The climate is changing, and the summers are becoming hotter. This may require extra protection for a month to a month and a half. The popularity of spray chalk and summer mix is clearly increasing.
The summer of 2018 was the hottest ever recorded in Northwest Europe. The year before that, South Europe was affected by persistent heat waves. And Australia broke one record after another in recent times. Everywhere throughout the world, growers feel the need for anticipating longer periods of heat that are occurring at greater frequencies than ever before.
They are therefore increasingly more often opting for temporary extra protection during the summer peak as a supplement to other coatings. ReduSystems' spray chalk is a liquid solution without a binding agent. It can be uniformly applied by machine or with a spray gun. Because it does not contain a binding agent, it will disappear from the greenhouse roof after a few rain showers. Often that is exactly long enough.
In the Netherlands, cucumber growers apply spray chalk when they switch crops during the summer. That provides the young plants with extra protection for a few weeks. In South Germany, Austria and Central Europe growers are combining ReduSystems' coatings with spray chalk.
This is a tried and tested method for tomato grower Krisztián Kovács of Prima Fruit in Slovakia. ‘In the spring, we apply ReduFuse IR. This helps the crop grow better and keeps the plants balanced. However, this is not enough in the middle of summer,’ he says. ‘It then becomes so hot that you end up with all kinds of problems such as tip rot, thin heads or double vines, if you do not intervene. Therefore, we then apply spray chalk over the ReduFuse IR layer. The chalk layer slowly thins as it rains, causing the diffuse layer to reappear. We then remove that layer in the middle of August.’
Combinations with ReduFuse and ReduHeat are also used. Some growers would like to keep the extra protective layer somewhat longer. This is possible, for example, by mixing 6, 7 buckets of spray chalk with 1-2 buckets of ReduSol. This way, a small volume of binding agent is added. This combination has since become known as 'summer mix'. ReduSystems' products are mutually coordinated and can be mixed without any problems.