Glue plug trials for high-quality plants
At Microflor, we need to maintain a high standard of quality. Over the past few years, we completed several research projects into various types of plugs. In the meantime, our first large-scale glue plug trials have started to yield results. Arne Steelandt, Quality Control and R&D Coordinator at Microflor, reflects and looks ahead.
“The Phalaenopsis market has gone through significant changes over the last couple of years. Competition is getting fierce, so it is highly essential that we set ourselves apart while continuing to produce a reliable supply. Growers are not always keen to adopt the diverse range of growing systems used by their suppliers, and this while the number of different tray models available on the market, as well as plug sizes and substrates, continues to increase.
More challenges ahead
There is a simple reason why there are so many different growing systems available: the ‘perfect’ system has yet to be developed. And so the search continues. A lot of research has been conducted, especially into the use of plugs. However, there are some major challenges ahead still, such as maintaining root quality and ensuring that young plants can be easily removed during sorting or potting processes without affecting quality.
Roots being too tightly stuck to the trays is one of the main issues. It reduces the quality of the plant and makes it difficult to automate processes. These issues will take time to resolve. Microflor is working hard on finding the ultimate solution so we can continue to provide a reliable supply of young plants of the highest quality, not just today, but also in the future.
Watch our trial methods
In recent years, we extensively trialled the Van Der Knaap plug. In 2017, we began some large-scale trials with Quick plugs and VDK plug alternatives. The first plants resulting from these projects were sent to our clients over the past couple of weeks, with more to come in the next few months.
It is still too soon to draw firm conclusions from the results of these trials. Despite some obvious differences and managing each trial as a separate project, we feel we didn’t get the most out of each testing opportunity. The repeat trials and resulting plants that will be ready for sale over the next few months will help us get a clearer outcome. In the meantime, we invite you to come watch our trial methods. We’d love to hear what you think!”
Questions about Microflor’s methods? Contact us today.