The use of LED lighting in cucumber growing can significantly increase yields. This is the finding from the LED trial which Philips Horticulture LED Solutions is conducting at the Warsaw University of Life Sciences. The trial is carried out using the Qlipr system from Pellikaan Gewasklemsystemen.
In September 2014 Philips Horticulture LED Solutions started an LED trial in cucumbers at Warsaw University of Life Sciences. Through this trial, Philips hopes to gain more insight into the effects of LED lighting on a cucumber crop. The cucumbers are planted in October after which harvesting can start in November. Last year the harvest continued until June. “In the midi cucumber section under LEDs we achieved a yield of 47.13 cucumbers per m2 in the first crop, 43.89 per m2 in the second crop and 58.87 per m2 in the third crop,” says Philips plant specialist Andris Stuks. “Under HID lighting the yields were 38.61, 33.7 and 42.82 cucumbers per m2. I am very pleased with the LED results, especially for the most recent crop.”
Easy and faster
The cucumbers in the trial greenhouse are grown on high wires and trained upwards and secured using the Qlipr crop clamping system from Pellikaan. Andris Stuks chose Qlipr because of the light gain recorded with the system as there are no reels of string hanging above the crop. “This means that you quickly gain ten percent more light.”
Andris Stuks also wanted to minimise crop damage; this Philips plant specialist believes that too many terminal shoots are damaged during winding. The sustainability aspect was also important: the clips and Pellikaan hooks last for many years. “Qlipr is an easy system to work with,” says Janina Gajc-Wolska, head of the Horticulture, Biotechnology and Landscape Architecture facility at the university. “Most of the students find winding difficult. Working with Qlipr is much easier. It’s also much faster, so we save on labour. On average we clip three times in a two-week period, always after the third or fourth leaf. With plastic clips you have to go through the crop twice a week, so there’s another gain here. All in all, Qlipr has clear advantages.”