This month's winning success story comes from Dan Patience of JD Propagation in southeastern Australia. When Dan and his wife Jen started the wholesale plug and liner nursery in 2010, they wanted to find sustainable, earth-friendly alternatives to traditional fungicides. Their hunt for the best alternative to chemical fungicides led them to Companion Biological Fungicide. The rest, as they say, is history.
In a little over three years, JP Propagation has grown from a 2-man operation in 1,000m2 of greenhouse space to an operation 16 staff members working out of 4,000m2 of space, producing over 3 million seedlings per year. Patience now uses a number of other Growth Products solutions in his nursery production scheme.
We recently talked to Patience, who in addition to being a first-class propagator and businessman is a musician who enjoys singing and playing acoustic rock in local pubs.
Operating out of intensively cultivated greenhouses, we used to encounter common fungal diseases such as Pythium, Rizoctonia, Chalara, Fusarium and Alternaria. Now we drench our young stock and special needs crops once a week with a tank mix of Companion, Essential, and Cal-Tec 6-0-0 with 9% Chelated Calcium. The combination get crops established quickly, with strong root systems, and without disease. It's really amazing - it's been nearly three years since we've used any type of chemical fungicide to control soil borne pathogens, yet our fungal disease problems have been eliminated. In addition to weekly drenching, we do a foliar spray with Companion when disease pressure is very high. On lavenders and geraniums, we also do a preventive spray with Recover Rx to ward off bacterial infections such as Xanthamonas. We haven't seen any Xanthmonas since we started using this regimen.
On a regular basis we make a zero-phosphorus maintenance feed consisting of Cal-Mag-Max and X-Xtra Iron. This is a great feed for holding plugs, as it helps stock maintain a deep green color without any stretching. I've worked in the nursery and greenhouse industry for a long time, and I've got to say that Growth Products' chelated micronutrients are the best I've ever seen.
We sure do. We make all our mixes, and we always add BioBlender Media Mix. We find it gives us faster rooting, better roots, overall improved plug growth and amazing resistance to disease. It is the best soil additive that I have ever used. It's so effective that I sometimes skip the Companion, Essential and Cal-Tec drench on our regular stock, and drench only special needs crops.
We are able to produce top-quality products in about two-thirds of the time it would take if we were not using Growth Products. In fact, I attribute much of JD Propagation's success to Growth Products. Growth Products gives us great plants, disease free, with fantastic roots, in a short period of time.
Many thanks to Dan Patience for his help with this article, and congratulations for providing our Best Success Story of the month.
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