GGSPro Tech Tips

Garden Mum Disease, Insect, and Mite Control Options

MOA Codes appear in “( )”

Chrysanthemum White Rust
Chrysanthemum White Rust (CWR)
Apply a foliar spray of a strobilurin fungicide while the rooted cuttings are still in the tray. Broadform (7&11), Fame (11), Heritage (11), Mural (7&11), Pageant (7&11), or Orkestra (7&11) are all good options. Surfactants such as CapSil should not be used with these products. Thorough crop preventative sprays need only to be made if weather conditions are forecasted to be favorable for CWR development. Rainy and cool conditions for more than 24 hours would be a reason to make the treatment before the forecasted weather sets in. Daconil Weather-stik* (M5) or Protect DF (M3) are reasonably priced protectants. If CWR is known to be in the surrounding area, a second application of a strobilurin is recommended. Eagle (M3) is the only curative product and should be saved in the unlikely event CWR is detected in your crop.
*Avoid open blooms with Daconil products.

Additional foliar diseases
Bacterial Leaf Spot
For overhead irrigated crops or prolonged rainy conditions late in the crop, bacterial leaf spot (Pseudomonas chicorii) and fungal pathogens such as Botrytisand aerial Rhizoctonia can threaten a garden mum crop. This is most likely to occur later in the crop when the crop canopy is dense and air movement into the center of the plant is limited. For bacterial leaf spot, Cease (44) and Triathlon BA (44) can be used as preventatives. At the first sign of bacterial disease, a tank mix of a copper (e.g.- Kalmor (M1), Nordox (M1), or Phyton 35 (M1) and Protect DF (M3) should be applied with CapSil (except no CapSil with Phyton 35). An important part of fighting bacterial leaf spot is to make note of vulnerable varieties and work them out of your program.  Aerial Rhizoctonia often occurs with Botrytis so we recommend fungicides that control both. Some excellent options include: Affirm (19), Broadform (7&11), Daconil Weatherstick* (M5), Medallion (9), Mural (7&11), Pageant (7&11), Palladium (9&12), Orkestra (7&11), or Spirato GHN (9). CapSil is recommended for Affirm, Medallion, Spirato GHN and Palladium.
* Avoid open blooms with Daconil products.

Fusarium
There are no curative fungicides for this disease, but the following soil drenches can be applied preventatively: Cleary’s 3336 (1), Mural (7&11), Heritage (11), Medallion (9), and Spirato GHN (9). PreFence (NC) is a biological fungicide that can be applied preventatively. For a thorough discussion of Fusarium in garden mums, request the bulletin titled, “Defense Against Fusarium Wilt in Chrysanthemum” by Joanne Lutz.

Pythium Root Rot
Pythium
Drench soon after transplanting with Segway (21). Rootshield Plus G (NC) can be pre-incorporated into the soil mix without being damaged by Segway. Rootshield Plus WP (NC) can be applied as a soil drench within a week after the Segway drench if desired. From that point on we recommend a “see and treat” protocol. If another drench is required, one of the etridiazole products could be rotated: Banrot (1&14), Terrazole (14) or Truban (14).

Insecticidal drenches
Due to bee safety concerns with neonicotinoid drenches [e.g.-Flagship (4A), Marathon (4A) and generics, Safari (4A)], GGSPro advises that they only be applied during the first two weeks after transplanting so that the bee hazard diminishes before open bloom occurs. Kontos (23) applied as a drench is effective against many garden mum pests including: aphids, leafhoppers, leafminers, spider mites, thrips, and whiteflies. Mainspring GNL (28) as a drench is effective against: aphids, beetles, caterpillars, leafhoppers, leafminers, and thrips. Endeavor (9B) as a drench is a bee safe option for aphid control.

Aerial Rhizoctonia Web Blight
Insecticidal sprays
Aphids- Altus (4D), Aria (29), Endeavor (9B), Kontos (23), Tristar (4A), and Ventigra (9D) have favorable bee safety profiles when used as directed. All of these products benefit from the addition of CapSil.

Caterpillars- Conserve (5), DiPel Pro DF (11A), Mainspring GNL (28), Pedestal (15), and Tristar (4A) are effective and have favorable bee safety profiles- (check EPA bee box provisions on the Mainspring GNL label for specific instructions). All of these products benefit from the addition of CapSil.

Leafhoppers- Altus (4D), Kontos (spray or drench) (23), Sanmite SC (21A) and Tristar (4A). Some of these products have specific instructions regarding pollinator safety. All of these foliar spray products benefit from the addition of CapSil.

Blotch Leafminer

Leafminers (inc. blotch type)- Adult stage: Avalon Golf & Nursery (3A) and Conserve (5). Larval stage: Avid (6), Citation (17), Kontos (drench only) (23), Mainspring GNL (drench only) (28), Minx 2 (6), and Tristar (4A). Some of these products have specific instructions regarding pollinator safety. All of these foliar spray products benefit from the addition of CapSil.

Spider Mites- Akari (21A), Avid (6), Kontos (drench only) (28), Minx 2 (6), Sanmite SC (21A), Savate (formerly Judo) (23), Shuttle O (20B), and Sultan (25). Some of these products have specific instructions regarding pollinator safety. All of these foliar spray products benefit from the addition of CapSil.

Thrips- Avid (6) or Minx 2 (6) tank mixed with Azatin O (UN), AzaGuard (UN) or Molt-X (UN); Hachi-Hachi SC (21A), Kontos (drench only) (23), Mainspring GNL (28), Mesurol (1A), Pedestal (15), and Tristar (max label rate only) (4A). Hachi-Hachi SC and Mesurol are highly toxic to bees and should not be used immediately prior to or during open bloom. Mainspring GNL has specific bee safety instructions in the EPA bee box. All of these foliar spray products benefit from the addition of CapSil.

Whenever practical GGSPro encourages growers to scout and rely on a “see and treat” approach to disease, insect, and mite control.

Not all products are registered in all states. Some pesticides are restricted use in some state or regions and not others. It is the responsibility of the applicator to read and follow all label directions.

Product NameMode of Action (MOA)Item Number
Disease Control Options
Affirm
19
71-1131
Banrot 40 WP
1&14
71-1210
Broadform
7&11
71-1290
Cease
44
71-13301
Daconil Weather-stik
M5
71-1420
Eagle 20 EW
M3
71-1435
Fame SC
11
71-1505
Heritage
11
71-1400
Kalmor
M1
71-2050
Medallion
9
71-16502
Mural
7&11
71-1690
Nordox 75 WG
M1
71-1700
Orkestra Intrinsic
7&11
71-2200
Pageant Intrinsic WG
7&11
71-26801
Palladium WDG
9&12
71-2685
Phyton 35
M1
71-2732
PreFence
NC
71-2771
Protect DF
M3
71-2748
Rootshield Plus G
NC
71-27921
Rootshield Plus WP
NC
71-27961
Segway
21
71-31101
Spirato GHN
9
71-2948
Terrazole L
14
71-3025
Triathlon BA
44
71-3040
Truban 25 EC
14
71-3070
Truban 30 WP
14
71-3065
Insect and Pest Control Options
Altus
4D
70-1161
Akari
21A
70-1160
Aria WDG
29
70-3399
Avalon Golf & Nursery
3A
70-1210
Avid 0.15 EC
6
70-1185
AzaGuard EC
UN
70-1224
Azatin O
UN
70-12301
Citation WSP
17
70-13501
Conserve SC
5
70-1365
DiPel Pro DF
11A
70-1450
Endeavor WDG
9B
70-1660
Hachi-Hachi SC
21A
70-1795
Kontos
23
70-19601
Mainspring GNL
28
70-2331
Mesurol 75 WP
1A
70-2325
Minx 2
6
70-2398
Molt-X
UN
70-2400
Pedestal SC
15
70-2950
Sanmite SC
21A
70-2915
Savate
23
70-2980
Shuttle O
20B
70-30151
Sultan
25
70-3045
Tristar 8.5 SL
4A
70-85221
Ventigra
9D
70-9550
Surfactant
Capsil
N/A
74-1541

Defense Against Fusarium Wilt in Chrysanthemum

Joanne Lutz, GGSPro Technical Specialist, GGSProtech@griffinmail.com, 800-888-0054 x 89129

Fusarium species are found worldwide as plant pathogens and saprophytes (a fungus living on dead or decaying organic matter). The genetic diversity of Fusarium oxysporum pathogen is economically important in greenhouse production. Losses of chrysanthemum grown outside in containers occur yearly because of the persistence of the pathogen Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. chrysanthemi. The first reported case of Fusarium on chrysanthemum in the US was in 1932 in Florida.

Symptoms of Fusarium Wilting in
Chrythsanthemum

Symptoms start as a yellowing chlorosis of leaves on one branch or section of plant. Depending on the cultivars, symptoms can appear first on the new growth, or at the base of the plant. Loss of turgidly of leaves, stunting, and failure to develop normal flower buds are other indications that Fusarium has invaded the plant. As disease progression occurs, there may be noticeable wilting due to the pathogen clogging the vascular xylem tissue.

Vascular Streaking within Stems
Fusarium is not easily diagnosed because of its resemblance to Pythium root rot. Both pathogens can turn roots brown, exhibit yellowing leaves and wilting. Pythium root rot slowly nibbles at the roots, leaving the inner root cortex. Wilting generally is not observed until the fungus has taken over the root system. If you cut a chrysanthemum stem open, you may be able to see vascular discoloration of dark brown to brownish black tissue. Having an accurate diagnosis is important because early symptoms may look and act like a nutrient deficiency.

1 Advance Fusarium revealing
White Mold on Stems
If factors such as high nutrient availability, high humidity and temperature levels above 90oF predominate, advanced infection of Fusarium may be seen as white to pinkish mold developing along inside stems. At this point, it best to discard the plant to reduce spread. 

Severity of symptoms are related to stress factors such as dry/wet cycles (soil moisture), heat (temperature) and the cultivar resistance. Understanding the disease cycle of Fusarium is important. It starts within the root systems. Fusarium oxysporumproduces three kinds of spores: microspores, macrospores, and chlamydospores2. Microconidia are one-celled spores that upon germinating, produce one germ tube to infect crops. Macroconidia are one or two-celled spores that germinate rapidly within 4-7 hours and also produce germ tubes to infect plants. When nutrition, temperature, fertilizer salts and/or amino acids are available, macroconidia are quickly converted to chlamydospores.

Chlamydospores are thick-wall vegetative cells that exist either singularly, in pairs, or in clusters within hyphae in media allowing Fusarium to survive for long periods of time. These spores withstand extreme heat, desiccation, and waterlogged conditions for extended periods of time and have 100 times more energy than microconidia1. As spores land on growing media, the conidia infect plants through roots via wounds or natural openings. Fusarium can be windblown in infected plant debris and dust. Fusarium sp. in general can survive on seed coats, on corms/bulbs, and in roots. Fusariumcan be found in irrigation water, and irrigation equipment and pipes, where it is spreads via water movement. Fusariumcan be spread via and insect transmission (fungus gnats and shoreflies). Pathologist agree that in our industry, most transmission can occur from infected cuttings and substrate media. Because growers have almost no way to successfully identify infected stock without culture indexing or DNA-based assays, Fusarium management should begin with purchasing  from a reputable source, using appropriate growing methods, and practicing sanitation at the beginning and between production seasons.

Providing an ideal soil, fertilizer program, and growing environment are imperative to preventing Fusariuminfection during production. Containers should provide good drainage, contain at least 15-30% perlite (e.g. Premier ProMix HP, BX, BK25, Lambert LM-16, LM-11, and PC -15), and avoid heavy peat-based medias. The ideal soil pH should be 5.8-6.2. Plants grown in more alkaline conditions have shown to compete better against Fusarium. Using fertilizers containing higher percentages of nitrate nitrogen are preferred; avoid fertilizing with ammonium sources of nitrogen. Plants may be infected and not show symptoms until the proper environmental conditions have been met or the plant has been put under stress. Conditions for optimum pathogen development in a chrysanthemum crop is 84-95oF day and 75-84oF night including both air and soil temperatures. Symptoms are not often seen at milder temperatures.

Avoid handling the cutting/liners roughly, as damage roots allow easy access for pathogen entry. Stimulate rooting with applications of Essential Plus or Fosphite. Once the plant is infected, the plant will fail to produce a marketable plant and should be removed immediately. The method of drenching remaining asymptomatic plants alone with fungicides has not been proven 100% successful. Fungicides applied preventatively labeled for Fusarium include:  Cleary’s 3336, Medallion/Spirato GHN, Terraguard and strobiluron based fungicides such as: Empress Intrinsic, Fame SC, Heritage, Mural, Orkestra Intrinsic, and Pageant Intrinsic drenches. Plant protection is often implemented with the addition of biofungicides to protect crops against Fusarium wilt. These include Actinovate, Companion, PreFence, PVent, RootShield, and RootShield Plus. Research studies continue to enhance the benefits of adding biological fungicides with registered fungicide to yield significant reduction in fusarium disease development.

Fusarium can survive on various surfaces such as wood, concrete, and polyethylene film. Plastic is the easiest to clean with wood being the most difficult. Applying Strip-it followed by KleenGrow is very effective on all three surfaces. Other effective products include GreenShield II or SaniDate 5.0.  When possible, avoid growing directly on wooden or soil surfaces as chlamydospores may be present deep in soil/wood (survive for 5-10 years in the soil) and resurge any time2. Drip irrigation systems should be cleaned before and after the production season to reduce the risk of chlamydospores survival.

1Morel Diffusion –Fusarium EM18, 7/2012,



Chemicals Labeled for Fusarium Prevention

ProductSizeItem Number
Cleary’s 3336 F
1 qt, 2.5 gal
71-2575, 71-2585
Cleary’s 3336 EG
5 lb
71-2550
Empress Intrinsic
24 oz
70-1501
Fame G
25 lb
71-1500
Fame SC
16 oz
71-1505
Heritage
4 oz, 1 lb
71-1404, 71-1400
Medallion WDG
8 oz
71-16502
Mural WG
1 lb
71-1690
OHP 6672 L
2.5 gal
71-2670
OHP 6672 WSP
2 lb
71-2672
Orkestra Intrinsic
16 oz
71-2200
Pageant Intrinsic
1 lb, 12 lb
71-26801, 71-26821
Terraguard SC
1 qt
71-3018
Spirato GHN
1 pt
71-1570
RootShield Plus G
10 lb, 40 lb
71-27911, 71-27921
RootShield Plus WP
1 lb, 3 lb
71-27951, 71-27971
PreFence
5 gm, 25 gm
71-2770, 71-2771
PVent
0.5 lb, 1 lb
71-2775, 71-2776
Greenshield II
1 gal, 30 gal
74-36601, 74-36611
KleenGrow
5 gal, 30 gal
74-21151, 74-21301
Strip-It Pro
5 gal, 30 gal
74-2125, 74-21230

It is applicator’s responsibility to read and follow all pesticide label instructions. Labels can and do change without notice. Not all of the products mentioned in this bulletin are registered for use in all states. Some pesticides are restricted-use in some states or regions and not others. Contact GGSPro or your state’s Department of Agriculture to verify registration status. Pesticides other than those mentioned may be safe and effective.
Printable version

Beautiful Disaster: How to Defend Against Spotted Lanternfly

SLF nymphs, first instar
Many insects hatch and emerge at this time of year. The early nymphal stages of the spotted lanternfly (SLF) are easily recognizable. These wingless planthoppers are small, black and white. As they grow in size to the fourth instar by July/September, they develop a red pattern that covers most of their body. During these instar stages, they range in size from 1/10” to 5/8” and will crawl or jump on many of our favorite woody and edible crops. From the USDA’s perspective, the SLF is not a welcome indication of spring.
SLF nymph, fourth instar
Photo credit: UMass Extension

SLF are native to China and Vietnam and feed on more than 70 plant species as phloem feeders. They’re known to move 3-4 miles a year, mostly by being excellent hitchhikers. Therein lies the challenge: how to quarantine a pest that’s now detected in seven states (Pennsylvania, Virginia, New Jersey, Delaware, New York, Maryland and Connecticut) since its first detection in Pennsylvania in September 2014.

Adults emerge by mid-July and are exquisitely beautiful. The wings are gray with black spots at the front and speckled bands on the last 1/3 of the wings. When wings are spread, the base of the hind wings is scarlet with white spots in the front, and white with black bars at the rear. The abdomen is yellow with black bars.

Major plants at risk to SLF damage include 
tree of heaven, maples, grapes, apples, hops, 
SLF adult
Photo credit: Penn. Dept.
of Agriculture
ornamentals, Christmas trees and species relevant to the lumber industry. Unfortunately, SLF adults can impact quality of life in quarantined areas. As the adults feed via a piercing-sucking mouthpart similar to a straw, they excrete copious amounts of honeydew that drip onto plants, cars and hard surfaces. This byproduct can attract ants, bees, hornets and wasps to feed on the sap. Extensive feeding can result in wounds, wilting and death of branches on young trees. Honeydew on leaves can also reduce the overall quality and limit photosynthesis.
Insects that resemble SLF include green stink bug nymphs and ticks. If you suspect you may have detected SFL, take a photo and send it to your state department of agriculture for verification. Keep the insect in a sealed bag and put it into the freezer.
Green stink bug nymphs

To limit the spread of SLF, actionable quarantine and shipping restrictions have been implemented. For details on regulatory articles, see the www.northeastipm.org or visit www.agriculture.pa.gov for information on the permit process for businesses operating within a regulated area.

Learn to identify the tree-of-heaven (Ailanthus altissima), which is used as a monitoring host tree. The SLF prefers to feed and mate on this specific tree species. To establish a trap crop for SLF, land owners should leave in place male trees that are at least 10” in trunk diameter, and clear all other male and female trees. This facilitates the use of systemic chemicals to limit the exposure of non-target organisms, as few other pests feed on these trees. Application must be repeated annually until no SFL adults are detected on a property.

Removal of trees-of-heaven is a mechanical option to eliminate breeding sites for SLF. Chemical options include spraying targeted plants mid-May through August. Systemic insecticide drenches (e.g., dinotefuran, imidacloprid) are most effective when applied in spring and early summer, before adults build up their populations. The most effective option in controlling SLF are foliar-applied chemicals that contain bifenthrin, carbaryl, dinotefuran or imidacloprid. Basal bark treatments and stump treatments with approved herbicides are among the methods available to remove unwanted trees. Contact GGSPro for more details.

It’s the responsibility of the applicator to check labels and state laws for regulated application sites. Some products may be restricted use. Always read and follow all label directions. The label is the law! Products other than those mentioned may also be safe and effective. Some pesticides may be restricted-use or unregistered in certain states.

Products for Control of SLF Adults (Apply as soil drenches)

ProductMOADescriptionItem Number
Mallet 2F T &O
4A
1 gal
70-2340
Marathon 1% G
4A
5 lbs
70-23752
Safari 20SG
4A
3 lbs
70-29951

Products for SLF Nymphs (Apply as foliar sprays)

ProductMOADescriptionItem Number
Avalon Golf & Nursery Insecticide
3A
1 gal
70-1210
Mallet 2F T &O
4A
1 gal
70-2340
Marathon II
4A
250 ml
70-23712
Safari 20SG
4A
3 lb
70-29951
Sevin SL
1A
2.5 gal
70-3002
Talstar Pro
3A
1 qt
70-34052

Printable version

Good to the Last Raindrop: How to Protect Crops Through Prolonged Wet Weather

In many parts of the country, last spring was so wet that you had to laugh to keep despair from setting in: “Some growers only had two rain storms last season. The first one lasted for 52 days and the second one only lasted for 40 days.”

We kid but, of course, we know soggy spring weather is no joke. A greenhouse filled to capacity with pot-to-pot mature plants in full bloom is not a good place to ride out a long spell of cool, damp weather. Such persistent conditions can provide a launchpad for Botrytis and aerial Rhizoctonia.

There’s no time like the present to prepare for soaking spring rains. Since we can’t control the weather, the best we can do is limit the associated risks. When cloudy, wet weather sets in, disease scouting and control become top priorities.



Botrytis on marigold

Understanding Botrytis and aerial Rhizoctonia

Botrytis and aerial Rhizoctonia share two favorite things. The first is full greenhouses, where air movement is limited or, at worst, inadequate. The second is free moisture on leaf surfaces.

Botrytis symptoms can vary in appearance due to several factors including where on the plant it occurs and the current environmental conditions. Symptoms can occur on leaves, stems, fruit, buds and blooms. Expanding brown lesions of decaying plant material are sometimes covered with white/grey spores when environmental conditions are favorable for disease development.



Aerial Rhizoctonia on Vinca minor
Aerial Rhizoctonia is considered a web blight, although the webbing is often not visible. Most often, it appears as an expanding circle of rapidly collapsing plant tissue under crowded conditions, including stem cankers that girdle stems.

Effective fungicides are available but if the greenhouse environment isn’t also carefully managed, those products may fall short. What follows are best practices to mitigate foliar disease risk in your greenhouses.


Controlling variables in the greenhouse

It’s inevitable that, even during long wet spells, the crops will eventually need to be irrigated. The opportune time to irrigate is in the morning, giving foliage the best chance of drying by nightfall. Under these conditions, drip irrigation and sub-irrigation are greatly beneficial as they minimize wet foliage. When you’re considering irrigation equipment for the future, remember these weather patterns; the upfront cost can be a wise investment in the long run.

Similarly, it may be tempting to turn the heaters off at this time of year to save fuel. However, the increased disease risk may cost more than the fuel. The cooler the air is, the less moisture it can hold. If there’s more moisture in the air than it can hold, condensation begins to form on the cooler leaf surfaces.

It’s best to maximize air movement with HAF (horizontal air flow) fans and adequate crop spacing. Doing so makes temperatures more even throughout the crops, reducing cool spots where condensation may form.

Conversely, heating the air allows it to hold more moisture and reduce condensation. Leaf wetness is the enemy when it comes to many foliar diseases. The expense of running some heat in the greenhouse is dwarfed by the potential of losing crops that are so close to the finish line.

Should you ventilate when it’s raining? If it’s raining, misting or foggy outside, it’s best to keep the greenhouse closed up and run some heat to dry the air a bit. If daytime conditions are overcast but not raining, ventilate the house to expel airborne disease spores and reduce relative humidity.

As old blooms begin to decay, they’re quickly colonized by Botrytis, which turns them into spore-making machines. Taking the time to deadhead spent blooms and remove them from the growing area is cheap insurance.



Preventive and curative fungicide options

Even with the best cultural controls, fungicides sprays are often still necessary. Having optimized the growing environment to every extent possible, it’s time to consider fungicide spray options.

Any fungicides used at this stage will need to have a good record of bloom safety and leave little or no residue. Using CapSil or another high-quality surfactant will help reduce the visible residue that can be left behind. (Not all fungicides should be used with surfactants. Check the label.)

Wet sprays contribute to leaf wetness, which can be slow to dry. For short-duration rainy spells, it may be best to withhold treatment until the sun shines again. When the forecast calls for three or more consecutive rainy days, it may be best to treat anyway.

Consult the GGSPro Technical Reference Guide for a comprehensive list of fungicide options, including rates and use patterns.

Not all products are registered in all states. It is the responsibility of the applicator to read and follow all label directions, remembering that labels may change. Other products than those listed here may also be safe and effective. Rates, application methods and edible status are detailed in the product label.



Product NameMOARate/galRate/100 gal
Comments
Item
Number
Affirm
19
½ - 1 tsp
4 - 8 oz
Some edible crops on the label
71-1129
Astun
7
2/3 - 1 tsp
10 - 17 oz
Systemic action provides
curative preventative control.
71-1190
Broadform
7 & 11
¼ - ½ tsp
4 - 8 oz
Do not use with an organo-silicon
surfactants. Fogging prohibited.
71-1290
Cease
44
1.25 oz
1 gal
Labeled for several edible crops.
OMRI-listed.
71-13301
Decree
17
2 tsp
1.5 lb
Labeled for several edible crops.
Resistance has been reported.
71-1440
Mural
7 & 11
¼ - ½ tsp
4 - 7 oz
Do not use with an organo-silicon
surfactants. Injury observed on African
violets, ferns and rex begonias.
71-1690
Orkestra Intrinsic
7 & 11
½ tsp
8 oz
Do not use with an organo-silicon
surfactants. Injury observed on
wintercreeper and nine-bark. Spotting
has occurred on impatiens and
petunias. Fogging prohibited.
71-2200
Pageant Intrinsic
11 & 7
1 - 1 ½ tsp
12 - 18 oz
Do not use with an organo-silicon
surfactants. Injury observed on
wintercreeper and nine-bark. Spotting
has occurred on impatiens and
petunias. Fogging prohibited.
71-26801
Palladium WDG
9 & 12
½ - ¾ tsp
4 - 6 oz
Do not use as a seedling treatment of
impatiens or NGI. Sensitivity has
occurred on Superbells Coralberry
Punch calibrachoa and all geraniums.
71-2685
Triathlon BA
44
4 tsp
64 oz
Labeled for several edible crops.
OMRI-listed.
71-3040

Printable version

Into the Great Wide Open: Tips to Transition Spring Crops from Greenhouse to Outdoors

As the greenhouse fills with new plantings and partially finished crops are screaming to be spaced, moving finished product outside can open up valuable heated space. However, moving plants outdoors early in the season comes with risks as well as potential rewards.

The primary risk is, of course, cold damage due to frost or freeze. Rewards include heated space available for younger plants, better holding ability among the finished plants and stronger weather-acclimated performance for the final customer. Through careful selection of cold-tolerant plants, active management and emergency actions as needed, the risks are diminished and the rewards become a win-win for both the grower and end user.



Hardening off involves physical changes in the plant that can be seen and felt as the plant begins to acclimate to lower temperatures. These changes typically require a minimum of 7-14 days with temperatures above freezing and below 50˚F.
Every plant grown in a warm greenhouse over the winter -- whether an annual, a hardy perennial or woody plant -- must be “hardened off” before exposure to the realities of early spring frosts and possible freezing temperatures. Hardening off involves physical changes in the plant that can be seen and felt as the plant begins to acclimate to lower temperatures. New leaves thicken and darken in color, and stems of new tips mature and stiffen. These changes typically require a minimum of 7-14 days with temperatures above freezing and below 50˚F. More on that below.


Freeze damage on calibrachoa
The most important factor for success is choosing which crops to transition outside and when. The most cold-tolerant crops should be the first to move outside. Woodies and hardy perennials are easy choices, but annuals fall into many categories of cold tolerance. The most tolerant include alyssum/lobularia, annual phlox, antirrhinum (snapdragon), bidens, calibrachoa, diascia, dracaena spikes, dusty miller, lobelia, mimulus, nemesia, osteospermum, pansy, petunia, verbena and viola.

Cold-tough annuals and hardy perennials can be transitioned much the same way. To maintain the foliage in good condition, prevent frost exposure and frozen rootballs during the hardening time. When temperatures are mild (38-45˚F nights) plants can move directly outdoors. For temperatures of 33-37˚F, when frost is likely if the wind is calm, cover crops with row cover or frost cloth, or provide other overhead protection to prevent potential frost formation on the foliage. A cold frame also works well for this purpose.


When light freezing temperatures are expected (28-32˚F), a closed cold frame will provide a few precious degrees of warmth to plants on the ground. Frost cloth or a winter blanket, spread in mid-afternoon to trap radiant heat, will generally maintain overnight temperatures at the foliage of 3-6 degrees higher than the surrounding air, depending on the weight of the cloth. Be sure to support heavier cloth off the top of the plant canopy to reduce damage.



When repeat or hard freezes are expected, hardening can be carried out in a greenhouse maintained at 40-45˚F. When an occasional unexpected or brief freeze pops up in the forecast, growers may need to resort to emergency measures.
When repeat or hard freezes are expected, hardening can be carried out in a greenhouse maintained at 40-45˚F nights. However, when the occasional unexpected and brief freeze pops up in the forecast, sometimes the protections above can’t be employed.

In this case, the grower may resort to emergency measures. The traditional action is to use overhead sprinklers to prevent freeze damage. This works because, as the water begins to freeze on the leaf, it releases a small amount of heat. As long as a thin layer of water is present, the plant will be protected from freezing, whether the water is landing directly on the foliage or on the outer layer of ice that will form over the plant. The constant freezing of water throughout the night will maintain the plants above the critical temperature.



When using the sprinkler method,
continue applying water until the
protective ice melts in the morning.
The sprinkler method only works when the water application is started before frost begins to form, and is continued until all ice has melted off in the morning. Once frost or ice has formed on plants, it’s too late to turn the water on. Evaporating water causes cooling and actually causes the tissue temperatures to plunge further, making damage more severe. With the sprinkler method, growers must also manage the risk of plants breaking under the weight of the ice.

Another emergency measure that can be employed is a foliar application of a strobilurin fungicide such as Pageant or Mural (MOA 7 +11). When sprayed within 24 hours of a freeze event, these fungicides effect physiological processes in the plant, such as slowing water transpiration. This tactic can impart several degrees of cold tolerance, in addition to disease protection. Spray Pageant at 12 oz/100 gallons (3/4 tsp per gallon) or Mural at 6-8 oz/100 gallons (3/8
 to 1/2 tsp per gallon).

The hardening process should be actively managed according to the weather forecast, closing and venting cold frames, or covering and uncovering as necessary to protect the plants during periods of low temperatures.


Well-hydrated plants will withstand the cold better. Desiccation is often a major contributor to cold damage. Make sure outdoor plants are well watered and the foliage is dry before temperatures drop. Once the plants are thoroughly hardened, they’ll survive exposure to cold temperatures down to the limit of their genetic tolerance. Light overhead protection during cold snaps will still produce the best foliage and quickest flowering.



Product Name
Description
Item Number
Pageant Intrinsic
1 lb
71-26801
Mural
1 lb
71-1690
Winter protection fabric*
15' x 150', 6 oz per sq yard
81-730400
Heavy frost cloth*
15' x 300', 1.25 oz per sq yard
78-2045
*Additional sizes available. Contact your Griffin sales representative for details.


Printable version

Geraniums: A Crop Culture Tune-Up

Well-branched, uniform geraniums ready for retail sale
We can all agree: Geraniums have created quite a legacy for themselves. Our industry has seen a tremendous number of new plant species over the years, and gardening trends certainly come and go. Through it all, the venerable geranium – including zonal, ivy and hybrid types – maintains its status as a staple of the garden center.

Producing top-quality geraniums requires close attention to detail. Not everyone can do it well! But for the growers who do, their attentiveness is rewarded. Let’s review some of the finer points of geranium culture. Are there details you haven’t considered lately? Is there an opportunity to fine-tune production of your next crop?


Soil mix and pH

Soil mixes should be well drained and be maintained at a soil pH in the range of 6.6. pH control is crucial because geraniums are very susceptible to iron/manganese toxicity at a soil pH of 5.8 or lower. Monitor soil pH weekly to prevent problems before they occur.


Temperature

The most economical geranium production takes place at average daily temperatures in the range of 65-70° F. Typically, this means night temperatures between 62-65° F and day temperatures in the range of 68-70° F. Crop timing for a 4.5” pot is 6-8 weeks.

Although geraniums can be grown much cooler, doing so comes with some risk: The lower temperatures significantly increase crop time and raise the risk for Botrytis.



Fertilizer

Geraniums are moderate feeders. Maintain 200 ppm CLF, reducing that to 125-150 ppm as the crop approaches marketable size. This practice improves shelf life and eases the transition to be planted outdoors. Fine-tuning your geranium fertilizer program through water testing is recommended.


Height control via PGRs

Florel on geranium
While smaller pots (e.g., 4.5”) can be grown without it, geraniums often benefit from a soft hand pinch to improve branching. For 6” and larger pots, a soft pinch should be made 2-3 weeks after transplant. In the interest of efficiency, a Florel application can be used in place of a pinch. Zonal geraniums require foliar sprays of Florel at 500ppm, while 350ppn is more common among ivy geraniums and ivy/zonal hybrids such as Calliope and Caliente. Florel can be re-applied two weeks later, as long as the crop is six or more weeks until full bloom is needed.

Cycocel has long been used to control height and leaf size on geraniums. Zonals generally receive 1500 ppm, while Calliope and most ivy geraniums are treated at 1000 ppm. To avoid yellowing or distorted foliage, spray Cycocel only to glisten. This approach can be used on a bi-weekly basis. Cycocel metabolizes quickly in the warmer temperatures that we often experience in late spring and summer. More frequent sprays, up to once a week, may be required.


This trial compares the effects of Bonzi and Cycocel on geranium
Bonzi is another PGR option for zonal and ivy geraniums. Bonzi can be applied as a foliar spray at 1-5 ppm on compact or ivy varieties, and up to 10 ppm on more vigorous varieties when the plants are 75% of finished size. Bonzi is only absorbed through the stems and roots, rather than the foliage. For tightly spaced plants, drenching Bonzi might be a better option. Rates vary based on plant vigor, ranging from 0.25-0.5 ppm in most cases.


Height control without PGRs

To control geranium height without PGRs, the Morning Temperature Dip technique can be quite effective. Most plant stretch occurs during the first three hours of daylight. Beginning at first light in the greenhouse and continuing for the first three hours of the day, drop the air temperature to 5° F below the night set point. After three hours, return temperatures to their normal setting. This simple practice can greatly reduce the need for PGRs, limiting stem elongation without significantly decreasing the average daily temperature.



Product NameDescriptionItem Number
Bonzi
1 qt
2.5 gal
70-1260
70-1270
Cycocel
1 qt
1 gal
73-1380
73-1381
Florel
1 qt
1 gal
608-395
55-100161
Printable version

A Greenhouse Game Changer: Introducing the Bluelab 3-in-1 Pulse Meter

Pulse meter with depth gauge
Photo credit: Bluelab Corporation


Technology is coming to the aid of growers once again, this time in the form of a versatile direct-stick meter. The Pulse multimedia meter from Bluelab measures EC (electrical conductivity, a.k.a. soluble salts), soil moisture and temperature in a wide variety of growing media.

Peat, coir, composted pine bark, rockwool and mineral soils can all be tested with nearly instant results. For the greatest amount of precision, the Pulse meter offers different settings for each type of soil mix. Settings can be quickly and easily changed to efficiently test multiple media mixes.

The Pulse meter can also be used to test solutions, saving the need for an additional meter. Test results can be transferred to a Bluetooth-enabled smartphone with the help of the free Pulse mobile app. Test data is stored by the app, so growers can easily review and analyze data. The Pulse app is currently available for Android devices; support for iPhones is expected to follow sometime in 2019.

The Pulse mobile app is currently
available for Android devices.
Photo credit: Bluelab Corporation

Compared to making slurries and performing the 2:1 test, the Pulse meter is a bona fide timesaver. Testing is so fast that a large number of samples can be taken in order to get the most representative picture of what’s going on in the crop.

Calibration and cleanup are fast and easy, too. The probes are 8 inches long and come with a built-in depth gauge to ensure consistent measurements. (Note: The Pulse meter can accurately test pots 4 inches deep or deeper.) Just like the other meters from Bluelab, the Pulse meter is reliable and is backed by excellent technical support.

Bluelab Pulse Multimedia Meter

Item number: 83-2778

Printable version

Blinded by the Blight: What to Do When Your Foliar Disease is Actually a Soil-Borne Pathogen

Plants are subject to an array of foliar diseases: blights, root and stem rots, bacterial infections, wilts, viruses and nematode diseases. Symptoms that appear on afflicted plants are clues, but unless a telltale sign of the causal organism is present, identification can be challenging without microscopic examination. The same goes for pathogens affecting roots.

While symptoms may be visible above ground, the actual cause could be a soil-borne fungus. Let’s explore two root-root pathogens – Rhizoctonia and Phytophthora -- with the unique ability to infect plant foliage as an aerial blight, and how to tell the difference.

Real talk about Rhizoctonia

Rhizoctonia web blight on dianthus
Aerial Rhizoctonia web blight (RWB) outbreaks occur when weather is sunny, humidity is high and foliage remains wet for hours. Ideal conditions are 70-90° F with humidity above 65%. The Rhizoctonia pathogen can cause root and crown rot, as well as stem cankers. It’s one of the two primary causes of seedling death (damping off).

Rhizoctonia doesn’t produce spores, but it can produce a survival structure known as sclerotia and it can survive in plant debris and in soil for years.
Rhizoctonia affects many plants including aster, begonia, chrysanthemum, dianthus, ferns, gerbera, impatiens, petunia, vinca and zinnia. Many herbaceous perennials and landscape plants are prone to infection, too.


Rhizoctonia web blight on aster
Typical infections occur when the crop canopy is dense. Often, a plant can look great from the outside but, using your hands to gently separate foliage, you may see rotted foliage within. In other cases, symptoms are very visible. Hyphae grow into a spider web-like mat known as mycelium. This can be seen with the naked eye, growing along the soil surface or up stems onto foliage.

When in doubt, take a sample from the diseased plant material; place foliage and stems between two layers of wet, brown paper towel or moist, dark-colored newspaper. In both cases, the dark color enhances visibility of the mycelia, which is white. Seal the sample in a zip-top bag or salad container and store at room temperature for 36-48 hours. Examine for webbing.



All about aerial Phytophthora

Aerial Phytophthora sporulation on tomato

Phytophthora is a common root and crown pathogen of many ornamental and edible crops. Phytophthora root rot appears darker in color with less sloughing off of roots than Pythium. Stunting and wilting often occur, and crowns may break off easily at the soil line. There are more than 60 recognized Phytophthora species; at least 10 have been reported on potted plants.

Many Phytophthora species are specific to common plant genera: azalea, bacopa, calibrachoa, dogwood, gerbera, lavender, pansy, petunia, poinsettia, rhododendron, vinca, and many herbaceous perennials and vegetable crops, particularly tomato.


Phytophthora canker on poinsettia


There are three key pathogen species: P. infestans, P. ramorum and P. parasitica. P. infestans prefers cool spring/fall weather (60-70° F days, 50-60° F nights), while the others are considered hot-weather diseases.

When above-ground infections occur, known as aerial Phytophthora, plants often exhibit a rapid wilt with a characteristic bleaching of leaves starting at the leaf base. Leaf spotting, leaf drop, dull-colored isolated branches/stems or stem lesions are other pathogen indicators. On some plants (e.g., tomato), whitish sporulation can be observed under high infections, though this is somewhat uncommon.

Phytophthora belongs to the class Oomycetes, which also includes Pythium and downy mildew. The pathogen is spread by splashing water where zoospores swim to infect roots, foliage and stems. Oospores produced are the resting/survival equipment of the pathogen; they’re responsible for the random reoccurrences under certain conditions. Sanitation is the link that breaks the chain of the reinfection process.


Control options

Management of both aerial pathogens, Rhizoctonia web blight and aerial Phytophthora, includes practices to reduce humidity within the canopies of susceptible crops. Allow for adequate spacing and facilitate good air flow. Avoid late-day irrigation and saturated conditions that leave wet foliage going into the night. Both fungi are soil-borne and rely on movement through splashing and running water to spread.

While some fungicides may control both pathogens, it’s important to note that products for Phytophthora must be carefully chosen and rotated, due to reported resistance to mefenoxam (Subdue) among some Phytophthora species. To reduce further resistance, rotation with other MOA products will improve performance. For foliar aerial Rhizoctonia and aerial Phytophthora, foliar sprays are recommended. While the tables below are provided as a summary, growers must read and follow the entire pesticide label. Products other than those mentioned may be safe, legal and effective. Not all products may registered for use in all states. Contact GGSPro as needed for further guidance.



Aerial Rhizoctonia web blight control options

Product NameMOASizeCommentsItem Number
Affirm
19
0.5 lb
4-hour REI
71-1129
Broadform
7 & 11
12 oz
Not for edibles, not labeled in all states, 
not compatible with CapSil
71-1290
Banner Maxx II
3
1 gal
Outdoor use only, not for edibles
71-2972
Cease
44
1 gal
Microbial fungicide, preventative only
71-13301
Chipco 26019 Flo
2
2.5 gal
RUP NY, not for edibles
71-1350
Chipco N/G
2
2 lbs
RUP NY, not for edibles
71-13501
Cleary’s 3336 EG
1
5 lbs
RUP NY, limited edibles
71-2550
Cleary’s 3336 -F
1
1 qt
RUP CT & NY, not for edibles
71-2575
Companion
44
1 gal
Microbial fungicide, preventative only
71-1375
Concert II
3/M5
2.5 gal
Outdoor use only; may damage bud/bloom, 
not for edibles, not registered in all states
71-1365
Daconil Ultrex
M5
5 lbs
RUP MA & RI, will burn open blooms, 
not for edibles, not compatible with CapSil
71-1420
Daconil Weather-stik
M5
2.5 gal
RUP MA, will burn open blooms,not for edibles, 
not compatible with CapSil
3117025
Fame SC
11
16 oz
Do not use with CapSil, not for edibles, RUP NY, 
not for use Suffolk & Nassau counties NY
71-1505
Heritage
11
1 lb
RUP VT, some edibles, not compatible with CapSil
71-1400
Medallion WDG
12
8 oz
Not for edibles, 
restrictions in Suffolk & Nassau counties NY
71-16502
Mural WG
7 & 11
1 lb
Do not use with CapSil, some edibles, RUP NY
71-1690
OHP 6672 4.5 L
1
2.5 gal
RUP CT & NY, not for edibles
71-2670
OHP 6672 50 WSP
1
2 lbs
RUP CT & NY, not for edibles
71-2672
Orkestra Intrinsic
7 & 11
16 oz
RUP CT & NY, no Long Island NY use, 
not compatible with CapSil, not for edibles
71-2200
Pageant Intrinsic WG
7 & 11
1 lb
RUP NY, not compatible with CapSil, limited edibles
71-26801
Palladium WDG
9 & 12
2 lbs
Not for edibles
71-2685
Protect DF
M3
6 lbs
Preventative, limited edibles
71-2745
Spirato GHN
12
1 pt
Formerly called Emblem, for use with many edibles
71-2948
Terraguard SC
3
1 qt
RUP NY, restrictions in Suffolk & Nassau counties NY, 
edible use not for RWB, see label precautions
71-3018
Triathlon BA
44
1 gal
Microbial fungicide, preventative only
71-3040


Aerial Phytophthora control options

Product NameMOASizeCommentsItem Number
Adorn
43
1 qt
Must be tank-mixed with another MOA, 
RUP NY, not for edibles
71-1130
Aliette WDG
33
5 lbs
Not for edibles; do not use within 14 days of copper sprays
71-11352
Alude
33
2.5 gal
Edibles, do not use within 20 days of copper sprays
71-27601
Areca
33
5 lbs
Not for edibles, do not use within 14 days of copper sprays
71-1180
Broadform
7 & 11
12 oz
Not for edibles, not registered in all states, 
not compatible with CapSil
71-1290
Fenstop
11
1 qt
Not for edibles, not registered in NY
71-14801
Fosphite
33
1 gal
Edibles, do not apply within 20 days of copper sprays
71-1520
Micora
40
1 qt
Some edibles, RUP NY, 
not compatible with CapSil
71-1655
Orvego
45 & 40
28 oz
RUP NY, no edibles
71-2300
Pageant Intrinsic
7 & 11
1 lb
RUP NY, tomato transplants only, 
not compatible with CapSil
71-26801
Segovis
49
1 pt
Some edible transplants
71-3100
Segway O
21
16 oz
RUP NY, not for edibles, some bloom risk
71-31101
Stature SC
40
25 oz
Not for edibles
71-14652
Subdue Maxx
4
1 qt
Edible transplants
71-2979
Printable version

The Nightmare Before Christmas: How to Stop Pest and Disease Carryover

Fall crops have wrapped up across the country. If they haven’t already, growers will soon say, “Goodbye and good riddance!” to the problems of last season. Hopefully – unless the problem was a pest or pathogen with the potential to overwinter. Whether you’re a continuous or seasonal grower, don’t let your nightmare before Christmas come back to bite on St. Patrick’s Day or Easter.


Recurring disease nightmares

Thielaviopsis, Fusarium and Sclerotinia are some of the most insidious diseases, due to their ability to carry over, at some level, from season to season, year to year. Each has a mechanism that allows spores to survive through even harsh environmental conditions.

Sclerotinia sclerotiorum on lettuce
To prevent disease carryover in a production space requires a rigorous de-infestation and disinfection of all surfaces in that space – including sidewalls, floors, benches and supports. Note: Pots aren’t on this list. If you’re fighting a persistent pathogen, which can become perennial if given the chance, pots should not be reused.

True sanitation is accomplished only by a two-step process:

  1. Chemical cleaning to remove major contaminating particles and films
  2. Disinfection with a sanitizer to eliminate remaining organisms and their spores

For the first step, we recommend Horti-Klor or Strip-It Pro. For the second step, Kleengrow or one of the oxidizing sanitizers (ZeroTol 2.0 or SaniDate 12.0) must be used to effectively eliminate disease spores. Contact GGSPro for detailed cleaning and sanitation protocols, usage rates and disease-specific information.



Recurring pest nightmares

Insects that can overwinter include thrips, mites and mealybugs, all of which can survive the winter in your facility, heated or not! Aphids, which normally bear live young, lay eggs to overwinter. However, this is generally not recognized as a greenhouse issue. Read on to see how other persistent pests survive to haunt you.
Thrips nymph or larval stages mature until they drop down from the foliage to pupate in the potting soil or soil-based floor. This is the overwintering stage. The pre-pupa and pupa stages of thrips don’t feed, so they’re immune to pesticides that work through ingestion. The pupal stages are also tolerant to most other pesticides used to control thrips.

Thrips in helianthus

If you’ve been fighting a major thrips infestation in a crop, plan to clean up immediately after the space empties. Pull all weeds: They can be loaded with thrips, eggs to adults. Clean up all plant debris and sweep, blow or wash the floors.

If thrips populations have been high, consider the further step of drenching a soil-based floor to eliminate carryover due to the pupae. Bio-insecticides Ancora or Botanigard WP, or the beneficial nematode Steinernema feltiae can be used to break the life cycle.

Mites survive the winters in a resting state, called diapause, in the cracks and crevices of soil or concrete floors of unheated greenhouses. Once the mites have gone into hiding, not much can be done to control them. Knocking them down in the crops before they go into diapause is ideal.

Start by removing any weeds and plant debris, and treat with an effective miticide or biological control during the crop cycle. Make sure the floors are weed-free when closing the house down. During diapause, the two-spotted spider mites turn red. They emerge from their hiding places in spring to summer, sporting the red color.

As temperatures warm up, thoroughly scout problem areas of the prior season. If mites are detected, treat with a miticide or battle them with predatory mites Phytoseiulus persimilis, Neoseiulus fallacis or Amblyseius andersoni. P. persimilis is required for biological control once webbing is seen. N. fallacis and A. andersoni won’t penetrate webs, so they must be used earlier in the life cycle. However, fallacis and andersoni are active at temperatures down into the 40s, making them amenable to late fall applications. Furthermore, fallacis can establish and overwinter in a cold greenhouse. If you’re new to biological controls, check with GGSPro regarding prior chemical usage.
Mealybugs congregate on chrysanthemum
Mealybugs are perhaps the most insidious survivalists of all, due to their stealth and stamina. Mealybugs cling to surfaces under the rims of pots, table supports or the lips of benches where they may survive for months without food. This isn’t just a winter activity for these guys – it’s a way of life, and one of the reasons they’re so difficult to control!

Battle mealybugs in your crops with spray applications of Altus, Aria or Rycar, or MOA 4A products such as Flagship, Safari or Tristar. For a soft chemical approach, use Suffoil-X to suffocate the pests. Suffoil-X can be used with an added insect growth regulator such as Distance IGR or Talus 70DF as a second mode of action.

For a biological approach, before the heat is turned down, use Ancora or Botanigard WP; mix with Azatin O for its insect growth regulator effect. Keep in mind, all of these products will require contact to have any effect on overwintering mealybugs. Scout previously infested areas frequently in the coming season for any re-appearance and treat immediately if seen.

Of course, always read and follow all label instructions. Rotate products with at least three different modes of action to prevent development of pesticide resistance. Products other than those mentioned here may also be safe and effective.


ProductMOA
Use Notes
Item Number
Cleaners
Horti-Klor
Greenhouse and enclosed spaces
74-2105
Strip-It Pro
Greenhouse and water lines
74-2125
Sanitizers
Kleengrow
30 days residual sanitation
74-21151
SaniDate 12.0
No chemical byproducts or residue
71-35351
ZeroTol 2.0
No chemical byproducts or residue
71-35501
Biological Insecticides
Ancora
UN
Fungal insecticide
70-1166
Azatin O
UN
Insect growth regulator
70-12301
Botanigard WP
UN
Fungal insecticide
70-12521
Chemical Insecticides
Altus
4D
Mealybug, aphid, whitefly, leafhopper
70-1161
Aria WDG
29
Mealybug, aphid, suppresses others
70-3399
Flagship 25 WG
4A
Mealybug, scale, aphid, whitefly
70-1700
Rycar
9B
Mealybug, whitefly, aphid, more
70-2900
Safari 20SG
4A
Mealybug, whitefly, aphid many more
70-29951
TriStar 8.5SL
4A
Mealybug, whitefly, aphid many more
70-85221
Insect Growth Regulators
Distance IGR
7C
Mealybug, scale, whitefly, fungus gnat
70-1465
Talus 70 DF
16
Mealybug, scale, whitefly, leafhopper
70-1172
Biological Control Agents
Amblyseius andersoni
Predatory mite for spider,
broad and cyclamen mites
Multiple suppliers and
packaging options
Neoseiulus fallacis
Predatory mite against spider mites
Phytoseiulus persimilis
Predatory mite for spider mites only,
will penetrate webbing
Steinernema feltiae
Nematode against thrips pupae,
fungus gnats and shoreflies

Printable version


Plant-Based Protection: New Insecticides and Fungicides for Greenhouses and Nurseries

Everyone is in favor of “softer” pesticides, but we still expect them to perform well. Ideally, these products should demonstrate not only good efficacy, but they should also have good plant safety, short re-entry intervals (REI) and mesh well with biocontrol programs. Edible crops on the label and an OMRI listing would be a nice bonus. It’s a tall order to fill!

Several new plant-based products have recently come to market, and they deserve a closer look. Let’s dig in:

Pycana insecticide/miticide from OHP

Pycana (MOA 3 + UN) is a combination of a botanical oil (canola) and six natural pyrethrin compounds. It’s labeled for ornamentals, herbs and vegetables grown in greenhouses, shade houses and container nurseries. Pycana can be used in hydroponic production so long as the water is not directly treated.

Yellow-striped armyworm
Foliar sprays that provide direct contact with the pest can be used for the control of aphids, beetles, caterpillars, mealybugs, spider mites, thrips, whiteflies and many others. Typical re-application intervals are 7-14 days. All life stages of the labeled pests are controlled, with the canola oil adding control of eggs for certain insects and mites, too.

Pycana will be damaging to most biocontrols on contact; however, the residual is short and BCAs can be reintroduced the following week. Another option is to utilize Pycana as a spot spray for surges of insect or mite activity without spraying the whole crop. This approach can allow for use in an ongoing BCA program.


Plant safety is always a question when using pesticides that contain oils. To maximize plant safety, always use horticultural oils when good drying conditions exist. Oil sprays that remain wet on the foliage for several hours increase the risk of phytotoxicity. Like most pesticides, don’t apply Pycana when plants are under stress or air temperatures are 85°F or higher at the time of application. As with all oils, Pycana isn’t suitable for fogging.


Pycana has a 12-hour REI and is OMRI-listed. For edible crops on the label, there’s a zero-day pre-harvest interval (PHI), meaning that crops can be shipped the same day they’re treated.

EcoSwing foliar fungicide from Gowan

EcoSwing (MOA UN) is a botanical extract from Swinglea glutinosa. If that’s a new plant name for you, you’re in good company! Swinglea is a type of citrus.


Powdery mildew on dahlia
EcoSwing acts as a contact desiccant and cell-wall disruptor to fungal hyphae. Multiple modes of action make resistance less likely. EcoSwing is primarily a preventative fungicide with some curative activity versus Botrytis, powdery mildew and brown rot. Best results are achieved by using it as part of a regular program at 7- to 14-day intervals.

EcoSwing can be used on ornamental and food crops in greenhouses, nurseries and landscapes. Despite the fact that EcoSwing is an EC formulation, plant safety has been excellent in trials to date. Gowan reports that it’s tank-mixable with most other pesticides, but recommends a jar test to confirm compatibility before use.

EcoSwing leaves no visible residue and is compatible with BCAs. Add to that a 4-hour REI, zero-day PHI and OMRI listing, and it’s easy to see why most growers could benefit from giving EcoSwing a try.

Regime foliar fungicide from FMC

Regime (MOA BM01) is a foliar fungicide for the control of powdery mildew and Botrytis on certain ornamentals. The active ingredient is a naturally occurring seed storage protein derived from lupines, Banda de Lupinus albus doce, affectionately known as BLAD. And now you know why FMC named it something else!


Botrytis on zinnia
Regime has a novel mode of action, completely enveloping the fungal cell membrane, then binding to and suffocating the cell wall. This causes the cell to rupture within an hour of exposure. Regime is a good candidate to include in a fungicide rotation as a resistance-management tool. For resistance management purposes, don’t make more than two consecutive applications before rotating to another MOA, with a maximum of five applications per crop cycle.

Regime is compatible with many other pesticides, but again, perform a jar test first to confirm compatibility. Re-application intervals are 7-10 days as part of a preventative program. FMC reports minimal toxicity to adult bees. Plant safety has been excellent on the tested species.


Fogging isn’t prohibited, but FMC has not yet tested it through this type of equipment. Allow for a 4-hour dry time after application for maximum effectiveness. Regime carries a caution label and a 4-hour REI.


Please contact GGSPro for more information about these products. Some products may not be registered in all states. Always read and follow the entire pesticide label; the label is the law. Pesticides other than those mentioned here may also be safe, legal and effective.


Printable version

Fight to the Finish: Tips to Minimize Late-Stage Foliar Disease Pressure in Garden Mums

Rhizoctonia web blight on chrysanthemum
Much of the country has been drenched by frequent rains and high humidity in recent weeks, leading to increased foliar disease pressure on garden mums. Unfortunately, the disease outbreak coincides with the beginning of the shipping season for many growers.

Two major issues make up the bulk of the foliar disease threat: aerial Rhizoctonia, which sometimes occurs in concert with Botrytis, and a bacterial leaf spot caused by a Pseudomonas.



What to look for

Aerial Rhizoctonia is a fungal disease favored by wet foliage and high humidity. Sometimes this disease manifests itself as light brown lesions scattered across the outside canopy of the garden mum. As the crop progresses to the later stages, well-grown garden mums with a thick, tight canopy of foliage will sometimes develop aerial Rhizoctonia down in the plant. The mum looks great from the outside but using your hands to gently separate the foliage, you may see the wet rot going on down inside the canopy.


Bacterial leaf spot on chrysanthemum
Pseudomonas cichorii is a bacterial disease that’s readily spread throughout a garden mum crop by splashing water. If you’re currently using overhead sprinkler irrigation, this is a good reason to consider making the switch to drip or trickle irrigation.




Prevention tips

On the bright side, growers can take steps to minimize the risk of losing quality or even experiencing shrinkage as the garden mum crop approaches the finish line.

First, pushback against these foliar diseases can come in the form of cultural considerations. For crops that are beginning to crack color and are close to sale, reduce fertilizer from 200 ppm to 100 ppm when utilizing a constant liquid feed. Less fertilizer is required at this stage of the crop and reducing the amount of nitrogen in the tissue can help lower foliar disease risk. GGSPro recommends that you don’t go to clear water, as nutrient deficiencies can quickly arise and reduce quality.

For growers who are beginning to ship their mum crop, it may be possible to pull plants apart to improve air movement through the field. Overhead sprinkler irrigation results in consistent foliage wetting and increased foliar disease risk. Here’s another reason to investigate a transition to drip or trickle irrigation.

When cultural fine-tuning isn’t enough, preventative fungicides may be enlisted. Effective fungicide options for aerial Rhizoctonia appear in the Table 1 below. GGSPro only recommends fungicides that control both Rhizoctonia and Botrytis because, as mentioned previously, they often occur together.

Growers have observed variety-based differences in Pseudomonas susceptibility. With the abundance of quality garden mum genetics available, consider replacing prone varieties in your program to reduce the risk. Since most traditional fungicides don’t provide control of bacterial diseases, the list of effective products to choose from is relatively small. Table 2 below includes the products GGSPro feels are most effective for Pseudomonas bacterial infection on garden mums.


The products below are all intended to be applied as a foliar application and are considered bloom-safe unless otherwise noted. The tables below are provided as a summary; it is up to growers to read and follow the entire pesticide label. Products other than those mentioned may also be safe, legal and effective. Some of these products may not be registered in certain states. Contact GGSPro for further guidance.


Table 1: Aerial Rhizoctonia and Botrytis  control options

Product NameMOASizeCommentsItem Number
Affirm
19
1/2 lb
4-hour REI
71-1129
Broadform
7 & 11
Coming Soon
Coming soon from Bayer. Do not use with Capsil.
Coming soon
Cease
44
1 gal
Microbial fungicide, preventative only
71-13301
Companion
44
1 gal
Microbial fungicide, preventative only
71-1375
Fame SC
11
16 oz
Do not use with Capsil
71-1505
Medallion
12
8 oz
71-16502
Mural
7 & 11
1 lb
Do not use with Capsil
71-1690
Orkestra
8 & 11
16 oz
Do not use with Capsil
71-2200
Pageant Intrinsic
9 & 11
1 lb
Do not use with Capsil
71-26801
Palladium
9 & 12
2 lbs
71-2685
Spirato GHN
12
1 pt
Formerly called Emblem
71-1570
Triathlon BA
44
1 gal
Microbial fungicide, preventative only
70-3040

Table 2: Bacterial leaf spot (Pseudomonas chicorii) control options

Product NameMOASizeCommentsItem Number
Camelot O
M1
1 gal
Copper soap, use pre-bloom, 4-hour REI
71-21202
Cease
44
1 gal
Use maximum label rate; preventative only
71-13301
Companion
44
1 gal
Preventative only
71-1375
Kleengrow
NC
1 gal
Apply pre-bloom; do not mix with fertilizer
74-21101
Nordox 75WG
M1
12 1/2 lbs
Copper, 12-hour REI
71-1700
Phyton-35
M1
1 gal
Copper, 48-hour REI
71-2737
Protect DF
M3
6 lbs
Apply only as a tank mix with Nordox or Phyton-35
71-2748
Triathlon BA
44
1 gal
Use maximum label rate; preventative only
71-3040
Printable version

Cyco Killer: How to Diagnose and Defend Against Fusarium Wilt in Cyclamen

Fusarium species are found worldwide as plant pathogens and saprophytes (a fungus living on dead or decaying organic matter). Losses to plants are most commonly from a vascular wilt affecting various crops grown in greenhouses: basil, begonia, carnation, cyclamen, exacum, lisianthus, pepper and tomato. Since 1997, new wilts have been detected in argyranthemum, osteospermum, chrysanthemum and gerbera. Here, we’ll focus specifically on Fusarium in cyclamen.


Bright yellow leaf chlorosis is a common first symptom
of Fusarium wilt in cyclamen.
As cyclamen is quite a long crop, it’s to the dismay of growers that Fusarium symptoms often aren’t apparent until the plants begin to flower. Only a small percentage of plants show symptoms at transplant, roughly three months after germination. However, after 30 weeks, 34-71% plants can be infected.

When signs do become visible, the most common symptom in young cyclamen plants is a bright-yellow leaf chlorosis beginning at the leaf base, often on one side of the plant. Leaves generally remain turgid. As symptoms progress, leaves flop as stalks are weakened and older leaves turn brown.


Discoloration in the vascular bundles of the cyclamen corm
Below the surface, young plants’ root systems may show vascular discoloration or turn dark brown to brownish black. Corms remain hard but when cut horizontally, the presence of discoloration in the vascular bundles can be observed on one side, increasing in severity as the plant matures. If humidity and temperature levels are ideal, white to pinkish fruiting bodies may develop at the base of the tuber on the stems.

Environmental stresses can hasten the development of Fusarium wilt in cyclamen. Drought and extreme heat are among the most commonly reported triggers.

Fusarium enter and spread in the greenhouse through spores, which infect plants through roots via wounds or natural openings. Over a period of 2-13 weeks, the fungus works its way up through the roots, into the vascular system of the tuber into the plant.

In general, Fusarium sp. can survive on seed coats, on corms/bulbs, in roots, in irrigation water, in irrigation equipment and pipes, via spores in air movement and insect transmission (fungus gnats and shoreflies).

When it comes to managing Fusarium risk, of course, the best defense is a good offense. Fusarium management should begin with good sanitation practices at the beginning of production. Sources of inoculum over which growers have direct control include the use of infected soil, which allows the pathogen to harbor in weeds and compost piles, as well as reusing infected pots and trays.

When it comes to managing Fusarium risk, of course, the best defense is a good offense. Fusarium management should begin with good sanitation practices at the beginning of production.

Fusarium can survive on various surfaces including wood, concrete and polyethylene film. Strip-It followed by KleenGrow is very effective on all three surfaces. Other effective products include GreenShield II or SaniDate 5.0.

Containers should provide good drainage, containing 15-30% perlite, such as Premier ProMix HP or BK25, while avoiding heavy peat media. Trays should support pots, but create air space between the tray and ground.

Conditions become optimum for pathogen development in cyclamen at 82°F. Temperatures above 86°F increase severity due to excessive transpiration that occurs, while development slows at lower temperatures. Plants should be shaded to keep temperature under 73°F. Avoid fertilizing with ammonical sources of nitrogen, and maintain a soil pH above 5.8.

Once a plant is attacked, it’ll fail to become marketable and should be removed immediately. The practice of drenching remaining asymptomatic plants alone with fungicides has not proven to be 100% successful, and can take a toll on the remaining plants, so this approach should be used only as a last resort.

Fungicides labeled for Fusarium include: Banrot, Cleary’s 3336, Medallion/Emblem, Terraguard and strobiluron-based fungicides such as Empress Intrinsic, Fame SC, Heritage, Mural, Orkestra Intrinsic and Pageant Intrinsic drenches.

Plant protection is often implemented with the addition of biofungicides to protect crops against Fusarium wilt. These include Actinovate, Companion, RootShield, RootShield Plus and PreFence. Research studies continue to enhance the benefits of pairing biological fungicides with registered fungicides to yield significant reduction in Fusarium disease development.

Product NameMOADescriptionItem Number
Chemical Fungicides
Banrot 40% WP
1 + 14
2 lbs
71-1210
Banrot 8G
1 + 14
40 lbs
71-1215
Cleary’s 3336F
1
1 qt
71-2575
Cleary’s 3336 EG
1
5 lb
71-2550
Emblem/Spirato
12
1 pt
71-1570
Empress Intrinsic
11
24 oz
70-1510
Fame G
11
25 lbs
71-1500
Fame SC
11
16 oz
71-1505
Heritage
11
4 oz
71-1404
Medallion WDG
12
8 oz
71-16502
Mural WG
43411
1 lb
71-1690
OHP 6672 L
1
2.5 gal
71-2670
OHP 6672 WSP
1
2 lbs
71-2672
Orkestra Intrinsic
43411
16 oz
71-2200
Pageant Intrinsic
43411
1 lb
71-26801
Terraguard SC
3
1 qt
71-3018
Biological Fungicides
Actinovate
NC
18 oz
31007318
Companion
44
1 gal
71-1375
RootShield WP
NC
1 lb
71-2789
RootShield G
NC
10 lbs
71-2780
RootShield Plus G
NC
10 lbs
71-27911
RootShield Plus WP
NC
1 lb
71-27951
PreFence
NC
5 gm
71-2770
Sanitation Products
Greenshield II
30 gal
74-36611
KleenGrow
5 gal
74-21151
SaniDate 5.0
2.5 gal
71-35001
Strip-It Pro
5 gal
74-2125
ZeroTol
NC
2.5 gal
71-35501
Printable version

The Microbes Move In: A Compelling Case for Biological Fungicides

The wet, cool wet spring of 2018 gave growers ample reason to apply a fungicide. At some points, the GGSPro technical services team could have answered the phones with, “Botrytis Central. How can we help?” To be sure, we recommended applications of traditional foliar fungicides to many, many growers of ornamentals during that time.

Times of heavy disease pressure, like this spring, can make it difficult to choose and rotate the proper fungicides. Growers may be tempted to skimp, using fewer products at a lower investment than the recommended full rotation of at least three products, which is known to delay chemical resistance.

This is just one situation wherein biological fungicides really show their utility! Read on to see how. If you grow organic and/or edible crops, you may already rely heavily on the use of microbial fungicides, but please continue reading to learn how these products work and to see the latest introductions in this class.



Microbial fungicides have broad labels allowing them to be used on all ornamentals and almost all edible crops. The list of diseases controlled is often broad, further increasing the products’ utility.


    The “why” of biological fungicides

    So why might a grower, with all the chemical options available to them, choose a fungicide based on a bacterium or fungus?

    1. Microbial fungicides have broad labels allowing them to be used on all ornamentals and almost all edible crops. The list of diseases controlled is often broad, further increasing the products’ utility.
    2. A reduced risk of pesticide resistance is expected, due to the modes of action of these microbial fungicides. Furthermore, using biologicals helps to preserve the activity of traditional chemicals, by reducing how often they’re needed and used.
    3. All of these fungicides have short re-entry intervals (REIs) and modest amounts of personal protection equipment (PPE) are required. These facts signal their relative human safety and make them easier to use.
    4. The costs are reasonable; there’s no premium for the advantages listed above.
    5. Lastly, the buying public wants our industry to use the safest products available. These products fit that charge.


    The “how” of biological fungicides

    How do biological fungicides work? Often, the organisms work through more than one mode of action, a helpful trait in terms of fending off pesticide resistance. ‘Fending off’ is an apt description for some of the more common modes of action, which include:
    • Antibiotic: The organism produces compounds that inhibit the plant pathogens. E.g., compounds that inhibit fungal and bacterial spores from germinating.
    • Competition: The beneficial organism depletes the treated area of resources needed by the pathogen and thereby out-competes it for that location.
    • Exclusion: In this case, the beneficial organism populates the surface of the plant tissue, growing and physically excluding the pathogen.
    • Parasitism: The beneficial organism feeds directly on the pathogen, inhibiting it or killing it altogether.
    • Induced resistance: The organism activates signaling pathways in the plant, leading to an immune-like response in the plant.

    Product NameMicrobial FungicidesMOADescribed MOAShelf LifeOMRI-listedItem Number
    Actinovate SP T&O
    Streptomyces lydicus WYEC
    NC
    Antibiotic
    Exclusion
    Parasitism
    18 months
    Yes
    31007318 (temporarily unavailable)
    BotryStop
    Ulocladium oudemansii U3 strain
    UN
    Competition
    Exclusion
    12 months refrigerated
    Yes
    71-1260
    Cease
    Bacillus subtilis QST 713 strain
    44
    Antibiotic
    Competition
    Parasitism
    Induced resistance
    2 years
    Yes
    71-13301
    Companion
    Bacillus subtilis strain GB03
    44
    Antibiotic
    Competition
    Parasitism
    2 years
    No
    71-1375
    Triathlon BA
    Bacillus amyloliquefaciens strain D747
    44
    Antibiotic
    Competition
    Parasitism
    2 years kept cool
    Yes
    71-3040



    Mode of action (MOA) 44 indicates the fungicide disrupts the integrity of the pathogen’s cell membrane. MOA NC is “Not Classified.” MOA UN is “Unknown;” as the mechanisms are defined, these MOAs will be reassigned.


    PVent is a new microbial fungicide soon to be released by BioSafe. It’s based on a unique strain of Gliocladium fungus and will be registered for many foliar diseases including Botrytis. Rick Yates, GGSPro technical services manager, will be covering PVent in detail at the 2018 Griffin Expos in his “Hot Topics in Pest Control” seminar. Click here to learn more and register to join us in Worcester, Mass., or Lancaster, Penn.!


    Other attributes microbial fungicides hold in common:

    • These products are considered primarily preventative fungicides.
    • When treating an active infection, when possible, use a knock-down product followed by the microbial.
    • Tank-mixing is possible with a wide selection of other fungicides and insecticides.
    • Do not tank-mix with fungal-based insecticides (e.g., Ancora, BioCeres, BotaniGard).
    • Do not tank-mix with a bactericide, except as allowed on the label.
    • These products have excellent plant and bloom safety.
    • With the exception of BotryStop, products are also labeled for root and crown rot drench applications.

    To ensure maximum success with these microbial fungicides, first compare labels to confirm they’re suitable for the diseases you wish to control. They’re relatively short-lived on leaf surfaces, so pay close attention to re-application intervals and apply before disease is active.
    As with other types of fungicides, it’s essential to manage the growing environment to minimize disease pressure. The best fungicides will fail if growing conditions are favorable for disease development. GGSPro can provide electronic labels upon request. We’re also available to assist with your pest-control decisions.

    Printable version

    Feed Me, Seymour! A Modern Guide to Garden Mum Nutrition

    Cheryl garden mum family,
    photo credit: Syngenta Flowers, LLC
    Fall garden mums are an important revenue source for many professional ornamental growers. While traditional production methods can yield a good crop, adopting a newer philosophy can help growers produce strong, uniform and well-branched plants with greater predictability.


    Fertilizer philosophy

    The ideal soil pH for garden mums is 5.4-5.8. Depending on the alkalinity of the water source, acid-forming fertilizers or sulfuric acid injection may be helpful to keep soil pH in the desired range. Growers solely using controlled-release fertilizer (CRF) will need to rely on acid injection for high-alkalinity water sources. GGSPro can help direct you with these decisions.

    Garden mum fertility can be achieved through CRF, water-soluble fertilizer (WSF) or a combination of the two, which GGSPro refers to as the half-and-half approach. For growers using overhead irrigation, a CRF program is often more efficient. Growers using drip irrigation tend to prefer WSF. A half-and-half approach provides both flexibility to adjust the fertility program and protect against leaching from rains, as CRF provides a constant supply of fertility. Any use of CRF requires the use of WSF in the initial two weeks to meet the heavy nutritional needs of the crop, and to encourage soft growth to support maximum branching.

    Mum crops achieve optimum plant structure due to significant branching early in the crop. To encourage this free branching, growers should encourage soft growth in the first 2-3 weeks of production. This is best achieved via fertilizers that provide more phosphorus than we normally use for the rest of the crop cycle. Regardless of the fertility program selected, all mums should be irrigated with a 20-20-20 or 20-10-20 WSF during the first 2-3 weeks of production.


    Recommended fertility programs for garden mum production

    TimingWSF OnlyHalf-and-HalfCRF Only
    First irrigation
    300 ppm
    250 ppm
    300 ppm

    Planting to week 2
    300 ppm constant feed
    250 ppm constant feed
    300 ppm once per week

    Week 3 to first color
    200-250 ppm constant feed
    300 ppm once per week
    Clear water

    First color to sale
    100 ppm constant feed
    Clear water
    Clear water


    For the main part of the crop, growers using WSF-only or half-and-half programs should switch to a lower phosphorus formulation, such as a 20-10-20 and rotate with a fertilizer that contains calcium, such as a 15-0-15. The rate and frequency of application during this time should be reduced from the early rates.

    A rotation of 3-4 applications of the acid fertilizer to one application of the calcium feed is recommended. This 3-4:1 rotation will provide adequate calcium for later stem strength while allowing proper management of the media pH. The rotation may need to be adjusted based on the alkalinity of the irrigation water. Regardless of the alkalinity, the important thing is to provide adequate calcium to the crop during this phase of production.


    Pumping iron

    Mums aren’t particularly efficient at taking up iron and are quick to show symptoms of iron deficiency. As media pH rises above the ideal range, the availability of iron decreases.
    Iron deficiency symptoms begin with interveinal yellowing of the youngest foliage in the growing tips. Mum varieties vary somewhat in their threshold for showing iron deficiency, so it’s common to see the problem begin in just a few varieties, progressing through the field if corrective measures aren’t taken.

    Iron deficiency in garden mum
    Adjusting the soil pH down to the ideal range is the first step in preventing or correcting iron deficiency. If necessary, chelated iron can be applied to correct the issue. Sprint 138 or 330 can be applied as a drench at 4-5 oz per 100 gallons. GGSPro doesn’t recommend foliar sprays or dry treatments to the soil because of the increased potential for phytotoxicity.
    Never apply chelated iron to plants under water stress. Always rinse the foliage with clear water following application of iron to avoid a pitting burn, which can occur if the solution is allowed to dry on the foliage.


    More magnesium

    High soluble salts burn on garden mum
    Mums also benefit from additional magnesium. One of magnesium’s key roles is in the photosynthesis process of chlorophyll production, which makes leaves green. Magnesium is most easily provided with Epsom salts. For constant application, use 2 oz of Epsom salts per 100 gallons, along with your non-calcium-based fertilizer. Alternatively, pulse treatments of 8 oz per 100 gallons on a biweekly basis, or as needed. Magnesium deficiency in mums appears as an interveinal chlorosis of the lower (older) leaves.

    Mums are heavy feeders, but they’re still susceptible to damage from high soluble salts. The most common causes of high-salts damage are drought and applying fertilizer to overly dry media. Both situations result in the plant perceiving a very high salts gradient in the root zone, leading to damage on the foliage. Avoid drought stress and always ensure adequate soil moisture at the time of fertilizer application.






    Product Name
    Description
    Item Number
    EVERRIS 20-20-20 General Purpose Base Formulation
    20-20-20, 25 lbs
    67-2318
    Jacks WSF 20-20-20 General Purpose
    20-20-20, 25 lbs
    33612
    Plantex 20-20-20 Classic
    20-20-20, 25 lbs
    31-140300
    EVERRIS 20-10-20 Peat Lite Special Base Formulation
    20-10-20, 25 lbs
    67-2332
    Jack's WSF 20-10-20 Peat-Lite
    20-10-20, 25 lbs
    33615
    Plantex 20-10-20 All Purpose High Nitrate
    20-10-20, 25 lbs
    31-140200
    EVERRIS 21-5-20 Excel Multi Purpose Base Formulation
    21-5-20, 25 lbs
    67-2308
    Jack's WSF LX 21-5-20 All Purpose
    21-5-20, 25 lbs
    33602
    Plantex 21-5-20 All Purpose High Nitrate WSF
    21-5-20, 25 lbs
    31-140306
    EVERRIS 15-0-15 Peat Lite Dark Weather Feed
    15-0-15, 25 lbs
    67-2340
    Jack's WSF 15-0-15 Dark Weather Peat-Lite
    15-0-15, 25 lbs
    33627
    Plantex 15-0-15 Cal-Plus
    15-0-15, 25 lbs
    31-140100
    Epsom Salts
    50 Lbs
    14MGSUL
    Florikote 12-4-11: 100 day
    12-4-11, 50 lbs
    33-12411100
    Nutricote 13-11-11: 100 day
    13-11-11, 50 lbs
    32-200129
    Osmocote Plus 15-9-12: 8-9 month
    15-9-12, 50 lbs
    67-1540
    Sprint 330
    5 lbs
    67-70371
    Sprint 138
    5 lbs
    67-7036

    Printable version

    Thrips Threat: How to Defeat Western Flower Thrips in Peak Season

    Thrips feeding damage on chrysanthemum flower
    Image credit: Bioline AgroSciences
    Many growers enter each season with swords drawn, anticipating another fight to the finish with western flower thrips (WFT). Rampaging thrips can blaze a devastating trail of scarred blooms, deformed leaves and spread tospoviruses.

    GGSPro remains strong proponents of biological control for insect and mite pests, including thrips. However, this time of year is no time to begin a biological control program: Thrips are already active and reproductive rates are very high. For that reason, our focus today is on pesticides for thrips control. Long before you plan for your next spring crop, you can consult with GGSPro about an integrated pest management program that includes scouting, exclusion, sanitation, rotating pesticides and BCAs.



    This time of year is no time to begin a biological control program: Thrips are already active and reproductive rates are very high.
    Thrips have a well-earned reputation for developing resistance to pesticides. Practicing a sound rotation strategy is key to slowing the progression of pesticide resistance. GGSPro works closely with many growers regarding pest control programs, gaining continuous and valuable insight into which products are working well and how best to utilize them.
    Western flower thrips adult

    The products and application strategies outlined below are currently among the most successful for thrips control. Many factors in addition to efficacy may influence product selection, including: rotational planning, bee safety, compatibility with BCAs, plant and bloom safety, label requirements for edible crops and more. Contact GGSPro for recommendations tailored to your unique situation and needs.




    Table 1: The following products control WFT effectively from a soil drench

    Product NameMOARateCommentsItem Number
    Kontos
    23
    1.7-3.4 oz/100 gal
    Contact GGSPro for customized drench recipes. Requires 2-3 weeks to take full effect, provides 4 weeks or more of control. No geranium, dracaena, cordyline, palm, fern, hoya, phlox. Some reports of discolored verbena flowers. Zero-hour REI from a drench if conditions are met.
    70-19601
    Mainspring GNL
    28
    8-12 oz/100 gal or 0.5-0.75 tsp/gal
    Takes 1 week or less for full effect, provides 4 weeks or more of control. Restricted-use pesticide in NY. Zero-hour REI from a drench if conditions are met.
    70-2331


    Table 2: The following products control WFT effectively from a foliar spray 



    Product Name
    MOARateCommentsItem Number
    Mainspring GNL
    28
    4-8 oz/100 gal or 0.25-0.5 tsp/gal
    Restricted-use pesticide in NY. 4-hour REI.
    70-2331
    Mesurol 75 WP
    1A
    1 lb/100 gal or 1 Tbls/gal
    Leaves residue; safe on most open blooms. Maximum of 2 applications at least 10 days apart. Restricted-use pesticide. 24-hour REI.
    70-2325
    Overture 35 WSP
    UN
    2 oz/25 gal Cannot open packets
    Takes up to 6-7 days to evaluate control. Up to 2 weeks control. Greenhouse applications only. 12-hour REI.
    70-2590
    Pedestal SC
    15
    8 oz/100 gal or 0.5 tsp/gal
    Insect growth regulator. Max of one application in 30 days and 2 treatments per crop/year. Must rotate two alternative products between applications. 12-hour REI.
    70-2950
    Pylon
    13
    5.2 oz/100 gal or 0.33 tsp/gal
    Make 2 applications at 5-7 day intervals. Maximum 3 times per crop. No dianthus, kalanchoe, poinsettia, rose, salvia, zinnia. May burn tender blooms, test prior to use. Greenhouse use only. Restricted-use pesticide in NY. 12-hour REI.
    70-2675
    Pylon TR
    13
    1 can treats 3,000 sq ft
    Total release aerosol. See Pylon above for crop restrictions. Greenhouse application only. Restricted-use pesticide in NY. 12-hour REI.
    70-2660

    Tank mixes can sometimes be used to successfully control WFT. Some examples include: Avid plus azadirachtin (neem)-based insect growth regulators such as Azatin O, AzaGuard or Molt-X. Two sprays, 7 days apart before rotating to another MOA. 
    Thrips feeding damage on gerbera flower
    Image credit: Bioline AgroScience

    Beauveria bassiana
    -based insecticides such as Bioceres, Botanigard ES, WP plus azadirachtin (neem)-based insect growth regulators (see above) or horticultural oils such as Suffoil-X or Ultra-Pure oil. Ancora is a microbial insecticide/miticide-based Isaria fumosorosea Apopka Strain 97 and it can be used in place of one of the Beauveria bassiana products. GGSPro recommends a series of three sprays, 3-5 days apart. The first and third sprays in the series are a tank mix of the microbial insecticide and either one the azadirachtin (neem)-based insect growth regulators or the horticultural oil. The second treatment in the series is just the microbial insecticide. These sprays have the advantage of being approved for many edible crops. Certain combinations are OMRI-listed, too.



    Table 3: The following insecticides can be used to make the tank mixes listed above

    Product NameMOARateCommentsItem Number
    Ancora
    UN
    28 oz/100 gal or 1 Tbls/gal
    Use the decant procedure found on the Ancora technical bulletin to avoid clogging application equipment. 4-hour REI, OMRI-listed.
    70-1166
    Avid
    6
    8 oz/100 gal or 0.5 tsp/gal
    Do not use on Shasta daisy, ferns. 12-hour REI.
    70-1185
    Azatin O
    UN
    10.66 oz/100 gal or 0.66 tsp/gal
    4-hour REI, OMRI-listed.
    70-12301
    AzaGuard EC
    UN
    8 oz/100 gal or 0.75 tsp/gal
    4-hour REI, OMRI-listed.
    70-1224
    BioCeres WP
    UN
    30 oz/100 gal or 2 tsp per gal
    4-hour REI, OMRI-listed.
    70-1245
    BotaniGard ES
    UN
    2 qt/100 gal or 4 tsp/gal
    Do not use on tomatoes. 4-hour REI.
    70-12501
    BotaniGard 22WP
    UN
    2 lb/100 gal or 4 tsp/gal
    Improved BCA safety compared to the ES formulation. Safe for tomatoes. 4-hour REI.
    70-12521
    Molt-X
    UN
    10 oz/100 gal or 0.66 tsp/gal
    4-hour REI, OMRI-listed.
    70-2400
    SuffOil-X
    UN
    1 gal/100 gal or 1.25 oz/gal
    Thorough coverage needed. Apply when rapid drying will occur for plant safety. May burn open blooms. 4-hour REI, OMRI-listed.
    70-4040
    Ultra-Pure Oil
    UN
    1 gal/100 gal or 1.25 oz/gal
    Thorough coverage needed. For plant safety, apply when rapid drying will occur. May burn open blooms. 4-hour REI.
    70-21401

    It is applicator’s responsibility to read and follow all pesticide label instructions. Labels can and do change without notice. Not all of the products mentioned in this bulletin are registered for use in all states. Some pesticides are restricted-use in some states or regions and not others. Contact GGSPro or your state’s Department of Agriculture to verify registration status. Pesticides other than those mentioned may be safe and effective.

    Printable version

    Blight Risk: What to Do When Good Tomatoes Go Bad

    It’s that time of year: Gardeners coast-to-coast are starting tomato seedlings in anticipation of the first red tomato of the season. Commercial growers offer an assortment of varieties with various colors, flavors, sizes and harvest times to meet just about every tomato lover’s palate.

    Many of today’s cultivars are bred with inherent disease resistance for Fusarium (F), Verticillium (V), Nematode (N), Tobacco Mosaic Virus (TMV), Tomato Spotted Wilt Virus (TSWV), Alternaria Leaf Spot (ALS) and/or Grey Leaf Spot (GLS), among others. Look for tomato varieties with one or more of these resistance packages. You can find these codes among the tomato offering in the Griffin Seed & Plant catalog, for example, to indicate resistance to these and other plant pathogens.

    Keep in mind, however, that resistance does not imply immunity! If conditions that promote these diseases are favorable, resistant plants will perform better than those without resistance but infection is still possible. Many conditions such as rainfall, soil conditions, temperatures and humidity can influence disease pressure.

    The most common and destructive plant foliar diseases may be treated if they’re identified before overtaking the plant. The key to preventing or reducing the severity of tomato diseases is to monitor plants weekly, looking for symptoms on leaves and fruit, and by understanding key environmental factors and cultural practices to follow.


    Not all of the products mentioned here are registered for use in all states. Some pesticides are restricted-use in some states or regions, but not others. Contact GGSPro with product-specific questions. Always read and follow product label instructions. Pesticide labels contain more essential information than can be included here, including Personal Protection Equipment (PPE), special precautions, maximum yearly application rates and more. Information in this bulletin is believed to be correct, however, labels do change without notice. Pesticides other than those listed may be safe, legal and effective.

    Image credits:
    Early Blight foliage photo – Steve Bogash
    Early Blight fruit photo – T.A. Zitter, Cornell University
    Septoria fruit photo – Bruce Watt, University of Maine

    ProductMOADescriptionItem Number
    Affirm
    19
    0.5 lb
    30F50
    Alude
    33
    2.5 gal
    30F250
    Camelot O
    M1
    1 gal
    30F5T
    Cease
    44
    2.5 gal
    SB1011-02
    Emblem/Spirato
    12
    1 pt
    SB1011-03
    Fosphite
    33
    1 gal
    70-2460
    Milstop
    NC
    5 lb
    70-2490
    Nordox
    M1
    12.5 lb
    70-6033
    Phyton 35
    M1
    1 ltr
    70-6034
    Protect DF
    M3
    6 lb
    70-6037
    Ranman
    21
    1 qt
    70-7025
    Regalia
    P5
    1 gal
    70-7035
    Subdue MAXX
    4
    1 qt
    70-7050
    Triathlon BA
    44
    1 gal
    70-7050
    Printable version

    Under Siege! Scouting and Control Tips to Combat the Able Aphid

    Aphids are a pest of economic significance to both ornamental and edible crops, with roughly 5,000 known aphid species living around the world. Some aphid types only feed on a specific plant genus, like crepe myrtles or hops, but the vast majority of aphids are far less selective.

    Plants known to be prone to aphids include ageratum, alyssum, aster, celosia, chrysanthemum, dahlia, Easter lily, gerbera, herbs, fuchsia, hydrangea, impatiens, mandevilla, pansy, pepper, portulaca, primula, salvia, snapdragon, tomato, verbena and zinnia. If this list sounds like your spring production plan, please read on. If not, you may still want to continue.



    Practically speaking, no spring crop is immune to aphid infestation – some are just less favored. It’s good to be prepared.

    Once you know that 260 species of aphids have been documented on artemesia alone, you may wonder if (and when) your crops will get aphids this year. Practically speaking, no spring crop is immune to aphid infestation – some are just less favored. It’s good to be prepared.

    Aphids attack all above-ground plant parts. In addition, some aphid types also feed on roots or bulbs. Aphids gives birth to live young, without the need for fertilization. As aphid nymphs settle in for their first meal, they already have the next generation developing within them.

    When aphids sense overcrowding or the need to move to another food source, they give birth to winged aphids that efficiently disperse to more distant plants. Once they’ve spread out, they go back to producing progeny with no wings. 


    Aphids attack all above-ground plant parts. In addition, some aphid types also feed on roots or bulbs. Aphids gives birth to live young, without the need for fertilization. As aphid nymphs settle in for their first meal, they already have the next generation developing within them.

    When aphids sense overcrowding or the need to move to another food source, they give birth to winged aphids that efficiently disperse to more distant plants. Once they’ve spread out, they go back to producing progeny with no wings. 


    Winged and wingless green peach aphids
    Image credit: Whitney Cranshaw



    The reproductive rate of aphids is temperature dependent; as the first warm days of spring accelerate crop growth, aphids ramp up just as fast – or faster. It may seem that the aphids came out of nowhere, but the truth is that it doesn’t take many undetected aphids to turn into a major infestation.

    Aphids can overwinter on weeds or plants, even in an unheated greenhouse. They can also be brought in on wind currents (similar to thrips), as well as purchased plant material. At the end of the growing season, be sure to remove all remaining plant debris and weeds; even small amounts of lingering plant material can harbor aphids for future re-invasion.

    Aphid feeding can cause distorted growth and lower leaf drop. Aphids also transmit many economically important plant viruses such as CMV (a significant disease of calibrachoa and petunia), and a majority of the viruses found in vegetable crops. In addition, the sugary excrement aphids leave behind, called honeydew, will grow unsightly black sooty mold. In fact, this sooty mold and the white ‘skins’ of exoskeletons shed as aphids mature are often the most obvious signs of an aphid infestation. 


    Aphid cast skins and black sooty mold


    The wide range of host plants and explosive reproductive capacity of aphids make them tough competitors for chemical and biological control programs. Scouting for early detection is very important, no matter which route you choose.

    For biological control, parasitic wasps should be released as the first crops are planted, long before aphid colonies are formed. On the other hand, even effective chemical control may leave anywhere from a few to a small percentage of aphids alive and well. The survivors can quickly build up a population.

    Biological controls can be effectively used to control aphids. Just as with a chemical program, a vigorous scouting program is required to be successful. The backbone of many biological aphid control programs are parasitoids, Aphidius colemani and Aphidius ervi

    Tan aphid mummies that have been parasitized by Aphidius wasps
    Generally speaking, A. colemani is used for the smaller species of aphids and A. ervi for the larger species. Griffin sells the parasitoids separately but also as a mixture since more than one species of aphids can be simultaneously active in a greenhouse, and identification by growers can be difficult. This mixture is sold under the trade names AphidiusForce CE and Aphiline ce.

    Aphidoletes aphidimyza is a midge with a voracious appetite for aphids that can be useful in combating hot spots of aphid activity. Green lacewing (Chrysoperla carnea) is a general predator which will consume aphids, as well as other prey.

    Biological controls come in various package types and sizes. Call GGSPro to find the best option for your needs. Griffin customers may also request our GGSPro Aphid Quick Sheet, which contains detailed tips for use and release methods for each biological control, along with rates and available package sizes.

    Aphid biological control organisms may be compatible with certain select pesticides, to help combat hot spots as needed. Please check with GGSPro to determine which products can be safely used with the predators and parasitoids you are using.

    With chemical controls, pesticide resistance is a significant concern. Rotate between at least three products from different modes of action to help reduce resistance pressure. Products with mode of action UN are at low risk for insect resistance; these may be used repetitively or to stretch rotations of traditional chemistry without the usual concerns. It’s vital that applicators read and follow the entire pesticide label. Products other than those mentioned may be safe and effective. Consult GGSPro for help in developing a responsible aphid control rotation.


    ProductMOACommentsItem Number
    Biologicals
    Ancora
    Botanigard 22WP
    Mycotrol WPO


    UN


    OMRI-listed or labeled for edible crops

    70-1166
    70-12521
    70-2420
    Soaps:
    Kopa
    M-Pede

    UN

    OMRI-listed

    70-1970
    75-10262
    Flagship 25WG
    Marathon 60 WP
    Safari 20SG
    TriStar 8.5 SL
    4A For use on some transplant-stage edible crops;
    check individual labels.
    70-1700
    70-23701
    70-29951
    70-85241
    Altus
    4D
    Labeled for some edible crops 70-1161
    Rycar
    Endeavor WDG
    9B Labeled for greenhouse use only 70-2900
    70-1660
    Kontos
    23
    Spray or drench effective.
    Not for use on geranium, cordyline, dracaena.
    70-19601
    Aria WDG
    29
    Stops pest feeding 70-3399
    Printable version

    Broad Mites: A Game of Hide and Seek

    Broad mites on Shasta daisy
    Curled leaves that lead to foliage looking hard and gnarled are symptoms that could indicate a broad-mite (Polyphagotarsonemus latus) infestation. Broad mites are typically found in the growing tips, causing stunting of that tender growing tissue. In severe cases, broad mites have also been found causing distortion on flowers and deformed fruit growth on certain edible crops.

    These mites are microscopic and difficult to locate even with 20X or higher magnification. Microscopic mites may be small but they can cause big problems for the many crops that host them including: ageratum, azalea, begonia, dahlia, gerbera daisy, ivy, bedding impatiens, lantana, marigold, New Guinea impatiens, peppers, snapdragon, torenia, verbena and zinnia.

    Broad mites on peppers
    Broad mite egg with geometric pattern

    Broad mites’ small size makes detection difficult and plant damage is often well underway before the source is discovered. Female broad mites are only 0.2 mm long and the males are even smaller. The females may pupate and wait in the soil until they find the appropriate host on which to feed.

    The broad mites also have distinctive eggs, which aid in their diagnosis. Their eggs are translucent and oval-shaped with a geometric pattern on the surface. These eggs are usually found on the undersides of leaves, but are sometimes found on the upper leaf surface as well.


    Broad mites on gerbera
    The detection dilemma is intensified by the fact that the mites are reclusive, often tucked away deep in the folded growing tip tissue. The nearly colorless broad mite injects a toxin as they feed, which contributes to the color change, cupping and even death of plant tissue. Since high soluble salts or environmental factors can cause similar symptoms, a positive identification is essential in making the correct treatment.



    Broad mites on ivy
    Translaminar systemic miticides are the preferred methods of control. Options include: Avid, Kontos, Pylon, Savate and Sirocco as foliar sprays and Kontos when applied as a soil drench. Akari and Sanmite are not translaminar systemics, but with good spray coverage they, too, may be successful. It’s advised that you always read pesticide labels and make sure to follow all label recommendations and restrictions. Products other than those mentioned here may also be safe and effective.




    ProductDescriptionItem Number
    Akari
    1 qt
    70-1160
    Avid
    8 oz
    70-1180
    Kontos
    250 mL
    70-19601
    Pylon
    1 pt
    70-2675
    Sanmite
    4 oz
    70-29201
    Savate
    8 oz
    70-2980
    Sirocco
    8 oz
    70-3017


    Printable version

    Shoreflies, Don't Bother Me! Prevention and Control Tips for Shoreflies and Fungus Gnats

    Fungus gnats and shoreflies are major pests among greenhouse crops, but they often don’t get the attention they deserve. These mini menaces wreak havoc on three different fronts: First, they creep consumers out by leaving their calling cards (fecal matter) on the foliage of otherwise beautiful plant material. Second, below the canopy, feeding larvae do direct harm to roots, stems and, occasionally, foliage (especially leaves in contact with growing media). The damage can be fatal, especially to young seedlings and cuttings in propagation. Third, adult fungus gnats and shoreflies are known to spread root and crown rot diseases in their travels. 
    Fungus gnat damage on dahlia leaf.


    In order to control fungus gnats and shoreflies, you must be able to properly identify them; some differences in chemical and biological control options need to be accounted for. Adult fungus gnats are dark, delicate-looking flies, similar in appearance to mosquitoes, with slender legs and long segmented antennae. Their wings are clear with a distinctive “Y” shaped vein. Fungus gnat larvae have a shiny black head and an elongated, whitish-to-clear, legless body. 
    Fungus gnat larvae with distinctive
    black head capsule.
    Photo credit: Bioline Agrisciences


    Shorefly adults more closely resemble miniature houseflies. Compared to fungus gnats, shoreflies are stronger fliers, with shorter legs and antennae. Shoreflies have five distinctive clear-to-white spots on their wings. Shorefly larvae are also clear to white, but lack a distinct head capsule. The pupal stage is dark brown with an interesting “fork” structure on one end[i]. While shorefly adults can spread plant pathogens, the larvae are not directly damaging to plants.


    Habitat Management

    Shorefly pupae. 
    Photo credit: Bioline Agrisciences
    Shorefly adult displaying spots on the wings.
    Habitat modification and sanitation are the first lines of defense against fungus gnats and shoreflies. Fungus gnats lay their eggs in cracks and crevices in the growing media. In greenhouses, this usually occurs on the surface of the soil but can happen in drain holes in the sides and bottom of pots, too. Constantly moist media, and the algae it encourages, make a suitable habitat for fungus gnat larvae. Shoreflies live in consistently damp areas with abundant algae. The larval stage feeds on algae and the pupal stage is semi-aquatic, partially submerged in water. Moisture management, including improved drainage and taking steps to limit algae, can pay dividends by creating a less favorable habitat for pest development.
    Power washing and approved cleaners such as Strip-it Pro can be used to remove organic matter from surfaces between crops. After a thorough cleaning, sanitation products such as: Greenshield II, Kleengrow, SaniDate 5.0 and Zerotol 2.0 can be used to finish the job and ensure a clean start.


    Control Options

    Chemical control of fungus gnats and shoreflies should target the larval stage because control of adults isn’t very effective with the available pesticides. The table below lists products recommended by GGSPro. All treatments are made to the soil.

    Product
    Package
    Active Ingredient
    MOA
    Fungus gnats
    Shoreflies
    Comments
    Item Number
    Adept
    1 lb
    Diflubenzuron
    15
    X
    X
    IGR, sprench, 21 days of control
    70-1150
    Citation
    1 lb
    Cyromazine
    17
    X
    X
    IGR, sprench, vegetable transplants
    70-13501
    Distance
    1 qt
    Pyriproxyfen
    7C
    X
    X
    IGR, sprench, soil surface spray, 21 days, Distance- fruiting vegetables
    70-1465
    Fulcrum
    1 qt
    Pyriproxyfen
    7C
    X
    X
    IGR, sprench, soil surface spray, 21 days, Distance- fruiting vegetables
    70-1710
    Gnatrol WDG
    16 lbs
    BT- israelensis
    11A
    X
    Make 3 applications 1 wk apart
    70-1716
    Pylon
    1 pt
    Chlorfenapyr
    13
    X
    Soil surface spray only, 7-14 days
    70-2675
    Safari
    3 lbs
    Dinotefuran
    4A
    X
    X
    Soil drench, vegetable transplants
    70-29951

    Biological control often begins with soil treatments of nematodes, which are highly successful in controlling the larval stages of fungus gnats and shoreflies. Choose Steinernema feltiae for fungus gnats and S. carpocapsae for shoreflies. Nematode treatments are generally effective for about 3 weeks and can be applied to all types of crops and most types of growing media. Following treatment, the number of adults will decline gradually, as the adults die off and fewer emerge from the soil to replace them.

    Dalotia coriaria, (aka Atheta or rove beetle), is a small beetle with a huge appetite for many soil-dwelling pests including fungus gnat and shorefly larvae, with thrips pupae control as an added bonus. Once established in a cool, moist location, they’ll often establish themselves in the crops. 
    Dalotia adult feeding on fungus gnat larvae.
    Photo credit: Bioline Agrisciences


    Stratiolaelaps scimitus (formerly known as Hypoaspis mites), is a tiny predator mite that patrols the soil surface and feeds on many of the same soil-dwelling pests as Dalotia.

    In greenhouses where pesticides are seldom used, the aptly named Hunter fly (Coenosia attenuate) will sometimes appear as a welcome ally. Hunter flies consume adult fungus gnats and shoreflies along with some other flying insects. They aren’t commercially available at this time, but they have been introducing themselves to commercial greenhouses in the northeastern U.S. 

    Hunter fly (Coenosia attenuata).
    Photo credit: Leanne Pundt, UConn


     Use yellow sticky cards to monitor for adult fungus gnats and shoreflies, and deploy the BCAs at the first sign of pest pressure. Certain compatible pesticides can be safely used in conjunction with biological control agents; contact GGSPro for assistance.

    Always read and follow all label directions. The label is the law! Products other than those mentioned may also be safe and effective. Some pesticides may be restricted-use or unregistered in certain states.



    Steinernema feltiae

    Product
    Manufacturer
    Description
    Item Number
    NEMAforce SF
    Beneficial Insectary
    50M - 1 tray x 50M
    30F50
    NEMAforce SF
    Beneficial Insectary
    250M -1 tray 250M
    30F250
    NEMAforce SF
    Beneficial Insectary
    1.25B -5 tray 250M
    30F5T
    Exhibitline Sf
    Bioline
    250M - 5 trays x 50M
    SB1011-02
    Exhibitline Sf
    Bioline
    1.25B - 5 trays x 250M
    SB1011-03
    Nemasys
    BASF
    250M - 5 trays x 50M
    70-2460
    Nemasys
    BASF
    1.25B - 5 trays X 250M
    70-2490
    Nemashield
    Bioworks
    100 M -1 cup
    70-6033
    Nemashield
    Bioworks
    500M -2 cups X 250 M
    70-6034
    Nemashield
    Bioworks
    2B- 8 cups X 250M
    70-6037
    Sentry
    NIC
    25M / sponge*
    70-7025
    Sentry
    NIC
    35M / sponge*
    70-7035
    Sentry
    NIC
    50M / sponge*
    70-7050
    * Order by Monday for following week ship


    [i] Shore Fly Biology and Control, J. Sanderson, Cornell - http://www.greenhouse.cornell.edu/pests/pdfs/insects/SF.pdf

    Printable version

    BCAs for Beginners: How to Get Started with Biological Controls

    The use of biological control agents (BCAs) to fight insect and mite pests continues to expand in the horticulture industry. Contributing factors include the desires to grow with eco-friendly techniques and to reduce chemical usage. Growers recognize the opportunity to appeal to customers with ‘natural’ products.

    As a chemical-free product, BCAs can add value to crops in several ways. First, many consumers are drawn to the notion of reduced risk from chemical exposure. Second, the knowledge gained by BCA usage over the years is making it easier for new users to succeed.
    Eretmocerus ememicus parasitic wasp

    If you’re considering biological controls, think of it as growing a new crop for the first time: Investing the time to understand the best cultural conditions of the BCA you want to use will very likely increase the initial level of success. Like plants, beneficial insects or mites work best in specific ranges of temperature, light and humidity. Most BCAs won’t establish easily in a population in your greenhouse, and will need to be released on a schedule in order to maintain control. Similar to growing a crop, the experience gained each year will lead to refinements and, hopefully, better results the next time around.

    Monitoring the BCA populations and the pest populations throughout the crop cycle is key. Doing so allows for adjustments to be made as needed in order to finish a high-quality crop. Scouting the plants for insect presence, counting and tracking insect trends on sticky cards and leaves, and recording the data definitely requires a commitment of time, energy and resources.

    GGSPro BCA compatibility chart. Click to enlarge.

    The scouting and monitoring process should measure the status of the battle in the canopy between BCAs and the pest target. This allows decisions to be made about quantities for continued releases of BCAs or whether a chemical intervention is called for. Yes, an insecticide or miticide may sometimes still be needed, but proper choice of a product will allow continued use of biological control with no or limited interruption. GGSPro has compiled compatibility data from suppliers and from researchers to assist with product selection. We assist our BCA customers with compatible pesticide choices by utilizing our searchable database.

    In reality, monitoring begins before the BCAs are released into the crop canopy. A quality assurance test should be done for each biological control after shipments are received and before each release to assess the vigor. Dr. Rose Buitenhuis, of Vineland Research and Innovation Centre in Lincoln, Ontario, has written the industry standard, Grower Guide: Quality Assurance of Biocontrol Products (available online), or ask GGSPro for guidance.

    Before diving into biological controls, plan ahead with a switch to softer chemistry or biological insecticides, such as Ancora, BotaniGard, SuffOil-X and M-Pede. Review pesticide application records from the previous four months, especially if broad-spectrum insecticides have been used. Note that drenches applied only to the soil may be completely compatible with the use of most beneficial insects, while a foliar spray of the same product may be harmful and require a waiting period before release.

    Speaking of drenches, nematodes are among the easiest entries into biological control, as they’re compatible with most foliar applications of chemicals and with many drench products. In the soil, the nematode Steinernema feltiae controls fungus gnat larvae and thrips pupae. Other species are available for control of Black Vine Weevil larvae and various grubs.

    Plan to start small with BCAs, as you would with any new crop. Try beneficials in a single house or just with an herb crop, for example. Plan for control of the pests normally expected in a certain crop, be it thrips in gerbera daisy or aphids on bellis or calibrachoa.

    Control of insect pests is most effective when biologicals are released before pest populations build. That is, before damage is readily visible, when pests are only detected through scouting activities, or when history leads to an expectation of a pest’s seasonal arrival. Many BCA species will feed on pollen or alternative insects in the absence of the target prey.

    Spider mite control is somewhat of an exception. In most crops, the predatory mite Phytoseiulus persimilis can overtake a moderate population of two-spotted spider mite and can clean up the crop. However, P. persimilis is only applied after spider mites have been detected, as it won’t feed on any other food source. In all other cases, the BCA is applied preventatively or proactively before pest populations build.

    If you’re considering biological control, plan ahead, plan to learn and plan to maintain realistic expectations. BCAs can be very effective, but they’re not a simple solution. Biocontrol is a dynamic process with many variables than cannot always be anticipated in advance. A commitment and dedication to monitoring populations is necessary to allow for early detection of expanding pest numbers. If needed, spray treatments can be used to reset the balance in favor of the biological control and provide a fresh start. A chemical ‘reset’ leads to analysis of timing and conditions in the biological strategy and becomes the experience that we build upon in the next cycle or the next crop.

    BCA products available from Griffin. Click to enlarge.

    Printable version

    Primula Particulars: How to Produce a Picture-Perfect Crop

    Primula has a delightful way of ushering in the spring season with an extraordinary blast of color and fragrance. This cool-weather crop has gone through extensive breeding over the years, resulting in a wide array of intense colors. The dull grays and browns of winter can be replaced with clusters of vivid flowers over a compact rosette of green foliage. Primula is a crop that just makes people happy.

    Primula is typically grown one plant per 4” to 4½" pot, and requires a well-drained soilless mix with an ideal pH of 5.3 to 5.8. Primula is a long-term crop from seed. Growing from plugs or cell pack liners saves time and sidesteps germination problems during the summer heat.


    Primula Crop Timing and Temperature Requirements

    When using the following tables, bear in mind that a primula crop flowers over a fairly long period of time. Primula are classified as early, mid-season or late. The crop times outlined below will be affected by your growing conditions.


    Plug Size
    288s

    128s

    70s
    Early Season12-14 weeks10-12 weeks8-10 weeks
    Mid Season14-16 weeks12-14 weeks10-12 weeks
    Late Season16-18 weeks14-16 weeks12-14 weeks



    From Plug

    Day

    Night

    Planting to 5 Weeks

    70°F or less (Encourages adequate foliage to develop before bud set.)

    60-65°F

    Early Season
    5 Weeks to Visible Bud

    55-60°F

    50°F

    Early Season

    45-60°F (Temperature depends on forcing requirements.)

    50°F (If there is a need to force bloom 60-62°)

    Fertilizer

    Primula leaf curl caused by calcium deficiency
    Primula fertilizer requirements change during the crop cycle. Higher ppm are used during the warm period (first 4-5 weeks) and then reduced during the cool period. Fertilizers should provide most of the nitrogen in the nitrate form and should be acid-forming to help hold pH down (5.3-5.8). A standard fertilizer program that works well for primula is 20-10-20 rotated with 15-0-15. The exact rotation is dictated by the water quality.

    Primula requires ample amounts of iron and magnesium to maintain rich green foliage. If media or tissue analyses indicate a deficiency, prompt treatment is needed. Iron can be provided by applications of iron chelate (Sprint 138 or 330) as a drench at 4 oz/100 gal. Be sure to rinse the excess off of the foliage to avoid any phytotoxicity.

    Magnesium can be supplied as Epsom salts by applying 8 oz/100 gal as a pulse treatment or 2 oz/100 gal on a constant feed basis. Epsom salts cannot be tank-mixed with calcium fertilizers, such as the 15-0-15.

    The short, overcast days of winter will make it harder for the plants to take up calcium, as their transpiration rates are much lower in these conditions. Curling leaves are a symptom of calcium deficiency on primula. Additional calcium can be applied with foliar sprays of calcium chloride dihydrate at 0.5 oz/3 gal of water (1 lb/100 gal), along with 0.25 tsp/gal (4 oz/100 gal) of CapSil as a spreading agent.


    Crop StageFertilizer Rates
    Planting to 5 Weeks200 ppm CLF
    5 Weeks to First Color150 ppm CLF
    First Color to SaleClear water

    Plant Growth Regulators

    Primula growth is controlled with cool temperatures; PGRs are seldom needed. If necessary, the following growth regulators are effective:
    Sprays

    • B-Nine 2500 ppm (2 Tbls/gal)
    • Bonzi at 10 ppm (2 tsp/gal)
    Drench

    • Bonzi 0.5-1 ppm (1.66-3.33 ozs/gal thru the injector at 1:100)
    *Do not use Florel on primula

    Melting Down or Scorching

    Tip scorch on primula
    The first step in preventing primula foliage from melting down or scorching is to check crown and root zones to rule out diseases such as Pythium, Phytophthora or Rhizoctonia. Keeping soil too wet during low light levels can lead to root rot.

    If we’re able to rule out diseases, we then need to dig deeper. Primula is a cool crop that’s grown during the time of year when we experience our shortest days and lowest light levels – December through February.

    Physiological disorders sometimes are behind the symptoms. Daylength and light intensity increase toward the end of the primula crop cycle; this created water stress when combined with cold soil temperatures that slow root activity. Bright days of late winter can create enough of a water deficit that the margins of the leaves scorch. This is particularly true on the first sunny day after a spell of cloudy weather! Consider syringing overhead a few times during the brightest part of the day to reduce water stress, allowing enough time for foliage to dry before nightfall.


    Diseases and Insects

     
    Botrytis on primula Thrips damage on primula flowers
    Botrytis is the most common disease found in primula. This crop requires cool conditions and high humidity to produce good quality plants, both of which favor the development of Botrytis. Good sanitation, watering early in the day and good air movement all help control and prevent disease.

    Even with the best cultural controls, fungicides sprays are often still necessary. Products that have shown good efficacy on Botrytis either as a preventative or curative spray include Affirm, Astun, Botrystop, Cease, Mural, Pageant, Palladium and Triathlon BA.


    Insects that target primula are aphid, fungus gnat, shorefly, thrips and caterpillars. Consult the GGSPro team for detailed pest control options and rates.



    ProductDescriptionItem Number
    Jack's WSF 15-0-15
    25 lb
    33626
    Jack's WSF 20-10-20
    25 lb
    33615
    Affirm
    .5 lb
    71-1129
    Astun
    1 qt
    71-1190
    Botrystop
    12 lb
    71-1260
    Calcium chloride dihydrate
    1 lb
    35315
    CapSil
    1 gal
    74-1541
    Cease
    1 gal
    71-13301
    Epsom salts
    50 lb
    14MGSUL
    Mural
    1 lb
    71-1690
    Pageant
    1 lb
    71-26801
    Palladium
    2 lb
    71-2685
    Sprint 138
    5 lb
    67-70371
    Sprint 330
    5 lb
    67-70361
    Triathlon BA
    1 gal
    71-3040
    Printable version

    Mind Those Mites: Scouting and Control Tips for Poinsettia

    Most growers would agree that summer conditions favor spider mites. Warm temperatures shorten life cycles, causing explosive mite populations. As weather shifts from hot and dry to cooler conditions with long nights during poinsettia season, mite pressure is reduced.

    Lewis mite damage on poinsettia
    Lewis mites and, occasionally, spider mites can be problematic for poinsettias. Growers are often challenged to tell the difference between the two species. Both prefer to feed on the undersides of leaves, laying eggs closest to the midrib. Both mites will produce webbing, though Lewis mites only do this when the infestation is heavy.

    Mites won’t be found on sticky cards, so scouting for early detection of eggs or mites is especially crucial. Concentrate scouting in areas of the greenhouse where air movement is highest. This is where you’ll find the lower humidity that mites prefer.

    Mature foliage may begin to reveal symptoms that mimic nutritional deficiencies. Observe foliage for faint light green to yellow speckling. Mites can be easily identified with the use of a hand lens while examining the undersides of leaves. A useful tool is the beating tray to tap foliage for mite presence. Against white paper, mites may appear like moving speckles of black pepper. The chart below provides key characteristics of both mite species.


    Life stages of the two-spotted spider mite and Lewis mite.
    Photos credit: Dr. Surendra Dara, University of California



    
    Two-Spotted Spider Mite Lewis Mite
    Host range Multiple hosts. Pest of field crops and greenhouse plants. Multiple hosts. Mainly greenhouse pest. AKA poinsettia spider mite.
    Male Wedge-shaped, 0.3 mm Wedge-shaped, mustard-colored, 0.25 mm
    Female Oval, 0.4-0.5 mm. Single dark spot on either side of the body Oval, 0.36 mm. Multiple small spots
    Life stages Egg, larva, protonymph, deutonymph and adult Egg, larva, protonymph, deutonymph and adult, though males have only one nymphal stage
    Egg Round, clear initially and turns whitish as it matures Round, pale-greenish and turns light orange with maturity
    Egg laying About 100 eggs in 10 days About 60-90 eggs in a month
    Life cycle 5-20 days depending on temperature 12-14 days at 70°F
    Diapause Ceases reproduction during cold winters Continuously reproduces without diapause
    Damage Feeds undersurface of leaves. Causes yellow mottling, scarring, bronzing and leaf fall-off Similar, in general, but needs to be determined on strawberries
    Webbing Prominent At high infestation levels
    Predatory mites Phytoseiulus persimilis, Neoseiulus californicus, N. fallacis, Amblyseius andersoni, etc. N. californicus, N. fallacis, A. andersoni, etc.
    Chart credit: Dr. Surendra Dara, University of California

    Unless growers are certain which mite is present, GGSPro recommends miticides that control both species, making two applications one week apart.

    CapSil is a high-quality surfactant that improves spray coverage. During poinsettia bract formation, CapSil rates are reduced to 4 oz per 100 gal. Not more than one application of CapSil per week is made to ensure plant safety.

    Pesticide information in this bulletin is believed to be correct but it is the responsibility of the applicator to read and follow all label directions. Labels do change without notice. Pesticides other than those listed may also be safe, legal and effective.


    Miticide
    Size
    MOASpider mitesLewis MitesItem Number
    Akari 5SC
    1 qt
    21A
    X
    X
    70-1160
    Avid 0.15 EC
    Minx 2
    1 qt
    6
    X
    X
    70-1185
    70-2398
    Beethoven TR
    12-2 oz cans
    10B
    X
    X
    70-1234
    Floramite SC
    1 qt
    20
    X
    some
    70-1653
    Kontos*
    250 ml (8.45 oz)
    23
    X
    70-19601
    Sanmite 75 WSP
    4-1 oz packages
    21A
    X
    70-29201
    Savate/Judo
    8 oz
    23
    X
    X
    70-2980
    Shuttle O
    1 pt
    20B
    X
    X
    70-30151
    Sirocco SC
    8 oz
    6/20
    X
    X
    70-3017
    Sultan
    16 oz
    25
    X
    70-3045
    Tetrasan 5 WDG
    1 lb
    10B
    X
    X
    70-3130
    *Drench only, applied early in crop
    Note: Pylon cannot be used on poinsettia.

    Under Pressure: How to Defend Against Fall Pansy Diseases

    Few crops can compete with the performance of pansies and violas during this time of year! For many regions, fall pansies are a landscape staple, providing impressive color through the autumn and winter months. In northern regions, pansies provide fresh fall color and can overwinter to provide an early burst of color in the spring. Breeders have ensured there’s a lot to enjoy: a myriad of colors, flower sizes and new plant habits. From the grower perspective, pansies also provide a welcome profit center that’s independent of spring.

    Even with improved genetics, pansies are still a cool-season crop. Fall-flowering crops are typically started when the weather is quite warm, even hot, and therein lies the challenge from a disease-prevention standpoint. Two diseases of the root and crown earn mention for being particularly challenging for fall pansy production: Thielaviopsis and Phytophthora.

    Thielaviopsis causing uneven growth in flats of pansies
    Thielaviopsis, also known as Black Root Rot, is a devigorating disease of pansies that’s inhibited to some extent at a soil pH below 5.8. Warning signs include roots that darken and are reluctant to grow out of the original plug. Infestations are often random in appearance with stunted pansies right alongside plants that are thriving. Unless you have a microscope and can identify Thielaviopsis spores in the roots, suspicious plants should be sent to a plant diagnostic lab for a positive identification.

    Plants infected with Thielaviopsis cannot be salvaged, meaning fungicide treatments are used to protect adjacent healthy plants. Given the susceptibility of pansies and the environmental stresses early in production, GGSPro recommends a preventative drench soon after transplanting. The products we recommend for Thielaviopsis also control Rhizoctonia.

    Phytophthora is seldom found in winter/spring-grown pansies but can cause substantial losses in late summer and early fall. Warm temperatures and abundant splashing water favor this fast-moving disease. The zoospores (swimming stage) of Phytophthora can readily move about and enter healthy plants via the drain holes in pots and flats. For this reason, growing the crop up off the ground is very desirable. Benches are ideal; however, inverted flats or 1” PVC pipes under the flats will serve the purpose.

    Effective fungicides may be applied to address Phytophthora, but to be successful it’s important to reduce the risk for spread. Learning to identify the early symptoms as well as the conditions that make disease expression more likely is also key. Watch for sudden stem constriction and collapse at the crown. Rootshield Plus is a fungal-based preventative fungicide that includes Phytophthora prevention due to the addition of a second strain of Trichoderma to the original formulation. It’s also labeled for prevention of Thielaviopsis. Chemical control options appear in the table below.

    Pansy infected with Anthracnose
    Foliar diseases become more prevalent as the crop progresses and the weather cools. Anthracnose (Colletotrichum), Botrytis and Cercospora are among the troublemakers.Anthracnose symptoms on pansies generally appear as large necrotic and chlorotic lesions that are somewhat irregularly shaped. Often, faint concentric rings can be detected within the necrotic tissue. Botrytis can be especially problematic as early blooms begin to senesce and “melt,” sometimes involving adjacent foliage. Cercospora often manifests itself with dark purple spots, some of which have tan centers, giving rise to the “fish eye” description.

    Much more information on these and other diseases that affect pansies is available through GGSPro and the GGSPro 4th Edition Reference Guide, which includes cultural and chemical controls, as well as helpful diagnostic pictures. The tables below also contain fungicide suggestions.


    Products for Root and Crown Diseases

    Apply as soil drenches except as noted. The Affirm label forbids chemigation; bulk tank application is needed.


    Disease FungicideMode
    Of
    Action
    (MOA)
    CommentsItem number
    ThielaviopsisAffirm
    19
    Chemigation label expected fall 201771-1129
    Cleary’s 3336 EG
    1
    Max label rate, re-apply in 3 weeks71-2550
    Cleary’s 3336 F
    1
    Max label rate, re-apply in 3 weeks71-2575
    Emblem
    12
    Name will change to Spirato GHN71-1570
    Medallion
    12
    2 oz per 100 gal rate71-16502
    OHP 6672 F
    1
    Max label rate, re-apply in 3 weeks71-2670
    OHP 6672 WSP
    1
    Max label rate, re-apply in 3 weeks71-2672
    Orkestra Intrinsic
    7 & 11
    New product, trial for plant safety71-2200
    Rootshield Plus G
    UN
    Pre-incorporation 71-27911
    Rootshield Plus WP
    UN
    Best applied at time of transplant71-27951
    PhytophthoraAreca
    33
    Foliar spray, avoid open bloom71-1180
    Aliette
    33
    Foliar spray, avoid open bloom71-11352
    Alude
    33
    Foliar spray or drench71-27601
    Banrot
    1 & 14
    Soil drench, use max label rate71-1210
    Fosphite
    33
    Foliar spray or drench71-1520
    Heritage
    11
    Foliar spray or drench, preventative71-1400
    Micora
    40
    Foliar spray or drench71-1655
    Orkestra Intrinsic
    7 & 11
    New product, trial for plant safety71-2200
    Orvego
    40 & 45
    Foliar spray or drench71-2300
    Rootshield Plus G
    UN
    Pre-incorporation 71-27911
    Rootshield Plus WP
    UN
    Best applied at time of transplant71-27951
    Segovis
    U15
    Foliar spray or drench71-3100
    Segway
    21
    Foliar spray or drench71-31101
    Stature SC
    40
    Foliar spray or drench71-14652
    Subdue MAXX
    4
    Some resistance reported71-2978

    Products for Common Foliar Diseases of Pansies

    FungicideMOAAnthracnoseBotrytisCercosporaItem Number
    Affirm
    19
    x
    x
    71-1129
    BotryStop
    NC
    x
    71-1260
    Camelot O
    M1
    x
    x
    70-21202
    Cease
    44
    x
    x
    x
    71-13301
    Compass
    11
    x
    x
    71-1355
    Daconil Ultrex
    M5
    x
    x
    x
    71-1420
    Daconil Weatherstik
    M5
    x
    x
    x
    3117025
    Eagle
    3
    x
    x
    71-1435
    Emblem / Spirato GHN
    12
    x
    x
    x
    71-1570
    Heritage
    11
    x
    x
    71-1400
    Medallion
    12
    x
    x
    x
    71-16502
    Nordox
    M1
    x
    x
    71-1700
    Mural
    7 & 11
    x
    x
    x
    71-1690
    Orkestra Intrinsic
    7 & 11
    x
    x
    x
    71-2200
    Palladium
    9 & 12
    x
    x
    x
    71-2685
    Pageant Intrinsic
    7 & 11
    x
    x
    x
    71-26801
    Phyton 35
    M1
    x
    x
    71-2737
    Protect DF
    M3
    x
    x
    x
    71-2748
    Strike Plus / Trigo
    3 & 11
    x
    x
    x
    70-3035
    Triathlon BA
    44
    x
    x
    x
    71-3040
    Zerotol 2.0
    NC
    x
    x
    71-35501

    Read and follow all label directions. The label is the law! Products other than those mentioned may also be safe and effective. Some pesticides may be restricted-use or unregistered in certain states.

    When Less is More: Using Bonzi Micro-Drenches on Poinsettia

    Controlling poinsettia height throughout the growing cycle is key to avoiding problems at the time of sale. Research has shown that most plant stretch occurs in the first three hours of the day, beginning at first light. One method that greatly reduces stretch is to drop the temperature during this time frame, by 5o F below the night temperature. Discontinue this technique when the cyathia become visible.

    When it comes to maximizing bract expansion, poinsettias benefit from as little plant growth regulators (PGRs) as possible. The less applied, the better. Foliar sprays of PGR are more likely to reduce bract size than drenching. Bonzi drenches can be utilized to encourage uniform poinsettias of ideal height without significant reductions in bract size.

    Dramm CD-2 Chemdose
    Bonzi “micro-drenches” were developed and named by Dr. Jim Barrett from the University of Florida. This technique utilizes drenches of low rates of Bonzi, usually in the range of 1/10th to 1/8th ppm that can be made as often as weekly if required throughout the production cycle. (After October 25, higher rates can be used if needed with a reduced impact on bract size. Read on for details.) Bonzi micro-drenches may be applied through an injector or Dramm Chemdose. The CD-2 Chemdose from Dramm precisely doses PGRs or soil-applied pesticides, and is ideally suited for applying micro-drenches. Doses as low as 2.5 mL can be delivered accurately. The CD-2 connects to your injector or hydraulic sprayer at pressures lower than 100 psi. Weighing less than 10 lbs., the CD-2 can be worn on the chest or mounted on a small cart.

    Graphical tracking is very helpful in managing plant height among varieties of varying vigor. Such tracking ensures that data-based decision making is employed. Graphical tracking is available at http://www.ecke.com/OnTarget/CreateAccount.aspx


    Bonzi "Micro-Drench" Strategy



    Medium-Vigor Verieties High-Vigor Varieties
    South 1/10th - 1/7th ppm 1/10th - 1/5th ppm
    North 1/10th ppm 1/8th ppm


    Bonzi "Micro-Drench" Rates



    ppm tsp/100 gal oz/100 gal Ml/100 gal
    1/5th 4 0.64 20
    1/7th ~3 0.46 14.3
    1/8th ~2.5 0.4 12.5
    1/10th 2 0.32 10


    Bonzi PPM Drench Volumes



    Pots Baskets Other
    Container Size oz per pot Container Size oz per pot Container Size oz per pot
    4" 2 8" 10 14" coco 37
    4.5" 2.5 10" 15 16" coco 46
    5" 3 12" 28 10" Dillen color 25
    6", 6.5", or 7" azalea 4 14" 56 12" Dillen color 43
    7.5" azalea 9 15" Dillen color 58
    8" azalea 10
    8.5" azalea 13
    10" azalea 25
    12" 43


    Starting after October 25, higher drench rates (0.25-1.0 ppm) can be used to provide stronger hold if needed with a slight reduction in bract size. Very vigorous varieties, for example, would apply a Bonzi drench at a rate of 1.0 ppm. Consult with GGSPro or your Griffin sales representative for varietal response information to determine if a Bonzi drench rate would be beneficial or necessary to avoid late-season stretch.

    Product Description Item Number
    Bonzi 1 qt 70-1260
    Bonzi 2.5 gal 70-1270
    Paclo Pro 1 gal 73-1830
    Dramm CD-2 ChemdosePrecision flow meter, battery operated41-1196

    The Way to a Plant’s Heart is Through its Roots: Building Strong Plants with Organic and Natural Nutrition Options

    Organic, natural, all-natural and chemical-free are all terms deemed to add value to our food and flower crops. Even if you never intend to grow organically or chemical-free, there is an undeniable trend toward more natural products, sustainable methods and limited chemical exposure.

    Growers have been struck with a need for more choices in plant nutrition and pest control to produce chemical-free crops economically and without losses. Insect- and disease-control options can be very limited for specific crops, most notably, herbal crops. Nutrition and building a strong plant, of course, are the first lines of defense against pests and disease.

    Growers have been struck with a need for more choices in plant nutrition and pest control to produce chemical-free crops economically and without losses. Nutrition and building a strong plant, of course, are the first lines of defense against pests and disease.

    At Griffin, we’ve expanded our selections of organic (OMRI-listed or WSDA) and organic-based nutritional products and supplements to fill this need. Nature’s Source 10-4-5 Nursery & Landscape Special Plant Food is an organic-based product, but not organic certified. Like Nature’s Source OMRI-listed 3-1-1, the Nursery and Landscape formulation is a liquid product derived from an oilseed extract. However, the Nursery and Landscape product contains higher levels of the essential micronutrients. Organic granular fertilizers with slow-release profiles are available in EcoVita 7-5-10 (100-day) by Verdanta and in Sustane’s 8-4-4 All Natural (45-day). Both are OMRI-listed.

    Vegetables and other crops with high potassium demand can be easily supplemented with Verdanta’s granular K-Vita (OMRI), Verdanta’s liquid PL-2 (OMRI) or JH Biotech’s Biomin Potassium liquid non-organic formulation. Additionally, nitrogen content can be easily boosted as needed with the new Biomin N, 5% nitrogen in a liquid mix of amino acids derived from hydrolyzed plant protein (OMRI-listed), without increasing phosphate or potassium.

    Organic, liquid formulations of micronutrients are now available. Biomin Booster 126 is a mix of micros, providing copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, boron and zinc. Biomin Calcium provides 5% calcium in a formulation that aides in calcium uptake through foliage or roots. Biomin Magnesium contains 3% chelated magnesium and can be applied as a drench or to the foliage. Other elements are also available.

    Beyond the nutrition basics, we offer several products designed to provide artificial growing media with more of the components found in natural soils. Silica has been shown to reduce pest and disease infestation of a number of crops. SiTKO 0-7-17 (5% silica) or Sil-Guard 0-2-5 (7% silica), by Growth Products, can be used to add silica to growing media or to mineral soils. Silica has been shown to increase the strength of cell walls, making at least some plants resistant to invasion by pathogens or insects. Drought resistance/recovery and reduced shock during propagation and transplanting are additional benefits. Silica also competes with sodium, and can mitigate damage due to high salt content. Contact GGSPro to determine if a silica supplement may be appropriate for your production.

    Beyond the nutrition basics, we offer several products designed to provide artificial growing media with more of the components found in natural soils.

    Some of the most complex components of natural soils, humic and fulvic acids, are now available in a jug from JH Biotech, Inc. These complex materials originate from the breakdown of organic matter. They’re known benefactors of plant growth, increasing the cation exchange of soils and facilitating the uptake of micronutrient metals. Humax is 12% humic acid and is OMRI-listed; Fulmax is WSDA organic. Even natural mineral soils can benefit from replenishing or boosting the silicate, humate and fulvate content in poor or depleted soils.

    Essential Organic 1-0-1 combines 7% humic acid with a long list of other natural ingredients, including cellulose, lignin, amino acids, sugars, plant hormones and micronutrients calcium, magnesium, sulfur and iron, all in a non-settling, non-clogging formulation. The natural rooting hormones in Essentials Organic promote rooting in propagation and in production.

    No matter which crops you grow, from organic produce to perennials, these products may have a place in your production and provide your plants with everything they need to grow strong.

    ProductCommentsDescriptionItem Number
    Nature’s Source 10-4-5 Nursery & Landscape SpecialOrganic-based4.7 gal67-0086
    Nature's Source 3-1-1OMRI4.7 gal67-0065
    Verdanta EcoVita 7-5-10OMRI, 100-day40 lbs67-9215
    Sustane 8-4-4 All-NaturalOMRI, 45-day50 lbs67-30570
    Verdanta K-Vita 2-0-20OMRI40 lbs67-9205
    Verdanta's PL-2 2-0-6OMRI1 gal67-9220
    Biomin Potassium1 gal16-03481
    Biomin NOMRI1 gal16-03421
    Biomin Booster 126OMRI, WSDA1 gal16-03081
    Biomin CalciumOMRI, WSDA1 gal16-03011
    Biomin MagnesiumOMRI, WSDA1 gal16-03041
    SiTKO 0-7-17Contains silica, phosphate, salicylic acid2.5 gal16GP30053
    Sil-Guard 0-2-5Contains silica and phosphite2.5 gal16GP501821
    HumaxOMRI, WSDA1 gal16-01111
    FulmaxWSDA1 gal16-01181
    Essential Organic 1-0-1OMRI1 qt166002GR

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