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Introduction to greenhouse management

Netherlands: One-week course for protected florticulture

Floriculture includes cut flowers, pot plants and bedding plants and thus is very broad in species, and difficult to fully cover in one week. This course, however, will address the basics of floriculture and adjust as much as possible to the needs of the audience present.

In a greenhouse, either glass or plastic, it is possible to control many of the conditions during the cultivation of a crop. This includes for instance irrigation, fertilization, temperature, humidity, pests and diseases but also labour management and production planning.

In this course the greenhouse management for floriculture is introduced to those who are (relatively) new in protected florticulture and are active in middle of upper layer of management. During this five-day intensive course basic management technology, crop cultivation and socio-economic managerial aspects will be highlighted. Practical training and field trips to relevant companies and places are part of the course.

Apart from hand-outs of all presentations, the book “Plant Physiology in Greenhouses” by Ep Heuvelink and Tijs Kierkels is handed to trainees as back ground information (value € 75,00)

Time & Duration: 5 consecutive days (9am - 5pm)

Course Dates:

Round 1: (week 49)
Day 1: Monday the 30th of November 2015
Day 2: Tuesday the 1st of December 2015
Day 3: Wednesday the 2nd of December 2015
Day 4: Thursday the 3rd of December 2015
Day 5: Friday the 4th of December 2015

Location: Netherlands: Violierenweg 3, 2665 MV (Improvement Centre & Training facility of DLV GreenQ)

Price per person: € 3.000,00 (Excl. VAT) (Incl. Lunch)

Course Subscription:  Yes, I would like to register for this course

Closure date for Subscription: 26th of October 2015

Course Program (changes may occur for organisational reasons)

Day 1: Introduction in greenhouse floriculture sector and crop production
  • Introduction of program, participants and DLV GreenQ
  • Overview floriculture sector worldwide and the Netherlands; status quo, trends and developments.
  • Field visit: Visit to Improvement Centre, explanation of state-of-the-art greenhouse system and different cultivation systems in GreenQ Improvement Centre as in introduction to what is to come (depending on the trainees this may be during the afternoon session)
  • Vase life test with roses is set up
  • Plant = factory; how does the plant function and what parts does a plant have? What is the difference between growth and development?
  • The basis of all production is the process of photosynthesis. To have a good understanding, more basics of plant physiology are discussed, including the difference between respiration and transpiration.

Day 2: Greenhouse and cultivation systems
  • Main reason for placing a greenhouse or other protective structure is to be able to control the climate. But what is an optimal climate for a plant and how to achieve this? This is explained in the lecture Introduction to Greenhouse Climate. In addition to the lecture and depending on the group a workshop on the Mollier diagram is added to the program.
  • Especially in floriculture too much light and high temperatures have to be avoided. Screening of the greenhouse or use of whitewash is a useful tool. A guest lecture about this topic will be part of the program.
  • Postharvest is a topic that is especially important for warm climates for perishable crops like cutflowers. After the harvest of your beautiful produce you will want to keep the quality well until delivery to the final customer. The lecture postharvest will offer information on the reasons of perishing and how vase life can be improved so customers will be satisfied with the produce you delivered.
  • Field visit: a commercial grower in the area of Bleiswijk is visited, crop depending on group preferences.

Day 3: Crop Production Systems
  • Field visit: The cultivation starts with the choice of the right variety for the cultivation system and market. In that process breeding companies play an important role. During a visit to one of the major breeding companies in chrysanthemum, roses or other floriculture crop you will learn about characteristics that breeding companies look for, variety testing for various climate zones as well as requirements for plant material and seeds for a good start of the cultivation.
  • Now the greenhouse, cultivation system, choice of crop are in place and basics of plant physiology is understood it is time to start the production. During the cultivation monitoring and registration of all kind of data plays an important role in order to plan ahead and learn from the past. This afternoon focusses on monitoring, analysis and control of greenhouse climate, plant data and labour. What do we monitor, why and how? And what to do with the collected data?

Day 4: Optimizing crop production environment
  • Irrigation and fertilisation are important aspects of the cultivation. In lectures the function in the plant of different macro and micro nutrients is discussed, substrate selection, composition of nutrient solution and if possible also a calculation of a nutrient solution.
  • In the afternoon another important topic is on the list: Integrated pest management (IPM). As chemicals against pests and diseases are less favourable over the years, and more biologic control is used, crop protection is a very important topic.
  • Field visit: a commercial nursery is visited this afternoon to see the real live situation. (crop depending on the group)

Day 5: Optimizing greenhouse management
  • Field visit: Once the produce is harvested it should reach the consumer in good condition. Also the product has to meet the demands of the market in size, packaging and harvesting stage. During a visit to the flower auction FloraHolland the marketing of floricultural produce is explained. A visit to an exporting trader is an option depending on time and interest of the group.
  • The final session will address company organisation, production planning and greenhouse labour management. How do you keep your workers motivated, how can you monitor and optimize the labour?
  • Evaluate vase life test (started Monday)
  • To finalize the intensive course a round table is organised for final discussion and evaluation. During the closure session the certificates are handed and drinks offered.
Trainers: Our education team consists of dedicated passionate staff consisting of international consultant/trainers and senior lecturers.

More information
Steven Madern
Email: [email protected]

Publication date: