Strawberry plants
At Kapteijns, the cultivation of strawberry plants concentrates on the “Elsanta” variety, the most important variety for the West European market. Kapteijns supplies two types of strawberry plants: ‘fresh’ and ‘waiting bed’ plants. The fresh plants are offshoots of mother plants (EE-plants) specially selected by Kapteijns and are mainly sold to professional strawberry growers. These growers then re-plant the fresh plants immediately at their own nursery and in this way they can produce strawberries during the following season. 

When fresh strawberry plants are directly bedded out, then they become waiting bed plants. In November or December they go into a dormant state, after which time Kapteijns digs them up and places them in a temperature of minus 1.5°C packed in wooden or plastic crates. By doing this the plants can be kept for a much longer period of time. Waiting bed plants are sold to growers in order to be able to spread out the harvesting in a better way and so that they can harvest the strawberries over a longer period of time (the so-called  ‘frozen cultivation’).

Leek plants
Leek plants are grown from leek seeds. By far the largest number of leek plants cultivated by Kapteijns are the so-called ‘bare-root plants’.

The leek seeds are sown straight into the ground by using a precision sowing machine, so that each tiny plant has the same amount of space to become a full-grown well-formed plant. In order to give the leek plants a larger root volume, Kapteijns also cultivates them in trays. One tray can hold 286 tiny plants, each in its own ball of potting compost. With this method, the roots of the tiny plants can grow into a bigger plant and can later be bedded out along with the ball of soil. This is also called a Super Seedling.

The production of leeks is divided into three periods, summer leeks, autumn leeks and winter leeks. These periods are then re-divided into ‘early’ and ‘late’, which means that the planting period for leeks can run from the beginning of March right through to the beginning of August.  In order to have the leek plants ready to plant on time, Kapteijns uses various methods for bringing the process forward (greenhouses, small tunnels or flat field cover). Kapteijns produces and supplies all types of plants for any required planting period and can therefore offer continuous supplies.

The way in which leek plants are cultivated determines the price. Leek plants cultivated in a greenhouse are more expensive because the harvesting is done by hand, cultivation is more labour-intensive, and costs are relatively high. In comparison ‘cold plants’ that are grown outside, are cheaper.