Local grower Mario Bento has been farming here in Leamington, Ontario for over 30 years, specializing in the production of eggplant. Over the past few years, sales for the well-known European vegetable have grown in Canada.
Eggplant has been used in cooking for centuries now around the world, as its nutritionalattributes, color and versatility make it a mainstay on many tables. Having originated in India, it is common in Africa, Europe, Asia and the Americas.
Good quality fruit comes from consistent plants, and that’s what Mario Bento of Farm Boy Greenhouses looks for with each new crop. Seed is expensive and crop time is wasted when seeds don’t germinate or plants rot off in the early stages of growth due to black rot or botrytis. Control over media is very important and the ability of the media to dry down consistently is an important factor when choosing a rooting media or a grow-bag or slab as they call them.
Grow bags or slabs have traditionally been filled with Rock-wool or Coco Coir, which work fine, but each offers their own unique challenges when producing crops on a commercial scale. Consistency and predictability of dry down times was often hard to regulate and often led to “over – wet” plants and a loss of production. Excessive nutrient “salts” could also build up in these media as they tend to “hold back” a small amount of water with each cycle.
Mario tried steadyGROWpro last fall on several new varieties of eggplant and had excellent results in both germination and crop production.
Some of his comments include:
“I had better germination on the steadyGROWpro than any other media – all the varieties came up and did well.”
“My Plants took off well on steadyGROWpro and never stopped – I had bigger plants and fruit sooner than anything I have ever used before.”
“Look at the roots! If the plant is Happy – I am Happy – a plant knows what it likes.”
“We even reused steadyGROWpro slabs from last year’s crop which we saved over the winter. No problems at all, they all rewetted just like the new bags…”
“SteadyGROWpro is easy – Just Plant and grow…”
“Disposal at the end is easy too … just grind it up and mix it in with the dirt – no problem!”
SteadyGROWpro made its way into the market originally as a rooting substrate for flowers and plants under the AGRIFOAM brand and has been used successfully by many growers on millions of cuttings for the past 12 years.
Having success in the rooting of young plant,s the company knew greater applications were possible for this amazing product.
Currently more than 25 growers have trialed and are growing crops in steadyGROWpro – here in the Leamington/ Kingsville area.