Nutrients and water management
The plants grow in a substrate in an above-the-ground gutter system. Each tomato plant has its own trickler to ensure that it receives the right amount of nutrient-rich water, which is a mixture of rainwater, osmosis water, and decontaminated drain water, supplemented with fertilizers if necessary. We’ve managed to reduce our water waste to a minimum and strive to keep this process as sustainable as possible.
This means we don't waste any water or fertilizer.
Vitensa has a modern irrigation and water decontamination unit and also uses reverse osmosis. We also desalinate groundwater before use. Osmosis water is used to supplement rainwater during dry periods throughout the year. First, all of the rainwater that lands on the greenhouse is collected in an 11,000 m³ water basin. This is the primary source of nutrient-rich water. The irrigation unit first adds drain water and then fertilizers to the rainwater.
Drain water is the excess water not used by the plant, which flows back out of the substrate. This water flows through the cultivation gutter, after which it’s decontaminated and any fungi or bacteria are killed. The water is then reused. This gives us a closed system and prevents fertilizers and water from leaking into the ground. As a result, we do not waste any water or fertilizer. The entire process of water purification, irrigation, and fertilization is a closed system and fully automated.
Composition of nutrient-rich water
- Collected rainwater
- Decontaminated drain water
- Osmosis water (only in dry periods)
Ideal nutrition for the tastiest tomatoes
Each week we make a nutritional analysis of the water in the substrate mat. Based on this analysis, we can determine which nutrients to add to the water. The ideal composition of nutrient-rich water has a positive effect on the flavour and shelf life of snack tomatoes.
At the end of the cultivation season, the substrate mats are replaced and recycled. The old mats are collected, recycled, and processed into paving bricks.