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In a controlled environment, supplemental lights are often used to increase crop growth. But could they also be used for other purposes?
Greenhouse growers need to be rigorous managers if they want to stay ahead of aphids and mealybugs.
Palladium fungicide was recently approved for a minor use label expansion in Canada. But what does that mean?
Japanese beetles have been recently spotted in southern Ontario. 
It seems there is never a dull moment in the greenhouse ornamental industry. From transitions to new crops, new export requirements to novel pest problems (I’m talking about YOU, mealybug!) the industry has seen a lot of change lately. And it’s not over yet.
The disease triangle is a concept used by plant pathologists to explain factors necessary for disease to occur. Disease will only occur when a virulent pathogen is present, the plant is susceptible to the pathogen and the environment is conducive for disease. If one of the three components is absent, then disease will not occur. That is why when we think about preventing plant diseases, we should keep the disease triangle in mind. Ask ourselves, which parameters can we control?
Greenhouse owners are always looking for new ways to increase yields quickly, as well as their return on investment. But soil probiotics and microbial fertilizers are not new.
January 2017 – “The fact is that if we don’t learn how to recycle nutrients and water, we are doomed. We will start dying off from hunger. This is just one approach to prolong our existence on this planet.”
October 2016 – Silicon (Si) is the second most abundant element in the Earth’s crust next to oxygen . It is a major component of plant tissue. It is found in varying concentrations in virtually all living tissue, plants, animals and humans.
Sept. 2015 – This year, I have seen so many issues with calcium deficiency in bedding plants and vegetables that I decided to write about it in some detail.
According to fertilizer specialists Rob Rennie and Patrick Heffer,1 the industry has been facing a number of critical challenges, namely:
April 1, 2014, Southampton, U.K. – In the first study of its kind, research undertaken at the University of Southampton has cast significant doubt over the use of biochar to alleviate climate change.


Dec. 7, 2011, West Lafayette, IN — A Purdue University scientist and researchers in Japan have produced a new class of improved plant growth regulators that are expected to be less toxic to humans.
Nov. 6, 2009, Buenos Aires, Argentina – Prior research has reported the successful use of a technique termed “light manipulation” to affect plant height in some ornamental plants. Researchers in Argentina have been studying its potential with poinsettias.
Suggestions from growers often find their way into the  classroom labs
July 24, 2008 — Since it was first labelled for use on ornamentals in 1982, Bonzi plant growth regulator (PGR) from Syngenta Professional Products has long been regarded as one of the leading PGRs throughout the nursery and greenhouse industries. Through the years, Bonzi has been shown to consistently keep plants uniformly compact, hardy and well proportioned.
Biologically based pest management technologies are being widely accepted because of their potential to beneficially exploit pest systems with little to no probability of harmful effects on human health and the environment.
Walking into the Orangeline Farms greenhouse, you’ll notice a myriad of purple and green foliage at the ends of some rows. But they’re not any one of the 20 different bell pepper varieties that the greenhouse operation grows.
The pepper weevil, Anthonomus eugenii is one of the most important pests of pepper crops in North America. Currently, there are no commercial products that can target immature stages of the pepper weevil, however strategies including biological control, may be useful in attacking these life stages and reducing population levels.
Insect pests don’t always die by flipping over with six legs in the air. In nature, the process is sometimes an inescapable decline due to an overwhelming infection, followed by loss of appetite, disinterest in reproduction, lethargy, and then death. Science has learned to isolate, select and mass-produce some of these infectious microbes.
When we started our project to develop a more effective IPM strategy against foxglove aphids, one of the first questions we tried answering was “Why doesn’t Aphidius ervi provide good control?” Growers and IPM specialists have previously reported that this aphid parasitoid does not seem to be effective in controlling the relatively “new” aphid pest - foxglove aphid. 
Having trouble controlling foxglove aphids in your greenhouse? You’re not alone.
While recently watching a television special on the great women of ancient Egypt, I was reminded that depictions of containerized plants, specifically non-native trees being transported in large containers, can be traced back millennia. By the fifth century, containerized plants were common, and some fast-growing herbaceous species were grown in containers for use in festivals.
Peat moss is a frequent, major component of potting mixes, but harvest of the material is becoming unsustainable. Not only is peat being removed faster than it can re-form, its harvest and use in potting mix contributes to the release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
Sept. 28, 2017, St. Albert, Alta. – It’s been a pretty good year for peat harvesting in Canada.
July 2017 – Over the past few years, Kwantlen Polytechnic University students have been working with local schools (elementary, middle and high schools) to help design gardens. In each case, it has been at the school’s request. This is critical, since it means they have ownership and therefore (hopefully!) commitment. Plans have been driven by specific constraints of the spaces available and any wants/needs of the school community, and these needs were in turn identified by doing surveys of all stakeholders.
July 2017 – As growers, many times we do things by going through the motions of what we did before and whether it worked or not. If what we did before worked we try to repeat it – but that is only if we kept records we can review before starting to grow crops we produced before.
March April 2017 – I write this a couple of weeks before his inauguration, and president-elect Donald Trump is in process of picking his cabinet. He’s done Education, Transport, Energy and, of course, all the military/security positions. In fact, he’s done all cabinet and senior advisory positions except for two. Right, he’s down to the last two and at this point, and he’s not appointed anyone to hold the Agriculture portfolio.1 (In case you’re wondering, the only other outstanding vacancy is Secretary for ‘Veterans Affairs’.) Firearms before food is such an interesting concept, don’t you think?
October 2017 – A longtime garden favourite, New Guinea impatiens can be an easy growing option for the greenhouse producer as well, with a few simple tips and techniques. That is true of the newer sun loving varieties like Sun Harmony as well.
August 2017 – A wildflower long tamed, growers and gardeners alike love coreopsis for its low maintenance and long life, but this staple still has a few surprises to share.
July 2017 – Growing bedding plants is always a challenge in the sense that over hundreds of varieties and cultivars are grown, nurtured and then sold or marketed to clients or customers.
March April 2017 – Writing about root zones for greenhouse crops has been an important subject for me and I have written a number of articles on this subject in Greenhouse Canada.
January 2017 – Since most farmers start the growing season in December and January, the space at propagators is limited. Up to 48 heads per square metre spacing is not an exception. This results, in most cases, in a vegetative plant with a few tiny hairy roots.
Nov. 2, 2016, Whitby, Ont. – NOA Fisheries is hosting a three-day aquaponics course early next week (Nov 7-9).
Guelph - Ontario’s greenhouse sector has made significant advances in water, nutrient and energy technology to manage the year-round, high-efficiency production of crops like tomatoes, peppers, herbs, berries and a wide variety of green vegetables.
Jan. 15, 2016, Guelph, Ont. — The proposed Waste-Free Ontario Act marks a significant shift in how Ontario considers waste.
Nov. 27, 2015, Toronto — Ontario has introduced legislation that, if passed, would divert more waste from landfills, create jobs and help fight climate change.Currently, Ontario is generating too much waste, and not recycling enough, say government officials.
Sept. 22, 2015, Sumner, WA – The Million Bottle Club has announced its 2015 recipients, recognizing growers who have recycled more than one million plastic water bottles into plant containers.
Feb. 20, 2015, Twinsburg, OH – The company management of Myers Lawn and Garden Group along with Wingate Partners V, L.P. have acquired the Lawn and Garden business from Myers Industries, Inc.
Dec. 9, 2014 — As a bedding plant grower, you prefer to grow the items that are most profitable. Unfortunately, the demand for that item could be limited. We can only grow items that are in demand and work to make them as profitable as possible.

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