Recently, harvesting of cucumbers started in the new Winter Light Greenhouse at the Greenhouse Horticultural Department of Wageningen University and Research Centre in Bleiswijk.

The High-Power (Nunhems/Bayer) cucumber variety was planted on 19 September. Thanks to the good weather, the crop matured rapidly in this light greenhouse, so the first examples could already be harvested on 11 October. These first fruits were remarkably long; at the start of the harvest, fruits tend to be short. The growers who visited this test site every two weeks noticed that the plants were strong, with good ovaries and large leaves at the base. Although the greenhouse transmits more than 10% extra light in comparison with a standard greenhouse, light is still a limiting factor in this period. With the acquired knowledge, a second crop was planted immediately after Christmas.

Greenhouse concept

The Winter Light Greenhouse is a new greenhouse concept which, in combination with a new type of screen system, new screen cloth and light-diffusing glass, improves light transmission by more than 10%. The entire newly-designed greenhouse structure is provided with a white powder coating, which offers an increased reflection factor of 90%. The greenhouse is glazed with SmartGlass, a new type of diffusion glass with large panels. Even if the glass is wet or covered in condensation, light transmission remains constant. The integrated Iso++ screen system is mounted in a W-shape for optimal light transmission when the screen is closed, and features a new Ludvig Svensson screen with even better light transmission. The new greenhouse design is also fitted with an Air in Control climate system.

The Winter Light Greenhouse was developed by a consortium of BOM Group, Ludvig Svensson, Bayer Crop Science and Glascom Tuinbouw, in collaboration with Wageningen UR. The project was also assisted by the Greenhouse as Energy Source (Kas als Energiebron) programme, LTO Glaskracht’s innovation and action programme, and the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs.

Source/Photos: BOM Group.