Many future generations should also still be able to benefit from the valuable raw material peat. For this reason, the HAWITA Group has focussed its attention on peat-reduced substrates for many years. At the International Plant Fair(IPM) in Essen, the company presents a number of new soils, with a significantly reduced share of peat.
Included in the new substrates is a propagation soil on the basis of cocopeat, Perlite and white peat. The share of peat is now only 40 per cent. The bark culture substrate, on the foundation of volcano clay and bark humus only contains a share of 35 per cent peat. 60 per centis the share of peat with a new perennial substrate, which additionally contains clay, wood fibres, green-waste compost and pumice. The new universal soil contains absolutely no peat. It consists of volcano clay, wood fibres, bark humus, cocopeat and coconut fibres.
"Also in the future, we would like many gardeners to benefit from peat as the foundation for the plants," says Simon Tabeling, managing partner of the HAWITA Group. The company has already been offering substrates with less peat for many years. The total share of the peat substitute materials in the substrates is at more than 10 per cent, at individual locations it is even at more than 25 per cent.
Pioneer of Responsibly Produced Peat
What is more, in cooperation with nature conservationists, HAWITA takes care of the rewetting of the extraction areas that were previously mainly used by the farming industry in northern Germany and in the Baltic states. "By means of this, an ecologically more valuable surface is created than was the case prior to peat extraction," Tabeling emphasises. This is completely in line with the new Initiative for Responsibly Produced Peat (RPP), of which HAWITA is one of the pioneers. Based on this, the producers commit themselves not to touch intact moor land, to be careful in their use of peat and to restore the peat extracting areas to their natural state.
The reduction of the peat content in substrates requires special know-how. "The mixture of substitute materials must be correct to ensure that the water-nitrogen balance of the plants is not lost," says Oliver Weiß, Laboratory Head of the HAWITA Group. This is because
many of the vegetable peat substitute materials have the property of binding nitrogen in the substrate. Once this happens, it is no longer available as soluble nitrogen for plant growth.
Thus, during the culturing period, the HAWITA Group conducts nutrient analyses for its customers in the own in-house laboratory so as to support them in their changeover to peat-reduced substrates. Peat-substituting materials used by the company are bark humus, green-waste compost, coconut, wood fibres, wood shavings and mineral substances such as volcano clay, expanded clay, Perlite, lava and pumice gravel.
Photo by Willi Rolfes
The right soil for every plant and the unmistakeable product for every customer: what frequently only applied in professional horticulture in the past,is now increasingly being found in the field of hobby gardening. Long gone are the times in which ambitious hobby gardeners are satisfied with universal products. "This also presents the field of trade with new challenges," says Simon Tabeling, managing partner of HAWITA. Hence, the company, which has its headquarters in Vechta in Lower Saxony, has now expanded its soil programme for hobby gardeners. As of very recently, this includes an organic tomato and vegetable soil, distributed under the "Fruhstorfer" soil label, which is presented at the International Plant Fair (IPM) in Essen (Hall 3, Booth3B41).
Individual solutions that have been tailored to the specific customer needs are in high demand. The city balcony with its geraniums and self-grown tomatoes; the little townhouse garden with undemanding perennials, or the attractive bed of roses – all of these have different requirements and should be nurtured with different soil mixtures, is the advice of Tabeling. However, the customers are not to be overtaxed with the great selection at hand. Here, e.g., particularly the hobby gardeners with little expertise would like to have a sensible guidance system that will quickly and easily assist them in finding the right soil for their purposes.
Distinctive Private Labels
Increasingly, trade is also focussing its attention on individuality. The trend toward private labels is no longer something that is reserved for major chains, as it has in the meantime also reached the small and medium-sized gardening centres. "Private labelling requests and projects are increasing every year," says Simon Tabeling. The objective of trade is to offer a high-quality and distinctive product that cannot be purchased anywhere else.
"We have always mixed individualised substrates for our professional customers, right from the outset," the HAWITA boss emphasises. In the meantime, more and specialist dealers are also demanding this. The own raw material resources also allow the company to react quickly to extensive orders. For this, HAWITA has about 4,500 hectares of peat extraction surfaces in Lower Saxony and the Baltic states, as well as clay deposits in Hesse.
Here, increasingly, the consumers are interested in seeing evidence of responsible dealings with peat. In this regard, HAWITA is one of the supporters of the RRP initiative (Responsibly Produced Peat) – a seal of approval that is expected to be awarded for the first time this year. The seal itself ensures that the raw materials originate from sustainable extraction sources with subsequent renaturation.
Organic and Peat-Reduced is in
Keeping with Current Trends Another sign of the growing awareness of hobby gardeners is seen in the fact that organic soils are becoming increasingly more popular. Already for numerous years, HAWITA has offered plenty of peat-reduced and peat-free soils in its product range. The raw material of peat is then substituted by bark humus, wood fibres or green-waste compost.
The quality of the soils is controlled and ensured by the own in-house laboratory. "Major horticultural companies cannot afford to use soils of varying quality. Therefore, we are extremely discerning so as to ensure constant high-grade soils and substrates," Simon Tabeling emphasises. This also benefits hobby gardeners.
Franz -Josef Wienholt works for 50 years at the Erden- und Substratwerk Tabeling in Vechta, which ist part of the HAWITA Group. Although Wienholt is since 2002 retired, but he is still the work as an assistant available.
For 25 years in the HAWITA Group are also working Rainer Heckmann and Christa Griesehop. Honored for ten years: Hermann Staggenborg, Peter Wegmann and Nikolai Gaus.The managing director, Simon Tabeling, thanked the anniversaries for their commitment and loyalty to the company .
Photo: Managing director Simon Tabeling ( 3rd from left ) congratulates the anniversaries, (from left) Rainer Heckmann, Christa Griesehop , Franz -Josef Wienholt , Peter Wegmann, Nikolai Gaus and Hermann Staggenborg . Photo: HAWITA
For numerous years, HAWITA has already been producing professional substrates and plastic products. Why not bring the two even closer together? The group of companies now reacts to this wish that has been expressed by numerous customers and now also produces flowerpots. In so doing, the company follows the same principle as with the substrates: the greater the degree of individuality, the better.
Yellow, green, orange, red and yellow: flowerpots are also becoming increasingly more colourful. To succeed in this competitive plant market, numerous producers are relying onindividuality. However, since the plants all look more or less similar, the packaging has to provide the unique touch. Thus the HAWITA subsidiary Technoplant took the decision to bring out flowerpots in a range of ten different colours (see Dates & Facts).
Numerous horticultural plants also rely on labels or printed pots, which have the purpose of distinguishing themselves from others. In this regard, there are a number of different options. Be it the brand logo or advertising for a special campaign, or a photo of the plant in bloom: “Those wishing to sell, must attract attention,” says Jörg Naffinof Technoplant.
Ideal for Potting Machines
With all individuality, the Technoplant pots have been developed for professional horticulture.This means that they are precisely manufactured, stable and, at the same time, designed for optimal plant growth. The perforated base consists of four different levels. It is ideal for the ebb and flow irrigation system that is typical in large greenhouses. Thus, depending on the type of plant, the irrigation and drainage can be optimally controlled.
What is more, the Technoplant product developers have paid attention to ensure that all commonly usedpotting machinesare able to function with the new flowerpots. Nothing is more annoying than having to pay attention at all times to ensure that the pot supplies do not get stuck. To ensure that everything runs smoothly, piling distances on the ground are taken into account. The upper rim of the pots has a stable alignment, thus allowing reliable handling, among others with the presentation and shifting of pot plants in soil culture.
Sometimes less is more. Thus the Technoplant pot requires less material that conventional flowerpots.This saves resources. Which also has another important effect, says JörgNaffin: “By means of this, we can offer the pots at an inexpensive price.”
Support for Safe Growth
To ensure that high-growing plants are well-protected in the greenhouse and, simultaneously, require less space, Technoplant offers supporting baskets. These can quickly and easily be pinned up onto the flowerpots.Available in the standard green colourfor all four pot sizes (additional coloursupon request).
DATES & FACTS
(Photos by Timo Lutz, Jörg Naffin)
The HAWITA GROUP is a global company that employs more than 400 members of staff, boasts eight production facilities and owns more than 4,500 hectares of moorland in Germany and the Baltic States.
Thanks to a constant corporate policy, comprehensive know-how and top-class employees, over the course of our company's more than 80-year history we have developed into one of the premium manufacturers of products for modern horticulture.
Substrates and soil for professionals and hobby gardeners
Our portfolio caters to the "green sector", from hobby gardening to commercial horticulture. We stand for an innovative spirit, the best premium products, customer focus and a complete logistics chain – with our name and with our guiding principle: "Your plants in good hands!"
We warmly invite you to explore our website and find out in detail about our company, as well as the extensive range of products and services we offer. Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us in person at any time.
The Management Board and Team at the HAWITA Group