January 09, 2024

Cucumber greenhouse now finally converted into strawberry cultivation

For Rob van Enckevort of De Peelkroon, converting former vegetable greenhouses into strawberry farms is nothing new. Previously, he and his family transformed a pepper greenhouse and a tomato greenhouse into strawberry farms. Now, a former cucumber greenhouse has been set up for strawberry cultivation. The young plants have been planted in the greenhouse in recent days. “We want to focus: Whatever you do, you must do well.”

Growtec employee and greenhouse owner stand in the recently converted De Peelkroon greenhouse.

Strawberry Market
“The strawberry market has only grown over the years. We see outdoor cultivation declining sharply as demand and product quality increase. Outside, you are still affected by weather influences that affect your cultivation,” Rob explains when asked why the company sought further expansion. “Moreover, you must ensure that you cultivate what the market demands. We follow a cultivation strategy where we can diversify better with different varieties. Then we are on the market from March to December with a steady production, and we can offer our staff constant work.” Moreover, all clichés are true: the neighbor’s greenhouse only comes up for sale once. Thanks to this nearby location, the nursery can easily be added to the existing company, which grows to 7.5 hectares.

Rolling gutters at De Peelkroon.

It’s hard to imagine when you look around the greenhouse full of young plants, but a few months ago, cucumbers were still being grown here. “The greenhouse has been leveled, cyclical lighting has been installed. And the water system has been slightly adjusted, although that was not very exciting,” Rob lists. The biggest change is perhaps the installation of the gutters: previously, cultivation was done on the ground in the greenhouse. That is obviously not an option with strawberries. Therefore, a new cultivation system has been installed in the greenhouse in recent weeks, with the gutters from Growtec being chosen.

Robin Dirks from Growtec shows that with the chosen model, a closed gutter consisting of a tray with a lid, no light gets to the drain water. “This reduces the chance of biofilm in the gutter.” The lid also provides extra stability. “Because the trays are on the gutter, light also falls under the tray. This prevents the roots from growing through the drain channel.”

For Rob, trust in the company was also important. “We have been working with MJ-Tech, their sister company, for a long time. Our experiences with the high-pressure fog system are very good: it is solid, high-quality, and requires little maintenance. We have the same expectation with the gutter system: it is quality.”

Of course, there is more to it, Robin explains. “Thanks to the shape of the tube gutter, it is particularly strong. Moreover, we also choose sustainability in our materials: for example, working with stainless steel instead of plastic.”

High-pressure fog system
Later this year, a fog installation will also be installed in the De Peelkroon greenhouse. “The past summer made us decide to want fog everywhere. June was warm and dry, and it was still quite warm in September. We see a difference in quality and production when we can use high-pressure fog.”

And that’s what the company is aiming for: focus on quality. “We have cultivated cucumbers here ourselves for two years. That was a good way to get to know the greenhouse and to look for what we want, but it is still a different product and a different world. I believe in specialization: whatever you do, you must do well,” says Rob, who also comes from a real strawberry family and has gained extensive knowledge and experience in cultivation. “I feel more at ease with it: you know what’s coming, and it’s a fun product to work with.”

Read this article at hortidaily.com.

For more information:

De PeelkroonLinkedIn

GrowtecRobin Dirksrobin@growtec.comwww.growtec.com


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