There was a fantastic turn-out at the Bedding and Pot Plant Centre for the summer open evening on 20 June, where growers were able to catch up on the latest trials and help shape future research.
The importance of testing the glasshouse environment, including light levels and temperature, was stressed by two of the guest key-speakers.
Filip van Noort, a crop specialists from Wageningen University, discussed the merits of diffuse lighting for ornamental crops due to the increased scattering and distribution of light around the whole plant. Their studies have shown a reduction in the time to market of ornamental crops of around 25% in some cases.
Jon Swain, from FEC & AHDB project GrowSave, argued for the importance of humidity uniformity for good cropping, and the crucial roles fans play in maintaining a consistent climate.
There was an opportunity for growers to view and comment on some of the on-going trials from the centre, as well as make suggestions for future research. The trials on show were;
· Verbena leaf spot & chlorosis
· Evaluation of plant growth regulators
· Pre-Christmas production of coloured hellebore and performance of white varieties
· Peat-free pack-bedding plant trials for responsibly sourced growing media
Growers also heard how overwintering crops of herbaceous perennials, like scabious, campanula and silene, all have potential to be market-ready for early March, providing growers with a new marketing window.
The evening was rounded off with a BBQ and an opportunity to network with other growers from the industry.
You can follow the research progress at the Bedding and Pot Plant Centre on our blog: ahdbbppcblog.wordpress.com
If you missed the open evening, you can download the presentations here.