There are over 11,000 greenhouse growers in the United States. Of this number, 8,000 produce less than $500,000 per year in total sales. Less than 1% of the 11,000 have a strategic business plan. Many may have a yearly budget, but they have not developed a formal written analysis of their business in relation to internal and external factors. A sample of 10 growers indicated that their profitability increased significantly when they understood a formal strategic business plan. The information developed from this sample indicates the entire greenhouse industry could benefit greatly from increased use of strategic planning. The marketing component of the business plan and how university personnel can facilitate this effort will be discussed.
The influence of B-Nine (2500 ppm), F 529 (1250 ppm), TIBA (250 ppm), IAA (100 ppm), Ethrel (1000 ppm), Cycocel spray (1475 ppm) and soil drench (2950 ppm) were investigated on seed propagated geranium, cv. ‘Carefree Scarlet’. IAA had no effect on date of flowering, plant height or branching, but TIBA sprayed plants flowered significantly earlier and Ethrel sprays significantly delayed it. Both TIBA and Ethrel sprays reduced geranium height at flowering and stimulated branching. A Cycocel soil drench caused earlier flowering, but sprays had no effect on flowering. In growth chambers with 12-hour light periods of 75 F and 12-hour dark periods of 70 F, 60 F, or 50 F, earliest flowering was at 70 F with 5 and 15 days delays at 60 F and 50 F. The number of nodes of terminal stems at flowering increased from 14 at 70 F to 16 at 60 F and 17 at 50 F night temperatures.
The effects of daylength during the 63°F lily rooting period prior to 40° storage and the duration and scheduling of the storage period were determined for Japanese-grown ‘Georgia’ lilies. Benefits from the Controlled Temperature Forcing (CTF) method for increased flower buds and leaves were lost if used with 16-hr day lengths during the 63° period before storage. Artificial fluorescent light of 5 watts per ft2 to create a 16-hr daylength was found adequate to reduce the CTF effects. The length of the 63° period prior to cold treatment affected the days from bulb planting to flowering, no. of flowers, plant height, and no. of leaves. These results were similar at both the 10 and 16-hr day lengths. The effects of 6 week 40° cold period decline at both photoperiods as the duration of the 63° period before storage increases. Delaying the 40° cold period until 10 weeks after planting at the 16-hr daylength resulted in flowering only 4 days before lilies receiving no cold treatment.
Seeds of eight commonly grown bedding plant species [Ageratum houstonianum Mill., Begonia × semperflorens Hort., Impatiens wallerana Hook., Lobularia maritima (L.) Desv., Petunia × hybrida Hort., Pelargonium hortorum L.H. Bailey, Salvia splendens F. Sellow, Tagetes patula] were germinated at pH values from 4.5 to 7.5 at 0.5 increments. Seeds were germinated in petri dishes on filter paper saturated with buffer solutions or in petri dishes containing a 50 sphagnum peat: 50 coarse vermiculite (peatlite) medium moistened with buffer solutions. Germination on filter paper was affected by pH for all species tested. Peatlite medium pH affected germination of all species tested, except Salvia splendens. Species response to similar pH values differed between the two germination procedures. Total percent germination of seeds germinated was less in peatlite medium than on filter paper.
Effects of temperature (18-32C), irradiance (0-4.3 mol day-1m-2), and pH (4.5-7.5) on germination of begonia were evaluated. Germination of 90-93% occurred at 18-24C and 79-83% at greater than 24C. There was no difference in germination between seeds receiving ambient irradiance conditions and seeds receiving 24hr supplemental irradiance (4.3 mol day-1m-2). Begonia did not germinate in the dark. On filter paper, no germination occurred at pH 4.5 or 5.0 while germination of 84 and 94% occurred within the pH range 5.5-7.5. In a peatlite medium, germination ≥80% occurred across all pH levels evaluated.
Photosynthetic photon flux (PPF), day temperature (DT), and night temperature (NT) effects on vegetative development (3 true leaves to first flower) were determined. Plant height increased <2 cm as PPF level increased from 4.4 mol day-1m-2 to 12.15 mol day-1m-2. DT and NT influenced plant height, but as with PPF, the differences were only 1-2 cm. Neither average daily temperature (ADT) nor the difference between the DT and NT (DIF) affected plant height. Primary lateral shoot number increased as temperature and PPF increased.
‘Sprinter Scarlet’ and ‘Sprinter Salmon’ geranium (Pelargonium × hortorum L. H. Bailey) treated with repeated applications of (2-chloroethyl) trimethyl ammonium chloride (chlormequat, CCC) at 1500 ppm and of α-cyclopropyl-α-(4-methoxyphenyl)-5-pyrimidine-methanol (ancymidol, A-Rest) at 200 ppm flowered significantly earlier than control plants, but differences among growth retardant treatments were non-significant. Growth control increased both with delay in treatment and with increasing number of applications. Flower initiation, as determined by microscopic examination of apical meristems, occurred 1 to 2 weeks earlier in growth-retardant treated plants.
‘Gelbe Melody’, ‘Mace’, ‘Red Mace’, ‘Rotkappchen’, ‘Sirius’, and ‘Solferinopurpur’ (Kalanchoe× spp.) required a minimum of 14 inductive photoperiodic cycles for normal flowering; ‘Feuerwerk II’, ‘Jupiter’, and ‘Roterpfeffer’ required 21; ‘Feuerball’, ‘Feuerzauber’, ‘Granta’, and ‘Korali’ required 28; and ‘Cherie’ required 35.
Argeranthemumfrutescens `Butterfly' and `Sugar Baby', Brachycomehybrid `Ultra', Helichrysumbracteatum `Golden Beauty', Scaevolaaemula `New Wonder',Supertuniaaxillaris hybrids `Kilkenny Bells' and `Pink Victory', Suteracordata `Mauve Mist' and `Snowflake', and Verbenahybrid `Blue' were grown in a glass greenhouse maintained at 20°C under seven different photoperiods (10-, 12-, 13-, 14-, 16-, 24-hr, and 4-hr night interruption). Black cloth was pulled at 1700 and opened at 0800 HR; incandescent lamps provided 2 μmol·m–2·s–1 to extend light hours to the designed photoperiods. Seedlings were pinched 3 days after transplant. Responses to photoperiod were clearly species-dependent. The tested species can be classified into three groups: 1) stem elongation and flowering were promoted in the long-day treatment (A.frutescens and S. axillaris hybrids), 2) only stem elongation was promoted in the long-day treatment (S. aemula, H. bracteatum, and B. hybrid), and 3) neither flowering nor stem elongation were affected by photoperiod (S. cordata and V. hybrid).