Open field or greenhouse production of vegetables and ornamental plants is challenging because of the need to balance high productivity and sometimes late harvests with reducing nutrient losses to the environment. Growers urgently need to find and implement more sustainable strategies for the intensive production of vegetables, potatoes, flowers and ornamental trees. On request of the European Commission - DG Environment, a consortium of research institutes and extension research centers in Flanders (ILVO, UGent, Inagro, PCS, PCG and PSKW) performed a benchmark study to evaluate innovative techniques for nutrient management in horticulture in Flanders and other regions in Belgium, The Netherlands, France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Denmark, Switzerland and Poland. The benchmark focuses on the current knowledge of sustainable and innovative techniques of vegetable and ornamental plant production. The techniques are related to both conventional and organic agriculture, are used both for vegetables and ornamentals, and do include applications for all horticultural systems (open air and greenhouse, in soil and soilless). The selected techniques focus on innovative fertilization, crop residues management, crop rotation, organic matter management and soil quality practices in horticulture. The necessary information was gathered by visits to the selected regions. The benchmark resulted in an overview of promising techniques on this subject compiled in a report with fact sheets on cultivation and fertilization techniques for vegetable and ornamental plant production. The position of Flanders relative to other European regions concerning the implementation degree is assessed as well. For new techniques ready for implementation, we evaluated the applicability and the economic and technical feasibility for Flanders. These results will be used for an action plan for horticulture in Flanders.