Saturday, March 3, 2018
10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Common Ground Education Center, Unity, Maine
There is no place more important to get off to a good start than growing seedlings for your farm. Weak or diseased seedlings rarely recover to produce timely and good crops. The program at Spring Growth this year will help you evaluate your production with topics from how to set up the production equipment (benches, containers, etc.), evaluate your soil mix, keep up the plant nutrition and avoid problems. Hear from farmers and service providers including Ann Mefferd, Mary Ellen Chadd, Alicyn Smart, Bruce Hoskins and Stephanie Burnett.
Registration and Check-In
10 - 10:45 Greenhouse Set-Up
Structures, heating, ventilation, floor coverings, renewable energy with Stephanie Burnett, UMO Associate Professor of Horticulture
10:45 - 11:30
Evaluating soil mixes with Bruce Hoskins, UMO Analytical Lab and Maine Soil Testing Service
Seedling starts and greenhouse bench production require different rooting/growing media and different management practices than what is normal for outside crop production. OMRI-approved organic growing media can now be purchased from several commercial sources. Growing media can also be produced yourself, following any of several proven recipes. Seeding mixes are especially difficult to produce and manage, due to the small volume of soil and the high sensitivity of new seedlings to soil and environmental conditions. Soil drainage and fertility problems commonly occur with any seeding mix, but especially with commercial or homemade organic mixes. Many of these problems can be anticipated, minimized, or avoided altogether with proper on-farm or laboratory monitoring and by following a few best management practices.
11:30 - 12 noon
Q & A
12 noon- 12:45
Catered organic lunch
12:45 - 1:30
Hear from Farmers: Containers, soil blocks, trays benches, other infrastructure featuring Ann Mefferd, Seedlings by Annie/One Drop Farm and Mary Ellen Chadd of Green Spark Farm
1:30 - 2:15
Diseases in Seedlings with Alicyn Smart D.P. M., Assistant Extension Professor & Plant Pathologist
This talk will be an overview of those pesky plant pathogens that like to feed on your poor seedlings and how to limit their presence. Follow these steps and you could get the best looking seedlings in your county!
2:15 - 2:45
Q & A