Sunday, April 10, 2011

More Greenhouse

The seeder places seeds into the growing medium, in a plug tray, shown here. The plug trays are then taken to the area of the greenhouse that will meet the need for the seed. Some seed require heat. They are placed directly on the floor of the greenhouse, on heated mats.

The watering boom floats above them. It is operated by a computer program in the grower's office. It gives fertilizer, water, and can be timed for the specific plants watering needs. If something goes wrong with this, it can destroy an entire crop. We shall not speak of the coleus year. Nope. We won't say a word....

Acres of these plug trays fill the greenhouses. Once they germinate, they must be monitored very closely. Some plants require Plant Growth Regulators, or PGR. If a seedling becomes to tall, it can run into trouble. Growers apply PGR to control the rate of growth. A stocky plant with well developed roots is the goal. In the greenhouse, they have term for controlling the growth rate, "standing on it". I always envision Tim standing on a Salvia seedling. anyways.....
If the seedling becomes too tall, it will be crowded in the cell, and crowd it's neighbors in their cells. Sometimes, this is caused by bad timing by the growers. Sometimes, its the cultivar itself that grows too tall. Either way, it is easier to ship a healthy stocky plant than a tall gangling one. Especially in hanging baskets. And boy, do we ship a lot of hanging baskets....
The warmth and humidity felt wonderful after an awful winter.

More greenhouse later. I have to visit 3 stores today and it is forecasted to be 88° this afternoon in Northern Illinois. They say the STORM OF DEATH is coming tonite. Weather hype or dire warning? 
You be the judge!


  1. Absolutely fascinating about how the plants are grown! Don't like the sound of 'storm of death' - hope all will be well:)

  2. Anonymous8:56 PM

    Wow, that is quite some greenhouse. Huge!

  3. The big greenhouse I like visit doesn't seem very big anymore!

    Hope the storm does not live up to it's billing!!

  4. Anonymous2:15 PM

    what are those annual that look like little torches - fuzzy ones - in bright colors? i hate those - for a minute i thought they were coleus, but no - coleus are the bizarre colored leave combos...


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