25 February 2013 By Billy Hawkins
In a bid to better acquaint ourselves with the kinds of challenges faced by our customers when growing under glass, a recent series of instructive talks and off-site visits have begun for the Alitex team. Our first was attended by our sales and projects teams and has been very positive.
A large commercial strawberry grower based nearby opened the doors of its state of the art factory to see if we could learn something from the daily growing challenges they experience – although clearly on a much larger scale. The farm is spread over a sixteen acre site and like Alitex, very much a family affair. The team had a tour of the immense glasshouse structures and marvelled at the scale of everything – the water reservoir was in excess of 150m long and used for recycling water amongst other things. Whilst the commercial horticultural understanding was very scientific (and reminiscent of a Biology GCSE!) the feeling was very much that the basics are do-able and getting them right ensures a firm foundation for healthy plants. It is all about balance and the conditions which exist in your greenhouse – making sure that the needs and requirements of individual plant species are understood. Of course, on a commercial footing these needs are intensified and understanding the science of your own plants reaps optimum rewards.
The Alitex team felt as though they had a proper introduction to the importance of plant growth conditions and how to make the most of the “under glass”, growing environment. The talk re-enforced the importance of controlling the smallest things, whilst understanding that most plants do well in a moderate temperature. Sometimes it is these small nuggets of information which can help us understand how to maximise our greenhouse knowledge – and certainly illustrates that as a company we are always learning.
For more details about the farm we visited (Donaldsons) and the others in the Hall Hunter partnership click here.