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Fall 2011 Issue

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Toll Free Order Line 1.800.659.4346

General Inquires


Griffin Locations Cheshire, CT Ball Ground, GA Tewksbury, MA Gray, ME Bridgeton, NJ Ewing, NJ Auburn, NY Brookhaven, NY Schenectady, NY Morgantown, PA Knoxville, TN Richmond, VA

Upcoming Events OFA Grow & Sell for Profit Conference November 8-9, 2011 Raleigh, NC NE Vegetable and Fruit Conference December 13-15, 2011 Manchester, NH MANTS January 11-13, 2012 Baltimore, MD Green & Growin Show January 19-20, 2012 Greensboro, NC Mid States Hort Expo January 27-28, 2012 Louisville, KY NE Grows February 1-3, 2012 Boston, MA All articles and material featured in this Gazette cannot be duplicated without written permission. Copyright © 2011 by Griffin Greenhouse & Nursery Supplies.

Cover Photo Echinacea Big Sky Sundown

Griffin is proud to introduce our NEW and IMPROVED COMMITMENT TO EXCEPTIONAL CUSTOMER SERVICE We would like to welcome Chris Layne to our Customer Service Team. Chris brings a wealth of experience to her new role as Corporate Customer Service Manager. She comes to Griffins with over 18 years of Customer Service experience working at American Express. Chris has a passion for exceptional Customer Service and is excited to continue Griffin’s customer - driven philosophy where the customer’s success and well-being is placed above all else. We hope you had a chance to stop by and see her at one of our Griffin Expos. Please take a moment to go to and click on the “Let us know how we are doing” button. Improvement starts with knowing what issues are out there, so please let Chris know so we can better serve you. Welcome aboard Chris!

Recent Addition to the GGSPro Technical Team Joanne Lutz, GGSPro Technical Specialist

Joanne is the most recent addition to the GGSPro technical team. After receiving her B.S. degree in Ornamental Horticulture from Delaware Valley College she launched a career that has been rich with scouting and plant diagnostics. Joanne’s career experience includes positions at the Beltsville Agriculture Research Center, US National Arboretum and the University of Maryland Plant Diagnostic Clinic. She also owned an IPM scouting and consulting business for 8 years, worked as a greenhouse grower, customer care technical support and sales throughout the greenhouse, nursery and landscape industry. Joanne cooperated with the University of Maryland on trials using BCA’s and pesticide efficacy. She has contributed articles and pictures for the TPM/IPM weekly e-pest reports and has co-authored an article for Grower Talks magazine. Welcome aboard Joanne! See our website for product listings and details on upcoming GGSPro Seminars. • 1.888.GGSPRO.1 • 2

F all 2011 Issue

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2011 marks Griffin's 30th year of having Grower Expos! Fall is in the air, and that can mean only one thing, you’ve just been to another exciting Griffin Grower Expo. With over 200 vendors interacting with the 1500 attendees that walked through the doors over the three days of shows, this year will be another one for the record books.

This year’s educational program included presentations on new plant varieties by Griffin’s Don Brown and Cindy Holmes, Heater Efficiency by Modine Manufacturing and Newer Pesticides and How to Use Them by Griffin’s GGSPro experts Rick Yates and Joanne Lutz.

Our MA Expo at the Eastern States Exposition Center in WestSpringfield on August 17th, marked the beginning of our Expo season. It was followed by our PA Expo on September 14th at the Lancaster Host Convention Center in Lancaster, PA. Our Expos wrapped up with our TN Expo on September 28th at the Knoxville Expo Center in Knoxville, TN. We were elated to have such a great turnout at all of our Expos.

Door prizes were also part of each Expo with all attendees being entered to win a Siebring Kruser Sprayer, HD TV and a Wii gaming system, just for attending. In addition, Sun Gro offered a chance to win a Bose Radio, Everris offered an Apple I-Pad and the Myers group offered a four day / three night trip to a destination of your choice!

Each day was jam packed with vendor specials on products, plant material options from an impressive list of plant producers, attendee only specials, great food and refreshment, and Griffin’s outstanding educational seminar program.

We would like to sincerely thank all of our customers who were able to make it to our Expos. We hope that you had as great a time as we did. Hopefully you enjoyed a good meal, brought home some goodies, got your product questions answered and even learned a little. We look forward to seeing you at the 2012 Expos!

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9/26/2011 1:48:25 PM

Grower to Grower Energy Grants Provide Big Savings to Growers Last July I had the opportunity to visit with two of my fellow growers here in Massachusetts who have received grants to upgrade their greenhouse ranges in recent years. Laura Bartlett Abrams of the J. P. Bartlett Company, Inc. in Sudbury and Dave Volante of Volante Farms in Needham graciously shared their time and experiences with me for this column. Both Laura and Dave have served terms as president of the Massachusetts Flower Growers’ Association in the past decade. Both currently hold the reigns for their respective, multi generational family operations. And both have been busy committing significant resources toward modernizing their physical facilities in order to compete more efficiently in today’s margin-challenged business environment. Michael Hoffman is the office manager at J. P. Bartlett’s and served as the point person for the project that was directly funded by National Grid. Sixty percent of the cost of upgrading an existing boiler responsible for heating an older portion of the range from oil to duel fuel (natural gas and oil) was covered by the grant. In a different section of the range a new bank of high efficiency boilers was installed, receiving a $30,000 joint grant from National Grid and the Massachusetts Department of Agriculture’s Agriculture Energy Grant Program. On top of the installation grant the purchase cost of the boilers qualified for additional rebates. Also in this section of the range a new energy/shade curtain system was installed which has resulted in a thirty percent savings in fuel consumption. Foam sidewall insulation was also installed under the grant project.

By Peter Konjoian

Michael is quoted in a National Grid article as follows. “We installed four new boilers, and a heat retention curtain which has saved us a great deal of money. It allows us to keep our prices competitive with our competition overseas, mitigating the rising cost of fuel and heating only the areas that required heating”. At Volante Farms Dave is in the middle of a huge renovation. His family’s diversified farm and farm stand/greenhouse and garden center has undergone a complete remake in the past several years. Original quonset greenhouses were replaced with an open roof gutter connected range where rain water is collected from the roof and used for irrigation. The old farm stand is in its final season of use while a new building is being constructed (see picture). The roof of the new building is being prepped for a 50 kilowatt solar panel array that will produce electricity to run the walk-in produce coolers in the future. Dave had high praise for his local county office staff who helped him navigate the application processes and town requirements and restrictions. One of his grants was under the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Services program. Irrigation upgrades that included drip emitters and ebb and flood bench installation qualified for assistance. This grant provided money on either a per drip emitter or per square foot of ebb and flood bench basis. Additionally, Dave received a grant of $30,000 to offset the cost of installing a new high efficiency boiler for the open roof range. This grant was from the Agricultural Energy Enhancement Program. Both J.P. Bartlett and Volante Farms have positioned themselves to be more efficient and competitive in the years ahead. The energy efficiency grants, irrigation conservation grants, and future solar panel grants have been instrumental in helping them turn respective corners in their businesses. I am certain that every state within Griffin territory has similar programs available to growers. I’d like to thank Laura and Dave for sharing their experiences with us. If you have had experience with these types of grants and would like to share your story, please don’t hesitate to contact me. It will be my pleasure to serve as a conduit via this column to benefit all. As growers overcome their apprehensions over inquiring about and applying for grants like these more greenhouse operations will achieve higher operational efficiency in the years ahead.


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Frequently Asked


Timely Tips

Preventing Pythium Root Rot in Fall Garden Mums By Joanne Lutz, GGSPro Technical Specialist

Pythium species are soil borne pathogens that can promote root and basal stem rots in garden mums. The aggressive species of Pythium aphanidermatum, known as the “hot weather� Pythium is most often associated with garden mums. Disease outbreaks are encouraged when environmental conditions that include high temperatures (80-90o) and humidity are present. Plants with high soil moisture, high soluble salts and/or under stress, create optimum conditions for this pathogen to develop and spread quickly. Symptomatic plants may first exhibit a wet, black brown basal stem rot which may extend several inches above the soil surface. Examination of the root system will reveal brown, soft roots which when pulled slightly will slough off the decayed epidermis and cortex leaving the inner vascular strand. Once the cortex is gone, its function to transport water, nutrients, diffuse oxygen, and store food is compromised. Inside the root systems, oospores germinate and reproduce at a fast growth rate allowing it to invade nearby roots. As the pathogen invades the leaf tissues or roots, affected plants wilt and plants will look dull in color or turn yellow. Use of a well-drained media that can provide a pH of 5.3 - 5.8 for soilless media and an EC reading between 2.5 - 3.0 mmhos (saturated paste) on a constant feed program are ideal. Make sure EC levels do not exceed 3.0 mmhos as high fertilizer levels add stress to the root systems by burning essential root hairs and the root epidermis. Once damaged, this may permit the pathway for Pythium entry into the root system. Spacing plants to provide adequate air circulation and watering is fundamental to producing high quality crops. To reduce spread of this water borne pathogen, drip or trickle irrigation works best. Irrigation may be needed up to twice per day if growing large mums during the hot days of July and August. Drainage underneath

pots must be provided and look for low lying areas that collect water that create an ideal environment for this disease organism to survive. Zoospores are the mobile, swimming reproductive structures that serve as the main way this disease is dispersed through irrigation water or splashing onto nearby plants. Using IPM practices to limit losses from Pythium begins with cultural practices that create an unsuitable environment for this disease organism. Some products that are labeled as preventative and/or curative for Pythium root and stem rots include; Adorn, Truban, Terrazole, Banrot, Subdue Maxx, Fenstop, Hurricane, Segway, Kleengrow, Alude, Fosphite and Aliette. Two control options to consider include: 1) Treat with Banrot/Truban/Terrazole soon after planting. Follow up 1-2 weeks later with PlantShield HC, Actinovate SP or Companion/Cease. 2) Treat with Banrot/Truban/Terrazole, Adorn, Kleengrow or Subdue Maxx/Hurricane soon after planting. Repeat at 4 weeks intervals. The GGSPro Reference Guide contains important mode of action (MOA) information to help growers make good fungicide rotation choices. The GGSPro team is available to answer your inquires.

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9/26/2011 1:48:35 PM

Technical Tips

Don’t Touch That Dial…

Don’t touch that dial until you have taken the time to assess the impact that changing the thermostat settings will have on total energy usage and crop quality. Expensive energy and demanding economic times make it tempting to turn down the heat on crops being produced for spring sales. Turning down the thermostat sets wheels in motion that need to be carefully evaluated before proceeding. Crop time increases with a decrease in average daily temperature. The amount of that increase can vary significantly from crop to crop. The first stop on the road to energy efficient temperature management is to get a handle on which crops are more energy efficient when produced at lower vs. warmer. The discussion that follows on cool and warm base temperature crops begins to answer that question. There are more than BTUs at stake here however. In the competitive market place plant quality cannot be sacrificed for energy savings. Lower temperatures may improve crop quality by improving branching and encouraging a compact plant habit. Generally speaking, insect and mite problems are reduced at cooler temperatures due to the fact that their rate of reproduction slows down. Disease pressure on the other hand may increase for a variety of reasons. Pythium root and stem rot is often referred to as an opportunistic disease because it is more likely to be a problem for plants under stress, including temperature stress. Botrytis is an example of a foliar disease that is favored by prolonged periods of free moisture on leaf surfaces. Cooler night temperatures lead to increased condensation thereby increasing the amount of time the foliage remains wet. Increasing production time results in starting plants earlier when winter’s cold is stronger and light levels are lower. Does that pay? The journey to making well informed decisions on managing energy usage includes understanding the way the crops we grow respond to changes in temperature. Temperature influences finish times, but how much is known about the response of individual crops? The minimum temperature at which a crop will continue to make growth is defined as the base temperature for that crop. Cold tolerant crops such as pansy or snapdragon will have a lower base temperature than cold sensitive crops such as celosia or vinca for example. Most spring greenhouses have many species of plants being produced under one

By Rick Yates, GGSPro Technical Services Manager

roof. This presents challenges in determining the optimum growing environment. Compromises are sometimes needed while attempting to group plants with similar temperature requirements together. Temperature response research available for certain crops makes it possible to predict the effects of reducing the average daily temperature by one degree. In Figure 1, Neil Mattson, Cornell University demonstrated that Viola, Sorbet Blackberry Cream, a cool base temperature crop, had an increase in crop time of only 1.1 days for every decrease of 1ºF in average daily temperature. Petunia Purple Wave, a warm base crop by contrast required an additional 3.3 days for the same decrease of 1ºF in average daily temperature! Growers are often surprised to discover that although Petunia Purple Wave can tolerate a light freeze when properly hardened off it is more energy efficient to produce them with warmer temperatures. Time to start crunching the numbers. A tool is needed to convert average daily temperature, days to bloom, geographic location and the planning calendar into heating dollars. The Virtual Grower program from the USDA is a highly configurable tool that has proven to be up to the task. To obtain this free software type, “USDA Virtual Grower Download” into an Internet search engine and follow the link to the download site. (Contact the author for a work around if you have a 64 bit system.) The Virtual Grower software program was developed in part to help greenhouse operators make energy efficient crop production decisions. GGSPro has produced a tutorial on getting started with Virtual Grower which is available upon request. Step by step instructions accompanied by screen shots take the mystery out of getting started. Does turning down the thermostat always save energy? The answer varies by crop, geographic location and time of year but the good news is that Virtual Grower does all of the heavy lifting when it comes to the calculations. Bedding plants can be used to illustrate the change in heat energy usage that results from turning down the thermostat coupled with the resulting crop time increases. Selecting one cool and one warm base temperature crop will introduce an additional variable. For this example Pansy Crystal Bowl Supreme Yellow will serve as the cool crop and Petunia Purple Wave for the warm crop. The term Average Daily Temperature (ADT) will be used throughout this discussion. ADT is defined as the average temperature for a 24 hour period. This value can be calculated by recording the temperature each hour for an entire day, adding them together, and dividing by 24. Energy cost calculations will be used for one city in the northern US (Albany, NY) and one city in the south (Knoxville TN) to allow for regional comparisons.

Table1. Increase in finish time per 1°F temperature drop in ADT: Adapted from: Mattson and Erwin, 2002. Acta Horticulturae. 624:191197


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Using Table 1 the differences between the response of cool and warm base temperature crops to reducing the ADT begins to come into focus. When heating dollars are added later the contrast becomes even more apparent. It is worth noting that the response to temperature decline is not linear. At the high end of the

temperature range responses from both plants are less dramatic indicating that there may be a point of diminishing return when increasing production temperatures for many crops. Heat cost is calculated with 25% of the heat charged to hanging baskets hung above the bench crops.

Table 2. Albany NY-4” pots Pansy Crystal Bowl Supreme Yellow planted from plugs. Finish date April 1.

Table 3. Knoxville TN-4” pots Pansy Crystal Bowl Supreme Yellow planted from plugs. Finish date March 1.

Analysis of these tables may produce some surprises. The cool base temperature example from Table 2 shows that pansies in the Albany NY region can be produced over a range of ADT with little change in energy usage. Further south in Knoxville TN Table 3 indicates that there is a small energy saving for growing cooler. This is due to the fact that there is a comparatively small penalty in terms of increased production time for every 1°F of reduced ADT.

This is typical of cool base temperature crops. The extra days of production were offset by the lower ADT so the overriding consideration becomes what temperatures produce the highest quality crop. Pansies are usually among the first spring crops planted and sold so the extra crop time required by growing cooler does not reduce the number of turns produced in that space the way it might for crops that follow it.

Table 4. Albany NY- 4”pots Petunia Purple Wave planted from plugs. Finish date May 8. Timing based on long days being provided until 3/21.

Table 5. Knoxville TN- 4”pots Petunia Purple Wave planted from plugs. Finish date April 8. Timing based on long days being provided until 3/21.

Petunia Purple Wave is a warm base line crop and as predicted, lowering the ADT produced dramatic increases in crop time and energy usage for both locations. Reducing the ADT just 5°F to 65°F produced an average energy cost increase of 23% while crop time increased 35%. Dropping the ADT to 55°F produced an energy cost increase that ranged from 44% in Knoxville (Table5) to 65% in Albany (Table 4). Crop time increased by a whopping 112%. Growers may want to finish this crop cool for toning but clearly it needs to be grown at a warmer rather than cooler ADT.

In summary, the research available provides a good running start but at the same time points out that much more work needs to be done to evaluate the wide array of plants grown in commercial greenhouses to determine the optimum production temperatures. Decreased production costs, and improved space utilization are reasons enough to pursue this further. Add to that potential improvements in crop quality and shrinkage and ample motivation exists to explore further the interactions between temperature, light and plant growth. (The full version of this article is available on the GGSPro web site or upon request.) w w w . g r if f in s . c o m

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9/26/2011 1:48:39 PM

Griffin Plant Programs & Samplers

Plant Corner

By Nanette Marks

What could be easier than ordering from Griffin’s selection of Plant Programs? Did you know that we offer up to 18 different plant programs and product samplers throughout the year? With all season interest you can have fresh displays weekly with our various specials. Take a look at the benefits: • Low risk investment • Small quantities to trial • New or unique product s can be tried before ordering large quantities • Can offer savings of 5% to 40% off • Perfectly timed to be ready for finished sales in your geographic location • Special holiday plants • New offerings every season • Alternatives to traditional crops give your customers new options • Easy to grow with growing schedules provided for new crops



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Optimara Retail Ready African VioletsOrder retail ready mini’s through 6 inch for any holiday in a variety of container choices. 40066

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Volcano Plants – Year round foliage plants grown on volcanic rock, blessed by the Grand Cahuna

Seasonal Pot Covers

Orchids with seasonal pot covers – Year round assorted blooming plants for instant Griffin Greenhouse & Nursery Supplies counter sales. Reorder as needed. GPS Hort - Griffin Plant Services Phone: (800) 732-3509 Fax: (610) 913-3091

Oncidium Sharry Baby ‘Yellow Panda’

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Choose from Trellis Pots- a choice of Robrick Tropical 3 Genera Passion Vine, Thunbergia or Mandevilla, along with pots and trellises. Prices include royalties, boxing and freight to your door – no additional costs. • Plants sold in 72 trays • 4 trays per box • Prices include packing, royalties, freight and tags

#51-41151 Trellis 128 Pack $197.63 $1.54 each #52-4115 1 Gallon Pot 128 Pack $ 51.87 $ .41 each Free delivery GriďŹƒn Truck or UPS -------------Total setup cost $1.95 each

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Perfect for Con Containers and Patio Gardening

Works in the landscape, too!

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Hardy zones 5-9

400 Total Plants Silverleaf Exclusive Herb Sampler – Full 24 Varieties - 17 Liners each collection in one box. Receive 17 liners each of 24 different varieties.

J.P. Bartlett

2012 Special Sampler Box of Bartlett Geraniums

Great American Cities These Rex Begonias have been selected for their bright colors, uniformity, salt tolerance, and year round vigor. Vivid color for shade locations. Use in patio color bowls and window boxes. Thrives in summer heat. Little winter dormancy. Liners are shipped with a colorful tag.

Albuquerque Midnight Sky

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4 varieties of Geraniums 100 Rooted cuttings of each

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Rex Begonia Sampler. Order liners or retail ready finished pots. New Orleans Masquerade

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Omaha Beefsteak

Orlando Lime

Gr if f in Gazette Fall 2 0 1 1 San Diego Sunset

Savannah Pink Parfait

2011 Fall Gazette.indd 8

Seattle Twist


Thornless Blackberries bear fruit June, July and August Plant all 3 for berries all summer!

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B1 ‘Cherish’ (Mini) B2 ‘Key West’ (L) B3 ‘Patriot’ (M) B4 ‘Friends’ (S-M) B5 ‘Blazing Saddles’ (M-L) B6 ‘Neptune’ (L) B7 ‘Yesterday’s Memories’ (L) B8 ‘Blue Dolphin’ (L)


2012 Program

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Nice mix of colors and growth habits in each tray. For your own assortment, ask your sales representative for availability.

A1 ‘El Nino’ (M) A2 ‘Blue Mouse Ears’ (S-M) A3 montana Aureomarginata (L) A4 ‘Limey Lisa’ (VS) A5 ‘Spartan Arrow’ (VS) A6 ‘Prairie Moon’ (M) A7 ‘Blue Angel’ (L) A8 ‘Great Expectations’ (L)

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Gro ‘n Sell Wave Petunias exclusive for Griffin - Save 5% on in a large 72 tray

Carnivorous Plant Assortments

Fly trap farms

3 Inch Dome Pots $•••• • •per • • •Case • of 25 assorted Includes Countertop Display Box

Finished ‘One Gallon’ containers of clematis in bud or bloom with lock-in trellis and jumbo portrait label. Available April–September 2010.


Sundews (Drosera)

August Upright

Agri-Starts Assorted Thornless Blackberry/ Low Bush Blueberry Sampler. Only 17 plants each of 6 different varieties, shipped Triple Crown Chester Ouchita in one box.



Assortments include: • Venus Fly Traps • Pitcher Plants • Sundews • Butterworts

Mid June Trailing


Venus Fly Traps (Dionaea muscipula)

Trail Planting

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Booman Floral Carnivorous Plants countertop displays 3instant Inch Ventilated wateringappeal boxes – $70.80 retail for add-on sales. per Case of 24 Assorted Includes Countertop Display Boxup 4 types of carnivorous Samplers contain plant, from a choice of 3 different suppliers. (Prices effective July 1, 2010 and subject to change)

Donahues Trellis Pot s- a choice of standard or premium liners, along with pots and trellises. Option to buy them pre-planted, ready to display and sell. Cust. No: Company: Contact: Address: Phone: email: Ship Date:

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9/26/2011 1:49:38 PM

Sphagnum Peat: The Original Natural BioFungicide By Shiv Reddy, Sun Gro Horticulture

Diseases are becoming increasingly important in the production of ornamental crops due to restrictions on the use of chemicals. And growers are seeking safer practices for controlling plant diseases. In this context, I present information to help growers better understand biological properties of peat and thus reduce the potential of root diseases.

peats (termed H1-H2 peat on the von Post decomposition scale) are very suppressive to diseases. Light colored sphagnum peats harbor high population levels of antagonists such as Trichoderma or Streptomcyes. These peats have high levels of microbial food to sustain the activity of microorganisms.

Sphagnum peat moss is the main component in my growing media. I want to know peat’s role in soil-borne diseases such as Pythium, Phytophthora, Rhizoctonia, Fusarium and Thielaviopsis rots. First of all, is peat sterile?

The microbial food supply governs the duration of microbial activity and in turn disease suppression. For example, H2 peat microbial activity can remain high enough to suppress Pythium throughout a poinsettia crop cycle. H3 peat, which is more decomposed, can suppress disease for 6-7 weeks—still a “lifetime” for plugs. Disease suppressive activity depends on growing media temperature as well.

Peat is not sterile. However, new peat is virtually free of plant pathogens. This pathogen-free characteristic has been a major factor for the success of peat as a component of growing media. Peat reduces the risk of introduction or dissemination of soil-based pests. The disease-free nature of peat can be traced to its origin. Generally peat comes from areas where crops and associated debris are absent, so chances of occurrence of plant pathogens there is very low. The microorganisms that are in peat are either harmless or suppress plant disease causing fungi. Contrary to what some growers believe, peat producers do not sterilize peat. Sterilization destroys all microbes including those that suppress diseases, thereby creating a biological vacuum. Immediately after sterilization, microbes in the air can contaminate that peat. If the contamination is by a plant pathogen, due to the absence of competition in the sterilized peat, the pathogen can reach epidemic proportions. OK, So what microbes are in peat? Sphagnum peat moss contains many microbes although the number of species are not as diverse compared with mineral soil. In an undisturbed peat bog, common microbes at or near the bog surface include bacteria genera Bacillus, Micrococci, Pseudomonas and fungal genera Penicillium, Trichoderma, Cephalosporium and Mortierella. Drainage of bogs (done before harvesting peat) leads to further increase in the numbers of these aerobic bacteria and fungi. Following the commencement of harvesting peat, major changes in the composition, numbers and activity of microbes occur. Most common microorganisms then include bacterial genera Bacillus, Streptomyces, Arthrobacter and fungal genera Penicillium, Mortierella, Cladosporum, Aspergillus and Trichoderma. Of these, Bacillus, Psuedomonas, Trichoderma and Streptomyces are well known to be beneficial in suppressing plant diseases. In processed peat, occasionally there are very low levels of Fusarium, Pythium and Rhizoctonia. Their occurrence is probably due to contamination during processing or transport. Good peat producers safeguard against such contamination and maintain the pathogen-free nature of peat. How do beneficial microbes in peat control plant diseases? The control mechanisms of various microorganisms differ. For example, when peat contains a plethora of nonpathogenic microbes, they compete for nutrients and suppress potentially pathogenic organisms such as Pythium or Phytophthora which rely on the same nutrients for growth. Bacillus, Streptomyces and Trichoderma in peat produce antibiotics as well and suppress pathogens such as Rhizoctonia, which do not rely on outside nutrients for germination and infection. Antibiotics produced by Bacillus or Streptomyces are effective against Fusarium. Streptomyces and Trichoderma even directly attack fungal cells of pathogens. Such diverse biological activity suppresses the disease spread in peat. There are different kinds of peat, do they all behave the same way? The difference in peats makes it difficult to make explicit statements about disease suppression by peat. Sphagnum peats from different sources vary in their microbial composition. Generally blond or lighter colored

Don’t physical characteristics of growing media affect diseases? Not just biological properties of peat, but physical as well as chemical properties of the final growing media made from peat have a significant effect on soil-borne diseases. A high water content in the media during growing enhances the movement of disease causing spores and decreases the availability of oxygen to the plant roots, thereby increasing the susceptibility of plants to attack by pathogens. As an example, a media with an air content of 20-25% is needed when Phytophthora is a frequent problem. High salinity or fertility in the media aggravates Phytophthora, Pythium, Fusarium diseases. In this aspect, it is an advantage to use peat because salinity guidelines are available. How can I better utilize the suspected disease suppressive qualities of peat? Knowingly or unknowingly the peat you used for growing often doubled as a natural disease suppressant. To prevent or reduce diseases, there are things peat producers do. Most peats supplied by high quality producers for greenhouse crops are H1-H3 on the von Post decomposition scale. Such peats are also obtained from uncropped land. Good peat producers take measures to ensure that peat is not contaminated during processing, pack it properly and transport it in clean trucks. One thing you can do is to keep the peat from becoming contaminated is to avoid contact of peat with the bare ground and any other infested material. If you are blending your own growing medium, ensure the other components are free of pathogens as well. Beneficial bacteria do not colonize dry media but fungi, like Pythium can. So don't allow peat or mixes to become too dry. Since disease suppression in peat comes from microbes, treatments such as steaming, chemical disinfestation or fungicide drenches can reduce or destroy beneficial microbial populations, so be cautious when using these practices.

Vinca in pasteurized peat

Vinca in unpasteurized peat

Pasteurization of peat destroys many beneficial microbes, thereby increasing disease. Left: Uninfected; Center: Infected by low level Pythium; Right: Infected by high level Pythium Photo courtesy of Dr. Mike Evans (University of Arkansas)

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9/26/2011 1:49:39 PM

12” River Stone Planter Item #: 49-YVP12000 Color: Gray / Green Outside Diameter: 12” Height: 8.5” Liquid Volume: 2.75 gal. Qty/cs: 50 Price: $98.25

12” River Stone Bowl Item #: 49-YVB12000 Color: Gray / Green Outside Diameter: 12” Height: 5” Liquid Volume: 1.675 gal. Qty/cs: 50 Price: $125.59

12” River Stone Hanging Planter Item #: 51-YVH12000 Color: Gray / Green Inside Diameter: 12” Height: 7” Liquid Volume: 2.5 gal. Qty/cs: 50 Price: $130.39

Climbing Plant Support Cage • • •

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Welded Green coated wire Hook under lip

14” Canyon Tall Planter Item #: 49-YMT14000 Color: Slate Outside Diameter: 14” Height: 16” Liquid Volume: 8.5 gal. Qty/cs: 25 Price: $142.38

15” Ebb Tide Large Bowl Item #: 49-YEL15000 (Gold) or 49-YEL15001 (Cobalt) Color: Available in Gold/ Metallic Gold or Cobalt / Gray Outside Diameter: 15” Height: 6” Liquid Volume: 2.5 gal. Qty/cs: 50 Price: $134.29

Item #










$199.03 $187.32

Container sold separately, see below.

Designed to fit the 12.0 Color Pot #1 Item #'s: 49-3646, 53-3648, 49-3546, 53-3848

9/26/2011 1:49:59 PM

Tips for Foliar Disease Control in Perennials (Taken in part from A Guide for Protecting Perennials – Syngenta Crop Protection scp 910-00496-B 03/10). Submitted by Michael Oleykowski

Winter is fast approaching, and growers are covering their hoops for the winter production. There are a number of fungal pathogens that can cause leaf spotting and foliar blights on perennials. Although most foliar diseases will not cause plant mortality, infections will greatly reduce the appearance and marketability of the crop and weaken plants that will be over-wintered. Here are some tips for controlling some common foliar diseases in perennials. Conditions necessary for fungal leaf spot infections • Cool conditions. • Wet foliage. • High relative humidity. • Little air movement. • Splashing water is the most common method of spreading spores from plant to plant. • Spores are also spread by insects, wind, and rain. Cultural methods of control • Clean and sanitize between crops. • Use disease-free propagation materials or plug liners. • Keep the foliage as dry as possible. • Irrigate early in the day to allow the leaves to dry before night. • Provide adequate spacing between plants to allow good air circulation and low relative humidity near the canopy of the crop. • Maintain low relative humidity (<80%). • Scout perennials weekly to detect leaf spots early. COMMON PATHOGENS CAUSING LEAF SPOTS Alternaria • May infect leaves, stems, and flowers and it can be difficult to identify. • Spots range from less than 1/8th of an inch to 1/4 of an inch appearing at first water soaked. Then they change and often enlarge to reddish-brown to black spots sometimes with concentric rings or with tan to white centers. • As the disease progresses, the spots merge and can completely cover leaf surfaces or the entire plant. • Lesions or cankers on stems may cause dieback and plant death in severe cases. • Ten hours of free water on plant surfaces is needed for disease infection to occur. Cercospora • Forms 1–3 mm tan-brown to black-purplish spots with sunken centers. • Spots may appear transparent or feathery in appearance with web-like growth. • On some perennials, such as hostas, the spots appear tan to reddish-brown with a darker rust-colored border. • Spots often merge together and cover the entire leaf before causing the leaf to turn yellow and die. Colletotrichum (anthracnose) • Initial symptoms appear as pale yellow spots with black borders. • Over time, the center of the spot appears dry, tan, and sunken with concentric rings. • Develops into brown blotches or dead areas on leaves and stems. • May also cause blights with favorable conditions. • Infected petioles and flower stalks appear girdled at the point of infection. • Light to dark brown spots appear on infected flowers which may also become distorted. • Eliminate leaf wetting and the disease will not develop. Septoria • Usually first appears on the lower leaves as small dark brown lesions 1/8" to 1/4" in diameter. • Lesions on some perennials can appear purple. • Lesions usually have rounded edges but can be angular in shape. • Later in the season, Septoria leaf spot on Rudbeckia spots merge into large brown spots that can cover much of the leaf surface. • Can be serious problem during warm and wet periods. • Avoid overhead irrigation or water early in the day to allow the foliage to dry.

Botrytis Nearly all perennials are susceptible to the foliar diseases caused by Botrytis cinerea. Botrytis blight or gray mold is typically identified by fuzzy gray or brown spore masses that develop on infected plant parts. Botrytis readily invades wounded, yellowing, or senescent leaves and stems, but many times Botrytis on Echinaceae emerging leaves, young tender shoots, and flowers are become susceptible. Initially, the infected leaves form tan to brown lesions along the leaf margins. Infected stems become dark and sunken, and flower petals develop small light brown flecks. This progresses quickly and can cause the plant tissues to collapse while the presence of fuzzy spore masses appear virtually overnight. Conditions necessary for Botrytis infections • Wet foliage or flowers for four or more hours. • High relative humidity (>85%). • Thrives in cool, humid environments. Cultural methods for control of Botrytis • Scout regularly—daily when conditions for disease development are present. • Remove all plant debris and infected plants from the production area. • Clean and sanitize between crops. • Maintain relative humidity levels below 85% to avoid condensation on the crops if the temperatures drop. • Purge or ventilate greenhouses during the night. Avoid extended periods of free water on plant surfaces. • Water early in the day to allow the foliage to dry before night. • Provide adequate spacing between plants to allow good air circulation and low relative humidity near the canopy of the crop. • Use HAF fans to increase air circulation. Strategies for Disease Control Heritage® and Daconil® fungicides have a great fit in perennial production, offering reliable protection and broad spectrum control of these key foliar diseases. Used as part of a rotation, Heritage® provides long lasting control with contact and systemic activity, and is easy to incorporate into schedules with a low, 4 hour REI. Daconil® is optimally formulated to stick and stay, providing protection on the outside of the plant, inhibiting spore germination and fungal growth. This strategy is a nice complement to root and stem rot protection provided by Subdue MAXX® and Medallion® fungicides. Once the plants are potted into their final containers, Palladium™ fungicide, a newer product from Syngenta, can be included in the rotation program. Particularly strong on Botrytis as well as many foliar diseases, Palladium™ provides effective and economical control of these diseases through contact and systemic activity. Palladium contains two, highly complimentary A.I.s with unique modes of action: -Fludioxonil provides contact and residual protection on the outside of the plant, inhibiting spore germination and mycelia growth. - Cyprodinil penetrates into the cuticle and plant tissue, inhibiting fungalpenetration and mycelia growth within the plant. This active ingredient also offers a new and unique mode of action. Palladium™ is effective at low use rates of 2 – 6 oz per 100 gallon. It’s REI is 12 hours and it’s label has CAUTION as it’s signal word. Palladium™ is formulated as a WDG (water dispersible granule) and is packaged in a 2 pound bottle, 6 bottles to a case. ©2011 Syngenta Crop Protection, LLC.

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9/26/2011 1:50:04 PM

P.O. Box 36, Tewksbury, MA 01876-0036

Cases for a Cure™

Together we’ll get closer to a cure, one case at a time.™

Griffin Greenhouse & Nursery Supplies, in an effort to further breast cancer awareness, has developed the Cases for a Cure™ program. The products featured here, as well as a few other products, have been selected for inclusion in the program. Cases for a Cure™ is simple and easy! It’s a hassle free way for growers like yourself to be part of the ever growing pink cause. You won’t have to track sales, or fill out any paperwork for donations. We are handling it all on our end. When you purchase these products, up to 17% of the cost will be donated to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Having the donations made at the grower/retailer level allows you to show your customers that you believe in the program and have already made the commitment. This also doesn’t take up any of your valuable time, making this a win-win!

Program Exclusive

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9/26/2011 1:50:17 PM

2011 Fall Gazette  

Griffin Greenhouse Supplies 2011 Fall Gazette