Avoiding nutrient deficient edible transplants

It can be a challenge to control the growth of containerized vegetable and herb bedding plants and transplants. Since the use of plant growth retardants is very restricted, many growers look to restricting fertilizer applications as their main strategy. However, this can lead to plants that have nutrient deficiencies, rendering them less or not marketable.

While limiting fertilizer can be an effective height control method, there are other options available. First, by improving scheduling, you can reduce the amount of time you may need to hold a crop; the longer crops are held, the more they stretch. Brushing plants is another non-chemical method of height control. While this can be labor-intensive if done by hand, it can be automated to save labor if you have the right infrastructure.

"Growing dry" can be another effective method of height control, as restricting irrigation can produce more compact plants. This strategy should be exercised with great caution - if not carefully monitored, growing dry can quickly damage plants if they are not irrigated in time. When controlling vegetable transplant growth, there are multiple strategies that may be employed to produce healthy, compact plants.

For more information, see e-GRO Alert 6(35) - Nutrient Deficient Vegetable and Herb Bedding Plants.

Source: eGroBlog (Christopher Currey)

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