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Takeaways from spring season of BASF's cucumber varieties

A strong cucumber variety, with few splitting heads and upright leaves: that's the UPstage cucumber from BASF's vegetable seeds business. Peter van Ninhuys of Van Gog Kwekerijen is a fan and tells why. And with Arjan de Gier of Thanet Earth, we talk about the UPtrace, a similar cucumber variety with great vigor and mildew tolerance.

Van Gog has been using the UPstage for spring cultivation for about two years now, says Van Ninhuys: "It's just a good variety: productive, and it doesn't flag easily. The cucumber plant has little to no splitting heads, and the leaves stand nicely upright, so the light falls well on the cucumber. And the UPstage is very selective. That's good for the quality of the cucumber."

Thanet Earth chose UPtrace because the previously used cucumber variety Hi Power had too little vigor toward the end of cultivation. "We planted the UPtrace in early January. At first, growth fell behind in February. But in the spring, the UPtrace grew much faster than Hi Power."

Easy harvesting
According to Van Ninhuys, there is no better variety in spring for high-wire cucumber cultivation than UPstage. "The plant is also advantageous in terms of labor: only in the first month, the UPstage has some double cucumbers in the axil. Because you only need to prune doubles at the beginning of the season and the leaf position is nice and straight, harvesting the UPstage is very convenient. You can easily see and pick the cucumbers."

Resistant to mildew
For Thanet Earth, the overall production quality is very important when choosing varieties for the spring crop. "For a good crop, you need a variety that can grow vigorously. And the mildew tolerance of UPtrace does almost not compromise on production."

Van Gog Kwekerijen also planted 1 hectare of the UPtrace this year. "The UPtrace is more resistant to mildew. We, therefore, planted the UPtrace mainly near the doors and in areas where there are drafts because that's where you suffer from mildew most. This year, however, we haven't had any mildew."

Lighting yields success
"In the spring, we used artificial lighting in both varieties of cucumbers when it was very dark. Both varieties responded well to that. You could really see a difference from the unlit plants. We used both normal SON-T lights and LED lights, and with both lights UPstage and UPtrace were a success," Van Ninhuys says.

Growing vigorously
Both Thanet Earth and Van Gog Kwekerijen are happy with the cooperation with BASF and are happy to continue it. Van Gog Kwekerijen, even with both varieties.

"The UPtrace and UPstage are similar. The UPtrace has the advantage of splitting off slightly more leaves, so yielding more cucumbers, about one to two cucumbers per square meter," van Ninhuys says.

De Gier is happy to continue with UPtrace, which has enough vigor until the end of cultivation. "We started with 1.7 plants per square meter. In mid-February, we removed the head and continued with 2 shoots per plant. This yielded 3.4 stems per square meter. In retrospect, this density was a bit too high for the vigor and leaf development that Uptrace had. Next year, therefore, we will stay below 3 stems/m². All in all, Uptrace gave us 160 cucumbers per square meter at the end of June. An excellent result!"

For more information:
Úlia de Domènech
Tel: +31 614 608815
Email: [email protected]

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