LS Santini : Nature Inclusive Growing
How LS Santini grows high quality Santini in a new way!
LS Santini is located in Bleiswijk, the Netherlands, and has existed for over thirty years. It’s a true family company, with three of the five children working in the nursery. Daughter Juliska, who is responsible for sales , is the one to lead us around in the greenhouse. LS Santini’s assortment consists of exclusive Santini varieties, like Rossi and Calimero.
The company is known for producing high quality Santini, which are harvested by hand every day. Fresh flowers? You got it! On first sight, the greenhouse looks quite different from what one might expect from a chrysanthemum grower. Instead of having one variety per section as is usual, LS Santini plants multiple varieties in smaller amounts in each section. The result is a colourful blanket of flowers, which are worked through on a daily basis. Only the stems in the right flowering stadium with uniform quality are harvested. The flowers are packed in the greenhouse itself, which also contributes to the high quality standard. After all, the line of communication between the person packing the flowers, and the people harvesting them is short, so it’s easy to adjust if necessary.
Like many other growers nowadays, LS Santini has LED-lights installed in their greenhouse, which reduces their use of electricity by 30-40%. Alongside that, eight dehumidifiers have been installed recently, which reduced the use of gas by 30%. But these are not the only environmentally conscious decisions the company has taken. Six years ago, owner Wilco decided to try a completely different approach to growing Santini. A careful study of plant physiological processes resulted in a new and natural way of growing top quality Santini.
So what is it that is so special about the company’s way of growing Santini that makes them stand out from the rest?
The answer lies in their soil.
Eco-friendly grown feel good flowers!
In many nurseries, the soil is steamed once a year, and often milled completely before planting. Fertilizers are used to give the soil a boost, and plagues and diseases are countered with organic and natural pesticides. But this way of working – while not necessarily bad – is far from natural. The steaming and milling of soil destroys many natural organisms that can actually contribute to healthy flowers and plants.
LS Santini no longer steams and mills their soil. Instead, after harvesting a section of Santini’s, a thin layer of compost is added to the soil, which is then carefully equalized. The compost is derived from their own organic waste (circular growing), which is put in a compost silo next to their nursery. The compost is compressed, which causes its core to heat up to about 55°C. This kills any bad bacteria and weeds in the soil, and after three weeks the compost is usable in the greenhouse. In theory, this is a natural way of steaming. Before spreading it out over the soil, wood compost is added. The use of this mixture, contributes to a healthy soil life, which results in more healthy fungus, worms, and insects in the ground. For fertilizer, LS Santini only uses natural substances, and on the rare occasion they need to use a pesticide, only natural/organic ones are used.
All of this effort results in a stronger plant that is less susceptible disease and unattractive to plagues. LS Santini likes to call their way of working ‘nature inclusive growing’. By looking at nature and creating a healthy balance in their soil, they can grow their flowers in a way that is way less harming to the environment.
Eco-friendly grown, the Santini from LS Santini are true feel good flowers!