Crop rotation is in full swing at Westlandpeppers, grower of bell peppers, chili peppers, and nowadays also herbs.
They have been busy clearing out the greenhouses in De Lier these last weeks, and the greenhouse in 's-Gravenzande will follow next week.
Chili peppers and mini bell peppers are annual plants. They are 'done' and finished growing at the end of October or early November. This means that few fruits are growing on the plants, and they need to be removed from the greenhouse.
First, the growers cut all the ropes the plants grow on. At the end of the season, some plants are up to 6 meters long, these can no longer stand without a rope.
After this, all plants are collected in the paths and cleared. All plant residue and coconut substrate mats are recycled as soil improvers. Next, the greenhouse needs to be cleaned so that the new plants can be placed in December.
You can find more information about Westlandpepper's crop rotation on its Twitter page. This is how they discovered a nice Scrabble word in Dutch (stammenzaagmachine). They are also testing a high-pressure pump for cleaning the greenhouse roof.
Druk bezig met het schoon spuiten van het glas,, met een eigen frequentie geregelde spuitpomp,, geleverd door Buitelaar engineering @BasBuit met 100% eco Greenhouse Glassclean van @RoyalBrinkman pic.twitter.com/36lZaZ2i3I— WestlandPeppers (@WestlandPeppers) October 29, 2020
Empty greenhouses do not mean that growers don't have any products, from October/November all products come from Spain, Morocco & Israel. They've been working with the same growers for years. This allows them to offer and package peppers year-round. Indeed, some products are not grown by growers abroad. This means that these are not available until the growers in the Netherlands can harvest again in April/May.
Onze Spaanse teler is dik tevreden hoe het gewas er bij staat,, pic.twitter.com/6X4kWzWJcz— WestlandPeppers (@WestlandPeppers) October 27, 2020
Moreover, cultivations outside of the Netherlands need some more time before they can be harvested. This means that some products are scarce. The growers refer everyone to their online shop, where you can see which products are available, and sign up to receive an email notification as soon as a product is back in stock.