Growing lettuce with LEDs

Mark and Roy Delissen run the family business ‘Deliscious’. In their company they apply a unique cultivation system. Special LED rooms make it possible for them to cultivate delicious tasting lettuce. From planting the seeds up to packaging: it all happens in their own greenhouse complex in Limburg (southern area of the Netherlands).  For more than 50 years they are active in the Dutch market and abroad to provide customers the best lettuce.

Cultivating seeds in climatic chambers

In order to deliver fresh lettuce, the brothers Delissen invested in their own greenhouse complex by constructing four climatic chambers. In these closed spaces up to 8 meters high they cultivate seeds on to young lettuce plants with rootball. Each climatic chamber consists of seven layers with a total cultivation area of 5,600 sqm where the lettuce plants are illuminated by LED lights instead of sunlight. This way of lighting provides a well-controlled and planned environment for young lettuce plants. The family business is unique in its kind by using this innovative process and leader in the cultivation of lettuce. In Europe Deliscious is the only company that uses LED lighting in fully enclosed climate chambers.

Mature in gutter with nutrient-rich water

Once the young lettuce plants are grown they are moved to the gutters. The plant grow at a height of 1 meter with help of nutrient-rich water so that they are equipped with the necessary nutrients. Above the gutters lamps are placed to provide the right amount of heat and light. As the lettuce seedlings grow, they are increasingly pushed forward. After this final stage in the process, the young lettuce plant has become a full crop of lettuce, ready for distribution.

Quality and sustainability

Using LEDs enables the business to grow lettuce on large scale throughout the year. Constant high quality is guaranteed by the perfect growing conditions where temperature and humidity are precisely adjusted to each other. Over the last years Deliscious has diminished gas consumption with 80% by growing lettuce at a height of 1 meter and investing in a new heating system that enables them to store heat in the ground. In addition, the company uses only rainwater stored in big water tanks. This water is used for the gutters to grow lettuce. The water used goes to a treatment plant so that they can use it again. No waste!