June 25, 2013

Growing Produce In A Floating System

Growing vegetables in floating systems is a viable alternative to soil production. By focusing on crops with short roots, the floating system offers the opportunity to grow continuously throughout the year. Studies conducted by the University of Arizona conclude that by using a simple system, in one production period growers can produce around 1,400 high quality heads of lettuce obtaining high prices in the market. A Deep Flow Hydroponic System (DFHS) allows the grower to produce leafy vegetables with the roots completely submerged in water. The grower applies the nutrients before submerging the transplants, which are held upright in Styrofoam boards. Because the plant roots are submerged they’re able feed on the nutrients in the water during their growth stages until harvest, which is approximately five weeks after planting for lettuces. Beginning Production First off, you’re going to need a container to fill with water. You can choose to use […]

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June 19, 2013

Hot New Edibles From California Spring Trials 2013

Each stop at Spring Trials offers exciting new plants and products and this year, that included a lot of new edibles varieties. Take a look at what’s new.

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June 17, 2013

Burpee Home Gardens Completes Its National Grow Anywhere Tour

Burpee Home Gardens began touring the U.S. this spring on its Grow Anywhere Tour, visiting 23 cities to deliver more than 30,000 pounds of fresh produce, 13,000 vegetable plants and gardening suppport to areas without easy access to fresh, healthy foods, known as food deserts. We asked Burpee’s Product Manager Scott Mozingo about the outcome of the tour, which was completed in mid-May. GG: Why is the Grow Anywhere Tour something that Burpee Home Gardens wanted to do? Mozingo: With the Grow Anywhere Tour, Burpee Home Gardens has nourished a new generation of gardeners by sharing food, plants and advice nationwide. By demonstrating simple ways to grow food, Burpee Home Gardens demonstrated how easy it is to grow anywhere. After years of inspiring and educating the public about the physical and environmental benefits of gardening through our “I Can Grow” school and community garden program, Burpee Home Gardens took its […]

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June 10, 2013

Increase Spring Sales With Multi-purpose Herbs

Herbs have a fascinating economic and social history. Ancient civilizations used herbs for healing and in religious ceremonies. Over time, herbs were woven into myths, lore and legends. Today, many herbs are commercially produced for various reasons, including usage for the food industry, natural health remedies and in perfumes and cosmetics. In our horticulture industry, home-grown herbs are becoming more and more popular as consumers discover just how easy they are to grow, use and harvest. From a geometric English herb garden to an apartment balcony in Brooklyn, there is room for herbs in every household. Growers looking for something to add can count on herbs to have wide appeal. The extensive selection can be overwhelming. Starting with a basic variety list is the best advice for a commercial greenhouse grower looking to supplement its offering. Common herbs that consumers routinely ask for include; basil, catmint, chives, cilantro, dill, lavender, […]

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May 14, 2013

Pacific Plug & Liner Introduces Savour Basil Trees

Pacific Plug & Liner’s new grafted basil plant brings a consumer-friendly presentation to a traditional herb product.

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May 2, 2013

Urban Farming Has Special Heating Requirements

There is a growing movement to consume food produced close to where it is grown — urban farming. This can be done in an empty lot, but to get the best production per square foot, growing in a controlled environment like a greenhouse is the best route. When growing year-round, fuel for heating is a large part of the budget. The following are some ways to minimize your heating costs. The most efficient way to get heat to a crop is to deliver the heat as close to the plant as possible. For tall vegetable crops, aluminum fin pipe is a great option. The fin pipe is easy to install (no welding), low maintenance (no painting) and has low water volume compared to traditional heat pipe (so it is very responsive to heating demands). For leafy green production, using similar aluminum fin pipe brings heat directly below the plants. This […]

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April 11, 2013

Savour Basil Tree From Pacific Plug And Liner Among New Edibles Introductions

The trend in edibles we’ve been seeing in the past few years continues in full force this year. From our first stop at Danziger to our most recent one at Ball, we have seen new edibles all along the way. A favorite of mine is the Heartbreakers tomato at Danziger. The heart-shaped grape-sized fruit was unique and the packaging, designed by John Henry, is sure to catch a consumer’s eye. Upscale restaurants can serve something a little unique and home gardeners will love it too. At Pacific Plug and Liner, they had a creative display featuring their new Savour basil. It’s a Greek basil grafted to a wild-type tree form. Because of its height, PP&L ships it small and recommends retailers let it grow a bit more. Growers can add sage and other herbs to the pot underneath the “trunk” for an extra value. Gardeners can clip and harvest the […]

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March 21, 2013

Spring Trials Preview: Edibles

Here is just a taste of some of the new introductions in the edibles category for 2013.

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March 6, 2013

Vegetable Varieties For Ornamental Growers

When greenhouses sit idle between the time the last petunia basket is loaded on the truck and the first mum cutting is stuck, that unused space can be a lost opportunity. More and more, growers are looking at producing produce to fill in those gaps. Depending on a number of factors, including access to local markets, the size and labor force of your operation, your physical facility and whether you have a retail store, growing produce during the times when all or part of your greenhouses are empty might be an opportunity to cover overhead costs, keep valued workers employed and turn a profit. If done right, tapping into the locally grown food movement with restaurants, grocery stores or a retail market can be a wise move. Experts say the key is planning, planning and more planning. The production process, the markets you’ll sell to and the crops themselves may […]

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February 17, 2013

Labor Management Tips For Greenhouse Vegetables

Shifting production from ornamentals to vegetable crops can be relatively simple with regard to production. However, there are a number of things you will need to consider with regard to the organization and training of your staff. This article will focus on labor management applicable to a variety of greenhouse vegetable crops. The labor requirements (hours/acre) per month are different for the three main vegetable crops produced in greenhouses: tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers. It is important to know that cucumbers and peppers use 19 percent and 32 percent less labor respectively than tomatoes. Also, it is good to know that tomatoes require more care from employees during the course of the season. Requirements will range from 12 hours per 10,000 sq. ft. (at the beginning of the crop) to 37 hours per 10,000 sq. ft. (at peak where all tasks need to be taken care of). For a long tomato […]

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February 17, 2013

Bella Verdi Farms Focuses On Efficient Greenhouse Vegetable Production

Darrell Joseph, owner of Bella Verdi Farms, in Austin, Texas, is seldom satisfied with the way he grows his lettuce, microgreens and herb crops. Since starting the business in 2004, he has constantly looked for ways to increase production in his 13,000-square-foot greenhouse and the 1,000 square feet of indoor controlled-environment space he operates. “I always try to be more efficient,” Joseph says. “Right now we are growing the same amount of microgreens in 4,000 square feet of space that we used to grow in 9,000 square feet. That’s just a matter of learning and figuring out how to do more with less. We took the existing space and converted it into something that is more efficient.” Joseph was involved with semiconductor manufacturing for 20 years and applies the principles from that industry to his growing operation. “Process-driven, very clean, solid technology, repeatable processes — it is my nature to […]

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January 16, 2013

Greenhouse Tomato Short Course Offers Vegetable Production Education

For growers interested in adding a greenhouse produce crop but still trying to figure out where to start, Mississippi State University Extension’s 23rd annual Greenhouse Tomato Short Course is a good first step. The event, moderated by American Vegetable Grower greenhouse columnist Dr. Rick Snyder, will take place March 5-6, 2013, at the Eagle Ridge Conference Center in Raymond, Miss., just outside of Jackson. Experienced vegetable growers and experts from university Extension offer two full days of sessions covering a wide variety of topics including: greenhouse design and engineering alternative heating options marketing and business information plant nutrition alternative crops including microgreens, and updates on the latest research. Another highlight is the pest management workshop, which will include physiological disorders, diagnosing plant problems, plant disease identification and control, and pest management. Be sure to go the Greenhouse Tomato Short Course website for all information on this year’s agenda, directions to […]

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