Just attended a fantastic conference on greenhouse lighting! Pictured is the new set of greenhouses at Colorado State University, where the conference was held. CSU’s Horticulture Center is fully outfitted with LED lighting in partnership with Philips Horticulture (http://www.usa.lighting.philips.com/products/horticulture.html). Speakers at the conference presented the latest in LED lighting technology for greenhouse and controlled environment purposes. We also learned about specific ways LED lighting can be utilized to solve specific problems, such as in tissue culture and plant propagation.
A few tidbits:
- LED lighting works. The way it works on different species is not consistent however.
- Using LED as the sole source of illumination for crop production also works.
- Plants started as tissue culture showed greater rooting under LED lights than those grown in the greenhouse.
- LED lights reduce crop production time in many cases.
- Stems and petioles tend to be shorter under high blue light.
- For plant height control, seedlings grown under LED lights tend to be more compact and in some cases, may be substituted for applications of plant growth regulators.
- Utilization of LED lighting influences plant water relations in ways we are just now starting to understand.
- Responses to LED lights varies with plant species.
Stay tuned for more.
This morning’s harvest of cut sunflowers. Mostly ‘Dafna’ and ‘Sunbright Supreme’ with one ‘ProCut Bicolor’ in back. Except for the one ‘ProCut’, they were grown in #1 containers in the greenhouse. The ‘ProCut’ was the first one cut this summer from the high tunnels-from the south side of the east-west-oriented tunnel.
Hummingbirds have been thick this summer after last year’s very few sightings! This morning one was happily slurping nectar from the Salvia ‘Summer Jewel White’.
Pi Alpha Xi, the national honorary horticulture society for deserving students, is currently accepting submissions for our annual photo contest! Membership is not required and submission information can be found here. We’re also on Facebook!
In Greenhouse Crop Production class the other day we started a small vase life study. We chose two different floral preservatives as two treatments with the third being municipal tap water. We’ll check results next Monday April 27. Flowers included mums, roses, alstroemeria, stock, and miscellaneous others.
Many of the woody plants in our 7200′ Laramie yard are in bloom! The date is May 29, 2013 and here are some of the highlights…..
Grackles and robins always get the cherries before anybody else.
This crabapple is gorgeous for a few days, then develops fireblight, then drops crabapples everywhere.
Some of the viburnums do very well up here in the nosebleed section.
So close to flowering!
No fireblight! No fruit!
Our two high tunnels got new skins yesterday, May 14, 2013. We managed to pick a day with little wind and five of us available to help!
The controversy has already started … and the map was just released a few of weeks ago! It seems some areas of Wyoming have been moved from zone 4b to 5a. Have our lowest average winter temps really increased five degrees since the last map update? The problem is consumers are bound to be confused. And how quickly will industry be able to change plant labels and informational materials?
The new map is interactive – type in your zip code or click on your state and you can find your hardiness zone pretty easily. Most of us know zone 4b in Wyoming (Laramie for example) is definitely not the same as zone 4b in Maine or Wisconsin. Keeping in mind the high elevation, consistent wind patterns, short growing season, low precip levels, and low relative humidity , I still recommend zone 4 plants for most parts of Wyoming. In Laramie, even though zoned 4b, I suggest planting zone 3 plants just to be on the safe side, especially in open areas unprotected from the worst of winter winds. And in Casper, I suggest continuing to plant zone 4 species.
This blog was started way back in October – March now. To say it’s been a busy winter is a bit of an understatement.
Now that it’s almost spring….did you plant your fall pansies? If not, wait until spring. If so, good for you. The varieties we got this year are ‘Colossal Mix’, ‘Delta Blue with Blotch’, and ‘Delta Pure White’. They’ve spent most of the winter in the garage but will start to bring them out more and more as the days get warmer and sunnier.
Last fall out of our small raised bed in front of the house we harvested 7.5 pounds of carrots. We typically dig them up, remove the foliage, then rinse the carrots well to remove the soil. It usually takes about three good rinses to get them clean. Then we let them dry on some towels overnight. The next day they were ready to bag up and store in the fridge.
There are numerous reasons to attend a smaller state or regional conference.
1. Often they are close by so travel is inexpensive.
2. They always have great conference rates on hotel rooms.
3. Smaller conferences and trade shows typically lure more local and regional speakers and vendors.
4. They’re a great way to get to know others in your industry.
5. They’re great at providing current information on local issues.
So take the Wyoming Groundskeepers and Growers Association annual conference, for example:
1. Always held in central Casper, Wyoming.
2. Registration is very affordable, well under $150 for a three-day event which includes a couple of great meals.
3. Speakers from the University of Wyoming and nearby institutions deliver up-to-the minute information and advice.
4. Industry peers attend from all over Wyoming as well as Colorado, Nebraska, South Dakota, Montana, Idaho, and Utah.
5. Vendors representing companies selling seeds, nursery stock, garden center plant material, irrigation equipment, landscaping and lawn care equipment, playground equipment, you name it, set up booths during the conference.
6. These conferences are fun!
The 2012 WGGA conference schedule is not yet available on the association web site. However, the dates are February 15-17, 2012 at the Best Western Ramkota in Casper. http://www.wgga.org