Last year grower Gertjan van der Spek of Solyco switched to Merlice under artificial lights in his six hectare large greenhouse. Gertjan made smart use of the flexibility of Merlice as he harvests both trusses and loose tomatoes, in order to react better to the needs in the market. "In the winter, there is more demand for truss tomatoes, while in summer the demand for loose tomatoes is higher. That has to do with the supply of tomatoes from other countries such as Spain and England. Therefore, we harvested the first 18 trusses as TOV's, and after that we harvested the rest as loose tomatoes. For the workload it hardly makes a difference, while it can provide a price advantage. Especially in the spring when there was a great demand from Poland for loose tomatoes."

On September 30, Gertjan harvested the last tomatoes. "With Merlice we came out on an excellent production, more than a kilo over our goals."

Teler Gertjan van der Spek of Solyco

Different way of pruning
Of course Solyco adjusts his pruning policy to the way of harvesting. Gertjan: "Normally we prune all trusses on five fruits. Then Merlice creates a nice uniform truss with large tomatoes. When we harvest loose tomatoes, we do not prune, causing an average of seven tomatoes on the vine, which are finer. That is an advantage for the loose sales. In this way, the production per square meter of loose and cluster is approximately equal."

Gertjan concludes: “An advantage of Merlice is that this breed provides uniform tomatoes. It is an advantage with harvesting loose tomatoes because more sorting work is involved. In any case we will definitely continue next year with Merlice in the greenhouse again."

For more information:
De Ruiter Seeds
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