High technology greenhouses across Connecticut provide cover for many types of plants. Bedding plants, edibles (vegetable and herb transplants, greenhouse vegetables grown for production), ornamental herbaceous perennials, hemp and poinsettias all grow in greenhouses.
UConn Extension supports the Connecticut greenhouse industry with information and educational programming on sustainable production methods. In Connecticut, the greenhouse industry is a significant part of agriculture. Greenhouse and nursery products are Connecticut’s leading source of agricultural income.
Approximately 300 commercial greenhouse businesses have eight million square feet of production space under cover. In addition, many Connecticut farmers have added greenhouse crops to their businesses to increase income.
UConn Extension offered 111 training sessions to Connecticut wholesale and retail greenhouses with 1,566,088 square feet of intensive greenhouse production and 1,021,000 square feet of outdoor container production in 2019. Diagnostic trouble shooting, grower visits, phone calls, emails and text messages helped growers not participating in the intensive program offered by our UConn Integrated Pest Management (IPM) educators.
One grower stated, “I would like thank you for all the guidance and information that you provided the interns and me this year. I always receive a new piece of information that helps me keep the crops on track for that excellent product.”
Greenhouse production continues to be one of the largest segments of Connecticut agriculture, and the success of the industry helps build the infrastructure that other operations depend on.
Is it time to get outside and work on your garden? Or are you looking for the perfect gift for mom this weekend? There are garden centers with curbside pickup and online ordering available throughout the state.
And, don’t be alarmed if you see a small envelope in your plant. These small paper “envelopes” are slow release “mini-sachets” that are a breeding system or “nursery” for beneficial predatory mites that emerge from the sachets over a 4 to 6-week period.
The beneficial predatory mites attack a very small insect, thrips, may distort and damage flowers. Thrips are primarily a greenhouse pest and are not a pest in your home garden. To provide you with attractive flowers, growers place these mini sachets in your baskets to prevent any damage to the flowers.
These nursery sachets consist of bran and food storage mites (that feed upon the bran) that are a food source for the small predatory mite Neoseilus (Amblyseius) cucumeris commonly referred to as “cucumeris”.Cucumeris is a small, tan predatory mite (less than 1 mm. long) that attacks thrips larvae found on the leaves and in the flowers. They pierce the thrips and suck them dry, killing them. These predatory mites do not travel far and cannot fly, so growers place a mini-sachet in each hanging basket.
The moral of the story – leave the envelope in your hanging basket, and enjoy the flowers!
UConn Extension is sponsoring a Greenhouse Biological Control Conference. This one-day educational program will be held onWednesday, June 20, 2018 at Room 100, WB Young Building, University of Connecticut in Storrs, CT.
The speakers featured at this educational program include:
Michael Oleykowski, Syngenta who will be speaking onDeveloping an Effective, Integrated Control Program
Debbie Palumbo-Sanders, Bioworks, Victor, NY who will be speaking on Biofungicides and Their Fit into Your IPM Program
Kerri Stafford, Cavicchio Greenhouses, Sudbury, MA who will be speaking on Implementing Our Biological Control Program
Annie White, Nectar Landscape Design Studio, Burlington, VT who will be speaking onTop Plants for Attracting Pollinators: Natives and Beyond
Carol Glenister, IPM Laboratories, Locke, NY who will be speaking on Plants Talk Biocontrol: How to Use Plants to Manage Pests
A registration fee of $40 is due by June 14 payable by check only to the University of Connecticut. Included in the cost of admission: coffee, continental breakfast, lunch, informational handouts and parking.
New England GROWS, the Northeast’s largest educational conference and green industry exposition, wrapped up on December 4 after three days of seminars and hands-on learning, combined with an exhibition showcasing the latest innovations from hundreds of leading industry exhibitors.
Opening day saw record-breaking attendance and overall the event attracted nearly 9000 green industry professionals to Boston. Renowned authors, respected educators, influential environmentalists and successful entrepreneurs were among the many experts at the conference who addressed nearly every aspect of the green industry including sustainable landscape design, pest management, safe chain saw handling, hardscaping techniques, worker safety, diverse workforce management, giant tree propagation, proper plant selection, organic turf care, nursery management, successful marketing and more.
Previously scheduled in mid-February, this is the first New England GROWS conference held the week following Thanksgiving. For attendees it was an opportunity to absorb new ideas and prepare to implement them well in advance of spring operations.
UConn was well-represented at the conference. John Campanellli, Ana LeGrand, Steve Rackliffe, and Donna Ellis all gave Sprint Session presentations during the 3-day event, Vickie Wallace delivered a presentation for the main educational program, and several from UConn worked at the Extension “Ask the Experts” kiosk. Greg Tormey and others staffed a UConn booth to recruit potential students.
CK Greenhouses in Cheshire gave a short demonstration of their robots, which are used to space their plants in both their greenhouses and outdoor mum fields. Here you can see them moving the pots from a pot to pot spacing to a final spacing. They have a rechargeable battery so can work for 12 hours and use the reflective tape to orient themselves. The grower said that they were relatively easy to program and are a great labor saving tool. Watch the video to see the robots in action.
UConn Extension hosted a workshop on December 16th on Growing Container Grown Greenhouse Vegetables. Over 65 attendees listened to five University speakers and two farmers share their insights on greenhouse vegetables.