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February 12, 2014
What’s new? As the season changes and the nursery is full with pansies and perennials, landscapers and designers are coming to shop and at least once a day someone asks “What’s new?” There are usually new varieties of plants to offer, but there are...
January 14, 2014
In the December 2013 issue of GPN, I discussed cold-sensitive bedding plants, which are crops that have a relatively high base temperature (46° F or higher). At low growing temperatures, cold-sensitive crops develop very slowly and therefore, they...
January 14, 2014
Sitting in the store next to a few dozen other tropical plants is an aglaonema with a striking red and pink variegation throughout its leaves. The color and texture is foreign to many of the people who walk by, which is not surprising. That’s...
December 16, 2013
For the last several years, one of the floriculture research thrusts at Michigan State University has been to better understand how temperature controls growth and flowering of bedding plants. Former graduate students Matthew Blanchard, Lee Ann...
December 16, 2013
Growing and selling plants in today’s market can be challenging for many reasons outside of our control, such as the weather and the economy. One factor, however, is under our control and should not be a problem — poor quality water. Water high in...
December 16, 2013
Knowing that he didn’t have the money necessary to start his own farm, Randy Butts looked at greenhouse hydroponics as a way of starting his own agricultural business. Butts worked as an engineer for 10 years in the automation and controls industry...
November 05, 2013
Most petunias are facultative long-day plants, since they flower earlier when grown under long days compared to short days. Early-season petunias are grown when the natural days are still short, so growers often provide low-intensity long-day...
November 05, 2013
When I was in college, I had a job cleaning rooms in a heart valve production company. In this company, there were various levels of sanitation and cleaning that were required, and the levels of sanitation were monitored on a daily basis using...
October 09, 2013
An increasing number of growers are using high-intensity lighting during low-light periods to increase crop growth, especially during young plant production.  The benefits of increasing the daily light integral (DLI) are well documented and...
September 11, 2013
There are three ways to describe light intensity, but only one of them is appropriate for photosynthesis. Increasing use of light-emitting diodes (LEDs) means that the appropriate unit for light measurement is more important than ever. Although...
September 11, 2013
As competition increases and quality and productivity pressure rises, North American growers are increasingly taking a page from their European counterparts and making lighting a crucial part of their greenhouse production programs. While extending...
September 11, 2013
As more and more greens and herb production occurs in recirculating culture, grower interest in providing crop nutrients from organic sources has increased. Following is our experience at Kansas State University with two different nutrient...
August 06, 2013
The first step to nutrient dosing is knowing your water. Liquid feeding programs always begin with the water. If it isn’t suitable for horticulture, you can’t produce a quality crop. While there are a number of things that can be done to improve the...
July 10, 2013
Potted garden (hardy) chrysanthemum is one of the most valuable segments of floriculture crop production in the United States. Produced and sold mostly from summer through autumn, they can be challenging to grow because of their responses to...
July 10, 2013
By definition, the word “phenomenal” refers to something that is very remarkable or extraordinary. In the past, there have been instances where the cultivar names of certain plants fell short or have not always been representative of the plant’s...
June 11, 2013
Equipment maintenance has become a fundamental requirement for efficient cost-effective production in today’s greenhouse. Bale processors, soil mixing, soil carrying conveyors, flat and pot fillers, water stations, transport conveyor and the list...
June 11, 2013
Marc van Iersel, professor of plant nutrition and physiology at University of Georgia in Athens, is a big believer in sensor-controlled irrigation. “Most growers underestimate the importance of sensor-controlled irrigation and how much money it...
May 09, 2013
A very wise grower once told the young assistant “avoid compacting the mix at all cost,” and then proceeded to tell her the various ways that compaction can occur. In fact, improper or careless mix handling can result in many problems. In a mix, the...
March 19, 2013
Petunia is among the most commonly grown bedding plants. It has been bred extensively for desirable flower traits, growth habits, extended blooming periods, stress tolerance and quick production. Wave petunia from PanAmerican Seed is the most...
March 19, 2013
Like many ornamental plants, perennials are susceptible to numerous types of plant viruses. Growers often jump to conclusions when they hear the word “virus” and don’t consider that plant viruses are often not as destructive or common as diseases...