“Since the beginning of this year, I switched to Earthwool ® rockwool cubes for part of my mini gerberas. In gerbera cultivation there has been a tendency for some time to switch from coir to this innovative growing media.” (Indeed, the production of Earthwool ® is done without formaldehyde-containing binder.)
Ronald made the decision to partially switch his gerbera farm of over three hectares to Earthwool®. This allowed him to compare the results properly. The flowers from these plants have been harvested for several months now. Ronald: “What struck me first was the greater ability of these cubes to retain moisture. I find it a huge advantage, particularly in summer, that the cubes stay a little wetter. This provides a larger water buffer, for example, in the event of a failure in the water supply”.
The biggest advantage, however, according to van der Salm, is the durability of the stone wool cubes. They last much longer than the coir he used before. Van der Salm: “The shelf life of cocopeat stops at about two years. On rock wool I can grow much longer, as it easily lasts three to four years. And that is where I can make a real financial profit. When the coco is finished in two years, there is a very good chance that I will switch completely to these rockwool cubes”.
On an area of 33,200 m2 PURE Gerbera in Delfgauw grows large flowered (9,000 m2) and mini gerberas, integrated and in a sustainable way. The company is the first in the Netherlands to supply fully organically grown plants. The products find their way to the entire European market via Delfgauw. More than 20 million stems of gerberas reach the consumer mainly through the wholesale trade. 40,000 high-quality flowers a week leave the Delfgauw company year-round.
Michel Sies, together with his wife, owns the Gerbera company Sies van der Spek. It has an area of 15,600 m2 at the Anthony Lionweg in Bergschenhoek. The pots now feature mini gerberas in 14 colors. These have been selected with care. They are not only guided by color, but also pay attention to the yield throughout the year. Some varieties produce more flowers in winter than others. They also make sure that the flowers are easy to pick. So the plants are in pots filled with rockwool blocks. “In particular, the fast rooting is a big advantage with the Earthwool blocks. The sturdiness is good and we are working in a sustainable way,” says an enthusiastic Sies van der Spek.
Klondike Gardens, located in Berkel en Rodenrijs, is a nursery that specializes in growing gerberas. The nursery consists of two departments with a total area of 42,000m2 and is owned by the van Leeuwen family. Ruud van Leeuwen: “Here we produce gerberas of a high quality and have an eye for the environmentally friendly way we want to do this.” The latest techniques are used in the production of the gerberas. Klondike Gardens has also set up a major trial. Cultivation takes place in containers filled with rock wool cubes. “The roots use the total volume and look good. The Earthwool Cubes are satisfactory, are firm and are an airy substrate.”