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Thomas: Buds guarantee is impossible

As a lily grower you cannot guarantee buds

‘Our industry has an open roof and we have to deal with what we receive,’ is a winged statement from one of our bulb growers. Like no other, growers depend on the vagaries of the weather. The growing season outside is incredibly important for the quality of the bulbs. The more erratic the weather, the more challenging. And we, as the next link in the chain, naturally notice that too.

Cold summer

The amount of sunshine is a huge determinant; the number of sunlight hours affects the content of the flower bulb. Will we have four or five buds per branch in a few months? We see that cold summer of ’21 right away in the quality of the bulb. Because of the little sun, the lily stems had less power and literally fewer buds. Well, bud guarantees don’t exist in our business, so then you’re just one bud short.

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Sun is crucial for the content of the bulb

Fortunately, the summer of ’22 – a kind of French summer, but in the Netherlands – made up for a lot. With unique sunshine and a temperature of 25 degrees: crucial for the content of the bulb. I expect a lot from it! We can already see that the bulbs have a lot of energy: thicker stems and coarser leaves. Our expectation?  A bud-rich year and a heavier bunch.

Choose your growing areas consciously

Of course, our colleagues are also benefiting from this beautiful summer. But Bredefleur likes to set the bar high. We always try to get bigger, coarser bulbs by very consciously choosing our growing areas. So we buy more bulbs from warm Limburg than colder Groningen. That’s not to say that good bulbs don’t come from Groningen. The season can be colder in the north, so growers plant thinner, so the bulbs catch enough light.

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Chilean and New Zealand bulbs

We also get our bulbs from abroad, such as Chile and New Zealand. If they have a lesser growing season, we see it back in the Netherlands. You wouldn’t expect it, but late night frosts also occur in Chile. And lilies don’t like that. By now we know that certain parts of the country are warmer, so we choose growers from these areas.

A happy man

Right now our cold stores are full of a wonderful product. We really have high quality bulbs in the house. Therefore, I go to work in good spirits, and come home smiling. Of course, there is a chance that there are too many lilies on the market, and that is not good for the price. But I don’t care about that: for me it’s all about the quality.

Thomas Evers, after graduating in Horti Business and Management, is co-owner of Bredefleur

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