It’s early in the summer when we visit Freek at Dr Green. It’s one of the many greenhouses in the Netherlands, and thousands of identical Aloë Vera’s is a special sight. It is starting to warm up inside while Freek takes us on a tour through what he calls; the ‘Dr Greenhouse’.
Freek grows his plants with care. He says: ”Dr Green doesn’t just grow pot plants, we grow them for a special market, the beauty industry”. The gel inside the plants has exceptional skin caring ability, and can be applied straight from the plant. A stronger plants means more, and fresher gel.
Why Jiffy Preforma?
The Aloë’s are resilient plants, with strong root development, Freek says. Be he adds: ”For me, the biggest advantage is the water absorbing capability of this plug. It takes water up so quickly after it has been dry for a long time, and holds it well. That makes it easy to play with my watering strategy.” Next to that, he finds it easy to work with plugs that have holes in the center. ”It’s much easier for the planters to make sure the seedlings end up right in the middle. When you push the seedling in, it will immediately stick to the plug. I call it a little sponge”.
Practical advantages of working with plugs
”Yes, better rooting and moisture control are major reasons for using these plugs. But in day-to-day life, handling is an important factor. We can store the stock of Preforma weeks without them drying out completely. Whenever we get seedlings in, we just grab a pallet and spread out the trays. It is nice to have pallet ready, and it doesn’t take much space.”
The tour ends with a demonstration on how to harvest the gel from the plant and apply it directly to the skin. Watch the video on the right (subtitles available).
For me, the biggest advantage is the water absorbing capability of this plug. It takes water up so quickly after it has been dry for a long time, and holds it well. That makes it easy to play with my watering strategy.Freek Wesstein, Grower at Dr Green