February, it seems to this greenhouse industry-newb, is a month of transformation for the sector.
It’s a big one for retailers, flower growers and nurseries in light of Valentine’s Day. It’s also an important month for growers of bedding plants whose benches are quickly filling up with this spring’s garden must-haves. Depending on the crop cycle, edibles growers may be in the process of clearing out old plants to make way for new ones. Regardless of where you work in the industry, February is a busy and important month.
At Greenhouse Canada, this month is one of change and growth as we prepare to offer more opportunities to connect with you, our readers, and facilitate opportunities for learning. In fact, next month (March 26) we will be hosting a webinar featuring the research and insights of Fadi Al-Daoud, the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs’ (OMAFRA) Greenhouse Vegetable Specialist. We will also be launching our annual grower survey, in an effort to provide the industry with some benchmark data. We are getting ready to launch our Top 4 Under 40 and Grower of the Year awards programs and all while we start preparations for Grower Day 2024, which will be in St. Catharines on June 18th. More details about these events and programs are forthcoming so stay tuned.
There’s a lot happening in February and it seems much of what happens in this month determines how the rest of the year shapes up because it is a particularly important time for planning ahead.
For growers looking for something unique for upcoming seasons, check out our cover story on the University of Guelph’s 2023 flower trials. Rodger Tschanz shares some of the fascinating lessons he’s learned this past trial season and offers some practical advice for growing and caring for these gorgeous plants.
On the edibles side, Diane Blazek, from the U.S.-based National Garden Bureau, talks about everything you need to know about squash – 2024’s ‘Year of’ selection.
The winter months also require some extra care in the greenhouse as outside temperatures and light levels remain rather low. On page 14, Dr. Mohyuddin Mirza offers some guidelines for battling potential blight by effectively managing the greenhouse climate.
Pest management is also a focus in this issue of Greenhouse Canada as we look at ways to management mealy bugs and get a quick update from Olds College entomology instructor, Dr. Ken Fry on Thrips parvaspinus. In this Q and A, Fry shares some important resources for growers looking to arm themselves against this pest.
And finally, our Inside View columnist, Gary Jones, takes a moment to talk about marketing and what he thinks the best tools are. He challenges readers to think of new ways to get products in front of consumers.
On that note, I will wrap up this editorial by offering my well wishes for a healthy and productive growing season and I am looking forward to connecting with you in some form or another in the coming months.
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