Cultivation


A good, healthy and strong foundation produces the best harvest. This applies equally to you as well as to us.

A healthy foundation is important for the propagation of strawberry plants. In order to lay this foundation, we use healthy raw materials (SE 1 and SE 2) and fresh/clean/well-tilled soil.  After planting, we pay a lot of attention to keeping our plants vital and healthy. In the final phase, careful uprooting and processing are key.  Internal knowledge and continuous quality control are decisive for making the best end-product.  As a farmer, this gives you the best raw materials for your company.

Good soil life and lots of organic materials create a strong foundation.

First of all, our parcels are carefully chosen. Specifically, we research the history of the soil and the drainage system. This is because the strawberry plants make a lot of demands on the soil. We then have various soil samples taken to see how the soil is structured. By knowing the quantity of the materials and nutrients present in the soil, we can fertilise the soil with a high degree of precision. Preferably, this is done in the fall of the preceding year by means of compost, fresh farmyard manure, slurry or lime. The fertiliser is added carefully and the ground is loosened to the proper depth. With the help of green manure crops like Japanese oats and Tagetes, the organic substance level and soil life is optimised. Before we start planting in the spring, long-acting fertilisers are added to ensure even growth.

Shortening the cycle decreases the risks

We begin our cycle by communicating to our personnel a carefully drafted hygiene protocol. (link to hygiene protocol) Thanks to this we can carefully plant any purchased raw materials in aphid-free wire mesh tunnels. During the growing season, we ensure that the hygiene protocol is strictly complied with.

The purchased SE 1 plants are propagated in aphid-free wire mesh tunnels for one cultivation year.

The SE 2 plants, the result of cultivation year 1, are inspected by Naktuinbouw, and then propagated in the outside air in clean, fresh and properly tilled soil.  Thanks to this all of our cuttings and fresh plants are certified as a EE plants.

We aim to achieve the best results with the right knowledge and quality requirements

The plant must be able to experience optimal growth and must not lack anything. To be sure of this, we not only rely on the knowledge of our skilled cultivation managers, but we also regularly use plant sap analyses. In addition, we obtain external advice from three advisers from Hortinova, Delphy and Groeibalans. They regularly tour the fields in order to fine-tune our process.  Due to climate change and the reduction of available/approved plant protection products, the harvest will always pose new challenges.   

Homogeneity creates certainty

Our cultivation managers make sure that the plants develop into a homogeneous batch during the cultivation process. They do this based on various analyses. A homogeneous batch will grow more easily and yield stable production.

In order to determine the feasible production of the batch, various sample plants are removed from the plant batches and sent to Plant Logica. They examine the quantity of flower clusters located in the rhizome by dissecting the rhizomes underneath the microscope. They then count how many flower clusters there are in the heart.

Uprooting

The plants are uprooted early in the morning in the summers and winters under ideal circumstances with the help of a modern Basrijs harvester. In the summer this means that the plants are inside before it becomes really warm. This prevents the uprooted plants from drying out. The harvester makes sure that the strawberry plants are dug out of the ground with their entire root system. The plants are then ridded of excess sand on a crop conveyor belt. Via a discharge belt, the plants are placed into m3 boxes on a truck that drives alongside the harvester. The plants are protected from drying out during transport with a tarp. If necessary, the plants are dampened again when they are unloaded from the truck so that they don't lose any moisture.

Processing and cooling

Our so-called summer season starts around mid-July. We start with cutting the cuttings in the field. These are sorted into boxes and are then sufficiently dampened when they arrive and stored in the cold storage. The cold-storage is continuously kept damp with a misting system. The majority of the cuttings either go to the customer the same day or we plant them in trays or on the waiting bed.

The fresh plants are uprooted very early in the morning. The plants are then placed into m3 boxes at the company, where they are dampened as necessary. As long as they have not been sorted, they are stored in the same cooler as the cuttings.  After sorting, the majority of the plants are either delivered to the customer (still cooled) or immediately planted. The remainder is then stored in the cold storage.

The winter season starts at the end of November, when the plants are fully dormant. The winter fields are uprooted as soon as the circumstances for this are suitable. The uprooted plants are sorted in a frost-free shed and then stored in cold storage



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