Science Into Practice - Better nutrient management

The production of quality container-grown hardy nursery plants requires accurate management of plant nutrition throughout the whole life of the crop.

Growers want to use fertilisers responsibly to minimise environmental impact. However, there are numerous challenges posed by the variety of production systems, the number of plant species grown and differences in growing media.

Project HNS 189 reviewed current knowledge and previous research to improvement nutrient management in container-grown stock, the aim being to match nutrient provision more closely to the needs of the crop. Nutrient monitoring (leaf and substrate analysis) and best practice were also evaluated.

Results showed few nurseries routinely monitor substrate nutrient levels and they therefore have a limited understanding of how such nutrients are being utilised by the crop. The implementation of a routine nutrient-monitoring scheme could optimise use and application times, and minimise the incidence of nutrient-related issues before they cause crop wastage.

Other suggestions for improving nutrient management included grouping crops according to their nutritional requirements, establishing clear specifications relating to pH and fertiliser rates for each crop group and regularly reviewing and updating growing-media recipes.

A series of research, development and knowledge transfer gaps for growers were also identified by the project, which is due to be addressed via further HDC-funded activity in the future.

Horticultural Development Company

For details on all HDC activity, visit www.hdc.org.uk


Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Read These Next

Business Planning - Staff are your greatest asset

Business Planning - Staff are your greatest asset

An effective strategy to retain staff is the best way for any business to avoid a potential recruitment crisis, Neville Stein advises.

GroSouth 2017 update

GroSouth 2017 update

First-time and established exhibitors are preparing to showcase products and services at this year's show in West Sussex, Gavin McEwan reports.

Pest & Disease Factsheet - Vine weevil

Pest & Disease Factsheet - Vine weevil

Avoid costly damage by this serious plant pest.


Opinion... Pepper breeders' wealth of knowledge

Opinion... Pepper breeders' wealth of knowledge

Peter Seabrook looks forward to garden centre pepper-tasting weekends.

Opinion... Shining a light on trading with Europe

Opinion... Shining a light on trading with Europe

Accurate figures are notoriously difficult to get at, but without doubt the UK imports a great deal of its ornamental plant requirement.

Opinion... Unbeatable delight of quality plants

Opinion... Unbeatable delight of quality plants

Viewing top-quality plants, both growing and on sale, always gives me pleasure.


Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +
Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

Tim Edwards

Boningales Nursery chairman Tim Edwards on the business of ornamentals production
 

Read Tim Edwards

Ornamentals ranking

Top 30 Ornamentals Nurseries by Turnover 2017

Top 30 Ornamentals Nurseries by Turnover 2017

Tough retail pricing policies and Brexit opportunities drive the top 30 growth strategies.

Pest & Disease Tracker bulletin 

The latest pest and disease alerts, how to treat them, plus EAMU updates, sent direct to your inbox.

Sign up here

Are you a landscape supplier?

Horticulture Week Landscape Project Leads

If so, you should be receiving our new service for Horticulture Week subscribers delivering landscape project leads from live, approved, planning applications across the UK.

Peter Seabrook

Inspiration and insight from travels around the horticultural world
 

Read more Peter Seabrook articles