October has started, but it still feels like summer outside. The days are still warm with temperatures above 20 °C. The differences in Canada are significant; Calgary already has snow and frost. Here it has rained almost weekly in the summer. The trees and grass are still green, our tall grass prairie has a golden glow. Because of the beautiful summer weather, we have a good harvest of apples. However, if it continues to rain, the leaves will fall brown from the trees instead of all the beautiful fall colors.
It is currently a little slow in the greenhouse. We are now preparing for the new year. This week a container with potting soil has arrived from the Netherlands with soil supplies for almost a year. There are also weekly treatment cycles to ensure that the Bromeliads are in bloom right after Christmas. We will also replace the plastic/ poly on the greenhouse this fall. We opt for 8 mm instead of 6 mm. 8 mm lasts for 7 years instead of 5-6 years. A team of 12 to 16 people removes the poly in one day and pulls two new layers on. Windless weather is a requirement to do this.
We have a slow period in October with the sale of Bromeliads. Ficus moves good. The sale of tropical foliage plants is experiencing a revival in Canada. We fill the space that gets empty with Ficus. Hibiscus is out of the cultivation program after 30 years. Reasons for this include that the supplier of unrooted cuttings transferred the sale to a commercial nursery that also grows Hibiscus in Florida. This resulted in narrower assortment and almost doubled pricing of the cuttings. In addition, the cultivation of Hibiscus requires more work and extra attention for growth regulation and (biological) crop protection. Our personnel team declined in the summer when Estelle, Mischa and Mats went their own way.
Last week we received an excursion of 50 people from Landscape Ontario. The group consisted of growers of garden plants, garden centers, suppliers and conservation coordinators. They were particularly interested in the technical aspects of the greenhouse, propagation and cultivation of plants, and our position in the market. They also got a look at the prairie, savanna and wetland. The attention of this group was great for natural planting and conservation of biodiversity. They were clearly impressed by the tall grass species that are now 2 meters high. We could also show them the original vegetation; some original species still occur at our location and others have been replanted by us. We harvest the different types of seed that we can sow in other places.
Angelle van Kleef,
Grower of pot plants, Ontario Canada