October 2013 Freesia stakeholders met to discuss the explicit societal and political pressure to reduce the emission of nutrients and crop protection agents. It was decided to start a series of on-farm tests to find a cultivation system in which reuse of drainage water would become possible
The choice of the best substrate material was a focus of the research. Wageningen UR Greenhouse horticulture was asked to follow the the experiments and advice on the process. At Penning Freesia two 6-week experiments were organised growing Freesia bulbs in plastic crates.
Results and advice
The results showed the highest fresh weight yields for a mix coir pith/coarse peat and peat moss. Sand, clay pellets and perlite produced less.
Growers choose to develop the sand system as the material is cheaper / more durable and organic substrates require more labour to clean the corms at harvest.
The advice at this moment is to reconsider the choice for sand and to include in the research some items which proved important in prior research for other crops on sand such as: influence of season, supply of water and nutrients and development of in-system disease pressure over time.
Research sponsored by: Productschap Tuinbouw