The Basics Of Monitoring: The Complete Series

The Basics Of Monitoring: The Complete Series

Greenhouse Monitoring BasicsMonitoring The Greenhouse Environment
Developing a comprehensive monitoring program is key to keeping your production on track, but only a handful of growers are as watchful as they should be. Now, you can borrow concepts presented in this series to produce quality plants on time for every season.

Graphical Tracking: The Basics Of Monitoring
Develop a comprehensive monitoring program by borrowing concepts presented in this series to produce quality plants on time for every season.

Media pH, EC & Water Quality: The Basics Of Monitoring
Developing a comprehensive monitoring program is key to keeping your production on track, but only a handful of growers are as watchful as they should be. Borrow these concepts to produce quality plants on time for every season.

Scouting For Pathogens And Pests: The Basics Of Monitoring
Borrow greenhouse monitoring concepts from this series to produce quality plants on time for every season.

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May 22, 2015

Nexus Greenhouses Is Optimistic For Expansion Into New Markets

Cheryl Longtin and Mike Porter, who own Nexus Corporation, say they were excited to attend the grand opening of Gotham Greens’ new structure atop the new Whole Foods grocery store in the Gowanus neighborhood in Brooklyn, N.Y., when it opened in December 2013. The project is just one example of some of the new and expanding markets that Nexus Corporation has expanded into over the past few years. Jeff Warschauer, vice president of sales for Nexus, says the company has enjoyed getting to know and working with the founders of Gotham Greens, Viraj Puri and Eric Haley, and Jennifer Nelkin Frymark, the chief agriculture officer, on their innovative approach to business. “They are very excited and work hard internally – just great people,” he says. “From our perspective, it’s great to see that excitement and vision. The employees there are happy and there’s no turnover; they’re only adding new people […]

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Farwest2015

May 20, 2015

2015 Farwest Show Announces Second Annual Equipment Innovation Day

The second annual Equipment Innovation Day will be Tuesday, Aug. 25, prior to the 2015 Farwest show, which will be August 27-29 in Portland, Ore. Equipment Innovation Day, which was enthusiastically received in 2014, offers a real-time opportunity to see new heavy and automated nursery equipment in action. The demonstrations take place in manufacturing and nursery settings, adding value to the showcase. Attendees will be able to talk with participating manufacturers and learn first-hand from innovative growers who use the equipment in daily operations. The day-long event will be held at the main manufacturing plant of GK Machines, Inc., Donald, Ore. Further demonstrations of field equipment will take place at the nearby nursery of A&R Spada Farms, LLC. Bus travel to and from the event is planned, starting at and returning to the Oregon Convention Center. Attendees are welcome to provide their own travel to and from the site. Preregistration is required. The cost […]

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Bee On Flower

May 20, 2015

White House Task Force Releases Pollinator Health Strategy

An interagency Pollinator Health Task Force commissioned by President Obama released its “Strategy to Promote the Health of Honey Bees and Other Pollinators” on May 19. The strategy, released in accordance with the Presidential Memorandum issued last June, is accompanied by a Pollinator Research Action Plan, which outlines needs and priority actions to better understand pollinator losses and improve pollinator health. The recommended actions will be supported by a coordination of existing federal research efforts and accompanied by a request to Congress for additional resources to respond to losses in pollinator populations. Pages 47 through 52 specifically address pesticides and pollinators. The report calls out plant production, native plants, mosquito control and all urban uses in its Pollinator Action Plan. RISE (Responsible Industry for a Sound Environment) says it supports the goals of improving pollinator health and habitat contained in the White House Pollinator Task Force’s release of its National […]

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Latest Stories

January 29, 2014

Growing Seedlings Under LEDs: Part Two

In the second part of a two-part series, Michigan State University researchers share their findings in germinating seedlings with LED lights.

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December 4, 2013

Plant Breeder Yasuko Isobe: Consumer Lifestyles Will De…

People are more conscientious about living healthy lives and protecting the environment, says this Suntory Flowers breeder.

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December 2, 2013

Plant Breeder Troy Thorup: If Consumers’ Needs Ar…

Troy Thorup breeds various seed and vegetative annual bedding plants for PanAmerican Seed. He has been a breeder for 13 years and holds a Ph.D. in plant genetics and breeding GG: What crops do you feel will be relevant and important over the next 30 years? Thorup: Anything that can balance the combination of beautiful and hard to kill. GG: Will the fervor for all new varieties continue in the industry? Will breeders begin to focus on filling consumers’ needs? Thorup: In my breeding, I don’t view these two things as separate issues. My goal in creating new varieties is largely driven to fulfill consumers’ needs. At the end of the day, if the consumers’ needs aren’t met, they will not buy the product. GG: How will breeders address needs to reduce chemicals by increasing crop resistance to pests and diseases? Thorup: This is a tough question to answer concisely […]

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December 2, 2013

Plant Breeder Jason Jandrew: Multifunctional Plants Are…

This young breeder for Ball Horticultural Co. says breeders can take a cue from cell phones: keep adding features.

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December 2, 2013

Plant Breeder Hans Hansen: The Future’s Plants Wi…

Hans Hansen is the director of new plant development, heading up the hybridizing department for Walters Gardens Inc. in Zeeland, Mich. A graduate of the University of Minnesota, Hansen has been hybridizing plants since he was in high school. At Walter’s Gardens, he manages perennial crops including hemerocallis, hostas, monardas, digitalis, baptisias, leucanthemums and ferns, among others. What direction do you feel breeding is headed? We are living in an absolutely incredible time to be a plant breeder. Recent advancements in science and technology are opening an entirely new direction and present fascinating new opportunities for hybridizers. These include new species recently being discovered, mutagenic plant breeding, new classifications of plants based on scientific studies and new tools not available previously. The internet has turned the world into a very small place. What crops do you feel will be relevant and important over the next 30 years? With the general […]

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December 2, 2013

Plant Breeder Brent Horvath: Grasses Are A Breeding Foc…

Brent Horvath is the owner of Intrinsic Perennial Gardens, Inc., headquartered in Hebron, Ill. Horvath grew up in the industry, working at his parents’ garden center and florist shop. He holds a degree in ornamental horticulture from Oregon State University and today, he grows a wide range of perennials and ornamental grasses. GG: How long have you been a breeder or studying to be a breeder? Horvath: I started in the mid ’90s. After I read Alan Bloom’s Hardy Perennials book, where he talked about how many of his introductions came about, I really started becoming more interested in selecting and breeding. GG: What direction is your breeding career taking? Horvath: As a perennial grower with ornamental grasses being a big part of our production and sales, I focus on those plants that sell well for me. Half of my business is to landscapers and around 20 percent to retailers. […]

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December 2, 2013

Plant Breeder Amanda Hershberger: Pest And Disease Resi…

Amanda Hershberger is a plant breeder for Syngenta. She holds a B.S. in horticulture from Purdue University and an M.S. and Ph.D. in horticulture from the University of Georgia. GG: How will breeders address needs to reduce chemicals by increasing crop resistance to pests and diseases? How far away is this technology? Hershberger: Resistance breeding is vital to the success of many crops and reduces the need for chemical control, as well as reducing the pest’s development of resistance to a chemical control. My personal work experience involves resistance of vinca to Phytophthora. Breeding for pest and disease resistance in ornamental plants has primarily utilized traditional breeding methods. Resistance breeding has also included molecular methods for problems such as black spot in rose and Fusarium in carnation. Agronomic crops have really paved the way for resistance development using molecular markers. I foresee a greater use of molecular techniques to achieve resistance […]

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December 2, 2013

Plant Breeder Joseph Tychonievich: Rock Gardening Will …

Take a look at the other trends Tychonievich says he sees shaping the next 30 years of the greenhouse industry.

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December 2, 2013

Plant Breeder Kelly Norris: Breeders Must Be Champions …

Kelly Norris is currently the horticulture director at the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden and he holds two degrees (B.S., M.S.) in horticulture from Iowa State University. Norris has been part of the industry since age 15, when he talked his parents into buying a nursery and moving it from Texas to their family farm in Iowa. As the owner of Rainbow Iris Farm, he started breeding irises 12 years ago and continues to focus on breeding independently, as well as in the new breeding program at the botanical garden. GG: As a young breeder, what direction do you feel breeding is headed? Norris: I feel there are two kinds of plant breeders entering the market today. There are those coming of out graduate school looking for jobs in the industry (which aren’t plentiful) and end up toiling away with petunias and commodity crops. I feel for them. Then there […]

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December 2, 2013

Plant Breeder Ockert Greyvenstein: Minimal Inputs Are A…

Greyvenstein also says edible landscapes and hardy grasses will become more relevant floriculture crops.

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December 2, 2013

Plant Breeder Ping Ren: Breeding Must Meet Consumer And…

Jianping (Ping) Ren breeds various seed and vegetatively propagated annuals and perennials for PanAmerican Seed, where she has worked for 13 years. Ren received a Ph.D. in plant breeding in 1998 at Cornell University. Before coming to the floriculture industry, Ren was a vegetable breeder in China with a focus on Brassica vegetables. GG: Will the fervor for all new varieties continue in the industry?  Ren: There are so many new varieties each year. It can be confusing and sometimes difficult for growers and consumers to keep up. But we are all looking for “new” things all the time. There has to be something “new” each year. Of course, some new varieties are new for certain improved traits, which are necessary and can benefit breeding companies (high yield, reduced cost), growers (high germ, more uniform) and consumers (better color and garden performance). The more exciting new for the industry is “true” new […]

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December 2, 2013

Today’s Breeders On Tomorrow’s Plants

One of the future challenges is the continuing need for new and improved crops for the consumer. Make no mistake about it, new crops — and new breeders — are the lifeblood of this industry.

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November 14, 2013

The Basics & Beyond: Understanding The Differences …

As I talk to growers around the country, I often find that there is confusion between (1) photoperiodic lighting used to create a long day for flower induction of long-day plants and (2) supplemental lighting used to increase the total quantity of photosynthetic light received over the course of the day, which is referred to as daily light integral (DLI) in the greenhouse. For more information on DLI, please visit http://bit.ly/11x79eK To add to the confusion, supplemental lighting is sometimes referred to as photosynthetic or assimilation lighting. In this article, I will attempt to clarify the differences to assist you in selecting the appropriate lighting strategy for your greenhouse crops. Understanding Photoperiodic Lighting The number of hours of light in a 24-hour period (photoperiod) controls flowering of both short-day and long-day crops. It is actually the uninterrupted period of darkness that controls flowering responses. Long-day plants are those that only flower […]

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November 14, 2013

Comparing LED Lighting To HPS Lamps For Plug Production

Research at Purdue University is determining how LEDs, providing light of different wavelengths, compare to traditional high-pressure sodium lamps.

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August 6, 2012

Capillary Mats Are Back

Thirty years ago, capillary mats were used for production of floricultural pot crops like Easter lilies. The advantage was that plants could be grown practically pot-to-pot, thus maximizing plants per square foot. Also, since Easter lilies grow best when fertigated with tempered water delivered on a uniform schedule, the capillary mat was ideal. During the 1990s, capillary mats for growing plants fell out of favor as a fertigation method when compared to drip irrigation and other sub-irrigation methods. However, recent advances in electronic controls, mat composition and the use of a drip tape to deliver water directly to the mat at even locations, make cap-mat watering worthy of another look. Combine this with concerns about groundwater contamination, quantity, quality and costs associated with water usage, cap mats and their low-water requirements will certainly come back into the greenhouse growing picture. There are a number of capillary mat types available, each […]

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July 9, 2012

Save Water With Automation And Sensors

Automating irrigation is a great way to save water. One of the latest innovations in irrigation automation is the use of substrate moisture sensors to trigger irrigation. These sensors are relatively inexpensive and, when used, can conserve water and, consequently, reduce pollution and the amount of money spent on electricity for pumps in wells. A wide variety of annual and perennial plants may be irrigated with as little as 0.3 to 1.3 gallons of water for the entire cropping cycle using substrate moisture sensors. Sensors Ensure Proper Substrate Moisture For High-Quality Plants Most substrate moisture sensors literally measure the amount of water in soils. This is usually expressed by volume, as the ratio of the volume of water to the volume of substrate in a pot (substrate moisture content percent = (volume of water xvolume of substrate) / 100). In peat-based substrates, the substrate moisture content of 45 to 50 […]

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April 26, 2012

Subirrigation: Watering From The Ground Up

The goal for any irrigation system is to deliver water to the growing medium as effectively and efficiently as possible. Effectively means getting the right amount of water into the growing medium. Efficiently means minimizing the amount of water that is lost from the system.  In order to irrigate effectively, an irrigation system must deliver water uniformly to every pot in an irrigation zone. An efficient irrigation system will either deliver water with minimal leaching and runoff or capture and reuse all the water that is not retained in the growing medium. Sub-irrigation systems are generally both more effective and efficient than top-down systems. These systems include capillary mats, troughs, flood and drain trays and flood floors. Capillary Mats The simplest form of sub-irrigation, in these systems water is delivered to a porous mat that is in contact with the bottom of the container. This allows water to move from […]

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April 24, 2012

Hand Watering, Booms, Sprinklers Or Drip?

The amount of water that can be held by the substrate in a given container with a specific irrigation method is the effective water-holding capacity (EWHC). It may be desirable to maintain the moisture content of the medium below EWHC in order to regulate plant growth or reduce the risk of soil-borne diseases. Overall, it is important to irrigate thoroughly. The amount of water applied must be sufficient to re-wet the entire volume of growing medium. If the medium is dry and not enough water is applied, only part of the mix will be re-wetted. In irrigating thoroughly, the method of delivery plays an important role. With top-down irrigation, water will be pulled downward by the force of gravity. As it moves downward, some will be held by the growing medium. Usually, some water will escape from the bottom of the pot before the medium is thoroughly wet. At the […]

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