Growing Kylie RZ? Here are some tips!

Kylie RZ is being grown on more than 25 hectares in Belgium and the Netherlands this season. Temperatures for Kylie can be higher than, for instance, for Beyonce RZ. Growth continues well in all weather conditions.

It would be wise to plant with sufficient 'body'. That is, in addition to developing fruit, the plant should also have sufficient strength left to develop shoots. It's perfectly fine to keep a center fruit, but do pick it in time. By harvesting younger, the plant retains more vigor. Of course it's important to start early with keeping the shoots.

Some dullness was seen in initial harvests. This could signify a deficit of assimilates that are required to properly finish the fruit (skin). Dullness can be prevented by carefully building up the plant load. As the light increases, Kylie can bear an increasingly heavy load. Even with plant loads of >22-25 per m² in springs, Kylie neatly finishes the fruits. So invest in the plant, don't try to get started too fast with production from the first load.

Opt for a generative rootstock
Kylie RZ has a strong crop by itself. The combination with a more generative rootstock provides an extra boost to attaining the perfect plant balance.

Rootstock Kaiser RZ is the most used eggplant rootstock (over 37 hectares) in the Benelux. Kaiser combines vigor with a generative characteristics, particularly in the 2nd half of the season, when extra generative growth is desired. Combined with Kaiser, Kylie performs well on systems with three or four stems. Rootstock Emperador RZ is the more generative variety of Kaiser.

Emperador (over 34 hectares) starts with rapid growth and has extra speed as well. Emperador has slightly less vegetative vigor, which means it is more controlled during the season. For a system with three stems, the Kylie-Emperador combination works well. For growers who can retain sufficient growth, this combination is also possible with a four stem system.

Lots of good fruits for the middle segment
Dutch grower Martijn van Onselen has 3.2 hectares of Kylie RZ. With its strong branching, Kylie produces a lot of fruits between 300 and 400 grams.

"Kylie's production potential is pretty similar to Beyonce RZ. Kylie RZ provides more fruits though, which makes for a better average price. When planting at the end of December, like we do, you get a stronger crop. Even under low light conditions, the fruit load doesn't become too high."

"We grow Kylie on a traditional three-stem system. On both locations, we start with 15 °C at night and from sunrise we increase that to 20 °C during the day. On lighter days, that base temperature rises to 21 °C and higher. We also used our excess CHP energy for some extra heat in the months before and after the longest day of the year."

Good, uniform production
Tom Bos of Tabos in Vierpolders found the Beyonce RZ fruits to be a bit too large, and switched to Kylie RZ. He opted for 2 different planting dates: December 10 and 17. The grower also set up a trial with a two-stem system on 14,000 m2. On the other 5 hectares, the variety is growing on 4 stems.

"With the trial, we were hoping for an increase in production. We are seeing that, but it's not enough to compensate for the extra costs and effort. So it looks like we'll continue with a four-stem system. Kylie has been doing well. In the greenhouse where we did the earliest planting, the fruits were a bit more sensitive, a bit dull. This changed later on. With autumn approaching, we are paying extra attention. You have to keep harvesting neatly to retain good quality."

"Kylie has a more uniform production than Beyonce. It responds a bit less strongly to changes in the weather. The fruits are smaller too. One thing to keep in mind is that Kylie produces a lot of shoots, so removing those is important. Then you end up with a good plant with a smaller leaf, which appears just as long as Beyonce's this season. I had thought Kylie would be a bit shorter, but it's been a very favorable summer, of course."

For more information:
Rijk Zwaan
Burgemeester Crezéelaan 40
2678 KX De Lier
T +31 174 532 300

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