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Klondike Gardens

Netherlands: Crop protection with organic and natural products such as soaps and oils

They grew up in and around the nursery, but now brothers Ton and Ruud van Leeuwen are both working on their own Klondike Gardens site in Berkel en Rodenrijs. With a total area of 4.2 hectares and over 30 species of gerbera, these boys, along with their father, are real gerbera specialists.

Since 1984, Klondike Gardens has focussed on growing gerberas and passing all that knowledge from father to sons. Developing and sharing knowledge is important for Klondike Gardens. All three men are in different educational and excursion groups. "We get a lot of input and information in that way. We reach many other businesses and that's important in order to remain innovative," says Ruud.

UV light to combat botrytis
"About five years ago, we were at a trade fair when we came across a company that combats botrytis using UV light. By using UV light, we now have a modern and environmentally friendly solution to preventing botrytis. It works like this: when the flowers are picked, they go through the sorting machine where they are briefly treated with a specific dose of UV light. The light kills the botrytis germs if they are present. Botrytis can develop rapidly in a sealed box, the germinating spores are killed by the UV treatment. As a result, during transportation, there is zero risk of botrytis development."

Integrated cultivation
The UV light technology is not the only thing that is very environmentally friendly. The guys at Klondike Gardens also consider integrated cultivation to be very important. In other words, for crop protection they use biological control and are critical in relation to the use of pesticides. "We work with organic and more natural products such as soaps and oils." Also any potential outbreak in the glasshouse is very precisely controlled: only in the infected places. "There's a lot of thought and a strategy behind it. We are also trying to build up populations in the glasshouse to create a balance."

In order to provide customers with the right flowers, Klondike is supplying an ever increasing product range. With this range, they are also making even more mixed boxes. The mixed boxes are put together specifically to ensure that the flowers can be combined well with each other in flower arrangements or bouquets. A florist can therefore work with smaller quantities.

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