Identifying and correcting nutritional disorders can be challenging for greenhouse growers. Nutritional disorders most often occur when substrate pH or soluble salts (referred to as electrical conductivity, or EC) drift above or below optimal ranges for plant uptake.
To assist greenhouse growers with addressing nutritional disorders, the collaborative group of greenhouse and floriculture specialists and educators known as e-GRO has published the book “Fert, Dirt, & Squirt: Nutritional Monitoring of Greenhouse Crops.”
The book is a compendium of nutritional monitoring factsheets covering popular seed and vegetatively propagated annual bedding plants, potted plants, and vegetable transplants from basil to zinnia. The crop-specific nutritional factsheets provide the optimal crop-specific fertility requirements, pH, and EC values reported by the 1:2 Dilution, Saturated Media Extraction (SME), and PourThru methods, fertility management, corrective procedures for high and low pH and EC, and nutritional disorder photos.
In addition, the book provides nutritional monitoring resources such as procedures of in-housing nutritional monitoring, establishing a nutritional monitoring tool kit, corrective procedures, and conversion of measurements.
The book can be downloaded for free from the Nutritional Monitoring of Floriculture Crops website led by Michigan State University Extension specialist W. Garrett Owen and North Carolina State University’s Brian Whipker and Josh Henry. The project is sponsored by the American Floral Endowment.