trial, plants were grown in 100 percent Densu coir and compared to growth in a standard blended sphagnum peat-based substrate with approximately 60 to 80 percent sphagnum peat with perlite and vermiculite. All comparisons were unbiased experiments and the results presented do not constitute an endorsement of Densu coir or […]

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October 15, 2011

Stretch Your Peat Supply

Faced with the most dramatic peat shortage in decades, growers have been scrambling to secure their growing media supplies for the coming spring season. Despite paying higher prices, they’ve had to get their orders locked in or risk being locked out. On Sept. 23, the Canadian Sphagnum Peat Moss Association, whose members represent 95 percent of North American peat production, announced harvests in the East were projected to be 70 to 85 percent short due to prolonged heavy rains making the bogs unharvestable. The hardest hit areas were New Brunswick and Quebec, which account for two thirds of all of Canada’s peat production. While Western Canadian provinces fared better, the West only accounts for a third of the total supply. As we went to press, North America’s leading peat suppliers were working with customers to make sure they get their orders in. Customers who buy prepared mixes were given priority […]

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October 11, 2011

Managing Through The Peat Shortage [Special Report]

The Canadian Sphagnum Peat Moss Association (CSPMA), whose members represent 95 percent of the North American peat production, indicates the peat harvest in Eastern Canada is only be 15 to 30 percent of historically targeted requirements this year. Here are some tips on managing your business through this historic shortage. Managing Through The Peat Shortage [Webinar] How are you planning to handle one of the greatest peat shortages of your lifetime? The best place to start is with horticultural soils and nutrition consultant Charles Bethke, who will help you deal with limited supplies of peat and guide you as you make the crop management adjustments needed to produce a successful crop. Stretch Your Peat Supply Caught short in the peat panic? Experts share tips on incorporating alternative components into your growing media to make it through the spring season. Is Wood A Viable Media Component? Peat moss isn’t going anywhere but growers […]

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October 4, 2011

Fafard Responds To Peat Shortage

North America’s leading peat suppliers are working with customers to make sure they get their orders in for the coming spring season. We caught up with Chuck Buffington, who directs sales for the Flowers Pro division of Syngenta and was vice president of sales, marketing and technical services at Fafard, Syngenta’s growing media company. Fafard’s bogs are located in New Brunswick and Manitoba. The Canadian Sphagnum Peat Moss Association is projecting a shortage of 70 to 85 percent in the Northeastern Canadian provinces, where two thirds of the peat is produced. While production in the Western provinces helps offset the shortfall, it won’t be enough and the industry is looking about half the peat supply it normally has. Customers who buy prepared mixes will take priority over those who buy raw peat to mix their own. “We have enough peat available to fulfill all our current mix customers’ needs,” Buffington […]

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October 3, 2011

Poll: Majority Struggling To Access Peat

After the Canadian Sphagnum Peat Moss Association (CSPMA) announced last week that the peat supply in Eastern Canada will be 15 to 30 percent of historically targeted requirements, Greenhouse Grower polled its readers about whether or not they’re struggling to access peat for next spring. A GreenhouseGrower.com poll last week indicates more than half of all growers are having a more difficult time than usual accessing the amount of peat they need for next spring. Our poll question was: Are you having a more difficult time than usual accessing the amount of peat you need for next spring. Of the 27 growers who responded, 14 (52 percent) indicate they are struggling to find peat. Thirty-seven percent say they are not struggling to find the amount of peat needed for next spring while 11 percent say they haven’t started to pursue 2012 peat yet. ”We’re going through it right now,” Roy […]

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September 23, 2011

CSPMA: Peat Supply Down Considerably

The Canadian Sphagnum Peat Moss Association (CSPMA), whose members represent 95 percent of the North American peat production, released a statement Friday indicating the peat harvest in Eastern Canada will only be 15 to 30 percent of historically targeted requirements. CSPMA indicates the weather conditions in Western Canada have been better than Eastern Canada’s, allowing for continued harvest in some locations. Western Canada, however, represents only 30 to 40 percent of the total Canadian production. Sixty to 70 percent of all Canadian peat is harvested in New Brunswick and Québec – the areas of Canada hit hardest by rain in recent weeks. “The outcome is that overall the industry is facing one of its poorest peat harvest seasons,” CSPMA writes in its statement. At the distribution level, IHA, an alliance that includes BWI Companies, Griffin Greenhouse and Nursery Supplies and BFG Supply, is working closely with growers to help them manage […]

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August 30, 2011

Storm To Affect Peat Supply, Pricing

Jeff Bishop was hoping September would be a dry month in Canada so peat producers could resume harvesting. But after Tropical Storm Irene rolled through Sunday, leaving eight to 10 inches of rain in parts of Quebec, Bishop says the peat harvesting season is essentially done for producers in Eastern Canada. “This was the worst harvesting season in the history of the industry,” says Bishop, a sales representative for Lambert Peat Moss. “The season was virtually written off up until Sunday because of weather anyway. We were hoping we’d get out there for a few days in September. We have 150 harvesters. If we could get them going we could make a dent. Some facilities and locations have been closed for weeks. We’ve had to lay people off because we simply could not pay people to sit around.” The peat harvesting season was so poor this year that producers like Lambert Peat […]

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August 23, 2011

Young Plant Grower Now Distributing Peat

ForemostCo has partnered with Klasmann-Deilmann to distribute its peat substrate products, adding yet another offering to a grower with a unique model. ForemostCo already has growing operations in Miami and Winter Garden, Fla. It sources its own cuttings from Vita Farms, a farm in Guatemala. And it acts as a plant brokering company which, according to ForemostCo.com, acts as “the only plant brokering company in the U.S. that handles its own customs and USDA clearance and runs its own fleet of temperature-controlled trucks.”

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August 9, 2011

Peat Report Receives Two Awards

Greenhouse Grower Editor Kevin Yanik and Associate Art Director Brad Kish received national awards from the American Society of Business Publication Editors (ASBPE) for their work on The Peat Report published in November 2010. Yanik and Kish received a Silver Award in the Special Supplement category, and Kish earned another Silver Award for his front cover design. The Peat Report is still available online at GreenhouseGrower.com. Greenhouse Grower’s sister magazine, Today’s Garden Center, also earned two ASBPE awards, including one of the most coveted national awards: the Multi-Platform Presentation of the Year for its “Steal This Idea” coverage last October. Today’s Garden Center also won the Multi-Platform award in 2009 for the Revolutionary 100 Roundtable Special Report. Greenhouse Grower earned an honorable mention that same year in the category for its California Spring Trials coverage. Group Editor Richard Jones, Senior Online Editor Sara Tambascio and former Editor Jen Polanz were […]

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