Tunnel farming involves constructing tunnels with plastic or netting in order to protect crops against the effects of the weather, including wind, rain and extreme temperatures.
In this month’s newsletter we will be discussing the fertilisation of vegetable crops like peppers, varieties of tomatoes, lettuce and greenhouse cucumbers under the protection of tunnels.
The practice of fertilising crops in a growth medium is practiced by many and is a very well-known method. Under these conditions, a program is developed that supplies the plant with all the nutrients that are needed.
Atlantic’s approach in three steps
When vegetable crops are planted in the ground under tunnels, all factors must be considered:
A soil analysis is needed to determine if lime, gypsum or phosphate is required and if there are any other restrictions.
· Continuous cultivation of the same crops can reduce the growth of soilborne diseases and nematodes.
· Nutrients need to be given at the correct concentration and ratio.
· Thorough knowledge together with specialist advice is necessary to ensure sustainability.
To simplify the management of the complex interactions, plant nutrition and the health of the soil and plants, Atlantic uses, with great success, a more organic and biological approach by using Bio Ganic or Bio Ocean applications.
These applications must not just be seen as N: P: K fertiliser, but as a holistic approach to create balanced growing conditions by promoting soil life and microbial activity. In many cases soil microbes are introduced to suppress or prevent specific problem conditions.
The Humates (Humic and Fulvic acids) in the Atlantic products must be considered and is often enough to produce stimulation for the planting season.
2. Pre-administration of Bio Ganic and Bio Ocean:
Atlantic Fertilisers’ Bio Ganic and Bio Ocean consists of composted, pelletised organic fertiliser and has a chicken manure base. Seaweed and fishmeal is added to the Bio Ocean, which contains naturally occurring growth stimulants. Both of these products are 100% organic and is broadcasted during soil preparation and is mixed within 20cm of the topsoil.
In general applications fluctuate between 200 and 300 g/m², the application is adjusted according to the results of the soil analysis, the crop and soil type and the harvest expectations.
3. Fertilising throughout growth season with complete nutrient solutions
Crops are continuously fertilised with water soluble fertiliser, rich in plant nutrients. With this approach fertilisation is made easier and better results are achieved.
HydroPonic, HydroSol and HydroUp
Atlantic Fertilisers has three premixed products that can be recommended, HydroPonic, HydroSol and HydroUp.
These products can be used, through smart formulation and a variety of combinations with Calcium Nitrate, to adapt to the needs of various soil crops and growth seasons.
This approach is already followed successfully with cucumber, eggplant, sweet potato, seedlings in seedling trays and cuttings.
The above mentioned Atlantic Fertilisers’ products are formulated specifically for vegetables that are grown in tunnels, and it delivers excellent results under various circumstances. Other water-soluble mixtures are also available for conventional fertilising practices.
Contact the Atlantic Fertilisers team today, we make a difference and are always willing to help!