Ruud Batist is someone who is always striving for perfection in everything he does and as co-owner of Batist Oranjepolder he works hard to ensure the operation is setup for success. When it comes to the greenhouse climate no detail is overlooked, so its not surprise that Batist pays special attention to the light levels in his greenhouse.
“Climate screens are essential to the cultivation of gerberas as they prevent plant stress and sunburn. We formerly white washed for years, but painting restricted the light and heating potential on cloudy days, when you want to let in as much sunlight as possible. In need of a more flexible and efficient solution, I opted to install a new screen that allowed more mobility and on-demand control."
Batist was the first gerbera grower to invest in Svensson’s new Harmony 2315 O FR screen. As a climate screen that’s characterized as having a high level of transparency, only 23 percent of the light is blocked. Another key benefit of Harmony screens is the sophisticated light distribution, which allows sunlight to penetrate deeper and more evenly into the crop.
“In 2015, at my other location, I purchased a Harmony screen and that blocked 33 percent of light,” tells Batist. “However, this is an older and darker greenhouse and therefore the plants require more light. This is especially the case in the late summer months when the crops harden, which is one of the main reasons I decided to take the next step in terms of light transmission and made the choice to invest in Svensson's new Harmony screen.”
More overall light
Batist does not regret his decision to install Harmony 2315 O FR. “There is clearly more PAR light in the greenhouse compared to our other location. Thanks to the improved light diffusion properties of the Harmony screen you remove the harshness of the sunlight, reducing crop stress."
The optimal, even spread of light reduces shadowing in the greenhouse which is another big advantage. Thanks to the reduction of direct radiation I’m now able to close my blackout screen later in the day, creating longer days. All of these components contribute to more overall light in the greenhouse. The optimal length of the day depends on weather conditions and the crop; every crop variety reacts differently and requires differing amounts of sunlight. I’m hoping to master this in the coming period.”
The fact that more light is able to enter the greenhouse positively effects crop growth, according to the gerbera grower. “Because of the increased PAR light, the crop is able to generate more sugars which results in more buds and leaves, increasing the growth potential. In short: the crop is much more generative.” Whether or not this increases the production is still not certain. “This was too short of a period, however, my expectations are positive and it’s clear that the extra light benefits the plant. As a grower, this gives me a good feeling.”