Remy Lubbe: “We continue to grow in breeding, tissue culture and propagation”
Perennial nursery Molter BV from Noordwijkerhout (NL) is making good progress. Rovero's new strategy and a new foil greenhouse offer more space for activities at the beginning of the chain: breeding, tissue culture and the propagation of plants from seed, cuttings and tissue culture. “We are scaling down the actual plant cultivation, but we continue to grow in added value,” says director/owner Remy Lubbe.
Lubbe is delighted with his new foil greenhouse of more than 1,400 m2, which he bought as a kit from Rovero and had it built by his own team. Almost immediately after completion in March 2022, the five roofs, 9.6 m wide and 30 m long, were filled with seed trays. At the end of May, the trays go outside again to allow the plants to harden off. Some are potted for their own cultivation, but most go to growers at home and abroad. The unheated greenhouse is then available for rooting cuttings and tissue culture plants on plugs.
Much higher germination percentage
“Most varieties are sown in November/December. After a cold treatment, the trays go to the greenhouse in March," explains the propagator. “Until this year, we rented a glass greenhouse nearby for this purpose. The new foil greenhouse on our own site fits in even better with my wishes. The light is always diffused and we can maintain a higher humidity than in the glass greenhouse. This is very important in the germination phase. After the first month we saw that the average germination percentage was 93%. That is unprecedentedly high; we usually got stuck at about 65%.”
It is therefore good to grow in the strong, but lightweight foil greenhouse. The two outer and middle roofs of the five hoods are provided with continuous ridge ventilation on the leeward (southeast) side, which is sufficient to cool the greenhouse and achieve a homogeneous greenhouse climate. You will be looking for bells and whistles in vain.
“It's a relatively simple greenhouse, but that's exactly what we were looking for,” says Lubbe. “Rovero realized a shadow hall for us ten years ago and we are still happy with it. So I didn't have to think long about the supplier. What is special – also for us – is that we built the greenhouse ourselves. There is time for that so early in the year and I thought it would be fun to do. It was sometimes a bit of a puzzle and the weather didn't always cooperate, but we were ready in time for the important early spring round."
The arrival of the foil greenhouse is the result of the nursery's strategy, which was refined a few years ago. The entrepreneur: “We have been breeding real perennials, such as Geranium, Echinacea, Astilbe and other species, for 20 years. Demand for our product lines is growing steadily. This also applies to our plants from tissue culture. We would like to continue to grow in this area and that also means that space is needed for rooting and cultivation in a protected environment. Preferably at our main location, because that gives maximum control over the entire process.”
A modern tissue culture laboratory has been set up in the industrial space, where 1.5 million plants will be rolled out this year. The lion's share is intended for third parties. Production will be scaled up again next year.
Of the 16 ha of cultivation area, 1 ha is now reserved for breeding and 15 ha for outdoor cultivation. “I see the greenhouse as a milestone for 2022,” Lubbe sums up. “Next year we hope to be certified as an organic nursery. We have been in the highest MPS segment for some time now. With full organic recognition, we can distinguish our sustainably grown, exclusive range even more clearly.”