Future-proof

MEASURES

You can take today

Why wait for the future to arrive, when you can start making a difference now? The Green Times brings you 4 easy to carry out tips from experts from all over Europe, that you can apply today. Helping you to make your growing sustainable and future-proof. Food for thought!

Dr. Gianluigi Nario, Expert on nitrogen and fertilizer use (IT)

Heinrich Beltz, Research Center Bad Zwischenahn (DE)

The last few years, we have been facing drier summers on the one hand, and more extreme rainfall on the other. This emphasizes the importance of taking care of your water. Water quality, water distribution and water drainage are vital to future-proof horticulture.

What can you do? Care for water. Collect water and ensure you have good water wells in place. In some cases that may mean you have to change your wells, if you are working with wells that are not good enough (containing too much chloride, for instance). You can sometimes improve the drainage of your substrate, by using, at least partly, wood fiber or coco material. Also, investing in your container fields by implementing a lava bed or very flat well-draining container fields, may aid water management.

CARE FOR YOUR WATER

2

Everyone in the green sector is talking about drones and data sensing lately. However, there are less futuristic ways to improve your growing practices today. It all starts with knowing what you are doing.

As the saying goes: ‘to measure is to know’. So start measuring! Growers don’t need expensive instruments to measure two crucial factors for successful plant growth: irrigation and nutrition. Do you know how much mm/m2 water you give, and when you should water? Can you anticipate peaks in rainfall? Do you take potting soil samples, so you are on top of the state of nutrition?

Collecting data regularly will reveal patterns and provide you with very valuable insights. So you can take irrigation and nutrition measures before issues arise. But you have to start collecting the data first. What are you waiting for?

KNOW WHAT YOU'RE DOING: COLLECT DATA

3

Johan van den Broek, Delphy – Worldwide Expertise for Food and Flowers (NL)

Peat-free growing is a hot topic, mainly due to rising political and societal pressures. A good place to start, is to focus on peat-reduced growing on the short term. Alternative ingredients, such as coco-peat, bark or wood fiber, already appear in growing media. As growers, you have to learn to handle these alternatives and adjust fertilization and irrigation of your plants. 

And you do not have to reinvent the wheel. Just look at the biggest container nursery stock producer in the world, Monrovia (USA), who has been using bark and wood fiber for years, due to the absence of peat locally and the high prices to import peat from Canada and Europe. They have trained and learned how to use these growing media and only use peat for special crops like Rhododendron or for propagation. If they can do it, so can you!

PREPARE FOR PEAT-REDUCED
ALTERNATIVES

4

Heinrich Lösing, Versuchs- und Beratungsring Baumschule (DE)

As most growers know, we have to collectively reduce the amount of nitrogen in irrigation water. When it comes to container nursery and pot plants, specifically, it is extremely important to pay attention to nitrates. Studies show that it’s not nitrate itself, but the result of its oxidation process, nitrite, that is potentially carcinogenic if accumulated and absorbed by the human body. So it is of vital importance to keep nitrate concentrations in water under control.

You can do so by focusing on the various production factors: either by reducing the supply of fertilizers or, using a more modern practice, applying a range of slow release or controlled-release fertilizers that gradually release nitrogen and other nutrients. They let the plant absorb that portion of nitrogen it needs, avoiding excesses and leaching.

CONTROL NITRATE LEVELS
WITH CONTROLLED- RELEASE FERTILIZERS

1

SCROLL DOWN

Future-proof

MEASURES

You can take today

Why wait for the future to arrive, when you can start making a difference now? The Green Times brings you 4 easy to carry out tips from experts from all over Europe, that you can apply today. Helping you to make your growing sustainable and future-proof. Food for thought!

As most growers know, we have to collectively reduce the amount of nitrogen in irrigation water. When it comes to container nursery and pot plants, specifically, it is extremely important to pay attention to nitrates. Studies show that it’s not nitrate itself, but the result of its oxidation process, nitrite, that is potentially carcinogenic if accumulated and absorbed by the human body. So it is of vital importance to keep nitrate concentrations in water under control.

You can do so by focusing on the various production factors: either by reducing the supply of fertilizers or, using a more modern practice, applying a range of slow release or controlled-release fertilizers that gradually release nitrogen and other nutrients. They let the plant absorb that portion of nitrogen it needs, avoiding excesses and leaching.

CONTROL NITRATE LEVELS
WITH CONTROLLED- RELEASE FERTILIZERS

1

SCROLL DOWN

Dr. Gianluigi Nario, Expert on nitrogen and fertilizer use (IT)

Heinrich Beltz, Research Center Bad Zwischenahn (DE)

The last few years, we have been facing drier summers on the one hand, and more extreme rainfall on the other. This emphasizes the importance of taking care of your water. Water quality, water distribution and water drainage are vital to future-proof horticulture.

What can you do? Care for water. Collect water and ensure you have good water wells in place. In some cases that may mean you have to change your wells, if you are working with wells that are not good enough (containing too much chloride, for instance). You can sometimes improve the drainage of your substrate, by using, at least partly, wood fiber or coco material. Also, investing in your container fields by implementing a lava bed or very flat well-draining container fields, may aid water management.

CARE FOR YOUR WATER

2

Everyone in the green sector is talking about drones and data sensing lately. However, there are less futuristic ways to improve your growing practices today. It all starts with knowing what you are doing.

As the saying goes: ‘to measure is to know’. So start measuring! Growers don’t need expensive instruments to measure two crucial factors for successful plant growth: irrigation and nutrition. Do you know how much mm/m2 water you give, and when you should water? Can you anticipate peaks in rainfall? Do you take potting soil samples, so you are on top of the state of nutrition?

Collecting data regularly will reveal patterns and provide you with very valuable insights. So you can take irrigation and nutrition measures before issues arise. But you have to start collecting the data first. What are you waiting for?

KNOW WHAT YOU'RE DOING: COLLECT DATA

3

Johan van den Broek, Delphy – Worldwide Expertise for Food and Flowers (NL)

Peat-free growing is a hot topic, mainly due to rising political and societal pressures. A good place to start, is to focus on peat-reduced growing on the short term. Alternative ingredients, such as coco-peat, bark or wood fiber, already appear in growing media. As growers, you have to learn to handle these alternatives and adjust fertilization and irrigation of your plants. 

And you do not have to reinvent the wheel. Just look at the biggest container nursery stock producer in the world, Monrovia (USA), who has been using bark and wood fiber for years, due to the absence of peat locally and the high prices to import peat from Canada and Europe. They have trained and learned how to use these growing media and only use peat for special crops like Rhododendron or for propagation. If they can do it, so can you!

PREPARE FOR PEAT-REDUCED
ALTERNATIVES

4

Heinrich Lösing, Versuchs- und Beratungsring Baumschule (DE)

Contact us

Questions about The Green Times? Or suggestions for the next edition? Send us a message
Please enter your name
Please enter a correct e-mail address
Please enter a comment
Thank you! Your message has been sent.
Something went wrong while submitting the form. Try again.

Share

Forward this page by e-mail or share it directly on social media.

Search

Search for keywords in this edition of The Green Times.
Minimal length to search is 3 characters