Home gardeners, vegetable producers and greenhouse growers are steadily increasing their use of vegetable transplants. The advantages of transplants are many — uniform growth, robust growth and healthy root system, according to Ajay Nair, Iowa State University Extension horticulture specialist. "They are also generally free of pest and diseases," he says. "But, production of transplants involves advance planning and optimum use of greenhouse resources." This is critical for vegetable transplants like tomato and pepper that are in the greenhouse for six to seven weeks.
Nair is holding the Saturday, April 7, workshop, "Tips and Tricks of Vegetable Transplant Production," at Horticulture Hall on the Iowa State campus in Ames. The day-long workshop, 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., will focus on specific areas of transplant production — greenhouse lighting, water quality, nutrient medium, organic production and pest management.
Transplant production plays a key role in successful vegetable production
Participants also have an opportunity to get hands-on experience evaluating transplants grown in different growing medium and different cell sizes. One of the workshop sessions will provide information on some new medium alternatives for vegetable transplant production including dried distiller's grain with solubles (DDGS) and biochar.
"Transplant production plays a key role in a successful vegetable production system. Growing high quality plants requires skill, proper care and knowledge of the fundamentals of plant growth," Nair says. Workshop sessions will explain proper sanitation measures, quality seed and growing mediums, and how to manage greenhouse environments so growers can produce healthy, disease free and quality transplants that contribute towards higher yield and productivity.
Program information and registration form are available online as a PDF document at www.hort.iastate.edu/news. Registration before April 1 is $15; after that date registration is $20. This workshop is in partnership with Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University.
9:30 Registration (coffee and donuts)
10:00 Welcome – Drs. Cathann Kress (Vice President, Extension and Outreach) and Jeff Iles
10:20 Greenhouse light and water quality impact on transplant growth – Dick Gladon
11:00 Organic transplant production – Kathleen Delate
11:30 Greenhouse insects, which is the deadliest of them all? – Donald Lewis
1:00 Pete Lawlor- Horticulture Greenhouse Tour
1:45 Top 3 tomato transplant diseases and their management – Erika Saalau2:15 Exploring alternatives for sustainable transplant production: Biochar and Dried Distillers Grains with Solubles – Ajay Nair, Brandon Carpenter, and Jake Northup
3:00 Evaluation and coffee
Directions and Parking: Horticulture Hall is located at the north-east corner of Central Campus. A campus map is available online at http://www.fpm.iastate.edu/maps/. Please refer to the map to
locate Horticulture Hall and a close parking lot. Parking is free and permissible on Saturday in most lots except for lots designated as reserved all hours, all day.