The step into hydroponic growing from soil can seem like a big one with many techniques and investments needed. In Spain, they found a solution to start with the benefits of growing hydroponically, but without the major costs. “By putting coco pith in or on the ground, growers can benefit from a more stable start of their crop”, Wim Roosen with Dutch Plantin says. The company notices a rising demand – from Spain and from other horticultural regions. They’re celebrating by updating their corporate identity this week.
It’s a stable and uniform crop growing in the greenhouses in the north of Spain. Thanks to the use of coco pith the plants have been off to a very good start. “What we offer is an easy step up into growing in substrate from growing in soil. It’s a small step, not too capital intensive, and it offers growers better revenues since their crop will be preforming better”, Wim Roosen with coco supplier Dutch Plantin explains.
The method is actually quite easy, as Wim shows. “You put down some of the coco in a slit in the ground, put the drip hose over it, and you’re done,” he says. “Coco is an investment, but it can be overseen – especially since the coco can be used two years easily. Then the tests that these growers did showed that the result was a stronger and more quickly growing plant. The plants are up to a much easier start, something that can be quite painful in soil. And a good start results in a yield that’s significantly better, both in terms of quality as in terms of quantity.”
And, according to Wim, the growers are very happy with the results. “Last week I visited some of the companies we are supplying in Northern Spain, and even I was surprised at how happy the customers were with the materials.”
Over the last years, Wim has seen a growing demand for what he calls the in-between solution to test the hydroponic waters without making a lot of investment. It is one of the reasons the demand for Dutch Plantin products is on the rise. “As mentioned before, in Spain people see a future in semi hydroponic growing,” says Wim. “But this is also an interesting opportunity for other markets similar to Spain, like Mexico, Turkey, and India. Then there are new horticultural markets opening up, like Central Asia. And for us, the US and Canada have and always will be important. Especially with the demand for organic produce growing, we can help growers with our solutions.”
It’s a good time for the company - no wonder that this week they celebrate the launch of their new corporate identity. “We’ve renewed the looks to show the sustainability of the products in one line”, Wim says.
Dutch Plantin offers unique solutions for all these types of growers – depending on the crop being grown and the circumstances it is being grown in. For example, the type of coco that you use for supplementing in soil growing is different from your typical substrate. “When working with bags of coco, you have a semi-solid medium, so you have to increase the coarseness by introducing chips and fibre into the mix,” Wim says. “But when there is nothing containing the mixture, like a bag, that coarseness is actually detrimental. So, in this case, you have to use finer materials, like coco pith. We offer a special coco pith with the fine dust removed for these particular growing situations.”
One thing in common
One of the things all these substrates have in common, is that they use aged coco for all their products. “At Dutch Plantin, we exclusively use aged coco,” Wim says. “We care a lot about the quality of our product and aged coco has increased stability, which is incredibly important in this industry. Like with a good whiskey, aged is just better.“
Dutch Plantin will be at the Canadian Greenhouse Conference this October, showing off their materials as well as their new corporate identity. Find them at Booth # 566