Product Spotlight

January 14, 2002 - 15:07

Plug tray

Blackmore’s new 288 X CE Deep Tray is designed for
field production of tomatoes along with other crops. The depth of the tray is
approximately 1 1/2 inches and soil volume is 9.4 cc. The eight-degree taper
permits plants to be easily pulled from the trays. Blackmore Company,
Belleville, Mich.

Open-air greenhouse

Stuppy Greenhouse Manufacturing Inc. introduces RBG II
— the new “open-air” greenhouse. The RBG II reduces
growers’ up-front capital expenditures as the frame can initially be
covered with air-inflated double poly and later converted to Dynaglas UVII
dual-coated, 8-mm twinwall polycarbonate. It offers both ease of operation and
lower equipment costs by eliminating fan usage. The RBG II is designed with a
stationary, 6-foot bay at each end to cover and protect equipment located in
the endwalls. Models are offered in code or non-code versions. The roof is also
available in 24- and 36-foot widths. Stuppy Greenhouse Manufacturing Inc.,
North Kansas City, Mo.

Shopping cart

Jaderloon introduces the Met 30 Shopping Cart for easier
access through garden centers. The cart has an all-welded frame and nest like a
grocery cart, and it also has a collapsible child seat. The top tray holds 200
lbs. and flips up for loading tall items on the lower tray, which holds 400
lbs. The Met 30 has 10-inch, semi-pneumatic rear tires and 6-inch front wheels;
the wheels are ball-bearing. The cart also works well on pavement. Jaderloon
Co., Irmo, S.C.


Mavrik and Enstar II, from Wellmark International, can be
used individually or together to control whiteflies, aphids, mites, thrips and
other insects. Mavrik’s nonphytotoxic, water-based formulation provides
broad-spectrum insect control on all greenhouse crops, and even open blooms.
Enstar II, an insect growth regulator, disrupts normal insect processes,
causing sterile eggs, incomplete development and possibly premature death in
adults. Mavrik and Enstar II provide excellent control, flexibility and effective
resistance management with different modes of action. Wellmark International,
Schaumburg, Ill.


Growing Solutions compost tea systems create an aerobic
liquid extract from compost containing high concentrations of microorganisms
and nutrients. These microbes work with soil and plant biology to cycle and
retain nutrients, improve soil structure and suppress disease. Growing
Solutions compost tea systems are being used around the world with results
indicating that compost tea produces healthier crops. The systems are supported
with microbiologically tested compost to take the guesswork out of on-site
operations. In addition, Growing Solutions offers Compost Tea Catalyst to
sustain the growing population of microbes during the production cycle. Compost
tea comes in three different sizes: System 25, System 100 and System 500
(pictured). Growing Solutions, Eugene, Ore.

Garden pack

De Vroomen introduces new bulb Garden Packs. They are
colorful and contain a number of bulbs available in 12 different packs. De
Vroomen also offers an option to buy the six best-selling varieties and receive
a free wooden display rack. De Vroomen, Russell, Ill.Á

Open-roof greenhouse

Van Wingerden Greenhouse Company announces the new MX-II
operable roof greenhouse, a cost-effective way to grow under any weather
condition. The roof closes entirely for normal greenhouse operation; opened
slightly, the roof permits ventilation while protecting from rain and snow. It
can also be incrementally opened to remove cool-weather condensation without
additional heating and to completely control ventilation. With a staged
opening, ventilation can be increased without the use of fans. When it is fully
open, light and natural outdoor conditions are maximized; crops can be fully
hardened without moving them outside. This multi-purpose greenhouse accepts
shade systems, hanging basket systems, irrigation booms, lighting systems, crop
support systems and heating systems. Van Wingerden Greenhouse Company, Horse
Shoe, N.C.

Plastics catalog

TLC Polyform’s new 24-page, four-color catalog
highlights the company’s line of thermoformed horticultural containers.
With the acquisition of TFI Plastics last year, TLC Polyform now offers over
300 different containers, including complete lines of plug and propagation
trays; round and square pots; pot carriers and shuttle trays; cell packs;
flats; regional sizes; and specialty containers for nursery and perennial
growers. TLC Polyform has manufacturing and warehousing locations in Michigan,
Georgia and Arizona. TLC Polyform, Minneapolis, Minn. Á


With EPA approval already documented, and all other U.S.
states having approved usage, Bio Works, Inc. announces that California has
approved the use of its biologically derived fungicides on fruits and
vegetables as well as on ornamental plants. Dr. Chris Hayes of Bio Works said,
“This is the breakthrough we’ve waited for. There is now no
obstacle to any grower who wants the ultimate in fungal control of
plants.” Bio Works, under licenses from Cornell University, markets RootShield and PlantShield to protect plants from fungal infection. Bio Works, Inc., Geneva, N.Y.

Shipping racks

The Mule Shipping System, a unitized, one-way, 100-percent
recyclable system, fits on a standard wooden pallet. It is made of
humidity-resistant, corrugated cardboard and treated with a water-repellent
coating. Currently, there are three models capable of shipping any greenhouse
product, including annual flats, young plants, plugs, liners, perennials,
potted flowering plants, holiday plants and foliage. The original Container
Shipper is used to ship any container or pot. It is a flexible, patented
shelving system with various side heights to accommodate any product mix;
different heights can be combined on the same pallet to optimize costs. The
latest innovation, the Young Plant Shipper, can accommodate 10 x 20 trays with
a patent-pending, wire support system. Shelves can be spaced from 2-6 inches
apart and hold up to 176 trays in a 44-inch-tall container. The Annual Shipper
has been modified to fit 60 8 x 20 flats with 8-inch spacing. Cherokee
Manufacturing Inc., South St. Paul, Minn. 

Mini Controller

The HI 1222 Mini Controller NEMA Box from Hanna Instruments
enables customers to make their own control adjustments. It features injection
systems, an LCD display, an alarm contact, keypad touch setting, calibration
and adjustable set points, and multiple ranges for TDS and conductivity. style="mso-spacerun: yes">  The HI 1222 is simple to install by
just plugging in the probe, the power and the relay meter. Choosing from TDS,
Conductivity, pH or ORP will allow any system to be cost-effectively monitored
and controlled 24 hours per day. The HI 1222 comes with a dual meter
capability, as opposed to the HI 1211, which comes with a single meter
capability. Hanna Instruments, Woonsocket, R.I.

Inflatable retractable roof

The patented roll-a-roof is a 100-percent frame-supported
retractable roof. This system avoids cables, straps, eyelets and special
fabrics in favor of a sturdy, frame-supported system that uses standard
greenhouse polyethylene film. Agra Tech’s roll-a-roof double-polyethylene
skin is inflatable, just like a stationary roof, and it offers 40 percent more
insulating ability than glass. Roll-a-roof seals tightly at the ridge of the
greenhouse with ends that are weather-sealed to reduce air seepage. The rolling
beam, drive tube and roof leading edge spread weight evenly over the entire
greenhouse frame. A limited number of moving parts results in fewer breakdowns.
The roof works with most Quonsets, curved-bow gutter houses, nursery cold
frames and shade structures. The roof can be controlled manually, automatically
or by computer. Agra Tech, Pittsburg, Calif.

Automatic seeder

Gleason Equipment has developed a completely modular line of
automatic seeders. The Classic 100 and 200 Needle Seeders are capable of sowing
seed sizes  ranging from begonias
to cucumbers. Pneumatics control 99 percent of the seeders’ functions,
allowing for ease of use and low maintenance. Seeder features include eight
needle sizes utilizing Luer lock technology for quick changeover times and a
needle bar and drop tubes that require no tools and can be exchanged in less
than one minute. One handle controls height adjustment from 512 plug flats to
4-inch pots. Gleason Equipment, Kankakee, Ill.

Biological fungicide

Growth Products has received EPA registration for greenhouse
use of a new liquid biological fungicide. Proven effective against Rhizoctonia,
Pythium, Fusarium, Phytophthora and other soil-borne diseases, Companion can be
used on all types of bedding plants, foliage plants, flowers and woody
ornamentals. Other suggested uses for Companion include: combining it with reduced
rates of chemical fungicides to eliminate resistance and using it to improve
root and plant quality. Growth Products, White Plains, N.Y.

Product catalog

Gempler’s 2002 Master Catalog, scheduled for release
January 1, 2002, will feature 30 more pages and 775 more items than the 2001
catalog. Among the hard-to-find agriculture and horticulture items in the new
catalog are: Labor Law Compliance: A Working Guide for Ag/Hort Employers,
explaining federal employment laws and regulations in simple terms; impertech
heavy-duty rainwear with 200-percent stretch factor for working in wet
environments; and the Securalink system for mixing and loading pesticides without
spilling or splashing chemicals on yourself. Gempler’s also has plans to
improve customer service by adding more knowledgeable, courteous staff to its
phone center, corporate sales and technical services departments. Customers
will also be able to shop on-line and save the standard shipping costs.
Gempler’s, Inc., Belleville, Wis.

Vent sealer

Ventsealer is a gasket designed to fill gaps around vents,
doors and windows, stopping air leaks and saving money. Constructed of a tough,
high-quality outer casing that protects a foam cushion, the airtight Ventsealer
gasket seals spaces up to 1-inch wide. Available in both metal and wood frame
styles, the Ventsealer comes in continuous, 100-foot lengths that are easily
installed by gluing or stapling to vent frames. This is a low-cost product that
can show immediate returns in energy bills. Carson Manufacturing Co., Petaluma,

Heating burner

Most heating units can burn a variety of oils from used
engine oil to hydraulic oil to vegetable oil to antifreeze or regular fuel oil
by modifying the oil burner on the existing heater/boiler. The addition of a
Beckett AFG burner gives growers the freedom to choose their fuel source,
saving on fuel, equipment and money, without the added expense of new
equipment. The manufacturer touts a fast payback, reliability and ease of
maintenance as features of the system. CompuHeat Inc., N. Ridgeville, Ohio.

Plug and liner fertilizer

Simplot Turf & Horticulture has released Apex 13-4-9
plug and liner fertilizer — a micro-sized, homogeneous,
controlled-release fertilizer for the production of plugs and liners. The
nutrients, including iron and zinc, are combined in each uniformly coated
pellet, ensuring precise distribution and release. The longevity of this
product is based on temperature; at temperatures between 70 and 80° F, the
product can be expected to remain effective for 3-4 months. The Apex line of
fertilizers features application-specific formulations that incorporate Polyon
controlled-release technology, eliminating the need for top dressing on most
plants and offering high application safety. Simplot, Boise, Idaho.

Perennial book

Herbaceous Perennials Production: A Guide from Propagation
to Marketing, by Dr. Leonard Perry of the University of Vermont Cooperative
Extension System, is a comprehensive information source that considers the
diversity of situations encountered by growers in businesses of all sizes. The
220-page book maintains a focus on production and contains information that has
only been available in piecemeal form. It discusses the basics — such as
taxonomy and nomenclature, plant hardiness, the physical needs of crops and
types of irrigation systems — as well as cutting-edge, research-based
information about perennial propagation and production. The focus is on nursery
and greenhouse production of field or container perennials, but the greenhouse
plug and bedding plant methods of production are covered as well. The
publication also features a 51-page appendix that details propagation methods
and requirements for hundreds of species. Other appendices cover optimum
germination conditions for specific perennials and biennials, pests and
diseases, and useful calculations and conversions. Thirty-eight figures, 45
tables, a glossary and a reference section supplement the text. Natural
Resource, Agriculture and Engineering Service, Ithaca, N.Y.


Dura-Bench from Southwest Agri-Plastics is designed to
replace wood, metal, wire and other plastic bench-tops. Constructed from a
high-impact polypropylene material, Dura-Bench resists rot and corrosion. This
smooth, nonporous material is lightweight, UV-protected and easy to clean.
Dura-Benches feature an anti-bacterial additive in the polypropylene material
that will not wash off and inhibits the growth of bacteria on the bench top
surface. Standard sizes are 24 x 48 inches, weighing 8.1 lbs. Southwest
Agri-Plastics, Inc., Dallas, Texas.

Growing media

This new mix from Frey Brothers’ Quarryville, Pa.,
plant is one of four basic mixes being offered to growers in 2.8-cubic-foot
bags, 60-cubic-foot returnable bulk bags and bulk trailer loads. The
2.8-cubic-foot bags will be packaged on pallets of 40 bags to reduce the handling
weight of Á pallets being unloaded at the grower’s location.
Delivery is provided and a pallet unloading option is available at no
additional cost. Each Frey Brothers formula includes a starter nutrient charge,
a pH adjuster, a wetting agent and a secondary nutrient addition. Frey
Brothers, Inc., Quarryville, Pa.

Cold frame

Farm Wholesale’s Commercial Gold Greenhouses feature a
unique double-walled, corrugated plastic, continuous roll covering. The 4-mm
polyethylene covering provides 2.5 R insulation and offers 70-75 percent
diffused light. The weather-tight covering stands up to heavy winds, hail and
snow. This material resists tearing and is impervious to moisture and
chemicals; in addition, algae, moss and mildew do not cling to it. Custom fittings
and pre-cut, color-coded, PVC-clad steel framing allow for easy assembly with a
minimum of hand tools. Farm Wholesale, Salem, Ore.

Benching system

Agra Tech’s benches have peaked roll bars, allowing
smooth operation and preventing soil, chemical and water build-up that can
corrode flat bars. The no-tip, self-aligning top rolls easily over the
dirt-shedding v-roll bar without the aid of a crank. Designed with extra
strength for heavy crops, benches will maintain structural integrity enough to
hold a 200-lb. concentrated load on the cantilevered section. Bench tops are
constructed with 13-gauge, 3/4-inch diamond expanded metal and are hot-dip
galvanized after cuts to double their life. Standard features include wide
aisles, self-adjusting shaft, adjustable connection for easy top leveling and
sizes to fit any application. Easy to install, Agra benches require no field
cutting or welding. Agra Tech, Pittsburg, Calif.

Plant sleeve

In the typical supply chain for potted plants, growers
sleeve their products and sell them to plant brokers or wholesalers who affix
UPC labels before selling to retailers. A new plant sleeve from Robert Mann
Packaging promises to cut steps, time and money from this process with a
built-in window that allows for UPC labels to be attached after the plant is
sleeved. The new sleeve allows ample room for UPC labels of various sizes
without compromising the durability and functionality of the sleeve. According to
observations by a Southern California potted plant grower, the new sleeve saves
about $0.03 per plant. The new sleeve can also reduce error ration because the
UPC label will not be hidden by the sleeve. Robert Mann Packaging, Oceanside,


The Surestart system forms a biodegradable, natural-fiber
porous sleeve and fills it with specially designed growing mix that is
all-natural and does not contain any foam or chemical binders. Surestart Mix is
blended to provide a precise combination of aeration, available water and bulk
density and is produced using the same standards as the Michigan Grower
Products Suremix brand. The Surestart system provides a plug and tray cell
configuration that allows more room for root growth, enables greater oxygen
intake, decreases the need for water and reduces root development time.
According to the manufacturer, Surestart plugs save time and labor because
their paper edges can be easily grasped, do not stick to plug trays and do not
require extra transition time. Michigan Grower Products, Galesburg, Mich.

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