Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Tomato Red Bodyguard F1 remains exclusive after impressive show in Mr Fothergill’s Trial

February 16th, 2017 | News, The vegetable garden | 0 Comments

Tomato Red Bodyguard F1 “Outstanding in every respect” is how Mr Fothergill’s technical manager Alison Mulvaney describes the company’s British-bred tomato Red Bodyguard F1, as she reveals its exclusivity is being extended for a second season in 2017. “Once again it was trouble-free to grow, and produced a heavy crop of really tasty, succulent beefsteak fruits in our 2016 trial”, she reports. “In addition, several of our team grew it in their own greenhouses at home last year, and were equally impressed as we were by the plants in our trial”.

Tomato Red Bodyguard F1The tomato derives its rather unusual name from a book written about the beneficial properties of the tomato. “The Red Bodyguard: The Amazing Health-promoting Properties of the Tomato” by Ron Levin is published in its third edition by IRIS (International) Ltd. Ron’s daughter-in-law Sarah Levin contacted Mr Fothergill’s to see if a new tomato might be named in honour of her father-on-law’s 90th birthday. The company read Ron’s book and liked the idea.

Tomato Red Bodyguard F1 is the result of various crosses made by renowned breeder Simon Crawford using seed harvested from Mr Fothergill’s trial ground. The result is an indeterminate, early cropping, high yielding, new strain, with some resistance to late blight, which produces medium-sized, juicy, delicious and aromatic fruits.

Ron Levin, a Fellow of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, was intrigued by the World Health Organisation’s promotion of eating portions of fruit and vegetables a day, and wondered whether some were better than others for human health. He read hundreds of studies on tomatoes, and the more he read the more he was convinced of the remarkable properties of the tomato. “The ripe red tomato is surely a health gift from Nature”, says Ron. It was this huge amount of research which spurred him to write “The Red Bodyguard” in the hope of making as many people as possible aware of it.

Tomato Red Bodyguard F1A packet of 10 seeds of tomato Red Bodyguard F1 costs £1.99. It is available from garden centres and other retail outlets throughout the UK, and from Mr Fothergill’s mail order catalogue. Seed can be sown from February to April. The plants require support, the removal of side-shoots, and should be grown in a greenhouse or polytunnel.

Mr Fothergill’s Lightning Seeds Walk For Garden Re-Leaf Day 2017

January 31st, 2017 | News | 0 Comments

We are hoping gardeners throughout the UK will support a team of seven of its staff – the self-styled Lightning Seeds – who will be undertaking a 20-mile walk on Friday, 17 March to help raise funds for the Greenfingers Garden Re-Leaf Day. Many of our stockists also support Greenfingers, the charity dedicated to creating magical gardens for children’s hospices.

lightning seedsMr Fothergill’s team comprises Samantha Broadway, David Carey, Ian Cross, Tim Jeffries, Richard Keegan, Alison Mulvaney and Alison Roberts. To donate, please go to the JustGiving page to donate.

We have also pledged 25p to Greenfingers for every packet of its newly launched, exclusive sweet pea Greenfingers, 20 seeds priced at £2.45, the company sells through its retailers and mail order catalogue, and hopes gardeners will want to grow it this summer.

David Carey commented “The prospect of the walk is a little daunting, but we are delighted to lend our weight to such a worthwhile cause – and by launching sweet pea Greenfingers as well, we hope we can raise the charity’s profile with our customers, Britain’s gardeners and the garden trade, not just on Garden Re-Leaf Day, but throughout the year”.

Sweet pea Greenfingers has an old-fashioned grandiflora flower form and the strong, memorable scent associated with those types in their Victorian heyday; its blooms are a rich cream with a delicate wire rim or picotée of pale violet. The climber is well suited to both garden display and as a cut flower, when its fragrance fills a room.
About Greenfingers
Greenfingers is a national charity dedicated to supporting the children who spend time in hospices around the UK, along with their families, by creating inspiring gardens for them to relax in and enjoy. The Charity makes beautiful, well-designed outdoor spaces for children to share with family, friends and siblings, whether through play and fun, or therapeutic rest and relaxation. To date Greenfingers Charity has created 51 such gardens and outdoor spaces, and has a further waiting list of hospices that need its help.

For more information on our range of seeds you can visit the website here, or to request a catalogue please fill out the form here.

Mr Fothergill’s Potty about Petunias

January 30th, 2017 | News, The flower garden | 0 Comments

Three new trailing petunias which feature in the recPetunias - Press Releaseently published Spring Planting Flowers, Fruit and Vegetable 2017 catalogue were chosen not only for their unique colour combinations and length of flowering, but also for their remarkable ability to continue shining through unscathed even during spells of heavy rain.

Perfect for hanging baskets, Amore Queen of Hearts is quite stunning, with masses of bicolour blooms of yellow and rosy red. East Anglian-bred Designer Buzz Purple has large, bright flowers with a contrasting lime green edge and a darker centre, while Designer Ink Splash is also eye-catching, having large violet heads, each with a soft, central white star and contrasting white picotée. Five plants of any of the three vegetatively-propagated introductions cost £8.95, but two packs can be ordered for just £7.45 each – a saving of £3.00

Viewed immediately after a full day of rain in summer 2016, the three varieties stood out for their resistance to the soaking they received. Our horticultural team were also impressed by the large number of flowers they bore and, viewed through several weeks, the flower colours did not fade, but retained their richness.

All three new varieties are easy to grow and care for, with just dead-heading and regular feeding required, and they look particularly effectively when just one variety is planted per container.

For more information on our range of seeds you can visit the website here, or to request a catalogue please fill out the form here.

Help fellow gardeners to keep those pests away, the Big Bug Hunt is on!

January 30th, 2017 | News, The flower garden, The vegetable garden | 0 Comments


Big Bug Hunt - Butterfly

Butterflies help pollinate some crops when they visit open flowers to sip nectar.

At Mr Fothergill’s we are also keen gardeners.  There is nothing more devastating in the vegetable plot than an attack of ‘bad bugs’ and we are always keen to figure out ways to encourage ‘good bugs’ by creating good environments for pollinators in the garden.

We think it would be great to know when pests are going to attack and finally there may be a new solution.

A major international science project plans to help you do exactly that by collecting information about garden bug behaviour with the aim of notifying gardeners when pests are heading their way.

Organisers of The Big Bug Hunt are inviting gardeners from across the country to report sighting of bugs as they appear. The project has already found patterns of when and how key pests spread – but more reports will speed up development of the final pest-alert system. The aim is to provide gardeners with early-warning emails when pests are heading their way – great news for organic gardeners relying on preventative measures to outwit pests!

This research isn’t easy and The Big Bug Hunt team has major plans for the coming year as they examine how different weather patterns affect the way pests spread.

Big Bug Hunt - Flea Beetle

Flea beetles chew tiny round holes in the top sides of leaves, with damage to leafy greens being most severe in spring.

Project Coordinator Jeremy Dore explains: “Last year we received more than 11,000 reports and with The Big Bug Hunt now firmly established we expect to receive even more. The more reports we get, the stronger the data and the sooner we can turn the results into an invaluable service for gardeners.

“After just one year we’ve already significantly improved methods of predicting major pests, such as aphids. By joining in with The Big Bug Hunt, gardeners have the opportunity to make a meaningful contribution towards tackling pests. A pest-alert system like the one we’re developing is within our grasp and stands to make organic control methods dramatically more effective.”

Any pest, from slugs to aphids, can be reported. The Big Bug Hunt is also tracking beneficial bugs such as bees, currently suffering serious population declines, to learn more about their range and spread.

If you’re interested in getting involved with The Big Bug Hunt, it’s easy. You can send any reports to Big Bug Hunt website, which you can find here. The website includes detailed pest identification guides – with effective treatment and prevention idea. If we all work together to beat the pests, our gardens will bloom more than ever!


Louis King appointed to rule London and Kent

January 18th, 2017 | News | 0 Comments

Louis KingEssex-based Louis King has been appointed territory manager for Kent and most of London by Mr Fothergill’s. He comes to us from a similar rôle with Unilever. Prior to this, Louis lived in Sweden for eight years, where he was a semi-professional footballer.

Announcing the appointment, our joint-managing director David Carey said “This is an additional territory manager appointment, bringing us up to 16 in our field teams. We believe we have the largest UK seed-dedicated field-team in the market and our team expansion is in keeping with our belief in being ‘traditional’ seedsmen, and the importance of customer service and seed stand management. This belief has been reflected in several sales successes in recent years”.

Louis King will be introduced to Mr Fothergill’s stockists in the near future. In his leisure time he continues his keen interest in football and gym work.

For more information on our range of seeds you can visit the website here, or to request a catalogue please fill out the form here.