Fall Crop Basics
* Bedding Plants
* Sun/Shade Needs
Fall Bedding Plants
Each tray of plugs: (pansy, viola or snaps, ornamental cabbage /kale, etc)
comes as a 288-plug tray when you transplant them into the recommended
Jumbo 606 cell inserts (36 plants per flat) you will end up with about 8
flats of plants per tray order.
Media: Fafard 3-B Mix (3 cu ft bag) note: 1 bag of Fafard 3-B mix will
fill 18 flats.
Ideally fall bedding plants can be left in the greenhouse for
approximately 2 weeks after transplanting and then moved outside to finish
The additional light and cooler temperature of the outdoors will produce a
more compact bedding plant crop.
The use of a growth retardant (i.e. Sumagic/A-rest) will help control
Remember, B-nine is reported to be ineffectual on snapdragons and any
retardant used on snaps will need to be used at a higher rate than pansies.
Pansies are very sensitive to over watering, especially when first
Heavy watering will lead to root rot and injure the crop.
After plants have rooted out 1-2 weeks, a fungicide drench with
Banrot/Terraclor will be beneficial to all fall bedding plants, especially
Flowering cabbage and kale- Grow them outside and may use growth regulator
to keep them short and full.
13-2-13 Plug Special Peters Water Soluble (25 lb bag) is recommended using
NO3 at 100 ppm for a successful cool season crop this year.
20-10-20 with 100-150 ppm Nitrogen to encourage initial leaf expansion and
Always use a nitrate fertilizer with low rates of phosphorus to maintain
compact plant growth.
Soil pH should be 5.5-5.8 - soil above a pH of 6.2 will lead to disease
Soluble salts of growing mix should be less than 1.5 mmohOs/CM3 (using 2:1
Transplant plugs into 4" pots until Nov or when roots fill pot, then
transplant into 10" hanging baskets to grow out for spring plant sale.
Media: Fafard 3-B Mix (3 cuft bag) - 1 bag fills 170 pots
Fertilizer: Osmocote Plus 15-9-12, top dress each pot w. one teaspoon
If Poinsettias arrive as rooted cuttings transplant one cutting per 6"
Media: Fafard 3B is a good soil mix due to its ability to drain well
(Metro 360 and Fafard 4P are also recommended) one 3 cuft bag of media
will fill 45- 6" pots.
Fertilizer: Several recommendations to use for poinsettia the goal is to
keep fertilizer concentrations around 200 - 250 ppm of 20-10-20 or 15-5-15
until the first of November. Use 15-0-15 at 150 ppm from November until
bracts fully expand. Keep plants full sun and give them plenty of space.
Most teachers are growing Freedom varieties and they will often stretch
during November. If your plants look like they are going to be too tall,
DO NOT USE 20-10-20 OR 20-20-20 DURING NOVEMBER.
Some growers recommend using a rotation between Peters 15-0-15 and 20-10-
20 Peters Lite Special.
Start with 20-10-20 add Magnesium Sulfate (Epson Salt to your stock tank
at the rate of 2-4 oz for every 100 gallons of water delivered) then about
every 3 weeks rotate to the 15-0-15 which supplements your plants with
Other growers are recommending Daniels Plant Food (organically based
derived from soy bean) it is a liquid product that is easy to use and mix
research studies show that plants grown with this fertilizer have an
increased number of feeder roots and the amount of stretching is reduced
so the need for chemical growth regulators is reduced. There are many
other fertilizer recommendations for poinsettias based on the variety.
Check out www.ecke.com for growing instructions specific to your
Fall bedding plants and poinsettias benefit from full sunlight during the
months of September, October and November.
Plugs and rooted poinsettias do best with some shade when first planted,
but after they are established, they will do better with full sun. Pull
off and store your shade cloths by the mid October.