Gerberas through the eyes of Wilco, our crop protector
Wilco is Kwekerij de Zuidplas’ crop protector. He works in the greenhouses where he studies insects that do good and harm. He prefers to use the good insects to combat the harmful ones in a natural way. If that fails, he looks at alternative methods to give the plants as much protection as possible and safeguard the nursery's quality standards.
Working in the greenhouses
‘What I enjoy about my work is the freedom,’ says Wilco. ‘I can decide for myself how to fill my day. If you look at it that way, I’m actually my own boss!’ He immediately adds a side note with a smile: 'As long as everything goes well, of course.’ Wilco spends his working days checking the gerberas for possible diseases and other threats. This is a very important task within the nursery, as the harvest stands or falls on the quality of the large-flowered gerberas.
Wilco enjoys the responsibility that comes with his job. ‘I’m happy to take on the responsibility and I’m also very precise, which is an extremely useful trait in this line of work. A nice perk of working at Kwekerij de Zuidplas are the pleasant temperatures. It's always nice and warm here, sometimes a bit too hot in the summer but you soon get used to it. Very different to the tree nursery where I used to work in all kinds of weather. It's good that you are always able to walk around in a T-shirt at work,' he concludes with satisfaction. 'I'm really happy to be here.'
‘A nice perk of working at Kwekerij de Zuidplas are the pleasant temperatures. It's always nice and warm here.’
Everyone pitches in
‘If we're combating pests or diseases naturally, the whole team pitches in,’ owner Juriaan adds. The good insects are spread throughout the greenhouse in sawdust or on a sticky strip, if they are still in their larval stage. We hang these strips among the crops, so they can hatch and do their pest control work while flying around. Unfortunately, not all insects thrive in the greenhouse climate. If this turns out to be the case, we look at what alternatives we can use.’