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Greenhouse netting project in tomato cultivation attracts attention with independent choices

The adoption of insect netting in horticulture is rapidly increasing. Installers, like Luiten Greenhouses, are busy. "A lot of cucumber growers have already made the switch," knows Ruud den Engelsman. Now, you're also starting to see the first tomato growers opting for insect netting. Among them is Roots, which equipped its 8-hectare site on Zwethlaan with insect netting over the past few months. The project was recently completed.

Ruud den Engelsman of Luiten Greenhouses and Luc van der Knaap of Roots

Non-standard Mesh Size
In Honselersdijk, the tomato growers didn't opt for a standard mesh size. Roots, in collaboration with project partners Luiten Greenhouses and Holland Gaas, conducted their tests on mesh sizes. "We placed pest insects in a closed environment with various mesh sizes to see what works best to keep insects out. It was exciting to witness these developments up close," says Ruud. Ultimately, a non-standard mesh size was chosen.

This choice aims to keep out pests like whiteflies and Tuta absoluta. The installation began in February. "This can be a difficult month weather-wise, but everything went smoothly." The decision was made to have the grower's people open the ventilation windows from the inside, so not an entire section of ventilation windows would be open. "We, along with a few teams from Holland Gaas, then proceeded to install the netting from the outside."

Immediate Overhaul of the Internal Mechanics
Roots has a greenhouse with frameless windows. This means that for a concertina netting system, an aluminum strip must be clamped around the window to place the insect netting, which was custom-made for Roots. Subsequently, Luiten Greenhouses immediately tackled the internal mechanics. "The drive belts were exchanged, and the motors replaced."

The other greenhouses of Roots will not yet receive insect netting. First, they want to see how the choice pans out at Zwethlaan, according to Ruud. "But if they decide to equip the other greenhouses with insect netting later on, that's possible. In principle, you can install insect netting in any type of greenhouse. In new-construction greenhouses, often all provisions are already integrated into the greenhouse roof. For existing Venlo greenhouses, a cassette system is mounted, and in the case of frameless windows, like here, placing an aluminum strip is a good and reliable solution."

For more information:
Luiten Greenhouses
[email protected]

Roots Growers
[email protected]

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