At De Zuidplas nursery, we aim to work as efficiently and, above all, as sustainably as possible. This also applies to the way we carry out pest control. We prefer using organic methods, with as few chemical products as possible.
It all starts with a strong gerbera variety. The stronger the variety, the more resistant it is to harmful diseases and fungi. We therefore work closely with recognized breeders to develop stronger and stronger gerberas.
Apart from diseases and fungi, insects can also cause damage to the plants. To avoid infestations as far as possible, we work in accordance with the Integrated Pest Management system. This focuses on preventing problems by making sure our greenhouse is as unattractive as possible for these pests.
One method we use is to introduce natural enemies of harmful insects. Examples of harmful insects are whiteflies and leaf-miner flies. Their caterpillars especially can cause ugly spots on the leaves of gerberas. The natural enemies prey upon these flies without harming our gerberas in any way.
We obtain the beneficial insects from a specialist supplier. We’re talking about millions of insects in one go. The trick is to find the right balance so that these insects feel comfortable in our greenhouse and start reproducing, allowing the process to continue in a natural manner. However, it is not easy, particularly when our greenhouses are open and all sorts of creatures can fly in and out. We are now also looking at options for insect netting.
We only resort to chemical products if we really need to, when we are unable to combat a disease or infestation using organic methods. Fortunately, this is not often the case.