Choose the right soil analysis for in-ground cut flowers

This post was contributed to by Lauren Vanderlingen, OMAFRA Summer Student and Christoph Kessel, OMAFRA Soil Fertility Specialist – Horticulture.

If you are using Saturated Paste Extract (SPE) to assess soil nutrients for in-ground grown cut flowers, you may be underestimating plant available nutrients and applying fertilizers that aren’t needed.

Many greenhouse growers use SPE analysis when testing growing media in the greenhouse for nutrient levels. Typically, SPE tests are used in soilless or peat-based growing substrates, the kind we usually see used in potted plant production. However, if you are growing cut flowers in a mineral soil, either in the greenhouse or outdoors, SPE is not giving you a complete report on nutrients available to your crop.

Both greenhouse and outdoor soils that produce cut flowers should be tested on a regular basis.

Continue reading “Choose the right soil analysis for in-ground cut flowers”

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CleanFARMS Collection Dates Released

cleanfarmsCleanFARMS will be offering its obsolete and unwanted pesticides collection campaign this fall.

This program allows farmers to bring in unwanted or obsolete agricultural pesticides, at no cost, to one of 27 collection sites for safe disposal at an approved waste management facility.

Note that these are single day programs, so you need to drop off at the assigned location on a specific day.  For more information, and specific drop-off dates, you can see the Clean Farms Program poster.

For Niagara area growers, note that drop-offs will be accepted at Vineland Growers Co-op Jordan Station location on September 27, 2019.

 

Garden Mums – 2019 Production and Protection Tips

This post was contributed to by Drs. Sarah Jandricic and Chevonne Dayboll.

Summer is in full swing, and so too are garden mums.  As you get ready for the next few months, here are a few tips to keep your crop on track.

Drip line irrigation can be a more efficient way of delivering water and nutrients to outdoor crops.

Irrigation method matters!

There are plenty of options for irrigation in potted outdoor crops, but not all are created equal if you are trying to maximize your water efficiency.  Overhead irrigation by boom, or sprinkler is not efficient if your pots are not spaced tightly.  Canopy sizes in the later months of production may make this impossible, especially if you choose to go with final spacing when pots first move outside.  These methods of irrigation can also lead to pots that are too dry (not watered) or too wet (over watered). Plants can only use water that makes it into the pot, so low volume drip line or tape is a more effective way to delivering usable water to your outdoor crops.

Continue reading “Garden Mums – 2019 Production and Protection Tips”

Online Training -Greenhouse Basics & Nutrient Management

Picture1Just in time for spring, the University of Florida has released their list of upcoming greenhouse themed online courses for the summer of 2019.

There are three courses available through the summer: Greenhouse 101, Nutrient Management 1 and Nutrient Management 2.  All three courses are offered in both English and Spanish. Continue reading “Online Training -Greenhouse Basics & Nutrient Management”

Poinsettia Prep Refresher

JF14Now that poinsettias are safely tucked into their prop trays and the threat of Erwinia (Pectobacterium) is almost over, it’s time to think about other Poinsettia issues.

Root rots, nutritional issues, environmental stress and PGR mistakes can all be costly in this high-value crop.  Read on for common pitfalls and how to avoid them.

Continue reading “Poinsettia Prep Refresher”

Tips and Tricks for Outdoor Mum and Hydrangea Production this Summer

This post was co-authored by Dr. Jeanine West, Flowers Canada Ontario’s Environment Specialist

outdoor 6Do you grow hardy mums and hydrangeas outdoors?  If so, this blog post is for you!  Flowers Canada Ontario, the Soil Resource Group and OMAFRA have collected data about fertilizer and water management in outdoor greenhouse crops over the last few summers, and have some updated production information for growers to think about over this year’s season.

The goal of the study was to look at ways to improve fertilizer and irrigation efficiency outside of the greenhouse.  Continue reading “Tips and Tricks for Outdoor Mum and Hydrangea Production this Summer”

Oh dear! It’s Oedema.

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Oedema on the young leaves in this begonia basket.

Oedema, that physiological disorder that appears during periods of low light and high humidity.  There’s been quite a bit of it reported in Ontario greenhouses this spring, and unfortunately it’s related to the long rainy (or snowy!) spring we’ve been having.  If you’ve noticed salt-like crystals, odd tumour-like growths or water-soaked spots on either side of your plant leaves this disorder might be the culprit.

The disorder affects a wide variety of greenhouse ornamentals.  It’s usually noticed in spring crops like sweet potato vine (ipomea), geranium, begonia and/or petunia. Continue reading “Oh dear! It’s Oedema.”