Assessment and BMPs for Floriculture Outdoor Production in Ontario

Authors: Huber, Dr. Ann, West, Dr. Jeanine

Organizations: Flowers Canada, Soil Resource Group

Start Date: 09/01/2016 | End Date: 31/03/2018

This project demonstrated the differences in leachate (direct pot runoff) from outdoor container production from a range of fertilizers (formulation, rate) in both overhead and drip irrigation systems. Both hydrangea and chrysanthemum crops were examined, with sites across Southern Ontario (primarily in the Leamington-London region that drains into the western basin of Lake Erie, and the Niagara peninsula). Comparisons of key nutrients (especially phosphorus and nitrogen) were made, in addition to overall plant growth parameters, costing comparisons (CRF vs. WSF), and after-sales plant performance. The goal of the project was to provide benchmarking and guidance on improved nutrient and fertilizer best management practices (BMPs) for outdoor floriculture production in Ontario.

Keywords: nutrient management, leachate volume, outdoor production, slow release fertilizer, irrigation rate, irrigation frequency