Development of the Glasshouse Industry


    A SERIES of papers delivered before Section M (Agriculture) of the British Association at Nottingham on September 6 dealt with the history and present-day practice of the growth of crops under glass. Mr. H. V. Taylor first indicated trends in the technique of plant forcing, from the early use of the cloche, through the employment of frames and greenhouses, to the modern Dutch lights and 'aeroplane' tomato houses. Dr. W. F. Bewley spoke upon "Science in Relation to the Glasshouse Industry". He showed how the increase in intensity of crop forcing, and the growth of produce out of its normal season, brings new problems of disease and of nutrition. Many examples of how these troubles have been overcome by the Cheshunt Research Station were given. Some of the investigations, as the work of Lloyd on control of the tomato moth caterpillar, and that of Speyer upon the control of white fly, are now classical, and the newer research maintains the high standard. A most welcome link with practice was provided by Mr. F. A. Secrett's paper on "The Production of Early Vegetables and Salads under Glass". The need for vegetables quickly grown on good soil, as a contribution to national health, was stressed. A suitable light soil, adequately manured, and a site with security of tenure and adequate water supply, are the first essentials. Heavy capital costs and labour charges are incurred, but Mr. Secrett's practical demonstration of commercial success is even more eloquent than his illuminating paper.

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    Development of the Glasshouse Industry. Nature 140, 887 (1937).

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