Young aster shoots regrow easily under ReduFuse IR
Aster regrow after harvesting. The new shoots are vulnerable and therefore must be protected. Kwekerij Zijdezicht settled on ReduFuse IR as the best available coating.
Kwekerij Zijdezicht, with three locations in De Lier and ’s-Gravenzande in the Netherlands, combines the cultivation of asters with chrysanthemums. “They fit well together. They have virtually the same planting schedule, even though cultivating asters takes just a bit longer. We plant four bays and we harvest four bays every week,” says co-owner John Krijger.
The asters, coloured white, lavender and pink, regrow after being cut and over time produce a new harvest. The young shoots require protections to ensure smooth and strong growth. “In the past we applied chalk but that blocked too much light. At the time we switched to ReduFuse. This gave us better light distribution and reduced the radiation’s sharpness. The light loss off a few percentage points was more than acceptable,” he says.
Cooler and more comfortable
However, there was still room for more improvement: ReduFuse IR. “Since we have been using ReduFuse IR, it is even cooler in the greenhouse and the young shoots develop even better. It also makes working in the greenhouse more pleasant. You are far less affected by direct heat radiation,” he says.
Furthermore, ReduFuse IR has a positive effect on the flower’s colour, which becomes darker. “The lavender-blue variety is significantly more beautiful under ReduFuse IR when the weather is hot,” says Krijger. His past experience with this diffuse coating with red chrysanthemums was also positive.
“While you never know what the weather will bring in the spring, a diffuse coating is a safe choice. It reduces the radiation peaks and during poor weather light loss is limited. The relationship between heat and light is more favourable, all the more so when you opt for the heat reduction, such as that provided by ReduFuse IR,” he says.
In 2020, for the first time, the Santinis (“small flowering” chrysanthemums) were also protected using ReduFuse IR. The grower has mixed feelings about this, however. The crop definitely experienced less stress and maintained better colour. But some damage was created by a spray treatment using a biological insecticide. “This was probably due to a combination of factors. We combined various products, while perhaps it would have been better if we had not done that. We had the impression that the crop had not hardened as much under the coating because conditions had been too easy. We had this impression because we did not see any damage in a section that had not been coated. We have to synchronise this better next year.”
However, there is no doubt about the asters: the greenhouse will be recoated with ReduFuse IR. “We are considering applying the coating in two steps. A thin layer at the beginning of April and another layer on top of this two months later. We expect the asters will then regrow even better after harvesting.”
ReduHeat and chrysanthemums
Chrysanthemums have a hard time growing at very high temperatures. Out of curiosity Chrysco Flowers of Cranbourne (near Melbourne) decided to try ReduHeat. The coating has been good on all fronts: Better quality; higher production; and a more pleasant working climate.
Coating slows down vegetative growth in Santini Chrysanthemum
Chrysanthemums are a light-loving crop that can be sensitive to too much heat. Advisor Paul de Veld explains the choice of coatings and the sector’s trends.