The Canadian Ornamental Horticulture Alliance research and innovation cluster is funded by Growing Forward 2, a federal-provincial-territorial initiative. The following projects are funded through this cluster:
Water and nutrient management
To let nursery plant growers reduce water consumption, Université Laval researcher Dr. Charles Goulet is leading a project that will help with making irrigation decisions and ensuring the right amount of water gets to plants at right time for optimal growth. He is evaluating the use of wireless tensiometers for precision irrigation in nursery settings, as well as establishing optimal irrigation levels for various species or groups of nursery plant species.
Impact of turfgrass fertilization on nutrient losses through runoff and leaching
Guillaume Grégoire, Université Laval
Scientists from Université Laval, led by Dr. Yves Desjardins and Dr. Guillaume Grégoire, are working to evaluate the use of different types of turfgrass fertilizers and their impacts on nutrient runoff and leaching. The project is comparing nutrient losses from turfgrass fertilized with natural, synthetic and compost fertilizer sources to unfertilized turfgrass, as well as measuring the impact of cultural practices like aeration, clipping recycling, and overseeding.
Development of root-targeted delivery systems for controlled release of water and agrochemicals for ornamental plants
Frank Gu, University of Waterloo
Researchers from the University of Waterloo’s Department of Chemical Engineering are working on a new system to deliver water, fertilizer and crop protection products to greenhouse ornamental plants on demand. Not only will this ensure plants receive inputs only when they need them, it is also expected to reduce water and fertilizer use by up to 50 per cent.
Improving nitrogen and phosphorus use efficiency of potted chrysanthemums grown in a subirrigation system
Barry Shelp, University of Guelph
Dr. Barry Shelp of the University of Guelph is leading a research project to help reach that outcome with commercially important chrysanthemum cultivars. He is working to optimize the timing and application rates of soluble nitrogen and phosphorus in two popular subirrigated chrysanthemum cultivars. The goal is to determine how low nitrogen and phosphorus levels can be during the first half of the crop cycle while still ensuring high quality plants.
Optimal fertilizer application rates in container nursery crop production
Youbin Zheng, Vineland Research and Innovation Centre
Scientists at Vineland Research and Innovation Centre (Vineland) are determining the best nutrient rates, application methods, and timing for growing container nursery crops using different fertilizer types and growing substrates. Dr. Youbin Zheng and his team are also developing a fertilizer guide for container nursery crop production to help growers maximize their profitability and minimize possible environmental impacts caused by nutrient runoff.
Development and marketing of new hardy woody plant varieties based primarily on native Newfoundland flora
Todd Boland, Memorial University of Newfoundland Botanical Garden
New hardy, woody plant varieties are currently in development to meet demand for Canadian-bred plants and provide new revenue opportunities for plant producers. Researchers at the Memorial University of Newfoundland Botanical Gardens, led by Dr. Todd Boland, have selected nine plant varieties that are now undergoing commercial trials with eight nurseries across Canada.
Eco‐integrated green walls for indoor gardening and commercial buildings
Martine Dorais and Claudine Ménard, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Scientists from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada are working to develop a new, low maintenance indoor eco-integrated green wall that could be used in residential and public buildings to improve air quality, provide beneficial acoustics and amenity effects, and contribute to year round in-house gardening.
Nursery and landscape research scientist Dr. Darby McGrath and colleagues at Vineland Research and Innovation Centre (Vineland) are leading a project in Ontario and Alberta that is looking at tree survivability, soil remediation, and developing best management and recommended practices for remediation techniques.
A research team at Vineland Research and Innovation Centre (Vineland) led by Dr. Rose Buitenhuis is working on a project to help growers find alternative control measures to manage foxglove aphids that are compatible with existing greenhouse biological control systems.