After a period of many tests and with the help of an external cultivation advisor, Fikona Nursery in Lier, Belgium, has now succeeded in treating the plants in two departments entirely organically.
The organic way
Although Fikona had been making the transition to more organic cultivation for some time, it was still necessary to intervene with chemical products now and again. Quirine Peeters of Fikona explains: "Resistance to existing agents was increasing and the effect of the treatments was diminishing. A lot of chemical products are also disappearing in Belgium every year. The biological way then becomes the only option."
Natural enemies and plant reinforcers
The search for natural enemies and plant reinforcers started with the product Swirskii, blown in by automatic blowers. Fikona now works with Spidex and Montdo-mite. This combination ensured that the spider mite and thrips infestation was rapidly reduced. Where the thrips pressure was too high, plant reinforcements were started first. Quirine: "By toughening up the plant, pests have less of a chance and the plants themselves became less attractive to them."
Adapting and adjusting
Spidex and Montdo-Mite have also already been started in the newest greenhouse, which was completed in 2019. Because the new greenhouse is much higher than the old one, the automatic blowers also had to be adapted and readjusted. Partly thanks to the help of an external crop consultant, who has experience with plant reinforcement and tropical plants, Fikona was able to make steps in the field of biology. Now two departments are running at full capacity with plant reinforcers and natural enemies and Fikona can move on to the next challenge: controlling mealybugs with biology.