In this interview, Gary Spink of Marlborough Nursery reveals his reasons for using Plant Growth Cells. After a testing period, Gary decided to purchase the PGCs in 2013. During the last three years the PGCs offered Gary an substantial increase in the number of plants per m2, improved quality of plants and the ‘quarantaine’ of plants in case of disease. Read the whole story of Gary in the interview below.
Could you begin by telling us a little about your company, Marlborough Nursery?
Marlborough Nursery is a family business that was founded by two brothers, Gary and Terry Spink, in 1979. It is located in Brisbane, Australia which has a subtropical climate. Although the nursery originally produced palms and foliage plants, we now grow only flowering indoor plants such as Phalaenopsis, Anthurium, Spathiphyllum and Bromeliad varieties, most of which are sourced from leading European breeders. The nursery has 1.5 hectares of greenhouses and 3.5 hectares of shade houses. We supply all the eastern states of Australia and are universally recognised as one of Australia’s best growers. More information about Marlborough Nursery
How did you first get in touch with WPS about our Plant Growth Cells?
In 2012, I visited Ter Laak Orchids where I saw the PGCs being used in their impressive new facility. We had been growing Phalaenopsis for less than two years but immediately recognised that the PGCs would solve some of the problems we’d noticed in growing Phalaenopsis. Richard ter Laak kindly contacted one of your account managers who sent me an e-mail offering us some PGCs to test in our greenhouses.
How did you run the trial with the PCGs?
After receiving these PGCs in mid-2012, we tested them in our greenhouses. We immediately saw the benefits of growing more plants per m2 during the finishing stage. This was a huge critical advantage for us since Phalaenopsis grows slowly and involves a very energy-intensive process. The PCGs also solved the issue of plants not being watered evenly because of overlapping foliage, as the plants we grow are quite large. This previously posed a significant problem for us.
When did you purchase your Plant Growth Cells and how long have you been using them now?
We purchased our PGCs in mid-2013, so we have been using them for nearly three years.
What did you want to achieve by using the PGCs?
Our main goal was to increase the number of plants per m2 during the cooling and flowering stages. We have managed a 20% increase in plants per m2 as compared to the previous system that used spacer trays.
What impact have the Plant Growth Cells had on your company’s results?
After switching our entire production process to the use of PGCs, we see a substantial increase in the number of plants per m2. Quality is also up because overlapping foliage is no longer causing uneven watering. Another advantage we appreciate is that the shape of the plants grown in PGCs is very symmetrical and upright: this is exactly what consumers are looking for. The design of the PGC seems to force the spikes upward, so we rarely see any of them getting caught under leaves and becoming deformed.
And, even after three years, we haven’t had any breakdowns due to UV exposure. We can only conclude that the plastic used to make the PGCs must be of a high quality. Although we have few problems with bacterial disease, when we do see the occasional diseased plant, the PGC seems to ‘quarantine’ the disease to keep the problem from spreading to adjacent plants.
Would you like to recommend the Plant Growth Cell to other nurseries?
I would recommend that all Phalaenopsis growers use PGCs because of the increased number of plants per m2, more evenly distributed watering, fewer spike deformities and more attractively shaped plants.
Are you interested in the advantages of the Plant Growth Cells? Would you like to test the PGCs for your own production? Or do you want to receive more information about the PGCs?
We would like to provide you with all our information about the PGCs!