DEVELOPMENT OF IRRIGATION AND FERTILIZATION BEST MANAGEMENT PRACTICES FOR CONTAINER NURSERIES.

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  • 1 Environmental Horticulture Department, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611
  • | 2 Tennessee Tech, Cookeville, TN 38505
  • | 3 Auburn University, Auburn University, AL 36849
  • | 4 Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA 24061

More regulations have an impact on nursery industry today than 10 to 20 years ago, and additional regulations are likely in the future. In view of this, the southeastern nursery industry is taking proactive action by developing a handbook of irrigation and fertilization best management practices (BMP) for container nurseries. Using BMP would be voluntary but could “head off” additional regulations. Additionally, BMP would serve as guidelines for growers 1) attempting to be more environmentally friendly, 2) wanting to promote the fact they are environmentally friendly, and 3) dealing with a complaint from regulatory agencies. Our objective was to develop a BMP handbook that nursery managers could use to find answers quickly to management questions regarding irrigation and fertilization. The handbook was written by university horticulturists, but input and reviews were obtained from industry personnel, additional university personnel, and others associated with the nursery industry. The handbook will be distributed in late summer by the Southern Nurserymen's Association, Marietta, Ga.