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    This week at FloraPodium

     

    Delphinium "Dewi Flamingo"

     

    Calendar

    Delphinium "Dewi Flamingo" is available from mid-June till mid-October. 

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    In the spotlights

    He is particularly interested in combustion engines, did several technical studies, worked for years for an airline and yet he changed course at the age of 38! Marcel de Rooij grows ranunculus in the preseason and a beautiful range of Delphiniums from mid-May to mid-November. FloraPodium wanted to meet this passionate grower who told us in depth about his cultivation and in particular about the Delphinium "Dewi Flamingo". 

     

    Quality4 Flowers

    As a little boy, Marcel developed his love for cultivation. He was only nine years old when he started working for a Bouvardia grower to earn some pocket money. After a year and a half, he switched to another grower who, in addition to Cymbidium and Gips, grew a number of niche products on a small scale, including Delphinium. After his technical studies, he worked for several years at an airline in various positions. However, this got boring in the long run. Marcel is very eager to learn, wants to keep learning and has therefore taken up various studies over the years. But he never lost his love for cultivation. Until the age of 38, Marcel always stayed with that one grower in addition to his studies and job, where he faithfully continued to work every Saturday. Marcel now considers them a bit as his 'second family'. But at the age of 38 he bought his own garden and of course he had to devote all his time to it. Since then, he and his wife Jacinta have grown with great passion and enthusiasm the most beautiful varieties of high-quality Delphiniums.

     

    Flamingo

    Marcel showed us several beautiful species in his garden. Our eye fell on the particularly beautifully colored Delphinium "Dewi Flamingo". This beauty has a mix of white and pink tones in the flower. The longer you look at it, the more beautiful it becomes.

    In addition, the Flamingo has a very nice branch structure, which makes it easy to process the branches in a bouquet. The stems are not very thick tree trunks, but handy and workable for florists and designers.

    Flamingo is beautiful to put in a vase as a bunch, but she also doesn't need much to steal the show at large events!

     

    quality4flowers

    Cultivation

    Marcel and Jacinta grow eleven high-quality Delphinium varieties. He also has a number of test varieties that he tests for the breeder which guarantees him a front row seat in the production of the newest species. “We aim for the high segment. As a buyer you can really expect a high-quality product. We pay a lot of attention to bunching, packaging and freshness. I would rather throw out a branch of a few euros that is just not good enough, than put it somewhere in a bunch.”

     

    A year in a nutshell

    After the Delpinium season (in November), the Delphinium plants are lifted, cleaned and stored in a large freezer. Delphinium is a perennial, a hardy plant and the frost stops the growth process. By removing the plants from the freezer in different phases, Marcel can plant in different periods. This allows him to produce continuously from May to November and to be a stable factor in the market.

    The first plants from the cell are planted in February. In the months that follow, Marcel and Jacinta are busy cutting the ranunculus. When the last ranunculus has been harvested, the first Delphiniums are almost ready to be cut. In November the plants are removed again, the ranunculus is planted and at Christmas they have a week of rest, Marcel says laughingly.

    Ensure quality

    'Rest' and 'slow' are two important concepts for Marcel. The slower the plants grow, the better. This benefits the quality of the branches. In the 1st and 3rd cut he can still manage for a large part, but the second cut falls in the summer, and then the only thing he can do is using fertilizer to slow down the crop. The amount of light and heat can be reasonably influenced in the greenhouse, but not anymore outside. After cutting the Delphiniums, they are first placed on a pre-treatment agent for a day before they are sold. This is extremely important, Marcel emphasizes. No exceptions are made for rush orders. Marcel values the quality of his product and does all he can to guarantee a top quality.

     

    Inside and outside

    The first varieties of the season are grown in the greenhouse. This is then supplemented with outdoor cultivation, where, foil is pulled over the garden before planting the crop. This foil is completely degradable and perishes in the ground. The advantage of this is that less water evaporates! In addition, the soil temperature drops a few degrees (so that the plant grows more slowly) and the number of weeds between the plants are reduced.

     

    Never done learning

    Marcel continues to learn and discover. He has a separate compartment in the greenhouse, which he calls his playing field. Here, for example, he is testing with fertilizer. “What amount can I give until they break?” In this part of the greenhouse he has also installed different types of lighting. Marcel is testing whether daylight can be extended in the greenhouse in the first and last weeks of cultivation and which lighting is best suited to maintain optimal quality. This is where his interest in technology fully returns.

    You can also see the technical background in his 'tools'. He has designed and built a kind of tractor himself, so that he can roll out foil and water hoses and poke holes where the plants can be planted.

    Delphinium is certainly not the easiest crop to grow, according to Marcel, but Marcel sees the challenge in that. He loves to try new things and discover how to do it even better!

     

    FloraPodium, 01 July 2021

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