Dutch tulips blooming in Siberian frosts

Mr. Alexander Burmantov fell in love with flowers about 20 years ago. He says that there are no flowers similar to tulips in Siberia. Once he literally turned gray when he could not complete the major order on these demanding flowers. Now, he does not allow such mistakes to happen, he knows precisely how the proper tulips should look like. The grower even invented own microclimate system for perfect results.

Cacharel variety have pale pink fringed buds, Barcelona tulips are tall, bright crimson ones, while Barbados are the most unusual and expensive of his tulips. Mr. Alexander Burmantov decided to experiment with them this year. The batch will be small and will allow evaluate the demand on exotic variety.

Mr. Alexander Burmantov came to snowy Siberia from the sunny Uzbekistan 20 years ago. He grows hundreds of bright flowers here and shares his experience with other growers.

This year they have grown 300 thousand tulips of 10 different varieties for the International Women’s Day. Red, yellow and pink are the most popular colors delivered in big batches. The white one present more difficulties as, according to the grower, they have “genetically week structure”.

Mr. Alexander Burmantov says that he has a nose for flowers. Therefore, he helps other growers build own flower businesses; he has even started online courses on tulip growing and greenhouse reconstruction.

“When I enter the greenhouse, I feel if the tulips have an issue. Some of my associates have been working with me for eight years, they can regulate certain things themselves, and yet it is a long way to understanding the flowers,” explains the grower.

In the beginning of his career as a grower, Alexander made several mistakes and now after he has acquired certain experience, he consults others who decided to dedicate their lives to flower growing. Currently he is assisting a grower from Krasnodar, whose flowers have been affected by mold.

Alexander employs 6-10 associates permanently and increases the headcount to 26 in the end of February, when the seasonal workload cannot be managed with the regular number of employees.

According to Mr. Burmantov, many problems related to flower growing are connected with the soil, therefore he advises the growers to change for hydroponics. It is cheaper and safer, once the technology is mastered.

Apart from the seasonal tulip business, Alexander grows flower seedlings. In the end of the year, he is hoping to start growing tulips all year round. For that, he is reconstructing the basement floor and purchasing cooling equipment.

Currently Mr. Burmantov purchases bulbs in the Netherlands but in September, he is going to test planting materials from New Zealand.

The grower takes pride in his produce. According to him, representatives from the Dutch suppliers’ side come to visit the greenhouses every year in order to see with own eyes how tulips grow among the Siberian snows. This year the company representatives could not come due to the global virus but Alexander demonstrated the tulips via videoconference.

According to Mr. Burmantov 80% of Siberian market are covered with European flowers. However, in five years the grower is forecasting a dramatic change of the situation.

“Many people ask me what I need such tall greenhouses for. They are six meters high, among of the tallest ones in the whole Siberia. The colleagues did not understand me, thinking that it would be impossible to heat them. They did not understand that certain volume and height are needed to create proper microclimate. We keep the temperature at the level of 13-14 degrees. In the Netherlands, the tulips are accustomed to higher temperatures, about 16 degrees. Thus, they can produce tulips within 18 days, and here we need 30-40 days”, shares the grower.

Alexander has constructed the unique microclimate system by himself by trial and error. He is proud to note that experienced growers address him now for technical solutions.

Mr. Burmantov is dreaming of creating a clever greenhouse where temperature and humidity could be regulated remotely. The solution has already been found and the drawings for it have been created.

Click here for the original article (Russia) with more pictures

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