Creating a phytosanitary plan for your greenhouse is important, but according to Saunders Brothers Nursery in Virginia, it doesn’t have to be a daunting endeavor. In fact, there are many simple steps you can take to grow cleaner plants.
Saunders Brothers has worked with many researchers and Extension agents over the years to establish protocol to help prevent the introduction and spread of boxwood blight at its nurseries. Although this plan was designed with boxwood blight in mind, these practices will help growers produce cleaner, more successful plants of all types.
Here are just a few practices you can implement (learn more here: https://www.newgenboxwood.com/news).
One of the first and easiest steps to take is the inclusion of foot mats/baths for sterilizing shoes of anyone entering a growing area. These can be placed in greenhouses, worker common areas, and near offices. Having foot baths as a first line of defense minimizes the introduction of new pathogens to your growing area. Saunders Brothers Zerotol 2.0, but a 10% bleach solution is also effective.
Disposable pants and boots serve as a physical barrier between one’s clothing and the plants they are working in. If there are any spores or pests on the clothing, it is less likely they will migrate to the plants. Saunders Brothers employees wear disposable, plastic pant and boot covers while working in boxwood houses. Boxwood blight spores can stick to tools and clothing moving from location to location, so instead of worrying about having fresh clothes, disposable pant/boot covers are the perfect solution.
Sterilizing tools and equipment is an easy, practical step to take towards growing cleaner plants. It is a good practice to carry around a spray bottle of isopropyl alcohol. Alcohol spray can be used to clean any handheld tools such as pruners, shovels, or trimmers. Other options of sterilants are a 10% bleach solution or Lysol spray. Make sure to always check labels before you use any products. Most of these products are very user-friendly and are labeled to clean tools, equipment, or even surfaces.
More tips from Saunders Brothers are available here.