Kwik Kombos

March 25, 2010 - 13:12

New for 2010, Syngenta Flowers’ Kwik Kombos are three-in-one custom-grown mixed liners. This new product form takes the guesswork out of producing high-quality premium combination planters and baskets. Each mix has undergone extensive production trialing — from propagation to finish and outdoor performance — to ensure a complementary blend of plants that grow well together. Selected for color, compatibility and strong retail presentation, the Kwik Kombos program is designed to help maximize production efficiency and increase margins for growers.

Each Kwik Kombos recipe features three select GoldFisch varieties in a single 30x40-millimeter liner rooted for five to six weeks, pre-pinched and ready for transplant.

These custom-grown mixed liners feature designer blends of the best Syngenta Flowers performers, including Lanai verbena, Sanguna petunia and Callie calibrachoa. Available in 17 exclusive combinations, Kwik Kombos produce ideal premium baskets, top-selling mixed containers and value-added 6-inch pots.

The plant-and-go process eliminates the design and setup delays typical on production lines and dramatically increases transplanting productivity.

Finishing

Be sure to transplant Kwik Kombos liners upon arrival. If that is not possible, place liners on a bench in a greenhouse under shade and thoroughly water the liners until the media is saturated. When transplanting, place the rooted liner media slightly below the level of media in the container and make sure the root ball is covered.

• For 6-inch to gallon pots, situate the liner in the center of the pot and plant just one liner per pot to finish in six to eight weeks.

• For 10- to 12-inch baskets or containers, plant three liners per pot in a triangle with equal space between the liners and the edge of the container, and finish in seven to nine weeks.

• Three liners per pot are recommended for 12-inch baskets. However, if you use only two, pinch 10 to 14 days after transplant and extend production time to nine to 12 weeks.

To maximize growth potential, keep the day temperatures between 65-75° F and night temperatures between 55-65° F. Use a porous media, allowing it to dry between irrigations; overwatering leads to soft growth and fungus gnat issues. A constant balanced feed application at a rate of 200- to 250-ppm nitrogen is recommended. Monitor EC levels and keep them between 2.0 to 2.5. If the EC levels are too high, leach with clear water as needed to avoid salt buildup. For optimal growth, keep the pH levels between 5.4-6.0.

Growth regulators help provide a full and dense finish, especially under lower light conditions. Rates and applications vary depending on the combination. Monitor growth closely and use PGRs and/or DIF temperature controls for denser finished plants. Recommendations for PGR use include a Bonzi (paclobutrazol) drench of 1-3 ppm. Another alternative is a B-Nine (daminozide) spray at a rate of 2,500 ppm. Keep the Bonzi drench less than or equal to 1 ppm for mixes containing scaevola, bidens and Rapunzel verbena. Pinching is not needed in a 6-inch or gallon pot but is recommended in larger containers. If done, pinch 10- to 12-inch containers five to six weeks before sale date, allowing enough time for a premium flowering finish. When pinching, use a disinfectant registered to kill viruses (e.g., Virkon S, RelyOn, trisodium phosphate) and sterilize hands and pruners routinely. Kwik Kombos grow best in the greenhouse under moderate to high light conditions. Use supplemental lighting in Northern climates and under dark, cloudy conditions.

The Kwik Kombos Program

Kwik Kombos are rooted and shipped exclusively from Lucas Greenhouses in Monroeville, N.J., from week 49 through 26, with an eight-week lead time required to order. Order considerations: • Minimums of 204/order, 102/variety

• Pack per box includes 408 liners

• Half box includes 204 liners

• Kwik Kombos ship in four 26-cell strip trays that are sold as a 102

• Kwik Kombos tags are available on request

For more information on the program, visit www.syngentaflowersinc.com.

About The Author

Eric Pitzen is product specialist for Syngenta Flowers, Inc. He can be reached at eric.pitzen@syngenta.com.

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