When using organic methods for greenhouse crops, growing media, fertilizers and pest management techniques may differ from conventional greenhouse production.
The greenhouse environment is very effective at promoting rapid plant growth, as well as insects and diseases in a short time period. Greenhouse crops are grown in small volume containers and they are irrigated frequently with large volumes of water. The combination of rapid plant growth, limited root volume, and frequent leaching make organic fertility management a challenge.
Greenhouses provide a suitable environment for using biological control to manage pests. Many useful biological control agents, also called natural enemies are commercially produced and can often be incorporated in existing greenhouse integrated pest management (IPM) programs. The following information on biological control and organic production is available from UMass Extension.
Greenhouse Pest Guide Smart Phone Web App
Our new Greenhouse Pest Management App for commercial growers of greenhouse crops and flowers was created by Tina Smith, University of Massachusetts and Leanne Pundt, University of Connecticut. This mobile optimized website app is a pest management reference guide that contains options for using biological control and pesticides. Partial support for this project provided by the New England Florist Association Floriculture Applied Research Fund.
For questions or comments about this app, contact: Tina Smith, UMass Extension at 413-545-5306 or email tsmith[at]umext.umass[dot]edu
Pesticide Compatibility with Natural Enemies
Pesticide Side-Effects (on-line or Mobile phone App, Biobest)
Pesticide Side-Effects data base (Koppert)
Pesticide Compatibility with Benefiicial Nematodes (Becker-Underwood)
Natural Enemies for Greenhouse Pests
- Biological Control in Greenhouses: Preparing for Spring Crops
- Biological Control: Pesticide Compatibility and Checking Quality
- Biological Control: Greenhouse Pests and Their Natural Enemies
- Western Flower Thrips Control in Spring Bedding Plants: Which Formulation of Mites is Best?
- A Grower's Guide to Using Biological Control for Silverleaf Whitefly on Poinsettias in the N.E. United States
- Massachusetts Grower Achieves Whitefly Control on Poinsettia with Biological Control at $0.10 a Plant
- New England Greenhouse Floriculture Guide: A Management Guide for Insects, Diseases, Weeds and Growth Regulators
Timely messages and photos posted about pest management in greenhouses. Use search tool
New England Greenhouse Update
Organic Greenhouse Production
- Resources for Growing Organic Greenhouse Crops
- Vegetable Grower's Guide to Organic Certification by National Young Farmers Coalition (although not specifice to greenhouses, this publication provides useful info on organic certification)
- Organic Growing Media and Fertilizers for Greenhouses
- Tables - Organic Pest Management for Vegetable Bedding Plants
Partial list of Suppliers (Beneficial insects and mites used by Massachusetts growers to manage pests in greenhouses.)