Saturday, July 11, 2009

Cold Growing For Fuel Savings

Cold growing is a topic we've been seeing more often recently, especially in poinsettias. Clemson's Jim Faust explained the concept this morning and left the group with three important take home messages to keep in mind if you're considering trying the method:
1. Even "cold beneficial" crops (crops that like cooler temps) flower faster at warmer temperatures while producing higher flower counts at cool temperatures.
2. "Cold tolerant" crops offer opportunities to reduce temps since these crops aren't delayed too badly by cooler temperatures.
3. "Cold sensitive" species are usually not good candidates for reducing growing temperatures. Poinsettias, however, can work with the proper cultivar selection and cultural practices.

The bottom line? With the right crop and the right conditions, you can save enough money on fuel costs to outweigh the expense of an extended growing season.

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