Where Do Most of Your Thrips Come From? The Answer May Surprise You.

Are your thrips numbers on the rise?

(This post was co-written by S. Jandricic and A. Summerfield.)

Sometimes your thrips biocontrol program is working great. Other times, it seems to get completely overwhelmed.  Thrips often get out of control in Summer, when fall crop production is ramping up. But why is this?

Several factors can contribute to rising thrips numbers, but the major reason involves HOW and WHEN thrips like to invade your greenhouse. Read on to learn about this, and what you can do to stay on top of thrips this summer!

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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.”

Poinsettia Pest Management Pointers: Receipt Through Potting Up.

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.

Continue reading “Poinsettia Pest Management Pointers: Receipt Through Potting Up.”

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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Water DNA Tests: Pros, Cons and Interpreting Results

This post was written by S. Jandricic and A. Wylie.

Overhead boom irrigation

This is the fourth article in a series about water sanitation. The goal of this series is to get you reflecting on your own irrigation system before you are faced with a problem.  The first post covered where problems are likely to occur in your greenhouse ; the 2nd covered the types of pathogens found in water and the 3rd covered where and how to sample your water.

Once you’ve got your water sample, this post will cover why water DNA tests are useful, and how to interpret the results. This is the next step towards identifying and then treating your water issues to prevent unnecessary fungal or bacterial disease in your greenhouse crops, and potentially save you thousands of dollars in crop losses or fungicide applications.

These posts make good refresher resources, so make sure to bookmark them!

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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.

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Japanese Beetle Control: 2021 Considerations

japanese beetle_daveIt will soon be that time of year again, when Japanese beetle adults begin to fly!

However, the cooler spring means pupation may take longer. So what does that mean for timing of control products?

This post answers those questions and provides current infographics for JB control for those exporting to non-JB areas.

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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:

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REPOST: Water Sanitation Part 1: Identifying 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 post is part of a series too get you reflecting on your own irrigation system before you are faced with a problem.  We’ll re-post some older posts about on identifying problems in the greenhouse and how to test your water, while adding some new posts on 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 “REPOST: Water Sanitation Part 1: Identifying Problems Before They Start”

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.

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