Saturday, October 25, 2014

Workshop focuses on challenges of running a greenhouse

Posted on Nov. 16, 2012 at 12:00 a.m.

Jeff Burbrink

Great Outdoors

Commercial greenhouses have increased in numbers in our community. It seems about every mile or so, you can spot a greenhouse offering bedding plants, vegetables or hanging baskets whether you are in Middlebury, Goshen, Nappanee or Elkhart.

Not having a greenhouse background myself, I have learned it is a challenging way to make a living. Temperature, disease, pests, water, pH and fertilizer are among the many challenges growers face.

I am excited to announce a chance to learn more about the greenhouse business. On Dec. 6, Purdue Extension will host a greenhouse growers meeting from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Ag Hall at the Elkhart County 4-H Fairgrounds. The cost is $20 per person and includes lunch. Private applicator (PARP) credit will be available by attending the meeting for an additional $10.

The agenda looks like this: At 9 a.m. Gail Ruhl of Purdue’s Plant Diagnostic Lab will discuss scouting for pests and diseases, followed by Janna Beckerman, a Purdue plant pathologist, with a talk about disease control on flower crops. At 11:30, Cliff Sadof, a Purdue entomologist, will discuss insect management. After lunch, Roberto Lopez and Chris Curry, Purdue floriculture specialists, will discuss pH and environmental controls, including temperature and light. To wrap up the program, from 3 to 4 p.m., Fred Whitford of Purdue’s pesticide office will entertain and inform on pesticide safety and storage issues.

Reservations are needed to plan for the meal. Contact the Purdue Extension office by Dec. 3 by calling 533-0554 with the names of people attending. If you need special accommodations to participate in the program please call Jeff Burbrink prior to Nov. 21 at the number above.

Jeff Burbrink is an Extension educator in agriculture and natural resources. Write to him at 17746 E. C.R. 34, Goshen, IN 46528; call 533-0554; or fax 533-0254.