Good afternoon teachers many of you are getting in your fall plant plugs and liners.
Below are a few growing tips:

For your bedding plant order
Each tray of pansy, viola or snaps there will be approx. 280 plants in a 288-plug tray
so when you transplant them into the recommended Jumbo 606 cell inserts (36 plants per flat) you will end up with about 7-8 flats of plants per tray order

Container recommendation:  606 Jumbo Insert  (100 per case)  and the TFI Web flats (tray that holds the insert)

Media recommendation:  Fafard 3-B Mix (3 cu ft bag) note:  1 bag of Fafard 3-B mix will fill 18 flats

Fertilizer: options
13-2-13 Plug Special Peters Water Soluble (25 lb bag) Dr. Thomas recommends using NO3  at 100 ppm for a successful cool season crop this year
20-10-20 with 100-150 ppm Nitrogen to encourage inital leaf expansion and branching
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 problems
soluble salts of growing mix should be less than 1.5 mmohOs/CM3 (using 2:1 extraction method)

Fall bedding plants can be left in the greenhouse for approximately 2 weeks after transplanting and then moved outside to finish off.  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 stretching.  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 transplanted.
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 pansies. 

Flowering cabbage and kale- Grow them outside and may use growth regulator to keep them short and full.


Ferns: most come as 72 plugs per tray

4" square pots

Fafard 3-B Mix (3 cuft bag)   - 1 bag will fills 170 pots

Fertilizer: Osmocote Plus 15-9-12, top dress each pot w. one teaspoon

Ferns: 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 (so you may want to go ahead and purchase the 10" hanging baskets too)

Poinsettia: Poinsettias arrive as rooted cuttings and are usually transplanted one cutting per 6" container

Here again the 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) into 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 CaNitrate

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 for growing instructions specific to your poinsettia variety.


Shade cloths- 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.

General Chemicals and Supplies needed for crops and greenhouse on an annual basis:

A.  Fungicide: Terracolor or Subdue after your plants have been transplanted and growing for a week or two you need to drench their soil with fungicide 

B. Insecticide:         

Marathon for whiteflies, aphids and other sucking insects

Conserve for thrips, leafminer and worms

Cinnamite for aphids and mites

Whitmire Total Release Aerosol Generator (1 case)

Safer Soap or Sun Spray

C. Herbicide:  Finale: used to control weeds in greenhouse   Roundup: control weeds outside greenhouse

D. Disinfectants:  ZerTol / Agribrom : use in your evaporative cooling system to kill microbial slimes
GreenClean: new granular product that is used to kill algae, fungi, and disinfect greenhouse floors and benches. 
It will also raise the pH level in the soil under benches, making it harder for weed seeds to germinate.


Misc. Items that you should have:

1.  5" plastic stick labels and marking pens are a must have in the greenhouse

2.  Water Hoses, recommend the Swan Soft & Supple Hose to hold up best in the wear and tear of greenhouse use

3. Fogg- it  Mist Nozzles

4. Water Shut Offs ( Drams 300 brass)  stay away from the plastic ones

5. Water Breaker:  the PL 100 is a great "soft throw" water breaker

6. Water Wands: get a couple is several lengths  (available in 12", 16", 24", 36")

7.  Pesticide Application Posting Sign (must be posted anytime your are spraying or fumigating the greenhouse)

8. Safety gear for you and your students

9. Min/Max Thermometer

10. Sprayers that are clearly marked for Herbicides and Insecticide use.


Nursery License:  has everyone reapplied for his or her license this year??? 

As soon as you get your new license, laminate it and hang it in the greenhouse. 

If you do not have an application, contact Georgia Department of Agriculture,
Plant Production Division, 19 Martin Luther King Jr. Dr., SW, Atlanta, GA 30334. Phone (404) 651-9486 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              (404) 651-9486      end_of_the_skype_highlighting.

Plant Protection Agents will be stopping by to inspect your facilities before December.

Dr. Teri Hamlin
North Region Agriculture Education
Georgia Department of Education
204C Four Towers University of Georgia
Athens, Ga 30602
706-552-4461 / 706-540-0032
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