Illinois State Florists' Association
AT ONE TIME nearly all carnation producers started their plants in bands, transplanted them into the field in spring, then moved them into greenhouse benches following the peak of the late spring cut. This system allowed maximum production from each greenhouse bench. High producing varieties were in use and any disease losses were often overlooked because of the large number of flowers cut. One of the earliest problems encountered by growers was that of "run-out" varieties, largely due to disease and lack of selection. Because of this, many carnation varieties were lost to the trade, and some of the most productive ones are no longer in use. By the early 1950's, the high cost of labor and the reduced returns per flower caused many growers to look for methods to improve quality and also for less costly methods of production. In many parts of the country, systems were developed that eliminated the use of fieldgrown plants. Experiment stations strongly recommended the direct benching of cuttings to save labor and to minimize disease and insect problems. The use of nursery beds, and several other variations, were also put into practice in certain areas. Some of these were tried by various Chicago area carnation growers.
Keywords: Treatments "run-out" varieties Disease losses cutting schedules direct benching