Poinsettias are almost here! Instead of covering the whole crop cycle, this year we’re breaking posts down into 4 key growing periods: Receipt/Propagation, Early Production, Late Production, and Finishing.
This post on propagation will cover things you can do now to treat pests and diseases in your cuttings to prevent BIG problems later. And make sure to check out Dr. Chevonne Dayboll’s post from last week, on ensuring cutting quality.
This post was jointly written by Dr. Chevonne Dayboll and Dr. Sarah Jandricic
It’s time to think about spring again! This post gathers some of the most important things to plan and prep for in the greenhouse before your spring production begins in earnest.
1. Make sure your inputs are ordered
We can’t emphasize this one enough. COVID-19 and container boat issues are still causing shipping delays that are affecting many industries including greenhouses. Make sure you order potting mixes, plastic trays and pots, fertilizers, and production inputs well ahead of when you will need them. If you are planning on doing greenhouse upgrades in between seasons make sure you confirm delivery and installation timelines with your contractors. Many of them are facing delays too!
2. Now is the time for preventative maintenance
Now is a great time to schedule preventive maintenance for your boiler, irrigation and shading systems. Make sure that all motors and alarms are working before you need to rely on them. No one wants to find out that their temperature alarm failed on a cold February morning! Ensure you are getting the pressure you expect all along your irrigation system. If you rely on propane heaters for early spring production make sure they are venting properly. Damage from improper venting can present as stunted growth or leaf burn.
Take some time to inspect the greenhouse for wear-and-tear. Repair cracked poly and broken glass to keep heat from escaping. Make sure old torn energy curtains are replaced. A heat sensitive camera can help to identify areas of energy loss and help you plan for energy efficient upgrades in the future.
T’is poinsettia sticking season once again, and the question always comes down to the same thing: do I use chemicals to control Bemisia whitefly and hope it works this year? Or do I switch to biological control? Here we show some head to head comparisons that can help you decide.
An in-depth discussion of this topic was also captured by MSU’s “Bug Bites” last year, and I’ve included the video below.
When poinsettias get problems, they always seem to hit hard and fast. Things like whitefly, Lewis mite, root rots, and nutritional issues can all quickly derail a quality crop. This is why scouting might be more important in this crop than any other.
Here’s a month by month guide on what you should be looking for to prevent small problems from becoming big issues.
With the holiday season almost upon us, it’s time to turn our attention to Spring bedding crops. Although here for a brief window, the diversity of these crops means you’re bound to encounter some sort of disease and insect problems.
One way you can head off issues is to plan and prepare now. This post from January 2020 has important tips on sanitation for common spring crop diseases, dipsandearly sprays to prevent key pests, as well as tips on where to spend your biocontrol dollars.