Container trials set for Ontario this week

Container trials set for Ontario this week

The Sawaya Garden Trials are back. Featuring over 3750 different varieties, organizer Mel Sawaya says there will be brand new varieties shown, along with tried-and-tested ones that growers may not have seen yet.

Reducing sulphur in greenhouse chrysanthemum

Reducing sulphur in greenhouse chrysanthemum

While S is applied at the lowest concentration of all the macronutrients in fertilizer solutions, it is typically applied in excess of the plant’s needs. Recently, we tested two methods for reducing the S supply to sub-irrigated, potted, disbudded chrysanthemums:

Ensuring nutrition for biocontrol agents

Ensuring nutrition for biocontrol agents

Research scientist, Dr. Roselyne Labbé and her team at the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) Harrow Research and Development Centre, have developed a more sustainable method to keep crops safe from pests.

GreenTech announces winners and expands overseas

GreenTech announces winners and expands overseas

Winners of the coveted GreenTech Innovation awards were announced last month in Amsterdam, NL.

Vineland rolls out new custom services

Vineland rolls out new custom services

Vineland Research and Innovation Centre has just introduced a new venture to their portfolio of activities – customized robotic and automation solutions, as well as consultation and technology assessments, for Canadian horticulture companies.

Dümmen Orange has expanded Basewell to include their top-selling perennial varieties, opening up the technology to perennial growers across North America.
Signify (formerly Philips Lighting) recently launched new Philips GreenPower LED toplighting module in Canada, with light efficacy of up to 3.0 µmol/J and an output of 800 µmol/s.
Starter-plant supplier Emerald Coast Growers has released the latest version of its trend-tracking new variety Resource Guide.
A new weight-based watering system could help growers and retailers ensure uniformity of soil moisture across their hanging baskets.
Smithers-Oasis has recently launched a new retail pack of its Oasis® Horticubes growing media.
The California Spring Trials (CAST) were started by Glenn Goldsmith in 1967 which was for the purpose of educating growers of their breeding programs and their commitment to horticulture, and then other breeders started to join in the event to include almost every horticultural breeder distributor. The name evolved from the ‘California pack trials’ to now ‘California Spring Trials’ since the packs are a very small percentage of the industry.
Photographs can be beautiful, but nothing quite beats the rush of seeing new varieties in real life.
Similar to the All-America Selections Program in the United States, Quebec’s horticultural assessment program, Les Exceptionnelles (the Exceptionals) selects six to ten annual plants each year that have stood out for their performance and ease in growing in the assessment gardens in Canada’s northern climate.
Proven Winners has released its 2019 Trade Collection catalogue for Canadian growers in both print and digital formats. Growers can view the catalog online or request a printed copy from Nordic Nurseries in British Columbia or Ed Sobkowich Greenhouses in Ontario. 
Pre-made mixed planters have been gaining popularity over the past couple of years. But what makes an attractive mix? Researchers at the University of Guelph and Vineland Research and Innovation Centre saw an opportunity to gain a better understanding of consumer preferences for container plants.
With multiple plant breeders and tech suppliers, Windmill Nursery is a must-see stop on the CAST map.
For the first time in Danziger’s CAST history, their trial garden will feature an area exclusively for retailers. This private space will include new and exclusive varieties, as well as retail displays with full-grown individual plants and container combinations. Here are some highlights:
With simple automation during propagation, a grower could experience a 25 per cent gain in production. Automating the full process could lead to 50, 60 or 70 per cent gain in efficiency. So what's the main barrier to adopting new automation machinery? Grower acceptance, says Jack Ford of Agrinomix.
What exactly is 'next generation' growing? Pieter Kwakernaak of Hoogendoorn explains how the three plant balances - water, assimilate and energy - should dictate how production practices are carried out in the greenhouse.
"Think about what you're trying to achieve during plant propagation," says Dr. Will Healy of Ball Hort. The goal is to put roots on a plant and try to grow healthy, green leaves. It all comes down to plant moisture and nutrition. But don't water too much! According to Healy, a grower's number one job is to dry out the plants.
What are the benefits to LEDs during propagation? Dr. Youbin Zheng of the University of Guelph talks about the versatility of LEDs. Different spectrums and combinations can change the morphology at different stages of the plants. As LED technology continues to improve and its prices go down, more and more commercial greenhouses are using LEDs to replace HPS.
Armed with the latest greenhouse technology, this Yukon grower is bringing fresh vegetables to Canada’s northern climates.
In January’s issue of Greenhouse Canada, readers were introduced to the concept of ‘Growing by Plant Empowerment’ (GPE). Combining grower experience and knowledge of plant physiology, the goal of GPE is to optimize the behaviour of plants in the greenhouse environment by maintaining critical balances involving energy, water, CO2 and assimilates within the plant.
As energy and production costs continue to rise for the horticulture sector, commercial greenhouse growers need to do all they can to operate more efficiently. One way growers are doing this is by installing energy curtain systems in their greenhouses.
There’s something different about the glass at Freeman Herbs – it’s pink.
With so many other tasks requiring attention, modern greenhouses are beginning to integrate automated systems for crop moisture assessment.
What is plant empowerment? Typically, traditional plant production methods are based on a mixture of blueprints, best practices, common knowledge of plant physiology, as well as the ‘green fingers’ and ‘emotional perception’ of growers. This approach has been successful, but also has several limitations.
How wet is ‘wet’, and how dry is ‘dry’?At the Green Industry Show in Edmonton last year, Dr. Will Healy, senior technical and research manager at Ball Horticultural Company, spoke about a method to describe soil wetness using Levels 1 through 5:
What if someone told you that plant physiology and physics could change the way you think about greenhouse climate control?
For plants, sulphur (S) is essential for growth and development. Many forms of S exist in plants. These include: sulphate, the main source of S extracted from soil; amino acids important to plant health; and, other compounds needed for plant defence.
Already established in her retail and wholesale ornamental business, Nadine Stielow, owner of Thiel’s Greenhouses in Bruderheim, Alta., considered a number of crops, examined consumer demand and local supply, then reached out to industry consultants before settling on hydroponic lettuce.
Every IPM strategy emphasizes prevention. This includes starting clean and maintaining a resilient pest management program thereafter. The basic principles to achieve this are minimizing pest entry, maximizing plant resistance and using biocontrol to manage the residual pest populations.
The countdown to Grower Day 2019 is on! Last year, Dr. Rose Buitenhuis of Vineland Research and Innovation Centre talked ornamental cutting dips. What are some key steps to a successful dip?
Biofungicide Regalia Maxx has received label approval from Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency, for the suppression of powdery mildew and gray mold in indoor cannabis crops.
Basil downy mildew is a relatively new disease of both field and greenhouse basil in Ontario. The disease requires diligent management in the greenhouse. Diseased plants that enter from the field or garden can contribute to epidemics if weather conditions permit. The incidence of diseased plants in retail locations has decreased in the past few years due to better management in greenhouses.
I am sure you know of IPM, which stands for Integrated Pest Management, and you have likely been practising this in your operation for years with success. However, have you heard of IRM?
The Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) recently announced the approval of an URMULE (user requested minor use label expansion) registration for Milstop foliar fungicide for suppression of powdery mildew on field and greenhouse mint, as well as greenhouse-grown lettuce, in Canada.
The Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) recently announced the approval of URMULE (user requested minor use label expansion) registrations for Confine, Rampart and Phostrol Fungicides for suppression of downy mildew and pythium root rot on greenhouse-grown basil in Canada.
It has been four years since we last surveyed floriculture growers, and in that time, there have been some big changes in the way Canadian growers are using biocontrol.
Pythium species are fungal-like organisms (Oomycetes), commonly referred to as water molds, which naturally exist in soil and water as saprophytes, feeding on organic matter. Some Pythium species can cause serious diseases on greenhouse vegetable crops resulting in significant crop losses.
Horticultural crops in Canada, although grown on a smaller acreage than field crops, are of increasing importance to the agricultural economy. Greenhouse tomato production in Ontario contributes over $354 million annually, but insect and spider mite pests reduce the yield of the tomato crop and are the target of many management programs.
Although skilled tax lawyers may dispute the second half of Mark Twain’s famous claim that “the only two certainties in life are death and taxes,” the death part is hard to avoid. The urgency of succession planning for business owners is particularly acute, as declining health might require others to run the business long before the passing of the founder.
For the Opaskwayak Cree Nation (OCN) in northern Manitoba, new smart farming technology is improving their access to fresh, healthy food in a big way.
Food fraud is a growing problem, costing the global food trade an estimated $30-$40 billion USD in annual losses, and it can put public health at risk. While the term is typically defined as ‘intentional deception using food for economic gain’ there are seven different types of food fraud, as laid out in the chart below.
The business planning process is a critical tool for the creation, expansion or diversification of any business, and it needs to be updated regularly. A business plan is essentially a game plan – a written record of goals and how to reach them. It should describe the product or service offered, customers and market competition, management and financial arrangements, as well as a marketing plan.
Industry expansion south of the border seems to have slowed for some Canadian greenhouse operators, but others are still building both domestically and internationally.
The longer someone interacts with plant material, the more likely they are to spend money, says Dr. Bridget Behe, professor of horticulture at Michigan State University. But she’s not talking hours or minutes – they’re mere seconds.
Social media and user-generated content are playing a huge role in the way that businesses market their goods and services. This shouldn’t be any different for your garden centre.
Trialing new varieties can serve many purposes.Not only can they show off container and bedding performance in different climates, they can also be used to gauge public interest and identify emerging trends. This past year was no exception. The climate from June to August 2018 was warmer and drier than normal, but at the same time was plagued with random intense rain events that affected bloom performance for some of the annuals.
As garden centre owners and seasonal edible growers, our window to capitalize on sales is limited to just a few short months each year. But, it doesn’t have to be. With the proper products and a little marketing, you can triple your edible sales and increase repeat customer traffic throughout the year.
What could be better than savouring smoked lake trout in cracked mustard dressing at a table surrounded by row upon row of deep pink and warm orange gerberas? Add a lounge singer, a bar full of local drinks, enthusiastic company and flower crowns; you have a night to remember.
As 2019 becomes the new season, a number of garden trend reports have been released, advising garden retailers on what they need in their marketing strategies for the year. As you would expect, the millennial market is foremost in many people’s minds.
One word to sum up the ‘state of the industry’. Precarious? Bewildering? Exciting? Such a ‘review’ is, of course, a momentary snap-shot, and no doubt by the time this is in print, things may have changed. For now however, a number of critical issues for the greenhouse industry (veg, cut flowers, bedding, nursery, potted crops) came to mind. It was a long list, so I canvassed the thoughts of BC industry leaders to identify priorities.
University of Windsor researchers have teamed with local produce growers to improve greenhouse energy efficiency and decrease operating costs.
Canadian greenhouses are expecting a harsh winter in terms of energy. Rates have been steadily rising for years, but the explosion of the Enbridge natural gas pipeline in British Columbia may be the final straw, as B.C. growers are now facing a shortage of up to 50 per cent during the coming winter months.
Is cogeneration the latest innovation for greenhouse growers or just a passing fad? It’s understandable why growers are assessing the potential.
With dark, short days in winter months, growing in Canada isn’t easy – even in controlled environments like greenhouses. To keep providing markets with high-quality produce, supplemental lighting is top of mind for many greenhouse vegetable producers.
It’s been over a decade since the first ‘Inside View’. So I thought I’d look back to the first heating and energy article. The sixth ‘View’ (Dec. 2007), noted that “Canada is the 3rd largest energy consumer on the planet – demand is up 21% since 1990”.
When it comes to adding energy curtains (sometimes referred to as thermal blankets) to a greenhouse everyone focuses on energy savings. And certainly energy savings should be a major factor in any greenhouse grower’s decision to purchase energy curtains.
June 17, 2017, Mona, UT – In recognition of leading energy saving efforts, Houweling’s Group was among four companies honored recently as part of Utah’s Energy Efficiency Challenge.
March 16, 2017, Simcoe, Ont. – With the Ontario government’s cap and trade program now in effect, many greenhouse growers in the province are quickly discovering the high cost of fighting climate change. To some, that cost appears unsustainably high.
March April 2017 – Spring is a time of hope and renewed energy with longer days of sunshine and warmer weather. It is also a great time to reflect on how energy costs in the past months have impacted your bottom line, and to work with your team to make your greenhouse more cost-effective for the year to come.
March 10, 2017, Guelph, Ont. – Ontario farmers can finally expect some relief with lower electricity bills on the way.
Nov. 25, 2016, Guelph, Ont. – Affordable energy is a serious issue in Ontario. Rural Ontario is the hardest hit by energy inflation with most businesses, residents and farms relying on electricity, propane or heating oil to support their way of life.
Nov. 7, 2016, Guelph, Ont. – The need for natural gas across rural Ontario is a top priority for the Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) and rural municipalities.
The Ohio State University cultivar trials were on display once again, coinciding with annual conference and tradeshow Cultivate'19.
Poinsettia don't have many problems, note OMAFRA floriculture specialists Dr. Sarah Jandricic and Dr. Chevonne Dayboll, but when issues arise, they can hit a crop fast and hard.
The 2019 collection of Exceptionnelles highlights vivid plants that will appeal to all generations of consumers. Some attract pollinators and hummingbirds, while others boast spectacular flowers or foliage. Some will add colour to shaded areas and others will brighten flower boxes or add volume to municipal flower beds.
In March of this year I had the opportunity to travel from LA to San Francisco on a Ball-sponsored bus that was inhabited primarily by Canadian sales staff and buyers.
From growing indoor or outdoor to key pitfalls in cannabis propagation, Bill MacDonald of Niagara College talks cannabis production. How similar is it to growing other horticultural crops?
Tulips are a sure sign of spring, and for the Dutch people and their descendants, this could not be more true.
When you think of ornamental grasses, you may think of lush landscapes or creative containers. But today’s newer cultivars, and even some of the species, make a great addition to cut bouquets and arrangements. With a bit of planning and production scheduling, ornamental grasses can be a productive addition to cut flower greenhouses.
Imagine popping a tiny green seedling into your mouth. You’re pretty sure you know what it’s going to taste like. But then your taste buds are hit with a completely unexpected flavour that reminds you of spicy horseradish.
Ian Davidson doesn’t mince words when talking about opportunities in the cannabis nursery game right now. “They’re profound,” says the 15-year industry vet. “There are cannabis specialists in extraction, in packaging, in marketing, you name it, but show me a single operating cannabis nursery in Canada.”
As global demand for medicinal cannabis continues to increase, PharmaCielo Ltd. is poised to become an international leader after receiving approval on February 6th and 19th in Colombia for the listing of 20 proprietary and unique tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) strains with the national cultivar registry.The Canadian-headquartered company will now be able to produce—through its Colombian subsidiary—Colombia’s only CBD-dominant strain that meets World Health Organization (WHO) purity standards. The approval gives PharmaCielo a competitive advantage as the sole licensed producer of non-psychoactive strains in Colombia. A fully balanced THC/CBD strain was also approved, among the many others.Federico Cock-Correa, President and CEO of PharmaCielo Colombia Holdings S.A.S., says the company can now proceed to commercial registration, production and sale of these strains within Colombia, as well as for export to global markets.“Among those approved is an historic and unique CBD-dominant strain approved for commercial registration and sourced from the Colombian landrace strains held within our fuente semillera (a licensed seed or germplasm bank authorized by the Colombian government), the first and only one of its kind registered in Colombia,” Cock-Correa noted.The commercial value of this 20:1 CBD primary strain is of “particular significance with the recent clarification by the WHO that medicinal CBD is not regulated under international convention,” says Dr. Delon Human, PharmaCielo’s global head of health and innovation.“The intensity of the CBD strain profile allows us to efficiently fulfill strong global demand for pure CBD medicinal cannabis oil extracts, which we expect to dramatically increase over the next several years for this strain, as it meets both market and import requirements,” adds Dr. Human.Since its founding, PharmaCielo has focused on ethical and sustainable processing and supplying of all natural, medicinal-grade cannabis oil extracts and related products to large channel distributors.In January this year, the company established a joint venture with Mino Labs to bring medicinal quality cannabis oil to Mexico. The company also went public in recent months on the Toronto Stock Venture Exchange (TSX Venture) through its Canadian parent company.
Looking at these photos, do you know what happened to these cucumber and tomato plants? Growers were expecting a compact and strong plant, but within a short span of a few days, the plants were already touching the wire, internodes were unusually elongated, and weak sets of leaves developed, looking thin, misshapen and not fully expanded. The first cluster of tomatoes appeared five feet on the stem.
This is the first time in 12 years that I have been called to see if any growers have poinsettias for sale. I had to look hard to find some that fit the requirements. It was great that production quantities were matching, or were slightly under sales.

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Sawaya Garden Trials
Wed Jul 24, 2019 @ 8:00am - 05:00pm
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