Our crops are planted from mid-December and have a life span that will take them through to the following November. This means it’s essential we nurture them so that they grow strong and healthy. In commercial greenhouses, pepper plants can average 1cm growth per day, so require support as they reach up to 3 metres tall.
The nursery covers an area of 75 acres and houses over 800,000 pepper plants. At the start of each season, we clip twine around the stalks of our plants to support and sustain each plant’s growth. The clips and twine also help to prevent the plant stems from bending as peppers mature and gain weight.
Tangmere takes the next step
Inside our trials glasshouse, the products are analysed across a number of specific requirements. For example, in this instance, the twine needed to be strong, easy to work with and UV-resistant. As General Manager, Gerard Vonk explains, “We did extensive trials and evaluated in various ways. We can’t afford to have a product that does not perform as well as the one it replaces.”
At the end of every growing season, the old crop is cleared away, chopped up for composting and collected by a local farmer who uses it to enrich the soil.
Now at the end of our crop cycle, the plants, clips and twine can all be composted together, resulting in a fully usable compost. This means that we avoid using landfill and significantly reduce waste from the process.
We’re continuing trials with the aim of reaching zero waste in our glasshouses, something we hope to achieve in the coming years.