To Bart Verheijen it is important to offer new raw materials with sustainable features. The raw material consisting of sphagnum moss called BVB Accretio is a great example.
Sphagnum moss, (BVB Accretio), certainly adds outstanding growing features to substrate mixes. It is easily recyclable and regrows quickly after harvesting. The first tests with BVB Accretio for the propagation of strawberries were carried out in 2018. In these tests BVB Accretio was added to the mixtures used for propagation. Four different mixtures were compared. One of the mixtures contained 50% BVB Accretio and 50% coir. All mixtures showed good rooting and production figures. The speed at which rooting took place was best in the mixture with BVB Accretio. Above all, the sphagnum moss adds airiness to a mixture, which could explain the rooting speed. Read more about these test in this article we’ve published earlier, or this article on the Kekkilä-BVB website.
Sphagnum moss as a fresh material
Sphagnum moss has been used for different purposes for over hundreds of years. It grows on the top of bogs in peatlands and has not started to decompose like peat. In addition to the excellent technical properties the main reason to use sphagnum moss as a raw material for substrates is that it is a living material. Due to the fact that sphagnum moss is a living material, it has not started to decompose, and it regrows relatively quick. Even old peat bogs can be seeded with sphagnum moss material to produce fresh material for substrate mixes in the future.
Fast rooting speed due to porosity and even water distribution
Recent research shows that adding sphagnum moss to substrates is beneficial and sustainable in more than one way. Mixing sphagnum moss, as raw material named BVB Accretio, means more porosity and more easily available water for the plants. Porosity ensures better drainage and there is always enough air available for the growth of roots. That means a faster rooting and a shorter growing time. The addition of sphagnum moss to a mixture ensures a quick and even water and nutrient distribution. Crops that grow in mixtures with this raw material in it also need less water. They need less water because sphagnum moss has a large water holding capacity meaning it will store more water in the substrate.
“Sphagnum moss has low pH and EC levels. This makes it adjustable with other raw materials, which makes it the ideal material for sustainable mixtures for Soft Fruits”, Bart says.
Green product line: Sustainable mixtures for Soft Fruits
In general we can provide growers with three types of substrates for Soft Fruits. We offer standard products within the Premium line, the Excellent line and the Green product line. Those are standard products which we can, of course, tailor to fit your specific requirements.
The Green line is our most sustainable product line. We use more sustainable alternative raw materials with excellent techinical properties for these substrates. One of these alternative raw materials is BVB Accretio, which we focus on in this article, but in some cases we can also add BVB Lignima (wood fibre) to the mixtures to improve sustainability.
“We as a company can calculate the environmental footprint of our mixtures to show the sustainability benefits. BVB Accretio and our Green product line show good results in strawberry growing.”, Bart says.