The characteristic feature of Gerbera horticulture is the enormous variety of colors in the greenhouse. Each color, however, represents a different species, with specific needs in terms of water dosing and fertilization. Controlling by drain percentage is very important in the cultivation of Gerberas. Quality is the number one priority for Marius Mans of Mans Flowers. The availability of modern measurement and control instruments such as the Priva Connext process computer is therefore of critical importance.

At Mans Flowers, water is supplied precisely, based on the transpiration of the plant. Grower Marius Mans believes controlling by drain percentage is extremely important. The drain water is collected, heated and recycled because sustainability is a distinctive feature of this horticultural company. By sampling the return drain water, it is possible to assess how much water and food is being absorbed by the plant. This is then used to determine the food and water dosage. “This is our most important control tool for optimum growth. We know what settings work best for us. We use average control values – with 33 different species we don’t really have any other choice – but if necessary we can adjust the recipe.”

Mans Flowers has installed a valve set equipped with a pressure gauge for every two covers. The pressure-compensated drippers ensure that every plant in the greenhouse now receives the same quantity of water. “Roots are the engine of the plant”, emphasizes Marius Mans. “Good roots produce a strong plant for a healthy growth. Therefore, correct water dosage is crucial.”

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