e-GRO launches Nutritional Monitoring of Floriculture Crops website

e-GRO, a collaborative team of university floriculture specialists and educators, launches a nutritional monitoring website for greenhouse, floriculture and vegetable crops.

Figure 1. The collaborative group of greenhouse and floriculture specialists and educators, e-GRO, launched a Nutritional Monitoring of Floriculture Crops website.
Figure 1. The collaborative group of greenhouse and floriculture specialists and educators, e-GRO, launched a Nutritional Monitoring of Floriculture Crops website.

Nutritional disorders are among the many challenges greenhouse growers encounter during crop production. Nutritional disorders often occur when substrate pH or soluble salts, referred to as electrical conductivity (EC), drifts above or below optimal ranges for plant uptake. To assist greenhouse growers in addressing nutritional disorders, the collaborative group of greenhouse and floriculture specialists and educators, e-GRO, has launched a Nutritional Monitoring of Floriculture Crops website, www.fertdirtandsquirt.com (Fig 1.), led by W. Garrett Owen of Michigan State University Extension and Brian Whipker of North Carolina State University.

The Nutritional Monitoring of Floriculture Crops, sponsored by the American Floral Endowment, will assist growers in establishing an in-house monitoring program and serve as an information and education center. The website is accessible by computer (Fig 2A), tablet (Fig 2B) or mobile device (Fig 2C).

Nutritional Monitoring of Floriculture web

Figure 2. The Nutritional Monitoring of Floriculture Crops website is accessible by computer (A), tablet (B) or mobile device (C). Pictured is the website homepage viewed on each device.

The Nutritional Monitoring of Floriculture Crops website provides growers crop-specific nutritional factsheets of seven annual bedding plants including marigolds, geraniums, petunia, calibrachoa, gerbera, New Guinea impatiens (Fig 3) and dahlias. In the future, it will also provide nutritional factsheets for perennials, potted flowering plants, edible and herb crops. These crop-specific nutritional factsheets provide the optimal crop-specific fertility requirements, pH and EC values reported by the 1:2 Dilution, Saturated Media Extraction (SME) and PourThru methods, fertility management, corrective procedures for high and low pH and EC, and nutritional disorder photos.

Nutritional Monitoring of Floriculture web

Figure 3. Example of a nutritional factsheet that provides optimal crop-specific fertility requirements, pH and EC values reported by the 1:2 Dilution, Saturated Media Extraction (SME) and PourThru methods, fertility management, corrective procedures for high and low pH and EC, and nutritional disorder photos. Pictured here is the New Guinea impatiens nutritional factsheet.

The new website will also provide growers with instructional “How To” videos and guides. For instance, instructional “How To” videos and guides for determining substrate pH and EC by either 1:2 Dilution, Saturated Media Extraction (SME) and PourThru methods will be available. Sampling methods to determine pH and EC of annual bedding and perennial plants, plugs, liners, flats, pots and hanging baskets will be posted. Other videos and guides include properly collecting plant tissue for analysis, sampling irrigation water and injector calibration.

As a continuous effort to provide growers with nutritional information, please check the Nutritional Monitoring of Floriculture Crops website for updates and new postings of crop-specific nutritional factsheets, videos and guides.

The e-GRO team would like to thank the American Floral Endowment for support.


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