At the beginning of this month, Van der Knaap paid a visit to Kolster in Boskoop. After a busy season they are again full of new plans. "We are always looking for unique varieties, products and markets. We have extensive knowledge in this area, which enables us to optimally advise our customers," says Wouter den Hollander, responsible for sales and consulting at Kolster.
The company has been around for almost 100 years and is now being managed by the fourth generation. Originally from the orchard industry, Kolster grew into the specialization in shrubs. In 2000, Magical perennials, pot and container plants and ground cover plants were added. Most of these can be viewed at the 6.5 hectare nursery. Breeding, testing and introducing new crops are the core activities. Currently Kolster’s flowers and plants are traded around the world.
With account manager Arie Bax, Wouter den Hollander was looking for a solution for a more efficient cultivation process of Gypsophila.
Kolster has had a Danziger license to carry different types of Gypsophila since January 2016. Wouter says that Kolster is especially successful with the 'My Pink' variety. Because of the light incidence in the Netherlands, the crop can become an intense pink color, something that is not possible in a tropical climate.
The Gypsophila cutting material comes from Kenya, after which it is put in 18-hole Fibre-Neth plugs by the Lendert de Vos nursery. The plugs come with a pre-drilled hole attuned to the cutting material. Wouter: "This way the process is more efficient and saves time." In the past the trays were filled by hand; a very labor-intensive process. But a test with Fibre-Neth plugs proved the plants to grow well so they decided to change.
"Normally the young plants are in the greenhouse for two weeks, after which they are hardened outside for two weeks. Now the plants were already ready for delivery after three weeks."
One of the specific features of Fibre-Neth plugs is that the plugs moisten up well but always contain sufficient air. This results in the plant developing a good root system. Gypsophila is a calcicole, so at the onset the pH must be as high as possible. The Fibre-Neth plugs are adapted to this, resulting in virtually no loss during cultivation.
The plug has a good compactness and is easy to handle. The plant roots continue to grow when placed in the ground. Kolster’s customers are also happy about the young plants they receive.
Source: Newsletter Van der Knaap Group
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