Choose the right soil analysis for in-ground cut flowers

This post was contributed to by Lauren Vanderlingen, OMAFRA Summer Student and Christoph Kessel, OMAFRA Soil Fertility Specialist – Horticulture.

If you are using Saturated Paste Extract (SPE) to assess soil nutrients for in-ground grown cut flowers, you may be underestimating plant available nutrients and applying fertilizers that aren’t needed.

Many greenhouse growers use SPE analysis when testing growing media in the greenhouse for nutrient levels. Typically, SPE tests are used in soilless or peat-based growing substrates, the kind we usually see used in potted plant production. However, if you are growing cut flowers in a mineral soil, either in the greenhouse or outdoors, SPE is not giving you a complete report on nutrients available to your crop.

Both greenhouse and outdoor soils that produce cut flowers should be tested on a regular basis.

Continue reading “Choose the right soil analysis for in-ground cut flowers”

Garden Mums – 2019 Production and Protection Tips

This post was contributed to by Drs. Sarah Jandricic and Chevonne Dayboll.

Summer is in full swing, and so too are garden mums.  As you get ready for the next few months, here are a few tips to keep your crop on track.

Drip line irrigation can be a more efficient way of delivering water and nutrients to outdoor crops.

Irrigation method matters!

There are plenty of options for irrigation in potted outdoor crops, but not all are created equal if you are trying to maximize your water efficiency.  Overhead irrigation by boom, or sprinkler is not efficient if your pots are not spaced tightly.  Canopy sizes in the later months of production may make this impossible, especially if you choose to go with final spacing when pots first move outside.  These methods of irrigation can also lead to pots that are too dry (not watered) or too wet (over watered). Plants can only use water that makes it into the pot, so low volume drip line or tape is a more effective way to delivering usable water to your outdoor crops.

Continue reading “Garden Mums – 2019 Production and Protection Tips”

99 Poinsettia Problems: Your Monthly Scouting Guide

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This post on poinsettia problems was contributed to by Drs. Chevonne Dayboll and Sarah Jandricic.

Okay, so Poinsettia don’t really get that many problems.  But when issues arise, they can hit a crop fast and hard.  Whitefly, Lewis mite, root rots, and nutritional issues can all quickly derail a quality crop.

Here’s a month by month guide on what you should be looking for to prevent small problems from becoming big issues.

 

 

Continue reading “99 Poinsettia Problems: Your Monthly Scouting Guide”

Tips and Tricks for Outdoor Mum and Hydrangea Production this Summer

This post was co-authored by Dr. Jeanine West, Flowers Canada Ontario’s Environment Specialist

outdoor 6Do you grow hardy mums and hydrangeas outdoors?  If so, this blog post is for you!  Flowers Canada Ontario, the Soil Resource Group and OMAFRA have collected data about fertilizer and water management in outdoor greenhouse crops over the last few summers, and have some updated production information for growers to think about over this year’s season.

The goal of the study was to look at ways to improve fertilizer and irrigation efficiency outside of the greenhouse.  Continue reading “Tips and Tricks for Outdoor Mum and Hydrangea Production this Summer”

Considerations for fine-tuning your fertilizer program

How do you typically fertilize floriculture crops in your greenhouse?  Based on how the plant performs? Maybe based on recommendations from your consultant or supplier?  Do you do it the way it’s always been done?  Do you know why it was always done that way? Continue reading “Considerations for fine-tuning your fertilizer program”

Demonstration Day – Best Management Practices for Outdoor Mum and Hydrangea Growers

Calling all outdoor chrysanthemum and hydrangea growers! Do you currently produce these crops outdoors during the summer months?  Would you like to learn more about how adjusting your fertilizer program could potentially lead to savings while maintaining the quality of the crop? How about learning about how to best manage your water and fertilizer program in an outdoor setting? Continue reading “Demonstration Day – Best Management Practices for Outdoor Mum and Hydrangea Growers”

A Reminder about Fertilizer Injector Maintenance

Spring is here, and we know you’re busy!  Here’s a quick but very important refresher on fertilizer injector maintenance.  Ensure they’re working properly on a regular basis to avoid extra headaches.

How do I know if my injector is working properly?

Hopefully damage to foliage wasn’t your first sign things were a little off! Some things to remember:

  • The dilution ratio needed for each application should be known and adjusted as needed.
  • Remember that tracing dye in water-soluble fertilizers should never be used as an indicator of the actual strength of a fertilizer mixture.
  • If you are using multiple products or chemistries ensure they are compatible for tank mixing before running them through the injector.
  • If deviations greater than 5% from the expected setting occur, contact an irrigation specialist for assistance or repair. (But first, double check that math!)

Fertilizer injectors come in all shapes and sizes in the greenhouse.

There are two common methods to check if your injector is working as expected. Regular calibration is needed to ensure that an injector is operating properly. You should complete both methods listed here to ensure accuracy. Continue reading “A Reminder about Fertilizer Injector Maintenance”