Tips for Storing and Sticking Cuttings this Summer

Over the last several years we’ve heard many reports of poor quality cuttings. There are a range of causes, often due to the interconnectedness of our sector across the world. Staffing shortages along the supply chain and reduced or delayed air transit can affect our shipments. We’ve gathered resources from various experts and tried to compile them here for you to reference. While it’s basic information, it’s good for a refresher and for when things get overwhelmingly busy. Read on for some tips on getting the most out of your cuttings this summer to ensure healthy crops this fall and winter.

Before Cuttings Arrive:

Sanitize, sanitize, sanitize! Now’s the time to prepare for incoming poinsettia and fall mum cuttings. Make sure benches, irrigation lines, drippers and misting equipment has been thoroughly cleaned. Use Virkon or a quaternary ammonium product at the recommended rates. These products are only effective if the surface is clear of any residual growing media and plant debris so be sure to give everything a thorough scrub first. Make sure to rinse everything well after using these products to avoid potential phytotoxicity in sensitive cuttings and young plants. Ensure your water treatment system is working and consider proactively sending in water samples to the lab to identify any lurking issues before the season starts.

Continue reading “Tips for Storing and Sticking Cuttings this Summer”

GrowON 2022 Webinar Series: Battling Botrytis in Covered Crops.

Every year, factors like increased cloud cover, rain, poor ventilation, and lack of accessible chemicals can leave growers struggling to control Botrytis cinerea (otherwise known as grey mould) in their crops. Our next GrowON webinar speaker has spent an entire PhD trying to bring you better solutions to an old problem: battling Botrytis.

Read on for more details on the speaker and how to register.

Continue reading “GrowON 2022 Webinar Series: Battling Botrytis in Covered Crops.”

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.

Continue reading “Battling Broad Mite in Spring Crops”

Upcoming Webinar – Phosphorus and Cannabis: How much is enough?

The next webinar in our GrowON series is focused on Cannabis production. Bill MacDonald, the coordinator of the commercial cannabis program at Niagara College, will join us to talk about cannabis nutrition. Check out the details below, and don’t forget to register!

Continue reading “Upcoming Webinar – Phosphorus and Cannabis: How much is enough?”

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.

Continue reading “New Virus in Calibrachoa – Identification and Treatment.”

Employment Standards Webinar with the Ministry of Labour – April 12th

OMAFRA and the Ministry of Labour are hosting a webinar on Employment Standards in the Agricultural Sector on April 12th from 10am- 12pm.

The session will provide an overview of:

  • Employer obligations under the Employment Standards Act (ESA)
  • Rights of employees, including Temporary Foreign Workers, under the ESA
  • Exemptions and Exceptions relating to the agricultural sector
  • Temporary Help Agencies, placement employees, and the client business – what are their roles?
  • Obligations relating to COVID-19 and the ESA
Continue reading “Employment Standards Webinar with the Ministry of Labour – April 12th”

Improperly ventilated heaters & ethylene damage

Spring is almost here…we hope! We’re reposting this article on poor air quality damage on spring bedding crops as we’ve seen some damage again this year.  Symptoms, solutions and preventative measures are listed below. If you think you have a problem, please contact a licensed contractor to inspect your heating system.

Natural gas and propane are popular choices when it comes to heating a greenhouse.  The products of burning fuel are carbon dioxide (CO2) and water (H20); both compounds we know are good for your plants.  However, combustion is often (if not always) incomplete, and impurities such as carbon monoxide (CO), sulfur dioxide (SO2) and ethylene (C2H4) are also released leading to poor air quality if your heater is not properly vented.

Typically symptoms from ethylene damage and sulfur dioxide damage can been seen fairly quickly after exposure.

Figure 1. Signs of ethylene damage include leaf curling and epinasty, seen here in A) New Guinea Impatiens and B) lettuce seedlings.

In the short term (a few hours to a few days), ethylene damage results in leaf curling, epinasty (leaves bending downwards from the petiole) and flower drop.  If the stress continues over a longer period (several days to a week or more), plants can take a long time to flower, or not flower at all.  Ethylene levels as low as 0.01 parts per million (ppm) can create symptoms in sensitive species. Levels are usually highest near the heater and can be diluted by air circulation.

Continue reading “Improperly ventilated heaters & ethylene damage”

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!

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

COVID-19 Updates with WSIB Webinar – March 22nd

OMAFRA and WSIB are hosting a webinar on Tuesday, March 22, 2022 at 12:00PM to provide information that will help protect workers and assist agri-food stakeholders throughout the changing pandemic.  The session will provide an overview of:

  • A review on reporting claims
  • A reviews on coverage for Temporary Foreign Workers
  • Updates on COVID-19 and WSIB
  • Online Services for Businesses

There will also be time for questions and discussion.

Continue reading “COVID-19 Updates with WSIB Webinar – March 22nd”