PRESS RELEASE — For several years, UF/IFAS Extension has offered online certification courses in greenhouse management, with over 650 growers taking these courses in 2019. The Greenhouse Training Online program is adding video content on a new YouTube channel (tinyurl.com/UFGTO).
New videos in English and Spanish walk viewers through the process of petiole sap testing with the guidance of Tatiana Sanchez, UF/IFAS Extension Alachua County commercial horticulture agent. The videos also include links to bilingual fact sheets in BackPocketGrower.org in the Fertilizer and Nutrients section under Training.
Nitrate and potassium meters are effective tools for growers to do onsite testing of nutrient levels in the sap of greenhouse crops, Sanchez explained. The meters can also be used as a quick check of nutrient level in the fertigation solution, along with pH and electrical conductivity, to make sure that nutrient level is on track.
“Frequent monitoring of nitrogen levels in the hydroponic solution and in the plant sap, is one of the best management practices to avoid nutrient issues and achieve the maximum crop potential” Sanchez said.
Interpretive guidelines are available for major crops such as tomato, pepper, cucumber and strawberries.
The resources are included in upcoming Greenhouse Training Online courses for growers on nutrient management and hydroponic vegetable production (hort.ifas.ufl.edu/training). More videos are set to be released in the coming weeks.
The mission of the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) is to develop knowledge relevant to agricultural, human and natural resources and to make that knowledge available to sustain and enhance the quality of human life. With more than a dozen research facilities, 67 county Extension offices, and award-winning students and faculty in the UF College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, UF/IFAS brings science-based solutions to the state’s agricultural and natural resources industries, and all Florida residents.