Rob van der Meer is commercial product manager Growcoon at Maan BioBased Products. Once a month, Rob writes a blog about a current issue. In this blog: hydroponics, or cultivation on water.
Water cultivation. Hydroponics. Vertical farming. All terms that are related. And all these forms of plant cultivation involve systems that cultivate plants floating in water containers or water ducts.
Hydroponics has been used commercially for decades. In recent years, the systems are being further developed and refined, giving them a wide range of applications.
What are the benefits of hydroponics?
More and more horticultural segments are switching to cultivation on water. Whereas primarily vegetables were grown on water in the past, there is now greater interest for cut flowers, fruit and even perennials. Personally I think that hydroponics will be a major factor in the field of horticulture over the coming years. After all:
Hydroponics and the Growcoon
- Hydroponics allows you to cultivate more plants per square meter
- Within the closed system, which uses water as a medium under the plants, the combination of artificial light and heat means growing conditions are optimised and risks minimised
- Within vertical farming systems, hydroponics means food is produced locally and in all conditions
Initially water cultivation was not at the forefront of the Growcoon's marketing activities. Jan Botman from Botman Hydroponics triggered the reversal. Immediately after the first tests, the added value of the Growcoon was obvious: root development – and thus the growth of the crops – is vastly improved using a Growcoon. The main reason for this is the open net structure of the Growcoon. This does not construct and gives the roots all the space they need.
Because the Growcoon is not porous, the product does not absorb water. And over time I saw that this would also be another major benefit. Hydroponics means that the plant derives all its nutrients from the water. Because the Growcoon does not absorb any water and nutrients itself, all these important substances go to the plant itself.
The future of the Growcoon in cultivating on water
The benefits are crystal clear, that there is a great deal of potential for the plug to cultivate crops on water. Vegetable grower De Kruidenaer (duct system on water) has now switched to Growcoons. And the second Dutch vegetable grower will soon follow suit with his hydroponics system. We also work closely together with Vivi Holland for the development of future-oriented hydroponics systems, including a key role for Growcoons.
Find out more about hydroponics? Or are you interested in Growcoons for your own water-based cultivation systems? Then contact us free of obligation.
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