Rainbow Greenhouses located in Chilliwack, British Columbia (BC), Canada, is a large-scale wholesale producer and distributor of a range of indoor, outdoor and seasonal plants. The company operates from two large facilities in BC and another facility in Southern Alberta totaling some 17 hectares. While serving various home provinces − BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba – Rainbow also supplies customers across the border in Washington, USA.
Strong IPM focus
Quality spring bedding plants and baskets are a core line at the high-tech 5 hectare Chilliwack site. Propagated in the company’s modern glasshouse facilities, the company operates high standards of environmental stewardship maintaining a strong focus on IPM programs for controlling pests and pathogens.
Compatibility is key
“We were already successfully using a range of biological controls in our propagation area,” explains propagation manager, Ester McPherson. “We wanted a product to reduce pathogens in the root zone and help minimize stress during the rooting phase. Compatibility with our existing program was key – we were looking for a product that wouldn’t interfere in any way with our program of beneficial insects and nematodes.
“The biopesticide Asperello T34 Biocontrol fits the bill. It’s compatible with our standard application of hormones for rooting and nematodes for preventative control.”
Triggering natural defense mechanisms
“Containing the antagonistic fungus Trichoderma asperellum strain T34, Asperello has multiple modes of action and colonises roots forming a barrier against pathogens while supporting healthy root growth,” explains Paul Koole, technical adviser for Biobest North-America.
“Triggering the plants natural defense mechanisms, it parasitises and actively kills pathogens. Easy to apply, the Rainbow Greenhouses team simply mixes the Asperello with the other products routinely applied at the rooting stage.”
“We’re using it on around 80 different spring crops with great results,” says Ester. “Asperello works well for us providing protection from Fusarium and Phytophthora - we’ve also observed some curative properties against the latter."
“In the past Mandevilla proved to be a particularly difficult crop to root,” says Ester. “Now, thanks to Asperello we are getting great results. Our propagation team applies Asperello as a drench when cuttings are initially stuck, with a second drench applied one week later."