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Healthy Soil
An intelligent understanding of the soil is of paramount importance to the success of the greenhouse. There are three important points that we must consider in the study of a healthy soil. They are texture, fertilizers, soil flora.
Plants And Poor Soil
When a soil is sick, either because its beneficial bacteria do not perform their functions properly, or because of abnormalities in its chemical or physical properties, careful treatment and proper cultural methods may restore it to health.
Treatments Of Poor Soil
Our conception of a healthy soil as has been indicated is one which is ideally suited to plant growth, through proper physical and chemical makeup, and by the presence of groups of beneficial micro-organisms. A sick soil is one in which plants would grow very languidly or not at all.
Light In Its Relation to Greenhouse Culture
Contrary to general belief, plants make most growth at night or in the dark. On the other hand, photosynthesis takes place during the daytime and under the direct influence of light. While light does not favor growth, it assists in the development of supportive tissue which enables the plant to resist attacks of various diseases.
Greenhouse - Moisture And Water Requirements
Frequently when a greenhouse crop fails, the soil, the fertilizer or the water receives the burden of the blame. Little does it occur to us that the cause of the failure may be due to improper adjustment of humidity to temperature and watering.
Breaking The Rest Period Of Plants
The object of greenhouse culture is to grow certain crops or blooms at a time and season when these cannot be produced outdoors. All plants undergo a period of rest. Bulbs, for instance, enter their resting state, when the leaves all die.
Nature Of Plant Diseases
The successful greenhouse operator will realize the necessity of recognizing readily any plant disease. Very often this is overlooked and attention is attracted only when the trouble takes the form of an epidemic, and a large number of plants are thus carried off by it.
Germination Troubles
Numerous failures in germination may be directly attributed to diseased seed. These may carry infection internally in the form of mycelia in the invaded tissue. Seed may also carry infection material externally in the form of spores or sclerotia adhering to the seed coat.
Diseases Of Greenhouse Crops
Asparagus plants lend themselves admirably to forcing. It is now grown for commercial purposes on a fairly large scale indoors. Light is not essential for this crop. The beds may be in total darkness, although a diffused light is preferred.
Greenhouse - Cauliflower
Downy mildew, while a common field disease, causes considerable damage to young seedlings in the seed beds. It is characterized by whitish downy patches on the underside of the leaf. Seen from above, the affected areas are angular, pale yellow, and somewhat shrunken.
Greenhouse - Celery
Celery has not yet taken its place among the standard forced vegetables. It is possible, however, to produce celery in the greenhouse which is of a quality far superior to that grown out of doors.
Greenhouse - Cucumber
Cucumbers are extensively forced for the winter or early spring markets. The houses generally used are either two-thirds or even-span and are provided with ground beds instead of benches.
Greenhouse - Lettuce
Lettuce is extensively grown as a greenhouse crop. The best results are obtained where the soil contains considerable sand, especially where head lettuce is produced. This is also true for Coss lettuce. However, the Grand Rapids variety will thrive in any soil.
Greenhouse - The Mushroom
As a rule florists are not as yet giving the mushroom the attention and consideration which it deserves. It is a crop which adapts itself particularly well to growth under benches, so that it utilizes all the extra greenhouse space. Like all other remunerative crops, it requires skill to insure its permanent success.
Greenhouse - Parsley
Parsley is easily forced and requires no particular care. Any of the curly-leaved varieties lend themselves to forcing. Under greenhouse conditions parsley is subject to but few diseases.
Greenhouse - The Radish
There are few green-houses near a large city which do not force radishes. The radish more than any other plant thrives best in full light. Shade favors the development of foliage over root. The varieties best liked by the market are those of the Scarlet Rose type.
Greenhouse - Tomato
The tomato is one of the three most important greenhouse vegetables. It is perhaps more difficult to grow than either lettuce or cucumbers. Great skill is required in the heating, watering, ventilating, and pollinating. To overlook any of these factors may result in failure.
Diseases Of The Alternanthera
Alternanthera blight was first reported by Halsted as being very serious in greenhouses of the eastern states. It is especially severe in the cutting benches. The trouble is characterized by a premature defoliation. The affected leaves coil up and drop off.
Diseases of The Aster
Although considered a hardy plant, asters are subject to some important diseases when grown under greenhouse conditions.
Diseases Of The Carnation
White Tip. The trouble appears as a white or creamy coloring of the unrolled tender tips of the foliage. Occasionally, the white spots appear across the leaves a short distance below the tips. The cause of the injury is believed by Clinton to be due to gas rather than to spray injury.
Greenhouse - The Chrysanthemum
Chrysanthemum cuttings should be thick, firm, have several joints, and be about three inches in length. If the cuttings within three weeks fail to make a good root system, they should be discarded as weak stock. A house temperature of 50 degrees F. and a bottom heat of 60 degrees is best suited for the cuttings.
Greenhouse - Cyclamen
Greenhouse men prefer to sow the cyclamen seed in September and not in spring. In March, the seedlings are transplanted from a two-inch to a four-inch pot and put in a cold frame until large enough to go to a six-inch pot. During the summer, plenty of ventilation and shading should be provided and the plants frequently syringed.
Greenhouse - Hyacinth
In forcing hyacinths it is important that they start with a well developed root system. Otherwise the culture is the same as for narcissus. The few diseases which hyacinths are subject to are serious. Most of these, no doubt, have been brought in with imported bulbs.
Greenhouse - Lilac
Indoor lilacs at first require a cool house. The temperature is gradually increased to about 60 degrees. The plants require frequent syringing and moderate ventilation. Forced lilacs are subject to a few diseases. The plant is generally considered very hardy.
Greenhouse - Orchids
Culture of Dendrobium plants seem to thrive best in small pots or baskets. They also require an abundance of water during the growing season, and a night temperature of about 65 degrees F. When flowers appear the plants become destitute of leaves, at which time only enough water is applied to prevent the pseudo-bulbs from drying.
Greenhouse - Primrose
Young primrose seedlings are greatly injured if the compost contains unrotted manure. When the plants begin to grow rapidly a little bone meal may be worked into the soil. During the blossoming period a little weak liquid manure may be given, but only when the leaves are pale.
Greenhouse - The Sweet Pea
The best position for a sweet pea house (fig. 69, a) is east and west with a full southern exposure. The sides of the house should be considerably higher than for other crops. Sweet peas require an abundance of water during the growing season. Frequent syringing of the foliage is also necessary to keep the red spider in check.
Greenhouse - Tulips
Indoor tulips are grown in much the same way as hyacinths. As blossoms appear, they should be put under partial shade. The petals are very delicate and are subject to burning or wilting when exposed to direct sunlight.
Plant Pests
Red spiders or spinning mites are very troublesome to greenhouse crops. Cucumbers are especially attacked by them. Eggplants and tomatoes are next in preference. Of the flowering plants, roses, violets, sweet peas, carnations, and chrysanthemums are also favorite hosts.
Greenhouse Thrips
Greenhouse thrips often cause considerable damage to ornamentals, while their presence may not always be detected. The damage caused by thrips is confined to the foliage. The adult and the larvae of the thrips feed by puncturing and lacerating the epidermis and by sucking the plant juices.
Greenhouse Diseases - Methods Of Control
From a practical consideration the greenhouse grower is directly concerned in finding control methods to keep the various plant diseases under check. Fortunately, there are numerous methods which if followed out intelligently may be the means of reducing losses to a minimum.
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