Australia grows with Ellepots
Transplant Systems Pty Ltd has been producing Ellepots in Australia for over 5 (five) years now. The Ellepot originates from Danish manufacturer Ellegaard. Commonly called ‘substratepot machines’ in Europe. The Australian grower more often than not coining the term ‘sausage machines’ which is quite a descriptive way of explaining what the machine produces.
The process is simple described as :- A mixture of peat, perlite, fertiliser, wetting agent designed to suit the needs of the crop drawn by vacuum from a small hopper into a feed tube surrounded by a biodegradable paper tube. The paper tube is filled with media and then cut to length. Transplant Systems offers these ellepots with various diameters ranging in lengths from 20mm to 50mm with length as required. Other diameters can be made subject to minimum order quantities. The individual Ellepots are then placed into traditional cell trays by hand or machine if required.
Because the media can be made to suit the needs of the grower and other factors such as diameter, length, density, pH etc can also be controlled at the manufacturing stage Ellepot can offer the grower a lot of flexibility in terms of the growing media.
The Australian market has of course quickly examined this new method of propagating cuttings and tissue culture as well as providing a sound medium for seed germination with some excellent results found.
The benefits of using Ellepots in Australia over the last few years have had to be proven in the field because it was a new system in Australia. Growers can sometimes be sceptical about new systems and are often naturally reluctant to try or change to something new. Production of Ellepots in Australia might exceed 15,000,000 as the system continues to be accepted as a mainstream production method. The main advantages of using Ellepots are :-
Usually faster rooting time than conventional propagation,
Can be graded easily,
Minimises root disturbance at potting on time,
Improved crop uniformity due to grading,
Easier to pot on a potting machine by hand or transplanting machine than tubes or plugs,
Good air filled porosity,
Natural root form.
Nurserymen and women have various comments about the advantages of ellepots some of which are below.
Juna and Tony Kebblewhite from Florabundance
Like the fact that ellepots are clean & sterilized and that they find no need to sterilize either the media, the tubes or the trays. Juna mentioned that there was no preparation required as the ellepots are ready to use. “There is no mixing of media, nor is there any purchasing or storage of media, trays or tubes. This means there is more space and more time to spend on the plants. To ellepots all we do is just add water!” Juna said.They also mentioned the benefit of having the availability of specified recipes to suit specific lines was an advantage. Tony mentioned that it was easy to re-plug trays, “I remove the rooted ones for potting & keep under the developed plugs for another week or so, which gives us great uniformity at the potting stage. From my viewpoint, at the potting stage, we can run the machine at full speed as they are easy to pot. Compared to a 50mm tube where you need to remove the plant from the tube and then you need to slow the machine down. You also have huge bags of tubes to dispose of this compares with stacking the empty ellepot trays into each other, which takes up very little space.”
Ryan Weber of Ramm Botanicals says:
“Ellepots has given us the ability to significantly reduce root disturbance when preparing our tray stock for despatch. No part of the plant has to be touched; in fact all of our Ellepots are moved with tweezers. Ellepots are easily moved from the tray cell which makes the compaction times substantially quicker. This ease of movement from the tray is past onto the customers at potting time whether it be by hand or machine. The plug design lends itself to a healthy root system as the there is ample airflow and drainage which shapes the root system into one that is ready for transplantation. At Ramm we have made considerable savings introducing this system not to mention the improved plug quality.”
David Button from Alameda Homestead Nursery says,
“I first tried Ellepots a couple of years ago while I was looking for ways to improve efficiencies in my business. I had trouble finding staff that could tube up delicate plants without damaging the roots. The initial trials were promising but not spectacular mainly because I was trialing Ellepots along side community trays. I changed my growing techniques to suit the Ellepots and I am not going back. I have now moved all my production into Ellepots. This has allowed me to directly transplant my struck cuttings into 10cm to 20cm pots with no transplant shock. Ellepots come fresh and ready to use. I can have the mix I want, as soft or hard as I want it. Now anybody can do potting, my plants grow away faster, and I get my potting done quicker. I would recommend Ellepots to any grower who wants to improve their production.”
Ellepot Australia works hard to ensure Ellepots are available to the Grower when the Nursery needs them. Production schedules are tightly adhered to ensure that when you are ready to strike your cuttings or sow your seeds your ellepots are ready.
If you would like to trial ellepots please call Andrew Vondeling on 0397699733 or visit our website on www.ellepots.com.au