The trials were undertaken in a 200 m2 area of the nursery, using Philips LED GreenPower production module. The idea was to find the optimal growing conditions for pieris cuttings, as well as leucothoe and pernettya. The effects of light spectrum along with substrate, fertilizer, light loss and condensation upon growth were examined.
The tests showed that LED GreenPower production module RB was the best solution for Bloemen’s range of pieris cuttings. He is very impressed with it: “Both the quality and the success rate of my rooted cuttings have improved. The yield per square metre is higher and we can grow more uniformly and more heavily.” In addition, the amount of mould present is considerably lower, so fewer pesticides need to be used. This saves a lot of money, since chemicals cause cost-increasing growth stress and additional labour costs.
The new LED grow lights are also helping to reduce failures within the crop. The percentage of rejects fell during the cutting period from seven to two percent. During the potting phase, this figure was reduced from five to two percent. As a result of the trials, Bloemen is now utilizing LED throughout his business, and is experimenting with higher light intensity through using more LEDs.
Not only have the LED grow lamps improved crop quality, but they make the plants grow faster too. Cultivation time has now increased by 25 to 30 percent, meaning the nursery can increase its turnover of plants.