It’s nearly time to trade again and we’re super excited, our first ever full growing season!
In this post we want to talk about what we’ll be doing and why, but first, we have to overcome some obstacles!
As those who have followed us know, we weren’t looking for a business, but one was born out of a concern to for nature. with limited space and money,
This presents some challenges, for example, how does a company with limited time, money and land go about its business, looking after living plants?
Well, read on and we’ll tell you how with our plans for the coming year, but first, let’s recap on last year.
We started operating on the first of May, with most of our plants being sold as 9cm potted plants. Plants at this size are excellent value if you have a large bed to fill as they can be planted straight away, but for us as a grower, they can quickly become pot bound if we don’t pot them on. Last year, with a late start, and therefore shorter growing window, that wasn’t an issue and we had plans to use unsold surplus stock at an allotment in a bid to help wildlife beyond our garden boundary. This year our growing window is longer, meaning we’ve had to think of a way to deal with this, especially as both garden and allotment are now full of lovely wildlife friendly plants. So, this year, our plan is as follows!
- Plug Plants – Having invested in a mist propagation system with heat mats, we will be growing some plants from seed to sell as plug plants for sale. These will be very cheap due to having little expense and handling time, but they will have to be potted on into 9cm pots to grow on, before being able to plant out.
- 9cm Potted Plants – Garden ready plants that should flower in the first year, looking great by the second. These are great value when large borders need to be filled.
- 2/3 Litre Potted Plants – These will be at least a year old and will look great in an established border, being able to hold their own more in weedy plots and more able to resist an attack from pests. For instant impact you can’t beat these, and the birds, bees and butterflies will thank you too!
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So, we have limited space and money, but hopefully the above will give you an idea as to some of the things we’re doing to overcome the obstacles to present opportunities.
By growing from seed, we should be able reduce our costs and become less reliant on growers who set the market prices, whilst you, our customer, has the opportunity now to buy plug plants at a reduced cost, whilst getting all the pleasure of growing them on before planting them out. Hopefully, with plug plants being available earlier, we will generate the cash flow necessary to buy in extra stock of 9cm plants, getting round the plant breeders right issue, whilst also negating the lack of space to grow all of our own plants. Any left-over plug plants will go into 9cm pots to increase our range and be sold as a garden ready plant. Having the mist propagation system now means we’ll be in a position to take cuttings and raise divisions from mid-summer onwards. This is great news for us as it will mean we have plants ready the for following year.
9cm plants are a great size to us as we can overcome our space issue and offer a larger variety of plants at the same time, but again, as discussed, they will at some point need potting on, which is where space would then become an issue again, so basically, you must buy our plants!
Last year, providing a range of 2/3 litre this wasn’t an option, but this year we’ve made a nursery bed as it means that we can grow on our 9cm plants (some companies simply throw theirs away at the end of the year) and give you a more mature and established plant for the border, which is another way in which we are overcoming obstacles to present opportunities! One thing we are always concerned about is the environment, after all, we’re a wildlife friendly plant company, and part of our concern was to do with water. We have invested in a capillary style watering system. Plants will now have constant access to water, taking up only what they need and never going without, which results in a stronger, healthier plant!
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