As an organic grower, how do you make sure your soil is clean and ready for a new crop? At Greenshield, the company by Ruud van Schie, they use the SKAL-certified agent Herbie 82. The ground is covered until 17 January, after which it’s clean and ready for a new crop. This year, the company made use of new digging machines for perfect administration of the agent.

Resetting the soil

How do you maintain quality soil without using chemicals? A tricky business for many organic growers. In Nursery Greenshield, Ruud van Schie uses a process called Soil Reset. The organic agent Herbie 82 has been specially developed for organic cultivation and approved for this purpose by Skal and Bioland D. "By administering this organic nutrition to the soil, pathogens such as nematodes, Verticillium and Sclerotinia can be countered effectively," says Henk Meints of Thatchtec.

Greenshield started deploying the agent earlier in December. Manager Tonni Vink had moistened the soil in advance. "By this we mean that at least 25% of the pores are filled with water," says Meints. "If you squeeze the soil into a ball, your hand will be wet." The Herbie pallets are plowed into the soil and the soil is leveled. The ground is kept at a steady temperature of 16 degrees.

Perfect disinfection
New machines by Loonbedrijf Vercoulen from Venlo were used to deploy the Herbie pallets. Upon request, the machines are enhanced with hydraulic smooth rollers. "Thus we can perfect the disinfection in the top layer," explains Meints. The rollers rotate slightly faster and therefore the top layer stays moist.

The soil will remain covered until January 17, after which it should be ready for a new crop.

Henk Meints
tel: 06-30459779
Thatchtec bv.
Agro Business Park 10
6708 PW Wageningen
tel: 06 3045 9779
fax: 0317.450189