Sunday, May 27, 2018

06 May

Nursery Trip

I hoped my trip to Gardening Direct’s nursery would be educational and inspiring and I was not disappointed.

All the plug plants are grown from their two nurseries in Jersey, I visited their 17 acre Retreat Farm site and was amazed to learn that each year they grow a staggering 100 million plants of which there are 392 different varieties. The care and attention that goes into each individual plant is amazing.

My tour of the nursery began in the Sowing Hall where each variety of seed is sown and the compost and vermiculite tailored to that particular seed. Bigger seeds are hand sown.

the seed hall

the seed hall

the seed hall

the seed hall

Behind the Sowing Hall is a specialist room where Gardening Direct can control the lighting, temperature and humidity which some seeds need for germinating. I am starting to understand the reason for my failure (and that of many other gardeners!)  in growing flowers from seed at home. My house is just not up to these high standards!

Even the seeds are carefully looked after in temperature-controlled fridges. Mental note…store seeds in the fridge in the future rather than the bottom drawer of the bureau!

Caring for the plants

Caring for the plants

I cannot emphasise enough the level of care and nurturing that I witnessed going into each plant. Each tray is individually checked for germination and hand pricked so that only one plant is in each plug, the petunias are hand pinched to ensure that we get the bushiest plants and they even grow on some of the plug plants to ensure that we are getting the plants that they say we are going to get.

hand pricking

hand pricking

pinching the petunias

pinching the petunias

All the plants are hand chosen before despatch. The precise dates for despatch of the plants are decided upon by their horticultural experts to ensure that they get to us at exactly the right time for us to grow them on.

Caring for the plants

Are they ready to go?

lots of plug plants

lots of plug plants

Bizarrely enough, on Friday, two days after my trip I received a familiar package marked live plants. Inside were five Fuchsia Blacky. This means that, as it only takes two days from leaving the experts at Gardening Direct to reaching me, I have now seen the whole process of despatching my new plants.

Despatch

Despatch

Growing from plug plants really does seem to have huge benefits and their value for money certainly must be top of the list. My plants are still doing well in the grow house which must be testament to the high level of care that they received in their early life. It also means that plug plants must be perfect for novice gardeners like me as well as the expert gardeners. I am now becoming slightly obsessed with them and check them every day to see how well they are doing, mainly out of sheer amazement that they are all still looking healthy.

Live Plants

Live Plants

Ready for Despatch

Ready for Despatch


Comments

One Comment on "Nursery Trip"

  1. GERRARD on Wed, 13th May 2009 8:22 am 

    It was interesting to read “Gardener in the Home Counties” I would love to see where all the plants are grown. I have had plants from Gardening Direct for many years and to watch the plug plants grow and flower is great. Keep up the good work.

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