Comparison of Four Production Systems for Dutch Iris in a Tobacco Transplant Greenhouse

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  • 1 Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Design, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, Greensboro, NC 27411.
  • 2 Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia State University, Petersburg, VA 23806-9081.
  • 3 Southern Piedmont Agricultural Research and Extension Center, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blackstone, VA 23824.
  • 4 Department of Statistics, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina 27695-8203.
  • 5 Appomattox County Extension Office, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Appomattox, VA 24522-0448.

Pre-cooled bulbs of two dutch iris (Iris ×hollandica) cultivars, Ideal and White Wedgewood, were grown and harvested as cut flowers in four production systems in a tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) transplant greenhouse from late October until late January in two consecutive production years (2000-01 and 2001-02). All production systems (lily crates, lay-flat bags, pots, and float trays) utilized the same commercial peat-vermiculite, tobacco germination substrate. Stems developed more quickly but were shorter and lighter in 2001-02 than 2000-01 due to warmer growing conditions. Stems grown in float trays were shorter and lighter than other treatments in 2000-01 but similar to the others in 2001-02. Stems grown in lay-flat bags flowered earlier with similar or greater stem lengths and fresh weights as the other systems. Stems of `White Wedgewood' were longer and heavier than `Ideal'. In general, `White Wedgewood' provided more consistent production than `Ideal' in both production seasons. An economic analysis in this study concludes that a grower is unlikely to make money growing dutch iris in a tobacco transplant greenhouse using these production systems unless there is a targeted local market.

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