Tropical Thrips Species Intercepted on Plant Material in Ontario: Be Aware – But Don’t Panic.

This post was co-written by A. Summerfield (Vineland Research and Innovation Centre) and S. Jandricic.

Figure 1. Thrips parvispinus is generally dark coloured (though the head and thorax can be lighter than the abdomen), has bright red ocelli and clear patches at the top of its wings.

Increases in global trade, along with decreased use of harsher broad-spectrum pesticides makes it easier for insect species to move around the world. Because of this, it is becoming more common to find unusual pests coming in on plant material. It’s important that we are prepared and know what to do when something like a new thrips species makes an appearance.

The tropical thrips species Thrips parvispinus has been popping up in various parts of the globe in recent years and was intercepted on plant material in two Ontario greenhouses in 2021/2022. Read on to learn what we know about this species and what you should do if you suspect you have them.

Continue reading “Tropical Thrips Species Intercepted on Plant Material in Ontario: Be Aware – But Don’t Panic.”

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.

Continue reading “Time to Prepare for Spring 2022”

NEW: Free Online IPM Training for Greenhouse Staff

Need a refresher on specific pests of floriculture, and what to do about them? Want to see how Canada – a world leader in biological control in ornamental crops – does things?

Then the following IPM training videos, made by specialists and consultants in Ontario, are for you!

Keep reading to learn how to access these videos, and the topics they cover.

Continue reading “NEW: Free Online IPM Training for Greenhouse Staff”

Garden Mums – 2021 Production and Protection Tips

praying mantis on garden mums

This post was contributed to by Drs. Sarah Jandricic, Andrew C. Wylie and Chevonne Dayboll.

Summer is getting underway, and so too are garden mums!  Although generally an easy crop, there several tweaks you can make to help save headaches AND money.

This post has updated information to help you optimize your irrigation, fertilizer and pest management programs in garden mums.

New Resources for Mum Production

Hit your exact ship size on your ship date using Graphical Tracking

Track and even out the growth of your mums using a graphical tracking tool with a few easy steps:

Continue reading “Garden Mums – 2021 Production and Protection Tips”

Can We Reduce Pest Pressure in Floriculture by Adjusting Plant Nutrition?

Subirrigation in a dutch tray of gerbera plants

Producing high-quality ornamentals while decreasing pesticide use requires finding creative ways to reduce pests across your whole production system.

Are you interested in learning more about the role fertilizers and biostimulants can play in plant health — both in terms of plant quality and pest levels?

This upcoming and FREE webinar provides and overview of a current project between the Vineland Research and Innovation Centre, OMAFRA and industry partners on this unique topic.

Continue reading “Can We Reduce Pest Pressure in Floriculture by Adjusting Plant Nutrition?”

Preventing Issues in Your Spring Crops: Sanitation, Dips and Bio Tips.

P1010595With 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, dips and early sprays to prevent key pests, as well as tips on where to spend your biocontrol dollars.

Continue reading “Preventing Issues in Your Spring Crops: Sanitation, Dips and Bio Tips.”

Garden Mums – 2020 Production and Protection Tips

praying mantis on garden mumsThis post was contributed to by Drs. Sarah Jandricic and Chevonne Dayboll.

Summer is in full swing, and so too are garden mums!  Although generally an easy crop, there several tweaks you can make to help save headaches AND money.

This post has information to help you optimize your irrigation, fertilizer and pest management programs in garden mums.

Continue reading “Garden Mums – 2020 Production and Protection Tips”

New Chemical Control Option for Thrips and Whitefly

Thrips-tabaci-female-1-1024x683A new pesticide is available  for greenhouse ornamental production in Canada that has shown potential for effective suppression of difficult-to-control thrips and whitefly species.

But to keep this new tool effective, growers will have to use this chemical wisely. Keep reading for  efficacy data on ornamental crops and best management practices for incorporating this chemical into your IPM toolbox.

Continue reading “New Chemical Control Option for Thrips and Whitefly”

Preventing Issues in Your Spring Crops: Sanitation, Dips and Bio Tips.

P1010595With the holiday season over, 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 has important tips on sanitation for common spring crop diseases, dips and early sprays to prevent key pests, as well as tips on where to spend your biocontrol dollars.

Continue reading “Preventing Issues in Your Spring Crops: Sanitation, Dips and Bio Tips.”

What you NEED TO KNOW about Thrips and Whitefly Control: September Update

thrips and whiteflyIt’s that time of year again where two of our biggest crops cross over: fall pot mums and poinsettia. This means growers have to simultaneously keep an eye on the two biggest pests in the industry: thrips (usually western flower thrips) and Bemisia whitefly.

Here’s how things are shaping up with these pests and where they might be going.

Continue reading “What you NEED TO KNOW about Thrips and Whitefly Control: September Update”