Page 7 - Griffin Gazette Issue 1 - 2018
P. 7

By John Barone, Owner, Barone Gardens
            During our first season of growing Sunfinity sunflowers, we learned quickly
            that the crop’s quality is highly dependent on timely and frequent plant growth
            regulator (PGR) applications.
            Stacking the nodes is critical to a quality plant and this starts with a Bonzi
            (paclobutrazol) sprench at seed sowing. Without this application, the plant will
            grow and stretch very quickly, leading to a very tall finished plant. Later PGR
            applications will have very little effect. Growers that are unwilling or unable to
            perform the early PGR applications would be wise to choose plugs that are
            already PGR-treated.

            Pinching is also very important and necessary for a quality finished plant. Pinch
            when plants have six or seven nodes (pairs of leaves) down to four true nodes.
            We found that later PGR applications are important, but not as critical as
            the first two steps. Retail growers will have more latitude, unlike a wholesale
            grower who needs a shorter plant to fit on carts and ship.

            Taller plants seemed to still be a very quick sale at retail, but can be difficult
            to take care of on the bench. We used Bonzi drenches and had excellent
            results; we also trialed B-Nine sprays with good results. Most growers will find
            B-Nine sprays to be a more practical PGR to use than Bonzi drenches. In our
            experience, B-Nine sprays were effective; however, more trialing is needed
            before a definitive recommendation can be made.
            Our recommendation would be to use a PGR for the finishing stages with
            ideally following the Syngenta Flowers recommendation, but other PGR
            methods may also produce good results.

               Sunfinity Sunflower Producers

               Jumpstart your next Sunfinity program with plugs from our national network of young-plant producers.

                                                                    Tray Size/Billable Count

                   Producer          State    36/36       72/72      72/70       105/100     128/125      162/160
            Gro-N-Sell                PA                               X

            Knox Nursery              FL                               X
            Kube Pak                  NJ                                           X                        X

            Natural Beauty            WI                               X
            The Plug Connection       CA                   X
            Raker-Roberta’s           MI        X

            Total Growth Solutions    FL                                                       X
            Wagner Greenhouses        MN                               X

            Wenke Greenhouse          MI                   X

                                                                                         Griffin Gazette 2018   |   7
   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11   12