Greenhouse Competitiveness and Innovation Initiative: Phase 2

What’s happening?

The Ontario government announced a new intake to the the streamlined Greenhouse Competitiveness and Innovation Initiative (GCII).  There is up to $4.5 million in funding available for new and innovative projects. The initiative will be delivered through the Agricultural Adaptation Council (AAC). Continue reading “Greenhouse Competitiveness and Innovation Initiative: Phase 2”

Water Sanitation Series Part 1: Identifying potential problems before they start

Spring is just around the corner, and this is historically the time of year where we get more calls about disease pressure and problems in the crop.  This year, we’ve decided to run a series of blog posts about water sanitation to get you reflecting on your own irrigation system before you are faced with a problem.  Posts over the next few weeks will focus on  identifying problems in the greenhouse, interpreting lab test results, on-farm methods for disease monitoring, water treatment technology options and more.  These will be good refresher resources, so make sure to bookmark them for future reference.

Ever wonder how water related disease issues just seem to pop up out of nowhere? You’ve never had a problem before, but suddenly things just aren’t looking right. The truth is that problems often go unnoticed while pathogen levels are low.  Knowing potential innoculum sources and practicing good preventative measures can help to reduce the risk of a bigger problem. Continue reading “Water Sanitation Series Part 1: Identifying potential problems before they start”

LED Lighting Incentives can help with On-Farm Trials

Thanks to the IESO for contributing to this post.

SOE logoAre you aware that the Save on Energy program can help you to complete energy efficient upgrades in your greenhouse?  You may have participated in this program in the past, but the current iteration can help you to retrofit items like ventilation fans and upgrade to LED lighting in the warehouse and the greenhouse.

The IESO has developed tools that can help you identify areas where an upgrade might be able to help you save energy.  These include a checklist that walks you through the greenhouse, and some videos and other information on their web page.

Continue reading “LED Lighting Incentives can help with On-Farm Trials”

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”

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”