In a first for China, Lijiang Qize Agricultural Development Company used 60,000 Finesse Growbags to raise long-stem roses. "Our Kimberley roses produced an average of 10 stems per plant after six months," says Mr. Shi Hongzheng of Lijiang Qize, a Chinese grower of roses and calla lilies.
Lijiang Qize initially contacted Jiffy because they were looking for a renewable substrate to grow their cut flower crops. Jiffy Growbags are environmentally friendly in multiple ways:
- The peat-free substrate they contain is 100% RHP-certified, biodegradable coir, a renewable alternative to peat.
- The grow bags are energy efficient, needing less heating than inert growing media like stone wool or perlite.
- They facilitate cost-effective water and fertilizer usage.
"We reuse 100% of our water and fertilizer," says Mr. Shi. Based out of Yunnan Province, Lijiang Qize already runs a 50,000 m2 s greenhouse, and it's currently building another greenhouse to expand its cut flower operation.
Easy to ship and ready to use
An important advantage for an operation of this size is that Jiffy Growbags are shipped in a dried and compressed form, making them easy to transport and store.
Lijiang Qize found the Finesse Growbags saved labor because they were so easy to prepare. There's no need to wash or treat the coir before use – just open the precut holes and insert the irrigation drippers. The result is a very spongy substrate, indicating excellent air-filled porosity.
"It normally takes five to seven days for the grow bags to expand to full capacity," Mr. Shi notes. "But if you're in a hurry, adding more water will help speed things up."
Lijiang Qize uses a gutter system in their greenhouses, and the grow bags enabled the very efficient placing of the roses. With eight plants per grow bag, each one received better ventilation and more light than with their previous solution.
As a result, the roses were ready to harvest at six months, with very few losses. In fact, Lijiang Qize had a bumper crop on their hands: Thanks to Jiffy Finesse Growbags, the plants produced an average of 10 stems each.
"Looking at our other crops, the sprouting ratio is also quite high, so the Jiffy Growbag is very helpful for increasing our yield."