Greenhouse Tomato Production
The tomato seedlings are grown at a specialised seedling nursery. The seed is carefully sown into Rockwool blocks and then nurtured for approximately 4 weeks until ready for planting.
The small plants are carefully transported to the glasshouses and planted onto Cocopeat-slabs to begin their growing cycle. Cocopeat is a 100% natural organic medium made out of coconut husks, which are byproducts of other industries that use coconuts. The coconut husk is washed, heat treated, screened and graded before being processed into coco peat products of various granularity.
Each plant has its own computer controlled feeding system, which takes effect immediately the plant is placed onto the slab. Feeding continues throughout the plant's life cycle.
As the plants grow, they are lateraled (side shoots taken out), de-leafed as appropriate and twisted up a string to the overhead wires. From here they are managed in a variety of different ways.
Bumblebees pollinate the tomato flowers. Hives are placed into the glasshouses just prior to the first flowers coming out. The hives stay in the glasshouse throughout the flowering life cycle of the plant. The hives are replaced every six to eight weeks.
Biological Pest Control:
Status uses biological control of pests as a first defence strategy. The first defence is kilometres of bright yellow sticky sheets, strung above the tomato plants. These attract the small white fly and other flying plant pests, trapping them before they can bite the plants and lay eggs. Status also use multiple types of biological sprays, some containing verticillium type fungi which will grow on pest eggs laid on the plant leaf, and prevent pest populations growing.
Advanced state-of-the-art technology allows Status to manage the environment under which the crops are grown. This can be as simple as opening and shutting the vents as the system monitors the weather conditions (wind, rain, heat, humidity, cold) to the more complex issues of feeding and raising the crops to produce an abundance of healthy, superior quality produce.
Approximately six to eight weeks from the time the plant is planted out into the glasshouses, the first of the fruit is ready to be picked, packed and sent to market
The fully integrated process, from seed through to fruiting and picking could not happen without the deeply committed and skilled grower managers and their dedicated team of experienced assistants.