Battling Broad Mite in Spring Crops

Broad mite, Polyphagotarsonemus latus. Photo credit: USDA BARC

I’ve hearing a lot lately about Broad Mites (Polyphagotarsonemus latus) in spring crops, especially Reiger begonias and New Guinea impatiens. Other crops that are commonly affected include torenia, exacum, ipomea and gerbera.  

Broad mite are often difficult to detect and control. Read on for tips on monitoring and the latest management strategies for this pest.

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New Virus in Calibrachoa – Identification and Treatment.

Dark green and yellow mottling symptom on foliage. Photo by Heidi Lindberg, MSU Extension.

Several diagnostic labs in the Northeast U.S., as well as our own lab here at the University of Guelph, have received diseased calibrachoa suspected to have chili pepper mild mottle virus (CPMMoV). The supplier has alerted growers of this issue.

Although CPMMoV is NOT a regulated disease by CFIA or the USDA, it can still affect the quality of your crop and lead to losses.

Read on for a link to an excellent blog post on the topic written by Michigan State University Extension. This includes symptoms to look out for, the importance of testing, and what to do if you have it.

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Upcoming Webinar: Root Rots – What You Can’t See CAN Hurt you.

Its a busy time in the greenhouse, but our next topic is timely! Rot rots like Fusarium, Pythium and black root rot are often the bane of spring bedding crops. Dr. Mary Hausbeck, a Distinguished Professor from Michigan State University, is going to share her vast knowledge on this topic, including which fungicides work best. Check out the details below, and don’t forget to register!

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Webinar this THURDAY: Making the Most of Spraying in Covered Crops (including Cannabis)

As anyone growing greenhouse vegetables, floriculture or cannabis crops knows, most pesticide application information out there is NOT geared towards covered crops. To help growers improve spray coverage and product efficacy of both conventional and microbial pesticides, Niagara College’s Cannabis Program has put together a webinar of experts. Together, they have over 100 years of combined pesticide application experience (*insert joke about how old they all are here*).

The panel includes both government and industry experts, including Dr. Jason Deveau from OMAFRA, Dr. Michael Brownbridge from BioWorks, and Louis Damm from the Dram Corporation. This webinar will focus on cannabis as a model crop, but much this information is highly applicable to floriculture as well.

Read on for information on this free webinar (no registration required).

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Missed Our Webinar on Strategies to Improve Spring Crops? View it Here!

If you missed our presentation by Dr. Neil Mattson (Cornell University) on November 18th, fear not! There’s a few ways to still watch his presentation!

You can either register for the original webinar here, which will then give you access to the recording on Zoom.

Or, you can check out the recording on our ONFloriculture YouTube Channel! An added bonus? By subscribing to the channel, you’ll always be notified when we post new videos. A direct link to Dr. Mattson’s talk can be found here.

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Can We Improve Pesticide Application in Greenhouse Ornamentals?

As anyone battelling whitefly on poinsettia this season can attest to, good pesticide coverage in ornamental crops can be challenging. Hydraulic sprayers are the industry standard, but does that mean they’re the best option? Where does sprayer technology need to go in the future to get growers better results?

This summer, Dr. Jason Deveau, OMAFRA’s official “Spray Guy”, and myself did a trial at a local greenhouse with some experimental equipment to try and answer these questions. The results were intriguing, to say the least.

For all the details on this trial, check out the link to Jason’s blog post, below.

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Time to Prepare for Spring 2022

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

Heat loss from an older (left) and newer, more efficient boiler (right). (Photo credit: OMAFRA)

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.

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Upcoming Webinar – Staying Alive: Strategies to Improve Shelf Life of Spring Crops

It’s almost November, there’s a chill in the air, leaves on the ground and spring is right around the corner! We’re sure that many of you are planning for 2022, and the next webinar in our series should help with your spring preparations.

Dr. Neil Mattson joins us to share his tips for spring production based on his extensive research in ornamental plant production. Dr. Mattson is a familiar face to many in the floriculture sector, and we are looking forward to his insights. Check out the details below, and don’t forget to register!

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The Whitefly “Tipping Point”and Testing Pesticides in Poinsettia

It’s that time of year again where you have to make a choice with your poinsettia. Do you stay the course with natural enemies, or abandon your bio program and spray  for whitefly? And spray with WHAT?

This post has tips on how to test pesticides NOW, so that when it comes down to the wire, you’ll know what is – and isn’t – working.

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