In 2019, Redgrow made the transition from using only HPS lighting to a hybrid combination with Philips GreenPower LED interlighting, thereby raising the light level from 180 µmol/m2 to 255 µmol/m2. “Given the fact that the energy prices were rising, and we knew we were not going to make extensive use of the HPS, we raised the hours of use for the interlighting. Because of that we were able to use the interlighting for more hours than the HPS.” Alain Moortgat says. “This year we came to approximately 1000 hours of HPS and 2000 hours of interlighting. That was a lot more last year. With the low energy prices, we then came to 2000 hours of HPS and 3000 hours of interlighting.” In the meantime, energy prices have gone up, which might affect lighting hours for coming season. At this moment we light the crop with the LED installation, and the HPS lights will hardly be used.”
Alain does see a difference in pruning: “Due to the high energy prices and less lighting hours, we had to prune at 3 tomatoes. In January we were back at 4, and now at the end of cultivation we almost leave everything, so up to 6 tomatoes. We planted our new crop back in August and started harvesting as of half of September.”
Alain Moortgat and his wife run the company Redgrow close to Antwerp in Belgium together and would love to show you around in their greenhouse. Watch the video and see how Redgrow grows the Matinaro variety, which is harvested according to color. “We’ve noticed that the interlighting stimulates the tomatoes a lot. I’m very content with how the plants survived the winter.” To cover the peak in June and July, Redgrow has chosen to install a humidifying system and give a bit more moisture to the air. “That makes things a bit easier for the plants.”
Mind: the video was shot back in April.