For the growing of tomatoes, cucumbers, and bell peppers in the greenhouse, there is a new, sustainable product from the Gregor Ziegler GmbH from Plößberg.
What's special about the Grow Bags are the domestic ingredients, which are made of 100 percent of the quickly renewable raw material wood. A central element of the mixture is the wood-fibre Timpor, produced especially by Ziegler. Through the special, thermal-mechanical manufacturing process it is particularly structurally stable and offers gardeners a high degree of crop safety.
Fulfilling all requirements for professional vegetable growing
In a two-year trial period with and in different vegetable farms, the new mixture has been successfully tested and can now be offered to the entire market. In close exchange with different vegetable farms, soon the most important requirements have emerged: among other things, a sufficient draining capacity with high structure stability at the same time. The Grow Bags are also meant to have a low salt content, so that optimal care of the plant can already start from the beginning of the cultivation and ensure quick rooting and stability.
The Grow Bags from Ziegler combine all these characteristics: The plants can specifically be provided with water and spot-on, as well as nutrients; the grower keeps maximum control over blooming time and start of harvesting.
Sustainable substrate cycle
The substrate of the Grow Bag consists 100 percent of domestic, organic components and can be composted on free spaces without any problems. Alternatively, the Ziegler company offers an agency service to local composting facilities. With more than 30 years of experience in manufacturing reduced peat and peat-free composts and substrates Ziegler has a good network with a variety of composting facilities. Thus the claim of sustainability applies to the new Ziegler Grow Bags from production to disposal or utilization respectively: The composted Grow-Bag compost can eventually be processed into high-quality potting soil again. Thereby, manufacturing and assurance of specially produced substrate raw materials always has the highest priority at Ziegler. “We are permanently working to optimize and improve our production processes and are thus fulfilling all important quality criteria for the main part of our substrate raw material," confirms Felix Krämer, head of quality assurance.
From practice: Positive application experience
The combination of sustainability, regionality, and crop safety has convinced selected gardeners of the Grow Bags’ benefits during the trial period already.
As one of the first gardeners, the cucumber farm of Andre Busigel from Albertshofen (Franconia, Germany) was impressed by the concept. For him, sustainability and regionality of the product are important. With the new Grow Bags from Ziegler, Busigel can, next to a variety of sustainable activities, take another step towards environmentally friendly vegetable growing on his 2.6-hectare farm (6.3 acres) and at the same time strengthen regional sales. The quality fits: After a two-year test period Busigel’s conclusion is that Ziegler’s Grow Bags are absolutely at eye level with conventional substrates: “We couldn’t find a disadvantage neither in quality, nor in quantity,” Busigel sums up, “even under the extreme hot spells of the last two years.”
Stephan Niemöller from Visbek (Lower Saxony, Germany) has gained similar experience on his tomato farm. For some years now, his farm shop has been established as fixed marketing tool, the catchment area of regular customer is growing continuously – the buzzword is regional production, short ways and the associated freshness of products. Making his growing methods transparent is self-evident for Niemöller. From the usage of beneficial organisms to reduce pesticides up to the choice of the substrate, this increasingly comes to the fore.
Henrik, Clemes and Stephan Niemöller
Whether costumers on site or foodstuffs wholesalers: The view on growing methods of the producing gardeners, as well as the processes in the farms is sensitive. “We can position ourselves clearly with the new Grow Bags form Ziegler made of domestic raw materials,” emphasizes Niemöller. “With the coconut substrates from India or Sri Lanka, which have been used so far, we had to pass until now.”
As for the cultivation itself, Niemöller sees an advantage concerning the generative growth of the plant. “We enter the yield period earlier and at the same time we have less effort concerning the care of the plants,” Niemöller summarizes. “For us, clear reasons to stick with the Grow Bags.”