Fewer plants thrown away with a better microclimate

For 12 years Bram Breugem has been growing Calla lilies, a rather special pot plant. In fact, Breugem Calla is the largest of the 5 growers in Holland that produce it. In the winter months the lilies are replaced by cyclamen to fully optimise the nursery. Besides long hours in the greenhouse, Bram works with a horticultural organisation where he is involved with marketing the concept of Calla lilies as outdoor plants.

From the very beginning: as bulbs to the final stage of flowering, the plants are automatically transported throughout the entire nursery with the Walking Plant System. Each phase of the journey takes the plants to a more suitable climate. The final section of the greenhouse had its old LS 18 F replaced with a new Harmony screen during spring 2009.

Protection for the lilies
The old screen had been chosen for Anthuriums, so now Bram needed less shading but wanted the scattering effects of light diffusion to reduce harmful radiation. This is important to avoid burning the leaves and flowers of the lily.

More Harmony, less whitewashing
The lilies grow best in relatively low temperatures and enough light – but not too much. To achieve this screens are used in the spring, while in summer the roof is whitewashed. Having chosen the Harmony screen that transmits 55% of the daylight, Bram wanted to postpone the whitewashing to increase the number of screening hours. And in this First season he has successfully postponed whitewashing from March to April. So now only Harmony is used in February and March; both Harmony and whitewash in April and May; then, after a summer with whitewash alone, Harmony takes over again in early September.

Better humidity means fewer pests and more healthy plants. Previously the LS 18 F provided more shading but with fewer open strips. The open structure of HARMONY 4520 O FR is approximately 50% – improving air exchange throughout the area above and below the screen. In turn this has a positive effect on the relative humidity and produces a better microclimate around the plants. Ultimately this means that pests are less attracted to the ventilated microclimate of the plants, and so less of them now have to be thrown away.

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