A new resource for greenhouse growers to help identify microbe-containing products advertised to enhance growth of Greenhouse Floriculture Crops

Michelle L. Jones and Laura Chapin

Department of Horticulture and Crop Science, The Ohio State University

The production of ornamental and edible crops in commercial greenhouses is high-input specialty crop agriculture. Much of the industry relies on chemical pesticides (insecticides, miticides, fungicides, and bactericides) to control pathogens and insect pests, and intense irrigation and fertilization to insure the production of high quality crops. Consumers are becoming more aware of and concerned about how their purchases impact the environment, and there is increasing market pressure on commercial greenhouses to decrease their chemical usage. Consumer, market, and grower interest in reducing the environmental impact of the greenhouse industry has led many commercial greenhouses to adopt more sustainable growing practices and to pursue sustainable certification. A survey of the industry, funded through a NIFA SCRI planning grant, confirmed that a majority of respondents were interested in using biological products as part of a more sustainable crop production system. While respondents were familiar with the use of natural predators and biopesticides, they were less familiar with the biostimulant class of bioproducts. Biostimulants directly influence plant metabolism and growth. They enhance plant growth and overall plant health by increasing root elongation, nutrient uptake, and stress tolerance.

One barrier identified by Greenhouse industry stakeholders to the use of biostimulants has been the lack of a single, non-bias resource that contains biostimulant products available for use on greenhouse floriculture crops. A database resource was created that includes a compilation of products that (1) contain microorganism(s), (2) are advertised as biostimulants (i.e., enhance plant growth), and (3) can be used in a greenhouse and/or on flowering plants.

To search for microbe-containing biostimulants for greenhouse crops please use the link below to go to the Greenhouse microbe bioproducts database. http://go.osu.edu/MicrobeBioproducts

This resource was developed with the support of the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture SCRI Planning Grant – Award # 2015-51181-24284 and the OSU D.C. Kiplinger Floriculture Endowment.  We are continuing to add to and update this resource.  If you have suggestions or product additions please contact Michelle Jones at jones.1968@osu.edu.