Rob Oosterom: “We are now 5.5 kilos ahead of last year. At the end of week 35, we had already lost 60 kilos gross. It is very good. If growth continues to go well, final production could be very high.” There is a slight dip in the roughness, but it is not so strange in this period with a heavily loaded plant.
He cannot complain about the crop itself, how it has held up under the heat. The crop certainly had to cope with hot weather conditions, but these were usually followed by somewhat calmer temperatures, so on average it wasn’t too bad.
“It was more bothersome if you suddenly had to switch to two or three days of dark weather, especially with the heavy plant load that was associated with it. Then you could see that the crop was not happy with it and it started to stretch.”
Left a week earlier
The heading happened at the end of week 35 to the beginning of week 36. The plan was originally to start this at the end of week 36. “It was a shame for the plants to start already, so beautiful and powerful when they still stood. But we’ve had so much light that I’d rather see the fruits get a little heavier. And you need enough rapid growth. If you start a little earlier, you will get the flowers off a little earlier and it will grow out a little better.” At the start of week 37, seven full trusses are still missing and the eighth truss is being harvested.
To keep more light in the crop, he now cuts a leaf about 80 centimeters below the head. “It went well last year. You stimulate rudeness with that. We’re trying to get him to really put everything into his fruit from now on.” The regular leaf cutting has also been kept up to date to keep the crop well open. Now that you can feel it getting more humid in the greenhouse, is the latter extra desirable.
Usually, he only did the crop activities to open the crop properly later to spread the work better. “But this is better for my plant. And with the presence and absence of workers, it’s still chaotic. It will be possible again in October to keep my good people working.”
Warning about Botrytis
Oosterom hopes that the good weather will continue, but remains very aware of a change in weather. “You can already see some more pressure from Botrytis. Therefore, just before cupping, we dripped once Luna. We will also spray more stems as a preventive measure in the last ten weeks of cultivation.”
Spider pressure seems to be increasing
Pest control is going well. “We had a little bit of spider mites. We had to fix that right away. This is the second year we’ve had it. We’ve never had this problem before. But it seems to be getting bigger every year.” He sees a lot of Macrolophus on spider mites. “Spider is apparently good food for that animal.”
The grower tries to keep it as cool as possible in the greenhouse now that the last bloom is almost over. The night temperature goes to 13 degrees Celsius after 19:30 until 04:00. Then it warms up to 17.5 degrees, to increase it further to 19 degrees Celsius around 9:00.
The pool filled again
3.0 to 3.1 EC food is given. The mat’s EC is around 4 mS/cm. “We are still at 20% depletion, with about 40% drain.” After a few good rain showers, the water basin is full again. “We ran full on osmosis, but rainwater still tastes better.”
Plant a month later
In the meantime, he is already looking forward to the upcoming cultivation. “I ordered plants for January 3rd.” As a result, planting has been pushed back 2 to 2.5 weeks from the usual planting date of December 16 to 20. The gas contract fared better, where gas is available in January but not in December.
Plants ordered early
He bought the plants four months ago. As one of the first to do so, the adjustment in the planning of the plant grower was not yet a problem. “I think it would be very difficult if you were to arrange it now.”
Author: Peter Visser