Away with algae

Ask the Experts - Algae Remediation

Eric Smith, national T&O segment manager for BioSafe Systems, shares his insight on algae accumulation, along with the recommended products to combat it.

April 21, 2021

Greenhouse Management: Why did BioSafe Systems choose to discuss algae remediation for this piece?

ES: Algae can be ubiquitous in greenhouses and is exacerbated by high humidity, especially where I’m from in Florida. It is found in irrigation tanks, ponds, reservoirs nourished by the moist and damp environments. Outside of water systems, there are types of algae that develop on the greenhouse floors that can create hazardous conditions for employees. On the crops themselves, another kind of algae can spread from the racks, trays, pots to the soil at the base of the plant. Often different approaches are necessary for different types of algae and specific target areas. We’ve helped growers manage their algae issues for many years with multiple products for surfaces and for the plants themselves. We have products for algae control in greenhouses that cover and protect from top to bottom and treat irrigation systems too.

GM: BioSafe Systems offers multiple solutions, but is there a specific product you’d like to highlight?

ES: There are two that we would focus on for greenhouse use. The first would be ZeroTol 2.0 as a chemigation application for young plants. ZeroTol 2.0 can be injected at extremely low rates into propagation water, which helps eliminate algae on plugs, trays, and on the floors, benches, and walls of the facility. With an application via an injection system — which can be very simple to set up with a Dosatron pump — they can also treat the foliage, the plants themselves, and surrounding surfaces. The second option would be GreenClean PRO, which is a granular algaecide. Its focus is twofold, and it is excellent for treating algae on floors and other hard surfaces. If you have concrete walkways, ground cloth, or dirt, or gravel floors, the product has tremendous on-contact results. Additionally, some facilities have a 10,000-gallon water storage tank. When algae gets in there, we can treat those tanks with GreenClean PRO to kill the algae and still save that water for the plants.

GM: How do growers figure out what is best for them?

ES: All greenhouses could use GreenClean PRO because algae frequently grows on floors and it can be treated with a granular very easily. ZeroTol 2.0 is more for foliar sprays if a greenhouse has algae growing on plants, soil, or trays. Or if growers want to treat their irrigation water itself and spray the treated water to keep everything clean.