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Roots are opportunistic. When provided with water, air, a nutrient supply to keep the tree alive and no physical, biological, or environmental constraints, they survive and grow anywhere (Coder, 1998; Perry, 1982).
Container nursery production is reliant on frequent irrigation to maintain appropriate substrate moisture and sustain quality plant growth. Irrigation water management is a key production consideration and critical for reducing the impact of fertilizer and pesticide runoff from nursery production (Beeson et al., 2004). The objective of this paper is to provide some basic information regarding choices for container irrigation leading to more sustainable choices in the nursery. The paper will be organized into sections on: (a) Types of irrigation systems, (b) Irrigation efficiency, and (c) Irrigation scheduling.
TYPES OF IRRIGATION SYSTEMS
There are two basic systems used for container irrigation. These include overhead sprinkler irrigation and micro-irrigation. Selection of which system to employ depends on site topography, water source and quality, and cost.
Invasive plants are introduced species that can thrive in areas beyond their natural range of dispersal (USDA-NISIC, 2014). They naturalize over large areas, displace native plants, and disrupt natural ecosystems (Ranney, 2004). In Florida, over 1.5 million acres (approximately 600,000 ha) of public conservation lands have been invaded by introduced plant species, and approximately USA$7 million was spent on management and control of invasive upland plants in 2011 (FFWCC, 2011). In the USA, control costs and production losses due to weeds was estimated at US $30.6 billion per year (Cusack et al., 2009). For example, purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria), was introduced from Europe to USA in the early 1800s. Purple loosestrife is now found in all continental states except Florida (Blossey, 2002) and accounts for USA$50 million per year in control costs and forage losses. Mexican petunia, Ruellia simplex (previously also known as R. brittoniana, R. coerulea, R. malacosperma, and R. tweediana), was introduced to Florida from Mexico sometime before 1940 (Hupp et al., 2009) and has now naturalized throughout the state, plus six other southern USA states, Puerto Rico, the USA Virgin Islands and Hawaii (USDA-NRCS, 2014). It is considered as a Category I invasive species in Florida because it is altering native plant communities by displacing native species and changing community structures or ecological functions (FLEPPC, 2013).
Quantitative results showed that plants in Treatment A tended to exhibit higher medium temperatures, usually surpassing ambient temperatures. Results also showed that the medium temperatures of plants in 1-gal container were usually the highest ones and tended to fluctuate more than those of plants in 2- and 3-gal containers, and they also tended to exceed ambient temperatures. Finally, difference in temperature between container size was less evident for plants in Treatment B. Qualitative results showed that plants in Treatment B were bigger, more abundant, and had less dry leaves than plants in Treatment A; and that plants in 1 gal containers were the smallest and exhibited more dry leaves.
It was concluded that daily watering of S. cineraria helps to maintain their medium temperatures close to their preferred range more effectively, that S. cineraria grow faster and healthier when potted into 2-gal and 3-gal containers, and that medium temperature is ultimately dependant upon their surroundings. Recommendations include watering S. cineraria every day, potting them into containers/
A number of crops have high health schemes to ensure that plants sold meet consumer expectations. Fruit crops have tended to lead the way because of the risk of disease spread, the relatively large number of units sold, and the importance of ensuring that plants sold are subsequently productive and true to type. In recent years, New Zealand government backed schemes have largely disappeared. This means that industry groups have had to take responsibility for high-health schemes where this is considered desirable. In berry crops, there are schemes for strawberries and blackcurrants and a blueberry plant scheme is being developed.
At the moment, there are around 14 million strawberry plants sold annually in New Zealand. Plant numbers peaked at 21.5 million in 1999 but fell as growers changed to new cultivars that were more vigorous and needed more space. Despite lower plant numbers, areas planted in strawberries have actually increased since 1999 and total production has increased from an estimated 7100 tonnes to 8800 tonnes this year (2013-2014).
The Strawberry Runner Plant Scheme was set up in 1985 in conjunction with strawberry runner growers by the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries. It was initially established for the New Zealand Berryfruit Growers Federation but ownership has since passed to New Zealand Berryfruit Propagators Ltd. (NZBP) which is a limited liability company, 100% owned by Strawberry Growers New Zealand Inc.
Miyazaki Kaki Rootstock No. 1 (MKR1), formerly named Rootstock-b and OD-1, are promising dwarfing rootstock for kaki (Diospyros kaki Thunb.). We previously showed the results of cutting propagation of MKR1 and growth of ‘Fuyu’ and ‘Hiratanenashi’ trees grafted on MKR1 (Tetsumura et al., 2011, 2012, 2013). In Japan an evaluation test of kaki rootstocks is planned and 17 prefectural research stations will participate in the test. In the test, other promising kaki dwarfing rootstocks such as ‘Shizukadai 1 gou’, ‘Shizukadai 2 gou’, and SH-1 will be provided as well as MKR1. However, timing of rooting of MKR1 cuttings and growth of MKR1 nursery stocks soon after grafting have not been reported yet. Hence, the objective of this study is to investigate the above-mentioned characteristics of MKR1 and to discuss future experiments which are necessary for commercial use of the kaki dwarfing rootstocks.
Royal Botanical Gardens’ mission is to promote the public’s understanding of the relationship between the plant world, society, and the environment.
Royal Botanical Gardens (RBG) to be a recognized and supported global leader in how we use plants in bringing people, place, and sustainable behaviours together.
Royal Botanical Gardens is funded by the people of Ontario through RBG members, The Auxiliary of RBG, many corporations, foundations, individuals, Ontario Ministry of Tourism and Culture, City of Hamilton, and Regional Municipality of Halton.
The Royal Botanical Gardens has a long history in Canadian horticulture. Established in 1931, RBG is the most visited tourist destination between Burlington and Niagara. Royal Botanical Gardens is also Canada(s largest botanical garden based on area at 1,100 ha in size.
The name, New Jersey tea (Ceanothus americanus) was coined during the American Revolution. The leaves were boiled and used as a substitute for tea. From personal experience, as we boil the seed prior to planting, the aroma smells of tea. One problem we have in the native plant business is finding liners that are not too large. Ceanothus americanus has a maximum height of 1 m (~3 ft) and is drought resistant. It is an early-to mid-summer bloomer.
As the demand of this plant became apparent to us, we were determined to figure out how to best grow it. We certainly could not find a nursery growing liners, as is the case with other plants we grow. We originally brought some to the nursery from a plant rescue that took place in Henderson County, North Carolina. Those original 20 plants sold quickly. So, as we have with many plants at Carolina Native we asked the question: to propagate by seed or cuttings? Which was going to be quickest method to get a good quality plant in the most cost effective timeframe? We have expertise in both methods, where to look for research, and the patience to do it.
The wettability of a material intended for horticultural use is integral for high quality plant growth and performance. The ability of a substrate material (organic or inorganic) to capture and retain water (wettability) contributes to water-holding capacity and improved plant growth (Plaut et al., 1973). Many horticultural substrate materials, such as pine bark, experience hydrophobicity at low moisture levels (Beardsell and Nichols, 1982; Fonteno et al., 2013; Michel et al., 2001) which in turn has deleterious effects on irrigation efficiency and crop production. Further advantages of a substrate material being able to capture water include maintaining plant quality in post-production retail environments. Some research suggests that the variation in size and structure of milled pine bark particles may contribute to water holding (Airhart et al., 1978). The purpose of this study was to explore how processed pine wood, pine bark, and their resulting particle fractions capture and retain water using the wettability method described by Fields et al. (2014).
- Food safety
- Geographic information systems
- Image enhancement
- Insect scouting
- Turfgrass and weed management
- Plant growth regulator calculations
- Creating and scanning QR (quick response) codes
- House plants
- Landscape design
Most successful initial biological control programs are integrated in to existing pest management protocols, with realistic expectations and a single target pest. Fungus gnat control in propagation is a good starting point, since their biological control agents are easy to use, relatively inexpensive, and the odds of success are good if the program is properly executed.
As with hydroponics, this holds true to the popularity that coir has gained in today’s greenhouse and nursery industry, not only as a standalone growing medium for vegetables and cut flowers, but for production and propagation due to its organic origin. It is produced around the world in locations like Mexico, Dominican Republic, India, Sri Lanka, and Central South America. Coir in its raw form must be treated differently than other growing components. In its raw form, coir can have EC levels up to 8.0 mmhos
In 2013 at the IPPS Australian Region Conference Karen Brock presented a paper on the use of light-emitting diode (LED) lighting in her propagation facility. There was not much detail on the potential benefits for a propagation nursery so a commercial trial was set up with the following aims:
- To identify the difference in strike rate (the number of plants to successfully set roots) between an LED lit and an unlit bench. Making it easy to quantify the cost benefit such a system will provide by improving strike rates.
- To identify the length of time for root initiation in days between the LED lit and the unlit trays. This will outline the potential turnover and efficiency gains the LED lights will give the propagation house.
- To ultimately measure the cost benefits of installing lights to improve productivity of a green house compared with building more production space.
Plants use sunlight for photosynthesis and are exposed to the ultraviolet (UV) radiation that is present in sunlight. Ultraviolet radiation is divided into three classes: UV-C, UV-B, and UV-A. The ultraviolet-C (UV-C) region of the UV spectrum includes wavelengths from 200-280 nm; these highly energetic wavelengths are absorbed by ozone and are not present in the sunlight at the earth’s surface. Under normal growing conditions, effects of UV-C light are not seen on plants.
At 254 nm wavelength, UV-C irradiation is germicidal. As a result, UV-C irradiation has been successfully used in the food industry as an environmentally-friendly and safe defense-inducible biological elicitor for meats and horticultural products such as juices, fruits, and vegetables (Gonzalez-Aguilar et al., 2007; Vicente et al., 2005; Wilson et al., 1997). Very recent research from Europe has demonstrated very promising uses of UV-C to suppress diseases in ornamental plants, to extend postharvest life of cut flowers, and as a pre-harvest treatment, to make plants flower quicker and grow with increased fresh mass and lateral branching (Darras et al., 2012, 2013). Other potential uses of UV-C irradiation have also been identified in the plant sciences, especially with plant tissue culture (Aros and Bridgen, 2013).
The Government of Canada, in its publication An Invasive Alien Species Strategy for Canada, defines invasive species as alien plants, animals (fish included), fungi, and microorganisms introduced by man into areas outside of their natural range or distribution, where they become established and disperse, generating a negative impact on the local ecosystem and species (Environment Canada, 2004).
The topic of invasive species is one of global concern. It is well-known that invasive organisms are second only to habitat loss and degradation in endangering native plants and negatively impacting our environment, society, and economy (Voller and McNay, 2007).
Invasive species are usually circulated via human-based pathways and are spread by a wide array of vectors (Voller and McNay, 2007). They can significantly compromise natural ecosystems as well as man-made systems by adversely altering biodiversity, food sources, species at risk, crop integrity, and may threaten human and/or animal health and introduce foreign parasites and disease. These negative effects often result in increased management costs and lost resource productivity (Invasive Species Council of BC, 2012). Finding both short and long-term, practical and effective solutions to prevent the introduction and spread of invasive species is often overwhelming and challenging. Prevention by education is critical to halting invasive spread. An important step to making a difference in preventing invasive spread is to provide the necessary education and tools to help businesses and the public understand the widespread impact of invasive species.
To propagate plants from cuttings, Kees Eigenraam told me about the "foliar" (leaf) application of rooting solutions with Rhizopon products. That was in 1989 when I came to know Kees. Our introduction was associated with my company, Hortus USA, importing his Dutch Rhizopon plant rooting products into the USA.
In those pre-Goggle Scholar days, I did extensive book and journal reading about plant propagation. Nowhere could I find a reference to "foliar" use. Before growers used foliar methods for applying rooting hormones, plant propagation from cuttings was limited to basal methods. While he had written information, few growers outside Kees’ Dutch and European customers knew of foliar methods.
Foliar application of rooting solutions has a recent history. The earliest extensive study was Davies’ histological and physiological research comparing root formation in juvenile and mature cuttings (1978, 1980, 1982). Davies and Joiner (1980) found foliar application of water base IBA rooting solutions to be effective to induce roots. Kees developed the first commercial foliar methods in 1985. At the time, Kees did not know the research by Davies. The first commercial users were Dutch growers propagating chrysanthemum cuttings.
Quality Monitoring System Boomteelt is a warning system developed by René van Tol for nurseries in The Netherlands. It was introduced by DLV Plant Holland in 2012, and already more than 40 Dutch nurseries use it.
As part of the knowledge technology transfer programme at the Greenmount Campus, CAFRE, horticulture centre, container mulch materials have been assessed under local conditions for a range of criteria including their performance in reducing weeds and their influence on water management in the container. New technology available to accurately record moisture levels in the growing media has assisted in evaluations. This paper examines results for new types of container mulches such as wool-based materials. Some of these materials have been shown to give effective weed control and retain moisture in the container. The CAFRE technology investigation programme has involved working in conjunction with local growers who have adopted container mulches to share experience and results.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF FOLIAR APPLIED IBA ROOTING SOLUTIONS
More than 25 years ago growers who wanted to propagate plants from cuttings by using rooting hormones were limited to basal application. Scientists had known plants produce growth substances (rooting hormones) in leaves. Charles Darwin, in his book The Power of Movement in Plants (1880), described his study of the production and flow of these substances from the leaves to the lower portions of the plant. Scientists later identified the substances produced by plants. Called auxins, indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) and later indole- 3-butyric acid (IBA) have been identified as natural rooting hormones. Commercial rooting hormones became available. As scientists and growers advanced procedures to propagate plants from cuttings they only focused on basal application of rooting hormones. They did not consider that foliar application of rooting hormones would naturally translocate to the basal end of cuttings where it can induce root formation.
In 2009 the Danish government introduced its long-term Grøn Vækst (Green Growth) plan which defines environmental, nature, and agricultural development policies up to 2020. It aims to ensure that a high level of environmental, nature, and climate protection goes hand in hand with modern and competitive agriculture, horticulture, and food industries.
Among its targets are the minimisation of the environmental and health impacts of crop protection products and wider adoption of more sustainable agricultural and horticultural production practices such as integrated pest management.
In order to help growers achieve a reduction in the use of chemical crop-protection products, the Danish Nurseries Association has started to look for alternative products and methods to ensure ornamental crops can continue to be grown economically. To help with this programme the association has been conducting trials on the application of biostimulants, biopesticides, and compost since 2012.
Nursery owners can be considered as being on a spectrum from "factory owners" producing large numbers of perfect plants of a low range of taxa to "plant lovers" who love growing plants for others to enjoy. The former have capital intensive operations with the prime consideration being profit per plant. This is good business but does not require a particular affinity for plants, although that is not necessarily absent.
The plant lovers grow plants primarily because they have a passion for them and want to see them grown and enjoyed by others. They are often running small nurseries and compared to the past very few of them are left. Obviously to stay in business and to continue growing and distributing the plants they love they must make a profit.
I consider myself to be more of a plant lover having grown up in Western Australia (WA), one of the world&rsquos great biodiversity hotspots, with a huge range of species, many of which occur nowhere else and are also quite spectacular in flower.
The weather can be fickle with effects of some widespread while at other times quite localized. Hailstorms seem to travel in bands whereby a swath is cut through an area while nearby areas are untouched.
A recent spring hail event in our area resulted in a distinct Christmas-like smell that was combined with a dying plant smell. While the damage can seem to be overwhelming it
With all of the new plants hitting the market these days how does a young plant company/propagator figure out which plants are the best to add to their catalog and offer to the marketplace? In recent years, there has been a proliferation of plant breeding companies, plant breeder representatives, as well as, plant breeders themselves. All of these companies are promoting their plants as being superior to existing cultivars. At North Creek Nurseries (NCN), we have developed certain principals that define our process for introducing plants. This practice helps us define which plants we will ultimately introduce.
Our goal is to bring to market great new plants and offer the best value to our customers. This objective is based on the following principles:
- Our plant introductions will be excellent garden and/or landscape performers in the mid- Atlantic region.
- Our plants are not invasive or aggressive.
- Once established in an appropriate site, our plants require no material input to maintain their ornamental value or garden worthiness.
- As part of our evaluation, we ask: Is it a "North Creek Plant"%
Other factors that we consider in making this determination are these:
- Is the plant garden worthy, hardy, and a performer: does it "stand the test of time"?
- Is there currently demand, or can demand for the product be established?;
- Does it have marketable qualities?
- Is propagation material available?
- Have propagation and production protocols been worked thorough to insure success?
If you said "energy" you wouldn’t necessarily be wrong. Our civilization is built on a supply of cheap and plentiful oil that is no longer cheap or plentiful.
Or, you could have chosen "global warming." Climate change may threaten the very ecosystem on which we rely, yet as political leaders fail to take significant action, our situation seems increasingly bleak.
But, ask the same question on a worldwide basis and a large number would answer differently. The more than 800 million people who are hungry and the 1.4 billion who are overweight and at risk of eating-related diseases, would more than likely have answered that our main problem is "food" (FAO, 2014; WHO, 2014). Even here in Canada, close to 850,000 people are assisted each month by food banks (FBC).
Urban agriculture has emerged in the public eye as a potential antidote to all three of these crises or, at least, a positive step in the campaign to overcome them and guide us onto a greener path. Media accounts feature glowing depictions of the earnest practitioners driving this trend along with their supporters crowding farmers’ markets. But media popularity and trendiness are no guarantees for longevity or success. Does urban agriculture really have a major role to play?
PRESIDENT BUDDY LEE
President Lee welcomed everyone to Hickory, North Carolina for the 39th Annual Meeting of the International Plant Propagators’ Society-Southern Region of North America. He thanked Local Site Committee Chair, Anthony Lebude and his committee and volunteers for the long hours in arranging the excellent tours, hotel, other planning activities and all their attention to detail. He welcomed students, first time attendees and new members, asking them to stand and be recognized. Saunders thanked the Executive Committee, and Maarten van der Giessen’s Sponsorship Committee, which raised $40,750 in cash sponsorships; this was outstanding for the challenging economic times. Lee encouraged the membership to visit and show their support of our sponsors during the meeting. He encouraged all members to make new members and first-time attendees feel welcome — share with them and seek from them. He pushed for good questions and enthusiastic participation at the Tuesday night question box.
WHAT IS THE PLANT COLLECTIONS REGISTER PROJECT?
The project provides a free online system to manage and deliver information on living plant collections throughout New Zealand. It is available for use by botanic gardens, arboreta, garden groups, plant societies and private collection holders for entering and updating information on plant collections. These records are viewable and shared online with anyone interested in cultivated plants, both native and exotic.
In addition to managing living (and historic) plant records, the project has provided an extensive source of cultivated plant names — more than 40,000 — including botanical names (e.g., genera, species, subspecies, varieties and cultivars), synonyms and common names. These names are sourced from New Zealand nursery catalogues and other horticultural literature.
- The price you charge
- The quantity that you sell or volume
- The direct costs you incur to produce your product (i.e., direct costs)
- The costs you incur regardless of whether you make any sales (i.e., fixed or indirect costs)
Profitability is impacted by a change in any one of these factors. Due to the dynamic business environment that we operate in today, it is likely that there is a change to multiple factors at any given time. Although you may have a positive impact in one factor such as an increase in sales volume, the effect of the profitability impact is only realized if there isn&rsquot an offsetting increase or decrease in one of the other factors. Also, some of the factors you have control over such as price whereas other factors are not in your control such as fixed costs like property taxes. When conducting a review of your
Glycine betaine (GB) is a compound naturally synthesised by some higher plants in response to abiotic stresses. Its role when produced in these plants is an osmoprotectant, helping protect cells, proteins, and enzymes from stress due to drought, salinity, heat, and freezing temperatures. In addition, GB has been proven to protect the Photosystem II complex in some plants under various abiotic stress situations (Papageorgiou and Murata, 1995; Murata et al., 1992). Glycine betaine is synthesised in the chloroplasts, and research has proven it to be a nontoxic, non-perturbing, very water-soluble, and electrically neutral compound with a molecular weight of 117.15 g
Boxwoods (Buxus spp.) have been a staple ornamental in both Europe and the United States for hundreds of years (Bir et al., 1997; Henricot and Culham, 2002; Varela et al., 2009). Controversy exists surrounding the current naming of the pathogen responsible for boxwood blight. This stems from the pathogen being isolated and proposed as a new species independently by two different lab groups in 2002. The first of these reports (Crous et al., 2002), documented a new species of fungus infecting boxwoods in New Zealand and described it as Cylindrocladium pseudonaviculatum. Shortly thereafter, Henricot and Culham (2002), published a paper documenting their findings and named the fungus Cylindrocladium buxicola. Although the teleomorph has yet to be observed, the name Calonectria pseudonaviculata has been proposed for the sexual stage by Lombard et al. (2010(. However, within the research community Calonectria pseudonaviculata is becoming the preferred name, and will be used in this paper.
SYSTEMATICS AND CYTOGENETICS
With the advent of molecular phylogeny, flow cytometry, and the continued reassessment of morphology and taxonomy of the subfamily Magnolioideae, the understanding of the evolution, genetics, and relationships among magnolia species has improved considerably (Azuma et al., 1999, 2001, 2004; Figlar, 2000, 2006; Figlar and Nooteboom, 2004; Kim et al., 2001; Kumar, 2006; Nie et al., 2008; Parris et al., 2010, Qiu et al., 1995). The now widely-accepted taxonomic treatment of this group has Magnolia as the sole genus in the subfamily Magnolioideae with former genera Manglietiastrum, Manglietia, Michelia, Pachylarnax, and Parakmeria embedded within sectional ranks.
To understand why I believe we need the unique organization that is IPPS, you need to know a little of how it has helped shape my horticultural life.
In the early spring of 1965 I had just finished 3
Electrical conductivity (EC), a measure of soluble salt levels, and pH are two important chemical properties of plant growth substrates that influence plant nutrition and growth. Substrate pH and EC should be tested prior to planting. In order to measure pH and EC, liquid must be extracted from container substrates. There are several commonly used extraction methods and they typically give different results. Using one substrate amended with different P sources, we compared three common methods for liquid extraction: the saturated media extract (SME) method and the 1:2 and the 1:5 dilution by volume methods. There were four replicate samples of each method. This comparison will provide useful information for interpreting pH and EC results.
Pitaya (Hylocereus undatus Britt & Rose) is a climbing cactus that is cultivated across a range of countries, including Vietnam and Nicaragua (Merten, 2003). In the Japanese archipelago, pitaya cultivation has been largely concentrated in the subtropical landscape of Okinawa Prefecture. However, many forms grown in the domestic warm region are cold tolerant and do not require greenhouse heating to prevent frost damage. Fumuro et al. (2007) and Fumuro and Sakurai (2013) reported that pitaya cultivation was possible on the Kinki University experiment farm located in Yuasa-cho, Wakayama Prefecture where daily minimum temperatures fell to about -4oC on four or five occasions during winter.
Pitaya forms flower buds on the cladodes (flattened leaf-like stems) when plants stop growing, but not during the period of elongation. Cladodes grow vigorously when young; if their growth is suppressed, flowering and yield increase incrementally. However, the cladode elongation rate declines during aging and yields are reduced in consequence.
Cultivated tree vigor is frequently controlled by application of plant growth regulators. Paclobutrazol, daminozide, and other agents are used as dwarfing agents, while gibberellin and other bioactive molecules are applied to promote growth. Little is known of the effects of these regulators on the vegetative growth of pitaya. Consequently, this study was conducted to measure the effects of growth regulators on pitaya cladode growth either through spraying plants or by application to the soil medium.
Floralabels A/S was established in 2005 to provide flexible, customised labelling for nurseries, garden centres and other horticultural companies. The system enables users to create labels, tags, signs and banners, in colour, on demand and is available through our partners in most European countries, Africa, USA, and New Zealand.
The ideas presented in this paper draw on my knowledge from previous work in the marketing and packaging of what are known as "fast moving consumer goods" and my knowledge of recent research on consumer behaviour in garden centres and other retail outlets where plants are sold. I have supplemented this with non-scientific interviews with consumers visiting garden centres in Denmark, Spain, and the United Kingdom.
My wife Claire and I have a small nursery. It is not big and grand, more like small and pokey. But it is profitable relative to its size. A big turnover is not important to me — what matters is a profit, because no business big or small will last long without a profit. Our nursery is located on State Highway 3 in central Te Awamutu in the South Waikato. The property is less than 2 acres; about a quarter acre out the back is waste land, so the nursery only uses about 1½ acres.
A few years ago we sold wholesale and retail but now it is almost only retail. Our retail customers come from all over the Waikato and beyond, but primarily from south of us, including from as far away as Taupo, the Ruapehu area, and New Plymouth. We do not advertise. All we do is arrive at work, open the gate, and make it up as we go along.
Prior to the global financial crisis (GFC), our annual profit almost reached $200,000 per year. When the GFC happened profit dipped a bit but lately things have normalized. In recent weeks sales have been record breaking. This is probably much the same for everyone here.
So what is it that makes us — or any of us profitable? There are of course many reasons. One of those reasons is management, and in our case, our management approach, and business model, is based on economics.
Holly (Ilex) is a large genus in Aquifoliaceae, which is comprises of 400 to 600 deciduous and evergreen species. This genus is cultivated as important medicinal and ornamental plants in the temperate and subtropical regions (Galle, 1997; Hu, 1989). The great diversity and adaptability of hollies make them as the king in gardens and landscapes. They can be used as shade trees, dividing lines, hedges, and groundcovers. They have beautiful effects of fruits in autumn, masses of evergreen foliage, and bright glistening color of variegated cultivars (Robinson, 1984). Ilex crenata Thunb. is native to eastern China, Japan, Korea, Kuril, Sakhalin, Philippines, and the Himalayas. Now it is widely planted as an ornamental plant in the southeastern US for its dense evergreen foliage and various forms (Dirr, 2009). Many cultivars have been released for commercial production such as I. crenata (Fastigiata Group( ‘Sky Pencil’, which is popular in the landscape for its strongly upright habit and lustrous, dark evergreen foliage (Dirr, 2011).
Callus induction and regeneration from vegetative organs has not been successful in polyanthus and Julian types, although in P. juliae callus was induce easily and a few adventitious shoots were abtained from flower bud culture.
In this study, we studied the induction of adventitious shoot formation by flower bud culture of P. veris, P. vulgaris, and P. juliae. Primula veris, P. vulgaris, and P. juliae plants were divided into into explants containing 2-3 buds, and planted in plastic pots (diameter 9 cm) containing pumice for growing (called "kanuma" soil), in the autumn of the year before flower bud culture. These were placed on subirrigation trays in February, and the flower buds (length: 10-15 mm) were harvested in late March to early in April.
Boxwood (Buxus) is a very important landscape staple in the Northeastern United States in part because it is an evergreen that is not prone to deer browse. The new disease boxwood blight is caused by Calonectria pseudonaviculata (= C. buxicola), an invasive pathogen first noticed in the mid-1990s in the United Kingdom (Henricot and Culmam, 2002), spreading through Europe and to New Zealand (Crous et al., 2002) thereafter. The disease was first detected in the United States in 2011 in North Carolina and Connecticut (Ivors et al., 2011; Douglas et al., 2012). It has caused serious concern in the nursery/landscape industry not only because it can weaken and disfigure plants, destroying their aesthetic value, but also because infected leaves and stems contain microsclerotia that might persist in soil and organic debris for years (Weeda and Dart, 2012; Dart and Shishkoff, 2015).
Irrigation monitoring takes place by continuous logging soil moisture probes, weekly measuring of the total drainage water, and daily total irrigation water supplied, measuring the EC and checks by the nursery manager. Similar irrigation monitoring is done in the retail section (15-cm pots). Temperature is recorded by an automated weather station. The difference in EC calculated between the EC of the drainage water and EC of the irrigation water, as well as the soil moisture recorded with the probes, correlated well with mean daily and mean daily maximum temperature. Over time, analysis of data will improve the manager
This presentation will cover the following:
- Background to natural area business.
- Propagation in our market and our experience and approach.
- Propagation and treatment methods.
- Success to date and some future targets species.
- Nursery financial and performance implications.
- Relevance to IPPS and this audience.
This presentation is about the ways in which we have pursued propagation of recalcitrant and difficult species, mainly from seed and the benefits that have accrued to the business. For us, it’s been about deciding that standing still is not an option and non-stop product development is the way to drive our market, motivate our staff, and enhance our broader environment business.
In recent years, biochar (BC) has attracted attention for use as a horticultural substrate amendment due to its potential benefits, such as promoting substrate/rootzone biology and nutrient holding/exchanging capacity. Biochar also has the potential to be a local and renewable substrate component produced from waste products and regionally available material (Peterson, 2013). The potential for horticultural use of BC in soilless substrates with greenhouse crops is clouded, however, because initial reports of BC in substrates do not show consistent results or benefits. There is a need to explore the impact of the vast range of BC properties on their potential use in greenhouse and nursery container production (Altland and Locke, 2012).
Biochar has been shown to be a potential use as a replacement for perlite in greenhouse mixes (Northup, 2013), because it is lightweight, porous, and it is thought to have potential economic benefit (cost savings) over perlite. Increased root growth has also been reported when BC was amended to a peat-based substrate (O’Hara, 2013); however quantification of increased root growth in biochar amended substrates has not been published.
If I were to advise you to dig a planting hole one metre deep and bury the stem of a new planting of a shrub or tree way below ground level, most horticulturists would be horrified. The conventional wisdom is that this would be a death sentence for the plant, dooming it to demise by collar rot of the submerged stem. A few years ago I would have agreed wholeheartedly, but a meeting with electrical engineer and amateur horticulturist Mr. Bill Hicks a few years ago has completely changed my thinking on establishing plants in areas where supplementary irrigation is difficult or non-existent.
A RADICAL NEW IDEA
About 20 years ago Bill Hicks developed a technique called "long stem planting" through his interest in environmental restoration projects in the New South Wales Hunter Valley. Eroded river banks had traditionally been stabilised by planting exotic willow trees (Salix species) in the degraded areas. Alarmed at the way these willows had been seeding themselves and spreading like wild fire as environmental weeds, Bill experimented with indigenous native plants as a substitute. To overcome the problem of the native plants being washed away by floods, he experimented with planting them much deeper than normal. To the surprise of the professional horticulturists, not only did the trees survive, they thrived and in most cases the establishment rates and subsequent growth far outstripped that of conventionally planted trees of the same species.
Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI) maintains two free, online databases to support plant conservation in botanic gardens: GardenSearch and PlantSearch. GardenSearch is an on-line directory of the world’s botanic gardens and related institutions while PlantSearch provides an account of the plant species held by these institutions. Information included in these databases is provided by each institution which is responsible for regularly updating its own record, using an on-line log-in facility.
Some Statistics GardenSearch
- Records (institutions): 3,200
- Number of countries represented: 176
- Breakdown of institutions per region
Plant names come easily for us as we work with plants every day. Thousands of botanical names, many with unusual sounds like Trachelospermum, Eleutherococcus, and glyptostroboides, roll off our tongues like water over Niagara Falls. However, there is one word that should rarely roll off our tongues. That is the word "variety". What we mean and should say is "cultivar".
Nursery catalogues and trade magazines are filled with plant names correctly enclosed in single quotes. Those marks denote a cultivar. However, when speaking, many professionals say variety for those names. Many respected gardening personalities on radio and television incorrectly say variety when they mean cultivar. Even some nursery catalogues, trade magazines, and promotional materials use variety when they mean cultivar.
- Out of clutter find simplicity;
- From discord find harmony;
- In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity."
In 2008, North Creek nurseries had its best year ever. Having built a business over a 20- year period, we had grown rapidly, eventually working on two farms. Realizing this growth, and being cramped for space, we felt that we needed to expand our operation. We knew this would allow us to remain relevant in an increasingly competitive marketplace. We felt the need to increase our production capacity and efficiency. In exploring our potential for expansion, we worked with a friend, Robert Hayter, a landscape architect. After pertinent discussions, he asked this question of us: "Had we ever analyzed our processes?" Our answer was that we had not done a thorough analysis, or the due diligence necessary to understand our work processes, product movement, or work flow. We came to the conclusion we needed to delve deeper into understanding our manufacturing processes.
Since citrus trees are particularly sensitive to cold temperatures, they are not well-suited for most home landscapes. The kumquat, calamondin, and satsuma have the greatest degree of cold hardiness. However, most gardeners can successfully enjoy citrus trees in patio containers. Any type of citrus tree can be grown in a container, but navel oranges, grapefruit, and most other oranges are very vigorous and outgrow all but very large containers.
The subject of potential species distributions has long been of interest to ecologists (e.g., Elton, 1927; Scott et al., 2002), but the subject is also important to agriculturalists, horticulturalists, and gardeners as it relates to plant hardiness. Plant hardiness is often thought of as the mortality or dieback of plants caused by temperature stress (mostly cold but also heat). In practical terms, hardiness zones are intended to help define the potential distribution of perennial plant species. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) extreme minimum temperature model (and related map) has been a useful surrogate for plant hardiness and is widely used throughout North America (<http://planthardiness.ars.usda.gov/PHZMWeb/> see also <http://www.ars.usda.gov/ Main/docs.htm?docid=15616> for a heat stress model).
In Canada, a plant hardiness map has also been developed (Oulette and Sherk, 1967a, b, c), and has become a standard and familiar source for Canadians. This model employed seven climatic parameters, and was thought to better represent the plant hardiness situation in Canada, where long winters and snow cover can dramatically affect plant survival and performance.
The University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) was designated the Agriculture Centre of Excellence for British Columbia by the Province
Rose rosette is caused by rose rosette virus (RRV) which is transmitted by the eriophyid mite Phyllocoptes fructiphilus. Rose rosette was first observed in 1940 in Manitoba, Canada and in California and Wyoming in 1941. The disease has become widespread in regions of north-central, south-central and southeast USA. The incidence of rose rosette has grown exponentially in cultivated roses in the mid-South USA due to increased use of mass plantings of shrub roses in residential and commercial landscapes.
All cultivated roses (shrub type, hybrid tea, floribunda, grandiflora, and miniature roses) are thought to be susceptible to the disease. Other roses reported to be susceptible are: Rosa woodsii, R. bracteata, and R. rubiginosa (syn. R. eglanteria).
Many articles have been written on rose rosette and described the variable symptoms associated with the disease. However, few articles have offered management strategies for combating the disease other than rogueing symptomatic plants. In the few cases where control recommendations have been made (such as the use of miticides); the recommendations were based on observations made for other virus diseases of roses or on virus diseases and/or eriophyid mites on other crops.
Zelkova serrata is a deciduous tree in Ulmaceae from Japan, Taiwan, and eastern China. It is used for bonsai, shade tree, or park landscape because of its attractive habit, foliage colors, and heat and drought tolerance. Typically the plant reaches to 15-24 m tall with a spreading, upright-branching, vase-shaped crown (Fleme, 1983). Zelkova gained popularity because it was utilized to substitute American elm for its Dutch elm disease resistance and no elm leaf beetle (Dirr, 2011).
How to propagate this beautiful plant? Seed germination does not require pretreatment, and germination percentage would increase with prechilling at 4oC for 60 days (Ishii, 1979). However uniform Z. serrata seedlings can rarely be obtained by seed germination. Tissue culture had been successful, leaves and axillary buds were cultured on Murashige and Skoog (1962) medium containing half strength nitrogenous compounds to regenerate Z. serrata plants (Tomita, 1991), but tissue culture usually has high production cost and high technical requirement.
A number of factors over the past several years have forced container-grown plant producers to alter production practices. Increasing labor cost and new immigration laws have forced growers to rely more on herbicides for weed control. Problems associated with herbicide use in container production include non-target loss, achieving correct calibration, and the expense of repeat applications a year (Case and Mathers, 2006). Nonchemical weed control methods could diminish non-target herbicide loss and reduce potential environmental concerns. Data from this study reveals that one application of various mulch species at a depth of at least 5 cm (2 in.) will provide long-term control of spotted spurge, phyllanthus, and eclipta.
On 4 Oct. PM, we visited botanical garden at Tokyo University of Agriculture, which is located in Atsugi City, where the aim is to collect Zingiberaceae, tropical fruits, rare endemic plants, and traditional Japanese plants. All the participants learned something important about plant protection from explanations by technical staff.
On the second day, 5 Oct. AM, we visited bio-systems and bio-functions research center at Tamagawa University, where the aim is development of a novel agricultural production system using optical semiconductor devises and development of a plant cultivation system in space. All the participants studied new technologies and techniques.
After a lunch break, our last visit was the Meiji University Kurokawa Farm, which is an educational farm. We learned about organic farming and high-quality, high-yield production techniques.
This presentation covers three scientific meetings attended by our company in the past two years. All events were sponsored by the International Society of Horticulture. By coincidence, the common thread was soils and management of organic matter. For this report, an emphasis is placed on information most useful for practical use in horticulture, especially nursery production of trees and shrubs and greenhouse production of vegetables.
An additional nine plants were selected as All-America Selections (AAS) Regional Award Winners for 2014. With heightened public interest in locally produced products and recognition that some plants can truly perform well in specific regional climates, AAS has established awards for plants with superior regional performance. Regional winners undergo the same trialing process as national winners.
REINVENTING THE PROPAGATOR
Mechanization has changed the face of plant production. With the integration of efficient technology nurseries can operate with fewer employees. These advancements have enabled plants to be produced very consistently with a high level of quality. However, this shift has impacted the employment of many nurseries and the membership of professional association’s worldwide.
Box store trends have also contributed to a major shift in the green industry. Through the mass market economic structure the green industry has fallen prey to a dangerous trend of devaluing our products and accommodating unnecessary warranties. The expectations and responsibility of the end consumer have changed dramatically in the last decade. Plant warranties eliminate the consequence of not learning how to grow plants. The mass market has also created a bottle neck with regard to available plant material. By limiting the selection of plants down to a few genera we have devalued the diversity that makes horticulture such a broad and interesting opportunity.
Since 1984, at Akatsuka Garden Company we have focused our attention on the behavior of certain ions, especially the iron ions in water and interactions of water molecules with them. We have continued research on various solutions to not only accelerate plant growth but also activate physiological functions of plants. Based on this research, we have developed FFC materials such as "FFC-Ceramics" (a water improvement device), "FFC-Ace" (a soil conditioner) and others. In addition, many agricultural producers in Japan have been utilizing FFC materials to rejuvenate plants and increase profits. Those producers have also explored many other original methods for using FFC materials, and consequently found good ways to fit them into their actual production sites. As a result, they have obtained many advantages over years of use, such as, productivity enhancement, cost reduction, decreased amount of agricultural chemicals required among others. In addition, it has been reported that "FFC-Ace" enhances the growth of plants under laboratory conditions while improving disease resistance, and drought and salt stress tolerance of plants.
Given the range of crops nurserymen grow; it is very difficult to achieve effective and efficient spray coverage with only one or two sprayers. The volume of spray, ground speed of the sprayer, and the orientation and volume of air required is significantly different when spraying whips, flowers, shrubs, or container crops. Therefore, to get efficient coverage every time they spray, the operator must re-calibrate the sprayer every time they move into a new crop. This is difficult, time consuming and in most cases, not feasible.
American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) is a small, slow-growing herbaceous perennial herb that grows in hardwood forests throughout most of eastern North America. It is similar to Asian ginseng (P. ginseng) that has been used in Asia as a medicinal herb for thousands of years. Overharvesting of wild populations of ginseng in China, Korea, and Japan made the root of this plant very valuable. The first American ginseng was exported to China from Canada in the mid-1700s. It was well-accepted by the Chinese and soon huge amounts of American ginseng roots were being harvested from forests from Southern Ontario and Quebec south to North Carolina for export to China.
American ginseng is still a highly valued root that is wild-harvested and cultivated throughout its native range, and over 90% of it is exported to Asia. Wild-harvesting ginseng has been a source of income for generations of families in the Southern Appalachian Mountains. In hard economic times people turn to the abundant forests to hunt, fish, and gather medicinal herbs. Since ginseng is worth 10× or more than any other herb in the forest, a whole culture has developed around the gathering and selling of it.
Propagation of cuttings with sunlight as the sole light source is the most common situation in commercial plant nurseries. In that situation, greenhouse shading is the most important factor to manage in order to ensure that light is in an acceptable range for rapid root and shoot growth. When excess shade is applied, light is limiting to photosynthesis and growth. In contrast, excess light is likely to result in dehydration and heat stress of plants.
Studies in both commercial and research settings provide guidelines for lighting during propagation. The objective of this article is to provide light-level guidelines, and show how ambient light levels in New Zealand affect shading strategy. These guidelines must be adapted to local climate conditions, depending on whether high light leads to excessively warm air and plant temperature, and a resulting need to mist frequently or open vents and lose humidity. The greenhouse technology is also important. Movable shade can be closed during hot and sunny hours during midday, and open during morning and afternoon or cloudy weather. Movable shade therefore has greater ability than fixed shade to increase light level without resulting in heat stress. With fixed shade, the key decision is typically which month to apply or remove shade. Because of microclimates and differences in greenhouse types, growers should trial new shade levels before applying to the entire crop.
During the middle portion of the 20th century, landscape architects and backyard gardeners in Zones 7a-9 began to appreciate the versatility of the Camellia sasanqua as an American garden staple. Venerable cultivars from Japan were imported by Toichi Domoto on the West Coast and Tsukasa Kiyono in the Southeast. Likewise, near Mobile, Alabama, new cultivars were being bred and introduced by Kosaku Sawada at his Overlook Nurseries. Subsequently, C. sasanqua became popular enough that they were distinguished from Camellia japonica and gained their own vernacular as "Sasanquas". The terms "japonicas" and "sasanquas", although taxonomic sins, are still useful epithets for grouping the garden camellias.
Camellia sasanqua is now accepted to include C. hiemalis and genetically that can easily be accepted. Nonetheless, there are distinct differences regarding their functionality within the garden. Camellia hiemalis carries DNA from an ancient cross with C. japonica.
The idea for the Premium EasyHedge® brand (in Danish, Prima Færdigh
Nutritional problems of container-grown plants are very common in greenhouses and may go undetected for prolonged periods of time (Iersel, n.d.). Over and under fertilization might result in reduced plant vigour and make them more susceptible to diseases and insects. Two important measurements that can be collected are the pH and the electrical conductivity (EC). The pH is a measure of how acid or basic the growing medium is, on a scale from 0 to 14, and it is important since it affects the availability of micronutrients in the growing medium (Iersel, n.d.). Electrical conductivity is a measure of the total amounts of salts in the growing medium, and it can be used as an indicator of the presence of macronutrients (Iersel, n.d.).
For the past years, Gro-Bark has worked closely with its customers in testing the growing medium of container-grown plants and checking its pH and EC. These field tests are conducted on a 3 week rotation by performing a pour thru test on selected crops and recording their pH and EC levels. The idea behind the pour thru method is to pour distilled water on top of the growing medium, collect about 50 ml of leachate and measure the pH and EC with a calibrated Hanna® pH and conductivity meter.
The development of controlled release fertilizers (CRF) parallels the progress of container growing with most of the advances being made in the 1980s and 1990s. The first CRF sources to become commercially available were only nitrogen (N) but the technology has expanded to include potassium (K), phosphorus (P), and other nutrients, including micronutrients.
Controlled release fertilizers use several mechanisms to limit the amount of nutrient made available at any one time. In the first types, nutrient prills were coated with materials as molten sulphur, clay, and wax. The problem with these materials was that cracks in the coating meant the release-rate was not uniform. Today this problem has been overcome by using other materials. For example, Osmocote® uses a resin coating of an alkyd-type, while Multicote® and Plantacote® use a polyurethane-like coating and Ficote® uses thermoplastic resins. All these materials allow a controlled release of nutrients by osmosis, where the thickness of the coating determines release timing and rate.
For many years our system of irrigating our container plants was by manually opening a below-ground valve. Later, the valve would have to be manually shut. As technology changed, solenoid valves were installed and soon Rainbird controllers turned the valves on and off. Because the nursery was terraced and greenhouse sizes were not consistent, the need was apparent for a program that allowed us to maximize our pump capacities and schedule the irrigation to take place as late as possible in the morning hours with a finish time prior to the work day beginning. This Dbase system could tell us the vertical inches of water delivered during the irrigation time and also allowed us to do cyclic irrigation and evaporative cooling of plants. Based on when a controller finished, we could have another starting to maximize our pump usage and finish as quickly as possible. Daily weather changes meant daily changes in scheduling which was determined by management with field staff entering controller changes. It was a 24/7 process and it went on for 15 years. We knew there had to be a better way.
Ornamental horticulture is an economically important industry in Canada, with consumer retail spending tallied at nearly $6.3 billion for ornamental horticultural products and another $1.8 billion on landscaping services in 2007 nationwide (Deloitte, 2009). In addition, nursery operations have considerable input needs, for example 93.3% of the annual water usage by the Canadian ornamental horticulture sector is by nursery operations (Zheng et al., 2009). Excess fertilization and irrigation is not only costly, but can also injure plants and cause unnecessary water and nutrient runoff, resulting in environmental damage. However, insufficient fertilization can cause plant nutrient deficiencies, reduce crop productivity, and eventually reduce the efficiency of other resource inputs during nursery crop production. When optimal fertilizer application rates are used, nursery crops will perform at their best, and growers will be able to increase their profit margin, while minimizing environmental impacts. For different growing substrates, plants, and climate combinations, optimal fertilization rates will vary. As fertilizer companies continuously improve their products and release new products, research is needed to identify optimal fertilizer rates for nursery crop production. Conducting on-farm trials, with industry-standard cultural practices, is essential for understanding the response of crops to fertilizers, and the fate of the fertilizers (i.e., from application in the growing substrate to plant uptake or runoff to the environment). However, this type of on-farm research is rare, especially in temperate climate regions such as Ontario, Canada, and some states in northern USA.
Have you ever experienced or heard someone say that a certain plant is not as easy to root as it used to be? Have you ever wondered why different clones of the same species differ in their rooting characteristics? In The Plantsman, McMillan-Browse (2010) writes about plant aging and its effect on stem cuttings. I have found this short article to be very thought provoking while he discusses chronological age of a clone as playing a major role in the ease/difficulty of rooting and how to "recover regenerative capacity by manipulation of the parent plant."
Propagators know that in many cases woody plants become much more difficult to root as they move from their juvenile growth phase into their mature phase (ontogenetic aging). McMillan-Browse states "…it would appear that the ability to regenerate asexually declines with an increasing ability to regenerate sexually," until reaching their senescent phase when this "…potential is virtually lost." He continues, saying "…the ability of the stem to initiate roots, does not occur as a constant function throughout the life of the plant" — it declines as the plant ages. This context has particular significance for the continuous propagation of a woody plant. The physiological condition of the material is not represented by the immediate age of the individual parent stock, but is a function of the chronological (and physiological) age of the original selection.
Japanese maples typically describes the cultivars of Acer palmatum and A. japonicum (fullmoon maple). Although there are two dozen additional species in Japan (more if you count introduced species), these two species have received the most interest and use. In both, but especially in A. palmatum, there’s a tendency to sport or produce unique seedlings — thus the increased pace of cultivar introductions. Like so much in horticulture, the temptation to name, propagate, distribute and promote a "new" plant, is just too much.
Crop lighting is an energy-intensive necessity for nursery production of high-quality native plants and forest tree seedlings. During the winter months (especially in northern USA latitudes) or overcast or cloudy days, the amount of solar radiation reaching greenhouse crops is insufficient resulting in growth cessation, early terminal bud formation, and failure of seedlings to reach target height for outplanting (Tinus, 1995; Lopez and Runkle, 2008). In light of this, nursery growers have added supplemental lighting to increase the daily light integral (DLI), defined as the photosynthetic light received over the course of the day for seedling production (Torres and Lopez, 2010). A wide range of supplemental light sources are used in nurseries to control plant development and manipulate plant quality (Tinus, 1995; Bourget, 2008). However, the problem with most lighting systems, such as high-pressure sodium (HPS) lamps, is that they do not provide the light spectrum that is most efficient for photosynthesis in plants. In addition, because of the huge amount of electrical energy required, using HPS as supplemental lighting, for most reforestation and native plant nurseries, is economically impractical.
Consumer demand for environmentally conscious products and business practices is on the rise (Behe et al., 2013) and consumers are willing to pay more for eco-friendly products, such as plants grown in biodegradable containers. Biodegradable containers or biocontainers are made from plant-based materials and degrade quickly in the environment. Two recent online surveys found that consumers are willing to pay $0.23 to $0.29 (Yue et al., 2010) and $0.61 to $0.82 (Hall et al., 2010) more for plants grown in biocontainers. Besides the market opportunities, nursery growers are interested in biocontainers due to their environmental conscience and interest to reduce transplanting costs. Plantable biocontainers can reduce transplanting time by 17% relative to traditional plastic containers that must be removed when planted (Nambuthiri and Ingram, 2014). In response to industry’s interest in biocontainers, a broad range of products are commercially available (Table 1) and others are in development (Evans and Hensley, 2004; Helgeson et al., 2010; Schrader et al., 2013).