Grown in Wales

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Charles Warner

It's been such a mild winter this year or at least in comparison to the last three winters. The last few days has sen a change to something much more like the seasonal norm. Although we have had no snow fall here there are cars in the village with thick wodges of the stuff on their roofs (they probably spent the night in Crymych where it always snows. I can't remember a winter where there has been quite so much activity from the wild animals that are our neighbours. During January as soon as the sun went down the foxes began to bark. Even as I write this the trees seem to be alive with Owls and every time we sow seed of coriander or sage an army of mice seem to move in for a feast.

It's the last chance now to finish all those fiddly repair jobs and to have a good hard think about the preparations for the spring. The garden centres are already beginning to fill with spring bulbs which are a bit early this year. We have been preparing some of the hardier herbs and ornamentals for sale so that they are ready as soon as the garden centres want them. Little alpines are responding to the slightly longer days by forming flower buds. The beds are going to be a riot of colour this year.


February 2, 2012
1:24 pm
Thank you very much Sally for your comment. Sometimes I think that the plant buying public are more knowledgable about the peat issue than many of the plant retailers. The peat companies are always very quick to dis peat free composts as you would expect and often when people discover that we pot into a peat free medium the first thing they ask is "do you have any problems with it" I usually just show them the plants and the quality speaks for itself. Some of the garden centres that we supply are not 100% sold on it because they say that it dries more quickly than a peat based medium. They have a point. It does , a bit, and I can see how it can cause a bit of a management problem on a busy garden centre at peak season. I think though that this is a minor problem really and worth it to help protect a fragile and valuble rescource. When I get to speak to the public they seem to be much more aware of the issue and see it as a very positive selling point. I need to promote this a bit better at point of sale though. We no longer use intercept in the compost. I never felt that the nematodes gave a saisfactory control but this year we are using a new bio insecticide which is based on a fungi ( I can't remember the name of it now) . We are using enough compost to have our own mix done now by the supplier and it is saving us a huge amount of time on the nursery.

sally polson

February 2, 2012
11:10 am
Dear Charles,
Really pleased to see someone promoting peat free growing in Pembrokeshire, there have been a few of us peatfree growers down here for several years...check the Pembrokeshire Growers site;. but it looks as tho' you are using chemicals in your ornamentals.... I find the latest vine weevil nematode does survive the winter and is farely effective.
I'm hibernating today,despite the sun...
Happy Growing 2012!

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