November 2005 Nursery Newsletter

Things are moving rapidly now and tens of thousands of plants have grown to hundreds of thousands in the last month! Trading for our new site will begin shortly as plants are thriving with the added heat and rain we have been experiencing. We now have over 1,000 Eucalyptus in 45lt, 75lt and 100lt as well as hundreds of beautiful deciduous trees in 200lt containers to name a few.

We are putting in place an Iodine Injection Unit for disease control. John Woodhouse of Ioteq Australia writes, “Water disinfection and disease control for nurseries, in a world first Ioteq Australia Pty Limited has delivered a revolutionary, highly effective and cost effective water disinfection and disease control system with no environmental impacts to the industry. Iodine and the Isan™ system provides nurseries with a breakthrough in disease and pathogen management by providing extremely powerful bacterial and fungal control using the well known and highly regarded biocide of iodine.

When in contact with micro-organisms such as bacteria, viruses, fungi and protozoa, iodine is able to rapidly penetrate their cell wall and oxidise a number of critical components within the cell. The combined effect of these oxidative reactions is cell death.

Most major nursery diseases are spread by pathogen spores carried through water. This will become an increasingly bigger problem where recycled water is used. Disease prevention makes far better economic sense than disease curative programs.

The system is fully automated and self regulating, it requires no chemical mixing and can give you certified delivery with the ability to also remove all biocide from the water stream as well if required.

Benefits of the Isan™ System:

  • Extremely powerful fungicide and bactericide control – reduced plant losses from diseases.
  • Accurately measure, monitor and dose the levels of iodine to maintain an accurate level of disinfection.
  • Iodine has superior efficacy than competitive products in water with high organic load (dirty water).
  • Iodine is not effected by pH and remains active in a water pH between 3 and 8.5 as iodine does not alter the pH of solutions. Iodine has no impact on nutrients in solution, therefore fertigation and sanitation can be safely carried out concurrently.

For over 150 years, iodine as a disinfectant has been recognised as the most effective medical antiseptics available. Even NASA recognises iodine’s unique qualities, using it as the only water disinfection process on all manned space flights.

Propagation Greenhouse

Our state of the art climate controlled greenhouse is complete. Greenhouse Construction Australia built our 40m x 12.8m greenhouse with large roof vents for air circulation. The greenhouse has twin skins in the outer walls that are blown up like a balloon to act as an additional thermal layer.

Svensson thermal screens have been installed by Powerplants Pty Ltd. Thermal screens are by far one of the most effective energy and cost saving pieces of equipment you can install in your greenhouse. This is largely due to the ability to directly control the greenhouses climate by retracting the screens during the day to optimise light, temperature and humidity. At night the screens are closed to reduce heat loss, dew drop, heating costs and to maintain a more constant greenhouse climate. Circulation fans have also been installed to help maintain a uniform microclimate around the plants. Air circulation is one method to reduce climate differences and to maintain a uniform temperature and humidity throughout the greenhouse.

To tie everything together we enlisted the help of Ian Sawicz from Nelan industries to install high pressure fogging and a Humidex greenhouse climate control system. The Humidex has humidity, air temperature, bench temperature, wind and rain sensors and uses these to control the fogging, screens, vents, bench heating and circulation fans to keep the climate within the parameters we have set. E.g. If the temperature rises too high the Humidex will open the vents and start the fogging which will act like an evaporative cooler and dropping the temperature by up to 10 degrees Celsius.