In order to increase the health of the plants and to reduce transplanting stress to zero, kiwi plants can be grown in 6-liter phytocells made of coconut fiber. This is the solution offered by the nursery company Magalotti Quarto, which is already in its third year of production.
Corrado Arigliani showing the well-developed root system
"This is a technique that brings significant advantages. It is definitely an innovative project to grow alveolus kiwis," explained Corrado Arigliani and Daniela Magalotti.
The greenhouse with the plants growing outside the ground
The phytocell is made of fiber and coconut pith and allows the planting of trees that have never touched ground in the nursery. This allows a better preservation of health, a characteristic increasingly important and appreciated, especially for the cultivation of kiwis, which have been severely impacted by the various problems that have arisen in recent years. Basically, we are growing bare-root plants, 170 centimeters high, combined with the benefits of a pot, therefore a product that combines the advantages of different techniques".
Aerial view of Magalotti nurseries
The first advantage is the sterility of the substrate. Not only is the plant not rooted in the ground, but there is no contiguity between the various units, so there is no risk of contagion between one plant and another.
In addition to the greater health safety, the actinidia plant obtained with this technique has more rooted capillitium and fewer taproots, a more receptive root that does not suffer the stress of uprooting and starts earlier, after the transplanting in the field.
Last but not least, the transplant timing of this product is much wider, as these plants can be planted in the field practically any time of the year. In addition, production becomes more sustainable because there is no need to use fumigation in the nursery.
"We strongly believe in this project, which started three years ago and which has already been highly appreciated by customers, both for the Hayward green variety and for the Gold3 yellow one, patented by Zespri, of which we are one of the authorized nurseries. We are also testing it with the Bounty71 rootstock," said the two company representatives.
"All our kiwi plant production (bare-root, phytocell, pot and alveolus), starts from our micropropagation laboratory and is carried out exclusively in the greenhouse. We constantly invest in technology and innovation to guarantee customers the highest quality of our plants."