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Greenhouse Tour- February 17th 2009

    The Greenhouse Production Research Group from Toledo, Ohio participated in an Ohio State Extension Reloaded tour organized by the Toledo Area Flower and Vegetable Growers Association (TAFVGA). Extension Reloaded is a tour through local greenhouses where experts in horticulture, engineering, ecology, and plant pathology identify strengths and weaknesses in commercial operations, then gather for informal presentations of daily findings to tour participants.

    The first stop was Schmidlin Greenhouse. Schmidlin's is a retail and wholesale producer that attracts customers from within and outside Toledo. One of the highlights at this stop was the collaboration with Jonathan Frantz of USDA-ARS on a study on the benefit of carbon dioxide enrichment to stock plants production.

    Louis Keil and Sons Greenhouse was the second stop. They grow both perennials and annuals with roughly 30 percent wholesale and 70 percent for retail. To improve consistency in water quality, they collect rain water and blend with other water sources.

    Ohlman's Market Greenhouse was the third visit. Ohlman's is a larger facility located within Toledo that supplies plants to Lowe's Hardware in the region. Ohlman's underground heating system, sound environmental practices, with high tech irrigation system and seeding make them highly competitive in the market.

    Brodbeck's Greenhouse was the final stop and host of the educational meeting and dinner. The Facility implements high efficiency heaters to circulate heated water within the floor. They supply independent retailers as far as Kentucky and Washington DC.    The educational program focused on insects and disease management, recent industry research and updates, greenhouse structure and energy efficiency, and local case study illustrating how crop growth with carbon dioxide enrichment can save money in an environmentally friendly manner. About 50 people attended this excellent extension program.

 

Production challenges
Floriculture producers are forced to grow small numbers of many species in a common area, which presents challenges for optimizing those environments.
Maximizing efficiency

Growing multiple layers of plants in hanging basket, benches, or on the floor, A. frames increases the space utilization efficiency and saves energy.

Growing together for the future
Attendees gather to listen to Don Schmidlin discuss his growth systems and greenhouse environment.

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