Aphids (foxglove and green peach and melon) are being found on the usual suspects such as fuchsia, greens and vegetative cuttings. While aphids generally have more offspring and develop faster at warmer temperatures, foxglove aphids are a problem during cooler temperatures, 50-77°F, and are most likely a problem in spring production, so it is important to be on the lookout and monitor your crop regularly. Look for signs of aphids, such as white cast skins on the leaves, honeydew, and curled, deformed leaves, and be sure to check the underside of leaves.
For a number of years I’ve studied the use of organic fertilizers for growing commercial greenhouse crops. To start I chose to evaluate fertilizers that could be mixed and applied using methods familiar to growers using traditional water-soluble or granular slow-release chemical fertilizers.
Starting with high quality disease and insect free plant material is a critical step in the management of diseases and insect pests in your greenhouse. The first step in ensuring disease and insect free plants in your greenhouse is to purchase high quality pest free plant material from reputable producers. When the new plant materials are brought into the greenhouse they should be inspected thoroughly for any symptoms of disease or insect pests. Inspect incoming plants for key insects, diseases, weeds and cultural problems.
2014 was the worst year for basil downy mildew in the Northeast since the disease was introduced to the US in 2007. This was, partially due to the distribution of infected transplants nationally and widespread planting of infected material leading to earlier than usual disease and high levels of inoculum in the environment. Here are some recommendations for reducing the impacts of this disease in 2015.
Frigid temperatures may have some growers wanting to pulling energy curtains. However, if you are beginning to propagate young plants in the next few weeks, you will want to maximize the amount of light available to plants and increase daily light integral (DLI; cumulative measure of light intensity during a 24-hour period), if possible. For future, keep these low light months in mind. Try to keep your glazing material clean (and free of snow), change your old plastic, and if you have it, utilize high-intensity supplemental lighting.