Introduction to Publications


 Introductions to the Publications

The publications posted on this website were written by Ray DeBruhl and published in the mid 80’s when there was no research being conducted by our land grant universities on growing greenhouse tobacco plants. This researched was done by Transplant Systems and provided to its customers in the form  of these growing manuals and papers. The concept of growing greenhouse tobacco plants was not a practice that was approved by tobacco specialists in North Carolina. As a consequence growers had no help from agricultural extension service.

Ray DeBruhl of Transplant Systems utilized his own experience working with some of the largest horticultural greenhouse facilities in the world, his academic background in agronomy and the research from leading horticultural universities to formulate the first agronomic growing program for Transplant Systems customers. The publications listed here are the result of that work. Special thanks are extended to Gary Spear, formerly of Metrolina Greenhouse (a 170 acre greenhouse facility) and Dr Allen Hammer of Purdue University for their valuable help.

It is important to know that the publication “Basics of Tobacco Plug Growing” was prepared for overhead watering direct seed system, as the direct seed float system was not introduced by Transplant Systems until the late 80’s, after the Speedling patent had expired on its EPS tray. The overhead watering method was the first direct seed greenhouse system developed. However the fertility and water quality management systems covered in this publication are the same for the float system.

The paper titled “Water Quality : Its Effect On Greenhouse Nutritional Management”, was published after “Basics of Tobacco Plug Growing”, its purpose was to reinforce the importance of water quality on growing tobacco plants in a greenhouse. Transplant Systems customers were receiving considerable resistance from tobacco specialists at NCSU on the need for being concerned about water quality, and adding battery acid when necessary to their water. DeBruhl felt for a matter of record that such a publication was needed.

DeBruhl did not want his growers to become complacent  about their water quality because tobacco specialists from NCSU were telling them it wasn’t necessary. DeBruhl knew that water quality could mean the difference between success or failure and he did not want any of his growers facing the same fate that other growers were having, that had purchased direct seed float systems from a former Speedling dealer, who had no knowledge of water quality parameters and how it impacts growing greenhouse tobacco plants.

The paper on Media Quality was prepared due to the lack of information made available to growers to educate them on the importance of media quality and how to assess it. Many problems are encountered each year by growers with greenhouse issues related to media, however the issues fail to get the attention of research specialist for various reasons. Yet, the issues are important to growers being faced with the problems. This publication will shed light on the matter of media quality and for once will give growers knowledge to make better management decisions about media selection.

Transplant Systems’ research work has since stood the test of time, as now every tobacco specialist and every vendor of greenhouse systems for tobacco growers now promotes the importance of water quality. In fact, Transplant Systems’ agronomic work has become the foundation upon what is now recommended in the production of greenhouse tobacco plants.

We hope that the reader finds these publications beneficial in their quest of scientific data to support good management practice of growing greenhouse tobacco plants. It is Transplant Systems goal to be a reliable resource for that data to assist you in the management of your greenhouse operations.

Basics of Tobacco Plug Growing

by Ray DeBruhl


Water Quality : Its Effect On Greenhouse Nutritional Management

 by Ray DeBruhl

Soilless Growing Media: How Water Holding Capacity & Air Porosity Impact Media Quality in a Float System

 by Ray DeBruhl

“The important thing in science is not so much to obtain new facts as to discover new ways of thinking about them.”  Sir William Bragg