Behind the Scenes at the Nurseries

As one of the UK’s leading mail order plant companies we must ensure a high standard of quality control at all stages of the growing process. Our growers have many years of experience and are led by our Horticultural Director, Peter Clark who has been in the industry for over 35 years.

 

Bedding plants are treated with care right from the seed’s arrival until their germination. Seeds are firstly stored in a temperature controlled environment until we’re ready to start sowing. Seeds are then sown by the hopper, allowing us to sow up to 4,000 trays per hour.

 

Germination preparation starts by moving the trays to the fogging section of the greenhouse. The high humidity and high temperature in this section will assist in breaking down seed dormancy. It generally takes about 3 to 10 days for seeds to germinate. Great care is taken in the control of this stage meaning that plant quality and performance will be high.

 

When the plants are between 2 and 4 weeks old we carry out the gapping procedure. Each cell is checked to make sure it contains a healthy plant. The majority of watering is computer controlled, but at certain times of the year we will hand water.

 

The despatch procedure begins with the plants being checked for quality, size, robustness and readiness for despatch. We pack and despatch our plants Monday to Friday for delivery Monday to Saturday. During Peak periods we will extend our despatch times to include Saturdays. Plants are packed and care instructions are inserted in the boxes before being sealed and addressed ready for delivery.

 

Our nursery staff take great care over your plants at every stage making sure they are strong and healthy. We also check that each tray contains plants of the highest quality before despatching them to you.

 

Unlike bedding plants most of our mature shrubs, roses and perennials are raised from specially propagated plug plants in peat free compost. This ensures the best rooting and growth per variety. Most will have been overwintered and they are all well rooted to ensure planting success.

 

The plants are matured in poly tunnels, which have their own specific feeding systems depending on the varieties within. These tunnels are ideal because they encourage good, early spring growth and are side vented for optimum summer air movement. In the winter we have back up heaters to keep them warm if it gets too chilly!

 

It’s all about best practice, the plants are grouped according to size as well as variety. We use collected rain and borehole water, the most natural sources. All varieties are sample lab tested so we can tailor their feeding. During early spring we clean all the plants, grade them by size, prune and treat them to prevent pests and diseases like Vine Weevil.

 

Nurturing is important too, they are generally hand watered and all are individually pruned. All their individual needs are carefully considered, for example Roses are grown in open areas to avoid excess humidity; ferns are grown under heavy shade as in their natural habitat and acid loving plants like Azaleas are treated with acidified water.

 

This means that you will receive top quality, well maintained and balanced plants that can be planted straight out, will grow on quickly, easily establish and excel in your garden.

 

 

 

 


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