In growing anthurium, water management is of utmost importance. Especially water retention as well as drain capacity are vital. So what soil, what substrate is best? With the help of the Sigrow sensor technology Evanty, grower of anthurium in Moerkapelle, The Netherlands, weighed two different potential providers against each other.
To do so, Sigrow used eight Soil Pro sensors to test two different substrates (the current one, and a contender from another brand). The sensors were then installed at two heights (in the pot), and, for matters of scientific accuracy, at two replicas each. Simultaneously, lighting input (the amount of sunlight reaching the plant & plot) and soil humidity were closely monitored, since water retention capacity and plant growth do influence water management within the soil.
Evanty kept track of the soil humidity for over four weeks, and as a result data clearly showed how these different soils were locking in water. Also, the grower was able to see how humidity levels progressed over time and under different lighting conditions.
Based on the humidity data from the soil, and combined with the sunlight data, Evanty was able to make the weighted decision as to which soil to use. As it turned out, the contender soil came out best. The difference was evident from both data as from sight. When the plants were taken out of their pots, the plant in the contender soil had less, but thicker (healthier) roots.
In conclusion, the benefit to Evanty of measuring water retention with Sigrow sensor technology is twofold. On the one hand, better insight in soil quality helped them distinguish the best substrate for cultivating anthurium. Second, watering and maintenance techniques can be further improved, eventually resulting in improved yield quality.
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