It always takes a while to settle in at a new employer – and especially when you’re responsible for managing 24 hectares of two different greenhouse crops across two different locations. But a year after joining Van Gog Kwekerijen in the Dutch province of Brabant, senior grower Peter van Ninhuys felt the time was right to test the performance of Grodan’s blocks against those from his existing supplier… and he’s glad he did. “The fact that the Grodan blocks stay wetter for longer stimulates the root development of the cucumber plants in the early phase, which gives me more peace of mind throughout the crop cycle,” he says.
Peter van Ninhuys started at Van Gog Kwekerijen on 1 July 2021, initially to manage the company’s 14-hectare high-wire cucumber production facility in Helmond. Shortly afterwards, he also gained responsibility for the operations in Horst, which comprises 4 hectares of strawberries in addition to 6 hectares of high-wire cucumbers. “That can be a tricky combination, because with cucumbers you go ‘full steam ahead’, whereas strawberries require a more cautious approach. So I spent around a year settling in and getting to know the crops and the greenhouses. Then the Grodan representative – with whom I’d worked closely at my previous employer, also a grower of high-wire cucumbers – suggested the idea of running a trial with their blocks, and I thought ‘Why not?’,” recalls Peter.