Julien Helies about Grodan Prestige

In winter, I sometimes water only once a day. They key is to maintain a stable EC and to regularly control the weight of the slabs to prevent excess watering. In the summer, the irrigation strategy with Prestige slabs is managed more traditionally

Julien Helies

An excess-free winter 

After a first trial in 2016, Julien Helies was sold on the power of the Grodan Prestige slab. Tomato grower in Brittany, Helies uses the Prestige slab to control excess vegetative growth in winter.

In 2009, after five years of experience as a Cultivation Manager, Julien Helies and his wife took the helm of a production site near Brest, in Loperhet, France. The site has 2 ha of soilless greenhouses, of which it produces 1.5 ha of strawberries and 5,000 m2 of tomatoes. Both crops are commercialised by the Savéol growers cooperative. In 2013, they decided to expand their site to 2 ha of strawberries and 1.3 ha of tomatoes. The couple cultivates four varieties of tomatoes: Pigeon Heart, bulk cherry, cocktail and a bulk flavour. At Savéol, tomato segmentation takes place on each production site. It’s the rule. This means, as growers, we need to be able to adapt our cultivation strategy according to the specific needs of each variety. In this respect, substrate quality also plays an important role. As Cultivation Manager, Julien Helies already used Grodan stone wool substrates. Today, 100% of his tomato production is cultivated on Grodan Prestige slabs. He ran trials on this slab solution for the first time in 2016 and was quickly sold. The solution met his demands, adapting well to Brittany’s tricky climate conditions.

Growers irrigate less with Prestige slabs.

“In the French department of Finistère, crops can easily be too vegetative in the winter season. In these conditions, watering too much is a real risk. That’s the advantage of Prestige slabs. Thanks to its rapid resaturation capacity, growers can reduce watering, letting the top layers dry down between two irrigations”, explains Julien Helies. “In winter, I sometimes water only once a day. They key is to maintain a stable EC and to regularly control the weight of the slabs to prevent excess watering. In the summer, the irrigation strategy with Prestige slabs is managed more traditionally”, adds Julien Helies. The structure of the prestige slab ensures fast rooting immediately after planting. This year, marked by a gloomy spring with low light levels, Julien observed less plant activity, especially in regards to root system development. He noticed that the roots developed throughout the substrate more slowly. In this type of situation, the Prestige slabs are ideal because the plant’s roots penetrate quickly through to the bottom layer and continue a uniform root development as they grow horizontally throughout the entire substrate, even into to the top layers. Root development continues, creating a strong, effective root system from the crop’s start to finish.

application, Julien Helies,  grodan

Products used & Related Case Studies

Growing solutions, growth, quality, innovative, development, Grodan Prestige, grodan
Vigorous crops in balance all year round

Grodan Prestige

Grodan Prestige is a stonewool substrate slab to grow vegetable plants in high tech cultivation, like tomato and cucumber.

View product
application, erik zwinkels, grodan
Case Studies
15 Nov 2018

Erik Zwinkels about Grodan Elite

Erik Zwinkels is a tomato grower in Holland. He is one of the managers of the family-run company, Zwinkels Tomaten, which has 20 ha of greenhouses divided among three production sites situated in the Westland region, in north-western Rotterdam.

Read more
application, Nieki van der Burg, grodan
Case Studies
16 Nov 2018

Nieki van der Burg about Grodan Supreme

Van der Burg Paprika’s more than happy with 11.6 hectares of red sweet peppers on Grodan Supreme.

Read more
application, Maxime Very,  grodan
Case Studies
16 Nov 2018

Maxime Very about Grodan Prestige

Maxime Very is a specialist in cucumber production and Cultivation Manager of the French SAS Chavanne. He values the quality of Prestige, a slab that lets him cultivate his plants according to their needs, without worrying about the substrate’s water content.

Read more
application, Oliver Hurel,  grodan
Case Studies
16 Nov 2018

Olivier Hurel about GT Master

Motivated by the opportunity to recover waste from energy,greenhouses were built on the Lapouyade site, in Gironde, France.

Read more
application, Jack Janssen grodan
Case Studies
16 Nov 2018

With GroSens and e-Gro, 24-7 insight into the root zone

Cherry tomato nursery Sweet Lions has been using wireless GroSens slab sensors since 2015. This year it started to use the associated e-Gro app for smartphones too.

Read more
application, Rob Moors, Supreme, grodan
Case Studies
16 Nov 2018

New stone wool slab for the cultivation of sweet peppers does what it promises

Grower Rob Moors, based in Asten-Heusden (the Netherlands) was delighted with his plants’ excellent root system that was more effectively distributed throughout the entire slab than in the case of the slab he had used until then.

Read more
application, Geert Colbers,  grodan
Case Studies
16 Nov 2018

Geert Colbers about Grodan Supreme

At the Gubbels nursery, 25 hectares of sweet peppers are cultivated on Grodan Supreme stone wool slabs.

Read more
application, Joop van den Nouweland, grodan
Case Studies
16 Nov 2018

Joop van den Nouweland about Grodan Vitaflor

The past two years rose grower Joop van den Nouweland has been growing roses on the Vitaflor substrate on an area of 6 hectares at his Marjoland nursery in Waddinxveen.

Read more
application, Antonio de Bruin, e-Gro, GroSens, grodan
Case Studies
16 Nov 2018

Antoni de Bruin about e-Gro, GroSens and Grodan GT Master

Antoni de Bruin from Klazienaveen has made an unusual choice by combining growing green sweet peppers on six hectares spread over two sites – part of which has grow lighting – and his role as a consultant.

Read more