Latest Reports and Publications

October, 2018

Journal of Environmental Horticulture, September 2018, Vol. 36, No. 3, pp. 92-103
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Abstract: Air-pruning can improve tree seedling root quality in propagation by subjecting root tips to desiccation, thereby avoiding deflections, but also increases substrate dry-out rates. Several studies have indicated that coconut (Cocos nucifera L.) coir dust can enhance water holding properties, possibly benefiting trees grown in air-pruning trays. However, water availability characteristics are influenced by particle size. In this experiment, coir dust was added into a sphagnum peat-perlite substrate mix at rates of 10, 15 and 20%. An industry standard peat-perlite mix was tested as a fourth substrate type. Red oak (Quercus rubra L.), red maple (Acer rubrum L.), quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides Michx.) and eastern white cedar (Thuja occidentalis L.) were grown from seed in these four substrate types. Physical and chemical properties of all substrate types were analyzed pre-experiment. The particle size distribution was finer and more even in the peat-perlite mix compared to the three coir mixes. The higher proportion of coarse particles in the 20% coir mix may have reduced water availability. Seedlings grown in the 15 and 20% coir mixes had lower above and below-ground growth compared to the 10% coir and peat-perlite mixes in all species except red oak.

Time to change the conversation around turfgrass
August, 2018

Vineland’s three-year research program on improving turfgrass in residential areas has just wrapped up. A summary of key findings on optimal grass variety selection and best fertilization practices can be reviewed in this report.

June, 2018

Currently, the vast majority of North America’s container-grown nursery crops are produced using soilless growing substrates and fertilized with controlled-release fertilizers. In the past several years, Vineland has conducted on-farm trials, with representative, industry-standard cultural practices, using most common crops, growing substrates, and fertilizer types to provide fertilization guides for nursery operations in temperate climate regions.

Ontario horticulture research priority report 2018
May, 2018


  • Edible horticulture
  • Ornamental horticulture
May, 2018

Journal of Pest Science, May 25, 2018 
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Abstract: T. Saito and M. Brownbridge. Foliage-dwelling predatory mites and foliar applications of mycoinsecticides are commonly used in biological control programs for Western flower thrips. A laboratory study was designed to examine the compatibility of two foliage-dwelling predatory mites with two commercially available mycoinsecticides, followed by a greenhouse study to assess their combined efficacy against Western flower thrips, with a view to their concurrent use in an integrated strategy. The following commercially available biocontrol agents were evaluated: the predatory mites, Neoseiulus cucumeris (Oudemans) and Amblyseius swirskii (Athias-Henriot); and entomopathogenic fungi, Metarhizium anisopliae (Metschnikoff) Sorokin (now classified as Metarhizium brunneum) strain F52 and Beauveria bassiana (Balsamo) GHA strain. Mortality caused by the mycoinsecticides ranged from 0 to 15.98% in the laboratory studies. In the greenhouse, the relative efficacy of predatory mite slow-release breeding sachets, Met52 EC spray, and a combined application was determined. Under high pest pressure, Met52 EC-alone was not as effective as N. cucumeris-alone or the combination treatment over 8weeks. Neoseiulus cucumeris-alone provided better control of thrips than Met52 EC, but in a mixed infestation of thrips and two-spotted spider mites, the combination
treatment worked best overall; the spider mites were effectively suppressed by Met52 EC. Under low pest pressure in the experiment with A. swirskii, use of Met52 EC or A. swirskii sachets effectively suppressed thrips population growth; moreover, the combination treatment completely eliminated both thrips and spider mites.