‘A healthy, growing crop reads like a good book’

Listening. It sounds like an easy and natural thing to do. But hearing and listening are two different things. Many people hear, but don’t listen. By the way, the same is true for speaking. There are just as many people who speak, but don’t say anything at all.

And this doesn’t just apply to people, but to plants, and machines even, as well. Obviously, they don’t use words, but they do communicate. And they listen. Note: they can’t hear, but they listen. It’s one of the reasons why I love, and feel grateful for, my job. Even if some of the people that manage the outcome of our careful listening, our production, fail to listen themselves. Oh well, you can’t have it all.

At this time of year, we can make things as pleasant as possible for our crops. All we need to do to know whether they’re happy, is listen. If you speak the language of your crops, you always know what’s going on. And in turn, the plants listen to me, too. I get back what I can expect, based on what I give. It’s great how that works. You’re looking for a certain result, you give your crops what they want by listening to them, and you get back what you expected.

I might sound like a nutty plant psychiatrist, but trust me, this is how it works. A healthy, growing crop reads like a good book. Actually, that’s another thing that many people suffer from: they see, but don’t observe.

It only takes a short stroll among your crops to understand what’s going on. Observe the colour, shape and size of the leaves, the height, amount of dry material, root pressure, etc. These observations, combined with your greenhouse data analyses, can help you make all the right decisions.

But of course, I’m not telling you anything new here. This has always been the basis for successful cultivation. But when you’re excited about something, it can be hard to stop talking about it. Call it passion.

And to be honest, I also hear without listening sometimes. Only if the speaker is speaking without saying anything, though.

Cok Harteveld,

General manager Van den Berg Roses, China

Click here to read more blogs from Cok.

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