June 12, 2008

New Product Shorts

New Plug Tray Blackmore Co.: The latest addition to the Blackmore line of plug trays is the 200 Star Deep. Fluted walls give cells more strength and act as a conduit to provide more oxygen to the root zone. This tray also has an angled label ramp and 3/4-inch turned over top to give it more rigidity. Each cell is 2 1/4 inch deep with a 20 cc volume. Smart Sensor Dynamax, Inc.: The WET-2 Sensor has crucial applications in precision horticulture and soil science research, usable in both soils and artificial substrates. It measures pore water conductivity (ECp) exceptionally and is often used as an indicator of the amount of fertilizer available for plant growth. It monitors nutrient levels and takes the guesswork out of monitoring crucial information quickly and accurately. Earlier Thrips Detection Biobest N.V.: ThriPher is a new pheromone that contains a sexual aggregation pheromone to attract […]

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June 12, 2008

A New Way To Bid

Bruce Knox’s first experience with West Auctions’ online capabilities came when he watched the public sale of another grower operation. “I had followed one of their auctions in California,” says Knox, president of Knox Nursery in Florida. “I had one of my truck drivers go to pick up and he said that everything sold. Everything!” Knox decided to use West Auctions when he had to get rid of equipment from his original location that was closing and being consolidated into another facility. He chose an online auction because he didn’t want to limit the number of people who could participate. Roughly 100 companies signed up for the Knox online auction, which improved Bruce’s chances of getting better prices for the equipment.  For The People The beauty of an online auction is the accessibility, says Daniel West, the general manager of West Auctions, Woodland, Calif. Growers have specialized items that only […]

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June 12, 2008

New Product Shorts

Cleary: TriStar 30 SG is a foliar insecticide with broad spectrum control of key, economically important insect pests like aphids, mealy bugs, caterpillars, whiteflies, thrips, leaf-eating beetles and leafminers. TriStar 30 SG is odorless, mixes easily and is compatible with many tank mix partners. It’s now available in 2-pound containers. www.clearychemical.com Easy Reading Northwest Horticulture: The Big Green Book, a 136-page catalog of information and suggestions to help growers succeed in the greenhouse and nursery, is now available. The book has information on quality cuttings, plugs and field-grown liners, and also details programs growers can use for their perennials, roses and ornamental grasses. A selection guide for choosing the right varieties and colors and a planning matrix are included, as well. www.northwesthorticulture.com Innovative Pot Pöppelmann: The TEKU Premium Pot comes in all common sizes and shapes and with multi-hole, three-level drainage to provide faster irrigation and better aeration. The facet […]

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June 12, 2008

New Product Shorts

Virus Detector Agdia: The HVX ImmunoStrip (above) detects Hosta Virus X and works in minutes. The ImmunoStrip has a guaranteed shelf life of one year and is portable, so tests can be administered before purchasing plants, accepting shipments or throughout the season. www.agdia.com Improved Fungicide BioSafe Systems: ZeroTol broad spectrum fungicide has been updated with a new label featuring a sleek front design and tear-away instruction booklet with helpful, easy-to-read rate charts. The redesigned label better describes the product for new users, and the instruction booklet is designed to help applicators access features and benefits of ZeroTol. www.biosafesystems.com Reglazing Solution DEGLAS: Acrylic sheet glazing systems offer protection against the yellowing of plastic greenhouse coverings like polycarbonate. Systems can be fitted to existing structures and are adaptable to any design requirements. They’re also guaranteed not to yellow for 30 years. www.deglasamericas.com Speedy Machinery JAVO: The JAVO Directomatic is a combination of […]

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June 11, 2008

Going Geothermal

Mark Elzinga held nothing back when he built his four-acre organic greenhouse at Elzinga & Hoeksema in Portage, Mich. He spent money, took risks and entrusted a lot of people with the future of his operation–people like Stephen Hamstra, executive vice president at GMB, who helped design the solar-geothermal energy system that should provide 80 percent of Elzinga’s heating needs. The GMB-designed system should cut down on Elzinga’s energy costs, as well, and significantly reduce the greenhouse’s carbon footprint. “The geothermal hybrid is a new thing,” Hamstra says. “I’m not aware of a greenhouse that’s done it like this. We presented the concept in 2006 in a white paper at the International Ground Source Heat Pump Association (IGSHPA) annual meeting in Albany, N.Y., and there was a lot of favorable response.”  One Of A Kind Elzinga was among the first to take notice, and he now has an impressive solar-geothermal system […]

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June 11, 2008

Avoiding Overheating

You can block heat using expensive computer or manually operated shades or by applying colored coatings to glass. Shades are prone to operational problems and use energy. Colored coatings need to be removed to maximize light transmission after the hottest time of the year. For existing glass greenhouses, another option is to install clear, colorless window film that will block unwanted heat while allowing in desirable natural light. Once installed, such film may last up to 20 years. It does not need to be removed, does not change the appearance or visual clarity of the glass, does not need special care and will not fail to perform because of computer or mechanical malfunction. Affix it and forget it. Tinted window films do reduce heat into greenhouses, but they can also reduce a significant percentage of visible light through the glass, according to V-Kool President & CEO Marty Watts. “Most conventional […]

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June 11, 2008

What’s Old Is New Again

Anthura set out to build a new greenhouse that would centralize young plant production for the Anthura Plant, Anthura Microplants and Anthura Production departments. The design of the Palm house of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew in London was the source of the new design, which incorporates curved sidewalls and a second story. The greenhouse is being built by JM van der Hoeven B.V. under the guidance of architect Aad Bom. The construction is due to be completed by the end of 2008. The design of Anthura’s new facility is based on the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, which was built in 1848. Most greenhouses of the time were built near royal palaces, and many included orangeries, palm houses, in addition to botanic plant collections. The greenhouses of that period exhibited ancient examples of structural steelwork, which give the greenhouses of that era that still stand monument status. New Design While […]

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June 11, 2008

Controller Savings For The Smaller Grower

Many affordable controllers add settings like DIF and night set-back. A controller does not have to be elaborate or complicated to save you money and improve your crop quality. It does not have to control every operation of the greenhouse to be effective. Replacing thermostats with a simple controller that handles only the heating and cooling will save you energy and improve your crops. Many affordable controllers add settings like DIF, night set-back, humidity control and curtain control and still stay price competitive with thermostats.  Single Temperature Reading One of the greatest cost savings that a controller produces versus thermostats is from the coordination of heats and cools from one temperature probe. It is almost universal that growers will tell you that in a greenhouse with thermostats, you will, sooner or later, get heats and cools running at the same time. This can happen when the heat thermostat is located […]

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June 11, 2008

The Natural Fiber Container

For 50 years, Western Pulp Products Co. has manufactured Premium Molded Fiber Containers made from 100 percent recycled paper in the United States. This year, Western, based in Corvallis, Ore., will introduce a number of innovative new products to address the growing demand for sustainability. “Today’s consumers are looking for products that have a minimal impact on the environment, and can be considered earth-friendly or green,” says Jim Lee, Western’s marketing and sales manager. “We at Western feel that our products not only meet the demand for sustainability, but offer growers, retailers and consumers a better product to grow healthier plants.”  Go Green, Don’t Look Back Western’s containers provide for healthier plants because they let roots and soil breathe while insulating from temperature extremes. In all kinds of climates and conditions, Western’s containers look better, last longer and perform better, while helping customers differentiate their product and improve plant quality. […]

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June 11, 2008

Master Builders

While most growers got into the greenhouse business because they love to grow plants, others really take pride in building greenhouses and have dedicated employees and crews. One prime example is George Lucas of Lucas Greenhouse in Monroeville, N.J. While he and his wife founded the business with just 9,000 square feet of greenhouse about 30 years ago, today Lucas Greenhouse spans 630,000 square feet and ranks at No. 100 on our Top 100 Growers. The company has undergone three major buildouts with Nexus Greenhouse Systems since 2002 and just constructed 170,000 square feet of Dual Atrium greenhouses with a glass roof and polycarbonate sides and gables using its own crews. This summer, Lucas will be adding another 130,000 square feet. Where is all this growth coming from? Young plants. Forty percent of production is propagation and prefinished plants, and the rest is finished plants sold to independent garden centers within […]

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June 11, 2008

New Product Shorts

Unique Fungicide BioWorks: Cease fights both fungal and bacterial pathogens, and it provides plant and environmental safety with a four-hour re-entry interval. Cease controls disease using multi-site modes of action for resistance management. The National Organic Program approved Cease for use in organic production. www.bioworksinc.com Better Protection Fine Americas: “Improving Plant Quality In Annuals And Perennials With Concise” is a 44-page color guide edited by Virginia Tech’s Joyce Latimer and North Carolina State’s Brian Whipker. Michigan State Extension specialist Erik Runkle provided input for the publication, which provides guidelines on Concise applications for a variety of plants. www.fine-americas.com Plants With Style Hort Couture: The Haute Tote is a fashionable plant sleeve that has a handbag-style look. Haute Totes come in cases of 250 sleeves, and its design fits 6- to 8-inch pots. www.hortcoutureplants.com Dynamic Packaging Landmark Plastic: Thermoformed nursery trade gallon pots have in-rim tag slots, 12 large, bi-level drainage […]

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June 11, 2008

Building A New Greenhouse

So you’re thinking of building a new greenhouse? Here are some tips I’ve learned building our new propagation range in Fresno, Calif. The first thing on your list should be to create a master plan on how your structures will be laid out now and potentially in the future. This should include all utilities entering the greenhouses and any special requirements for your equipment. You might not build on your greenhouse for a while, but you should always give yourself the option of adding on in the future without any obstructions. Questions you need to address during this process: – Can the new greenhouse(s) be built on our existing property without any modifications? – Do we need to move older structures to accommodate our new greenhouses? To keep the flow of your new greenhouse, it might be better to move some of your existing structures. – What are the timelines to […]

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