Getting Off to a Great Start

Dr. Todd Cavins, Ball Seed Technical Services, joins STEM to talk about proper care and handling of young plants – specifically plugs and liners. Todd begins by discussing reasons to start with young plants versus seed or unrooted cuttings and the benefits of buying in plugs and liners. He then digs into some of the common challenges the technical services team runs into each Spring and some specific tips and tricks for receiving young plants. Even though “stuff happens” and every production situation and shipment can be different, Todd shares many best practices related to temperature, light, nutrition, water and gas exchange and how these critical factors should be addressed before during and after transplanting.

Dr. Cavins shares tons of fantastic information and much of it comes down to being prepared – starting a few weeks before young plants are expected on your greenhouse dock. From sanitation of your head house to maintenance of equipment and machinery, there are plenty of ways to avoid common pitfalls during the critical early stages of the game. Todd concludes with some timely tips and tricks related to PGRs, preventative fungicides and fertilizer.

Whether you’ve finished a million plants in your career or you’re just getting started, this episode is guaranteed to get you thinking about how to optimize your next crop.

Here’s a link to Dr. Todd Cavins presentation on Getting Off to a Great Start that you can share with your team:

Connect Four

Content from this episode includes four news stories related to IPM Essen 2018 – horticultural trade event in Germany. Four trends are presented: Indoor Plants, Small-Space Vegetables, Color Trends and flAVATAR.

IPM Essen Trend Photos:

Washington Post article about indoor plants and young shoppers:

Pantone Color Trends – Spring 2018:

flAVATAR Website:

Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.
– President Abraham Lincoln

Email Guest Dr. Todd Cavins: [email protected]
Email Host Bill Calkins: [email protected]
Tweet Host Bill Calkins: @billcalkins
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I can’t understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I’m frightened of the older ones.
– John Cage, composer