Tomato nursery Jami likes nothing more than to have a scoop. And recently the company managed to squeeze out another one: Jami is the first nursery in Holland to grow with LED lights. Michel Zwinkels and his partners Arjan and Andy de Jong are growing Komeett, one of the most successful tomato varieties by De Ruiter. Michel: "We know this variety through and through, so we know what to expect and how to steer. We are very pleased with the total production of Komeett. We’re happy to report that Komeett responds well to growth light."

Jami grows with a total of 16,000 lux, evenly distributed over the regular high-pressure sodium lamps and the LED lighting, exposing the belly of the plant. "That's about the same amount of joules as a normal Spring day between 1000 and 1100," says Michel. The LED lights are much cooler than the sodium: 35 degrees as opposed to temperatures leading up to 250 degrees. Therefore, these fixtures can be suspended between the crops. The purchase of LED lights is not cheap, but the investment pays for itself by way of a 10% lower energy bill and a 35% higher yield. An additional advantage is that the LED lamp lasts three times longer than a conventional lamp. Instead of four years with a decrease in light quality, LED will last you at least 10 years, while the quality of light remains constant. The LED light has two colours, red and blue. "Every crop responds to different colours. For tomato, it’s red and blue," explains Michel.

Michel: "There really isn’t much difference in how we bring balance to the crop. It's all about temperature. But with the LED lamps and sodium lamps we have an additional management tool. An hour more or less makes the difference. The production of Komeett is excellent, constant at about 160 grams fruit weight.”

Source: LivingNews, De Ruiter