AQUA4D watering system creates better root ball at Beekenkamp

Author Harry Stijger

Beekenkamp Plant in Maasdijk uses an AQUA4D® water system after being advised and supplied by Aqua4D-Lescrauwaet. At first only for the treatment of water for making baling clods for vegetable crops. Shortly thereafter also for the manufacture of baling plugs. At the site in France, Aqua4D® has been applied for years.
The water in France is harder and therefore has a higher EC than in the Netherlands. That is the reason why the propagation company there started with an Aqua4D system. “This system makes the lime so fine in the water that it goes with the pouring water and we have much less lime deposits in the pipes,” says Henny van Lierop, Press and Seed Quality Coordinator.
At first, he was skeptical. By doing tests with and without the water system, he saw the difference. “When the Aqua4D system is on, you feel it when you grab the potting soil. You can make a ball out of this soil with water. The water stays in it when you squeeze it. If you turn the system off, it’s like squeezing the water out. It’s like a sponge where the water runs out.”

Nice solid press clods
The press clod machine, which presses the soil with a fixed stroke, responds to soil quality. In a wide 60 cm container, the press pots are compressed from 8 to 4 cm. That’s 50% less.
Van Lierop: “The moment the water is not well drawn into the potting soil, it also evaporates faster because of the sun’s radiation when it’s in the greenhouse. Because of the heat, you get more evaporation. If the water is not properly drawn into the fibers, the result is an unstable root ball. Without the Aqua4D water treatment, the connection between the soil parts is not as good. With this treatment, we get nice firm root balls of good composition.”

Less transport weight

The potting soil for the French site comes from Bruges, Belgium, transported by truck over a distance of 400 kilometers. By adding less moisture, the soil is drier. 1% drier saves about 20 l/m3 of potting soil. That means less weight, which means more soil can be transported. “We want potting soil as dry as possible, but not too dry. The EN weight of a cubic meter of potting soil was 425 kilograms and is now 355 kilograms. We can do the drying of the soil because we can make the soil well moist again with treated water before pressing.”

The potting soil supplied in France has a moisture content of 68%; for the Maas dyke it is 73%. The latter is slightly higher because of a small transport distance.

Larger bandwidth
Van Lierop: “In the Netherlands the water is softer, so the difference between treated and untreated water is smaller. However, the softer the water is, the better it is absorbed by the soil. But because soil and water are never the same, the biggest advantage of the Aqua4D system is that the bandwidth in which we can work has increased before we run into problems delivering good root balls. The margin of error is smaller.”

In addition to baling clods, the water for the baling plugs (315) is now also treated. “For the plugs, the moisture content is even more important than for press clods.” Van Lierop is extremely satisfied with the Aqua4D water treatment and wouldn’t want to be without it. The system requires no maintenance and works trouble-free. “We work with it in an industrial hall with a lot of dust and moisture due to the potting soil. It is hot in the summer and cold in the winter because we hardly heat the hall.”

As an NL-BE-DU importer, Aqua4D-Lescrauwaet is active with top growers in flowers, vegetables and fruit, as well as in top international sports such as soccer fields and golf courses. More than 5000 Aqua4D systems are already operational in over 40 countries.


Aqua4D-Lescrauwaet BV

Raymond Lescrauwaet

Graaf Florislaan 40
1217KM Hilversum