Minimizing Nutrient and Pesticide Exodus: A Collaborative Nursery and Floriculture Initiative Research Project
Production of high quality landscape and greenhouse container plants in the least amount of time with minimal costs necessitates the use of significant quantities of water, fertilizers, and pesticides. The availability of abundant water and nutrients provides optimum growing conditions for landscape plants and weeds, insects, and diseases. The high densities of a single plant species can result in rapid and devastating outbreaks of pests. While some progress in adopting IPM strategies are evident, weed, disease, and insect control measures are too often used on calendar- based schedules. Applications of pesticides are targeted at the prevention rather than the control of pests as economical damaging thresholds are very low for container-grown plants.
Plant production surfaces at container nurseries are commonly covered with plastics, fabric, or gravel. These surfaces facilitate placement and handling of containers and also function as a weed barrier. All ground covers
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