Production On Site
During 2015 we invested in a new production facility allowing us to increase our own in-house production of seed and cutting raised plants to over 3.5 million every year, significantly reducing our dependency on young plant suppliers.
Strengthening this step in the supply chain gives increased flexibility, security and a much healthier, stronger perennial plant. With significant investment into this facility, and with the ever changing markets as a result of the Brexit vote, we have been able to stay far more competitive than other suppliers in the industry, meaning prices have remained as low as possible, allowing for retailers of our products to get the highest margins possible.
We use two separate Javo Potting machines in our potting shed. One for the 1 litre range and then the other for the 3 litre range. At full capacity, we can turn out up to 30,000 1 litre pots per day and 15,000 3 litre pots per day when running both machines. Our 3L machine also runs with a Javo bark-topper to add a thin layer of bark topping to the pot, allowing us to keep plants moist for longer and suppress any weed growth.
Our compost arrives on site in 5 cubic metre compressed bales and contains a 12-15 month slow-release feed to encourage prolonged plant growth.
Tray fillers & trimmers
During 2020, after the impacts of the Coronavirus pandemic, we realised more and more that labour shortages and quality were going to be a real issue for our industry so we invested further into a second Javo Rotofill tray filler and Lanz V003 seed tray trimmer. These new machines allow us to now fill 1 litre and 3 litre seed trays much faster and on separate lines and also trim seed trays much faster and in a much less labour intensive way. Along with this, these new machines will further increase our in-house production capabilities and make product quality on some varieties much better.
In our propagation house we operate with a small team that is dedicated to producing the best quality, British grown product that we can offer. We produce close to 2.5m seed raised plugs every year and a further 1m cutting raised plugs every year. We run a state of the art Da Ros drum seeding machine that produces perfect seeded trays every time with very few losses per tray. Wherever possible we take cuttings from our own stock plants and now only rely on a few imported varieties that we cannot produce in this country as effectively. Moving the majority of young-plant production in-house has not only made us more efficient but also allowed us to manage batching much better and produce a hardier product through our own temperature controls.
crop & irrigation management
New bed management and spacing techniques mean we now lay all 1 litre product down onto beds in 10-cell trays to ensure plants are kept standing upright at all times. Despite this being a slightly more costly method of production, large sums of money are saved in the long run through reducing wastage from pots being knocked over when picking.
All beds now have rotorframe nozzle heads attached to the irrigation lines meaning coverage is much more even and a better crop is produced.