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Bedding Plant Production

Bedding Plant Production. Topic 2174 Aaron Gearhart. What are Bedding Plants?. Flower and vegetable transplants that are planted each spring Started in greenhouses during the winter so they can be transplanted when danger of frost is past. Why Do We Do It?.

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Bedding Plant Production

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  1. Bedding Plant Production Topic 2174 Aaron Gearhart

  2. What are Bedding Plants? • Flower and vegetable transplants that are planted each spring • Started in greenhouses during the winter so they can be transplanted when danger of frost is past.

  3. Why Do We Do It? • To have flowers that are a part of our landscaping in bloom longer • Leave the difficulties of germination and juvenile stages to the pros • So we can see the final product when we buy it • Save time, Save time, Save time

  4. Here are Some Examples of Bedding Plants

  5. Ageratum

  6. Begonia

  7. Celosia

  8. Petunias

  9. Marigold

  10. Nicotiana

  11. Pansy

  12. Salvia

  13. Zinnia

  14. Impatiens

  15. Favorite Bedding Plants • Petunias • Geraniums • Impatiens • Begonias • Pansies

  16. Some Favorite Vegetable Bedding Plants • Tomatoes • Peppers • Cabbage

  17. Soilless Media • Most bedding plants are grown in soilless media • This is due to the fact that regular mineral soil like that in agricultural fields becomes quickly waterlogged when in flats

  18. Characteristics of Good Media • Light weight • Porous (having a high percentage of air pockets) • Well-drained • Most common media is a peat and perlite mix…often called peat-lite

  19. Perlite and Vermiculite • Perlite is a volcanic rock that is “puffed” by baking it at high temperatures. It is very poor at holding water and is thus excellent for lightening up your soilless media (white bumps in the media) • Vermiculite is also a volcanic rock but is brown and can hold water fairly well.

  20. Sowing Seed • In commercial applications seed is often sowed into plug trays • This saves space, which is vital in order to maintain profits • Excellent care is needed in order to keep the seed moist in such a small volume of media

  21. Germinating Seeds • Seeds are sown onto a fine germinating media • A thin layer of vermiculite is often placed on top • Must be kept constantly moist • General temperature of 70 – 75 F • Some seeds require light (impatiens,lettuce) • Label type and variety on the plug trays to avoid mixups • Fertilizing the plug trays with a high phosphorous fertilizer solution will result in less transplant shock

  22. Transplanting to Flats • Usually done when the plants show about four true leaves • One plug to each flat • One 512 count plug tray can fill about 14 36 cell flats. • Each flat must be carefully labeled with the plant type and variety to avoid mixups

  23. Important Things to Remember When Transplanting • Plants are fragile so be very careful. • Transplants should be watered in immediately after being placed in the plug tray. • As a general rule, while growing, plants should be watered with 100ppm Nitrogen and Phosphorous once per week.

  24. Fertilizer • This is where the plants get their food • Soilless media has very few nutrients in it so we must supply these nutrients with fertilizers • Excessive fertilizer will result in tall bushy plants which will be hard to sell • By keeping fertilizer rates at a minimum compact flowering plants that are easy to ship can be attained

  25. Watering • Just like fertilizer, excessive watering can result in tall bushy plants • Yet too little watering can result in weak and sometimes dead plants • Media should never be waterlogged and never be completely dry. A happy medium should be reached. • For this reason it is important to check the plants in the morning and afternoon of every day.

  26. Temperature • Temperature requirements are going to be different for every plant • Temperature is a great way to regulate plant height using DIF. • Some plants require a specific temperature to get into flower • Lowering the temperature will “harden plants”

  27. Hardening Plants • By lowering temperatures before sales you can achieve: • Stiffer stems • Harder leaves • Darker colored flowers • Easier transition from the perfect greenhouse environment to the less forgiving outdoor environment • Not to be used for every plant

  28. DIF • Stem elongation increases as the difference between day and night temperature increases • Day temperature – Night temperature=DIF • Can reduce stem elongation by lowering day temperatures for most bedding plants and bulb plants

  29. Good Ideas • Every plant is different in its environmental needs • It is a good idea to look in a flower production book or seed catalog for excellent information on scheduling and raising your plants

  30. Scheduling • Often times plants will need to be ready at the end of May for shipping and sales • Each plant grows at different rates so proper scheduling must be done • This is easily done by taking the total production time and counting backwards from the desired finish date to determine sowing time

  31. Common Plant Disorders • Can arise from • Improper watering • Improper fertilizing • Pests • Diseases

  32. Tip of the Iceberg The best information is obtained from actually getting into the greenhouse and getting firsthand experience.

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