THIS SATURDAY: “Biosecurity Workshop” necessary for submitting GF2 proposals for pest control projects

On Saturday afternoon (Feb. 18th) from 2- 6pm at the Vineland OMAFRA office there will be a “Biosecurity Workshop”run by the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association.

This workshop is targeted to greenhouse and hort producers.  It will provide the necessary background for growers to submit applications to the Growing Forward 2 Program for biosecurity and pest control projects.   Attendance at a biosecurity workshop is a necessary to apply for GF2 funding under this stream.

There is no cost for this workshop and all are welcome. Please  register at or contact Margaret May at

A flyer with more details is included below.

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Workshop on Water Quality Testing next week!


3M Petri Films are an easy to use tool in on-farm water quality testing. 

Want to know when and where pathogen problems are building BEFORE they start? Interested in setting up your own water quality testing program that’s both easy and cost effective?

For those of you attending my IPM Workshop on Friday, you’ll get a bit of a taste of the tools to help you do this that have recently been developed by Flowers Canada, the Soil Research Group and other collaborators.

For those of you who are missing my workshop, or want more hands-on, in-depth information on this topic, then come to the “Greenhouse Water Quality Workshop” being run on Feb. 24.  Read on for more details.

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Spring crops that are “magnets”for certain pests.

aphid_cali_UMAssYou know the old rhyme: “April showers bring May flowers, but what do May flowers bring? Aphids“. Or sometimes it seems that way, anyways, with Spring bedding crops.

To help guide your pest management program this year, our  friends (superiors?) over at Michigan State Extension have released a handy  list of which crops are likely to attract which pests.  Keep reading for more info.

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Hydrangeas: Getting the (right colour) blues

Forcing hydrangeas for Easter? Our friend Dr. Brian Whipker at North Carolina State University has released a great resource on managing nutrients to ensure your blooms are blue and not bluish-purple. Continue reading

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Desperately seeking Aphis gossypii!

Image result for melon aphid

Aphis gossypii come in a variety of colors, as shown above. But all colors share one thing in common – black cornicles at the tip of their bodies. These can be seen with a hand lens.

Usually on this blog we bring YOU the information.  Today it’s the opposite.  I’m looking for a grower who has live melon aphid (Aphis gossypii) in their operation, and wouldn’t mind a researcher coming by to remove some of them to start a research colony with.


If you have some you wouldn’t mind parting with, please contact Rose Buitenhuis at 905.562.0320 Ext. 749 or who can get in touch with our contact at Laval University.  They might even name the colony after you…

As a refresher, Melon aphids tend to be the smallest aphid found in your greenhouse. They can come in a variety of color morphs – from pale green-yellow to dusky grey – but they ALWAYS have black cornicles (or “tail pipes”) at the end of their abdomen.  They are common in crops like kolanchoe and gerbera and a variety of other spring crops.

If you comment on this blog post regarding aphids in your greenhouse only I (sarah) will see it.





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Last chance to register for FCO’s Research Conference!

screen-shot-2016-12-21-at-2-48-09-pm Flowers Canada Ontario is hosting a Research Conference on February 1st.

The conference will focus on best management practices (or BMPs) in the greenhouse, including those for water management, lighting, and pest control.

Keep reading for details on speakers and registration.

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Stalling out: Strategies for success

Starting to feel a bit bummed out by all this gloomy weather?  Imagine how your poor plants feel!  All clouds and no sun leads to lots of fun with production schedules, nutrition and proper plant development. Continue reading

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