This post was written by Fadi Al-Daoud and Cara McCreary, greenhouse vegetable specialists with OMAFRA, and originally appeared on the ONgreenhousevegetables blog.
The quality of water and nutrient solution used in controlled environment agriculture (CEA) production systems, such as greenhouses and vertical farms, is one of the most important factors that affect plant health and yield. Growers monitor water and nutrient solution quality by sending samples for analysis to determine the levels of nutrients and salts. They also use sensors to monitor pH and electrical conductivity (EC) regularly to determine necessary adjustments for the nutrient solution. Growers may also analyze the microbiome, the genetic material of all the bacteria, fungi, and viruses that live in their water and nutrient solution, to evaluate levels of harmful pathogens, such as Pythium and Phytophthora species that cause root rot.
After reading the previous posts in this series, you’re now aware of WHICH pathogens can be spread through your irrigation water, WHERE they can accumulate, and WHY that’s important. We’re now moving on to posts covering WHAT you can do about it!
This post will walk you through how to sample water sources on your farm, and which tests you can run to determine if your water is helping – or hurting – your crop.
How do you get help in this day and age when your extension agent or consultant can’t just pop into your greenhouse and look at a problem with you? Although nothing can replace seeing an issue first-hand, there is still a way to get help with your pest and production issues from a distance.
This post will give you tips on key information you need to send, and how to take good photos, to make getting quick and accurate answers from experts easier via email or messaging.
Thrips tabaci, or Onion thrips. Photo courtesy of Thrips-ID.com.
If you were at the Canadian Greenhouse Conference (or are regularly reading this blog!) you’d know we’ve recently identified Onion thrips as a pest of floriculture crops in Ontario (see this post).
Outside of Ontario? Well, this still may apply to you, as a recent study in France also indicated that up to 47% of pest thrips in floriculture greenhouses were Onion thrips. So, this issue could be wide-spread.
My last post covered the extent of the problem in Ontario’s industry. This post will help you identify if YOU are dealing with Onion thrips (OT) along with Western flower thrips (WFT), and what to do about it.