What’s happening in Burgervlotbrug?
It’s been busy as ever in the Belkmerweg: flower bulb growers have been working around the clock the past week. It’s been great to be able to work out in the fields again and this morning, we could hear the tractor engines sputtering on from the early hours of the morning into the late evening. Our neighbor Duineveld has planted his well-known Daffodil Tete a Tete, and those are now being covered with a layer of straw to keep them comfortable during the winter months. The beautiful air above the field made for a stunning view, so I had to take a photo to show my readers, and while I was doing so, I figured it would be nice to tell you more about what is currently going on over here.
I took my camera and went out to see what would be nice to talk to you about. Before I even left my own driveway, I saw my Dahlias, which have been planted to see how they do. We plant all Dahlias we sell on our website ourselves as well, so we can answer potential questions from experience, and we can see if the tubers we got sent are all true to name. Dahlias are exceptional flowers: it is nearly November, and they are still going strong as ever!
A couple of hundred meters away, I passed my neighbor Weijers’ field: kale. Flower bulb growers like renting out their fields to kale (and related foods) during their own off-season. This helps to enrich the soil, which in turn makes it less likely that the stuff that is grown there is prone to catching disease.
A couple of hundred meters later, I ran into another neighbor: Van der Zalm. He was busy creating the pathways after his field had been plowed. Creating pathways right after plowing a field makes the soil a bit vaster and helps create pathways for water to flow out in case of heavy rainfall. In a country like The Netherlands, you can probably imagine the necessity of such activities.
Then I ran into my neighbor Waal. With him I saw Renate Onderwater from Breezand, who was busy digging up her Zantedeschia’s. Until very recently, this was all done by hand, as Zantedeschia’s are very sensitive tubers and are very easily damaged when they are dug up. This new machine was especially created for Zantedeschia’s and has been making lots of people’s lives easier, as you can probably imagine.
Renate shows me how good and healthy the tubers look after being dug up by the machine. Fun fact to accompany the photo: Zantedeschia’s create their roots at the upside of their tubers, and not, as flower bulbs usually do, at the bottom. This is good to keep in mind when planting your own Zantedeschia’s: there needs to be a sufficient amount of soil on top of the tuber.
This is the same field, but this last August: Zantedeschia Strawberry Blush.
At the field next to it, the land in front of my neighbor Mrs. Koster, compost is being spread over the field. The sandy soil of this coastal area is not very rich in nutrients, and therefore growers like to add some extra food to it before plowing and planting for the next year. The organic material that is added to the soil makes sure that the soil is able to keep a hold of its water and makes it better suited to house flower bulbs and tubers. We will be using this field next week to plant our Daffodils!
Then, and we are not even a kilometer away from home, Rik Pennings is busy planting his Daffodils. He is from Voorhout and is one of the many flower bulb growers from Lisse and its surrounding villages who come to North Holland to plant a part of their flower bulbs. They call our area in North Holland ‘The North’, and you can probably guess what we call them… yeah, ‘The South.’
Then, we meet Jan Jaap, who is using this device to even out the ends of the field. Even ends make it easier to do the other work that requires tractors to enter the field.
After that, I met my brother Arjen for a chat. He was inspecting the field at which we plan to plant our Daffodils next week. Jan Jaap took over my camera to take a photo of both of us together. Jan Jaap is a good friend of my brother’s, and when he came over, he pointed out that they have been working alongside each other for forty years now. They’ve been on tractors together since they were teenagers!
Even further along the road, the activity calms down a bit. There is a field that is still flooded with water to prepare it for next spring’s tulips, and because the weather is still so nice, it is still a little early to start planting them. Tulips like to be planted in colder soil, as colder soil quiets down other life that goes on inside it, which makes the tulip less likely to catch any kind of disease. Most other flower bulbs are a bit sturdier than Tulips and are not as prone to this: they sometimes even like warmer soil!
Then, we run into a corner of Lilies, which are now waiting to be dug up.
At the end of the road, there is a corner left of Begonia’s. They are still enjoying the nice weather and calmly keep on growing.
There are three ladies are convinced that you’ll go out into your garden today to prepare it for this autumn. It’s always good to tidy it up a bit, there’s leaves to get rid of, flower bulbs to (almost) plant. I look forward to seeing you in our webshop for that!
Carlos van der Veek