Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Mr Fothergill’s Raises Over £70,000 for Royal Hospital Chelsea from Sales of Poppy Victoria Cross

September 11th, 2018 | News | 0 Comments

2018 is the hundredth anniversary of the end of World War I (1914-1918), and the Suffolk seedsman continues to support the Royal Hospital Chelsea (RHC). Mr Fothergill’s is delighted to announce that we have raised £73,000 for the charity since the first year of our partnership in 2014.

There are 1,000 stockists of the counter-top display units of fund-raising Poppy Victoria Cross around the UK, including Blue Diamond, Kew Gardens, RHS Gardens, QD stores and many leading garden centres. Mr Fothergill’s pledges 25p to the Royal Hospital’s charity for every packet of seed sold.

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Commercial Director, Tim Jeffries, said: “We are proud to be supporting the Royal Hospital Chelsea and pleased to see so many gardeners joining with us to do that. While the centenary of World War I draws to a close in 2018, our close links with the RHC will see us supporting their important work for many years to come.”

Poppy Victoria Cross is a popular choice among gardeners and makes a fitting remembrance symbol with its bold white ‘crosses’ across single red flowers. Easy to grow and quick to flower from a spring sowing, this form of Papaver somniferum is ideal for informal borders and cottage garden settings. Its distinctive ‘pepper-pot’ seedheads are also useful in dried arrangements when flowering ends.

Established in 1682 by Charles II to provide a safe home for military veterans ‘broken by age or war’, the Christopher Wren-designed Royal Hospital admitted its first pensioners in 1692. The scarlet tunics and black tricorns of its residents and the Royal Horticultural Society’s Flower Show held in the Royal Hospital grounds every May are equally well known and respected around the world.

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Poppy Victoria Cross seeds are available from garden retailers, www.mr-fothergills.co.uk and the Mr Fothergill’s Seed Catalogue. RRP £2.10 for 250 seeds.

Mr Fothergill’s Seeds Celebrates 40 Years of Success with Ruby Garden at Capel Manor

September 5th, 2018 | News | 0 Comments

In the last 40 years Mr Fothergill’s has proved to be a king of innovation, being the first seed company putting seed fill on the packets, adding modern QR codes that link to valuable growing guides and launching Optigrow – ‘the most exciting development for home gardeners since the introduction of F1 hybrids’.

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But more than this, we believe gardening is all about fun, enjoying nature and growing your own from seed. We share enthusiasm, expertise and passion with all hobby gardeners. Helping new growers and experienced ones is our priority, as well as being known for our big choice of both traditional and unusual seed varieties, wildflowers and exciting heirloom seeds.

To celebrate this success, we supplied the students at Capel Manor College with seeds and plants in shades of red with the aim of transforming the Mr Fothergill’s garden into a ruby themed dream – creating a stunning summer flower display for our 40th anniversary whilst helping them with their studies. Capel Manor College educates new generations of horticulturists, offering a range of courses for those who are interested in plants, trees and the environment.

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Some of the highlights from this display include Amaranthus Velvet Curtains, winner of an RHS Award of Garden Merit for reliability and good performance. A half hardy annual border plant with unusual rich, dark crimson foliage and flower heads that turn to seed and retain their colour for a long season of interest. Also a great cut flower, fresh or dried.

Begonia Starshine Red F1 is an exceptional begonia with an enormous amount of flower power – they really do keep on flowering come rain or shine, for months on end. This half hardy perennial is tough and resilient, perfect for creating cascades of colour in hanging baskets and containers.

Stunning Gailardia Firewheels flowers for most of the summer with single burgundy blooms based on long stems. A magnet for butterflies and other pollinators, making an outstanding addition to borders and wildlife areas with its long-lasting blooms.

Sweet Pea Scarlet Tunic was named in honour of the famous Chelsea Pensioners red coats and is a delightful blend of red shaded blooms. Mr Fothergill’s raised over £70000 for Royal Hospital Chelsea from the sales of Poppy Victoria Cross and Sweet Pea Scarlet Tunic.

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Pim Dickson, Horticultural & Technical Content Manager comments: ‘The Ruby Garden was created as a part of our Ruby Anniversary celebration. It’s a beautiful showcase for some of our most popular, as well as more unusual red flowered varieties, all of which produce a mass of flowers all summer long. Every year we design new spring and summer gardens and supply the seeds so horticultural students from Capel Manor College can grow the plants, plant them out and maintain the gardens as part of their studies.’

A dedicated leaflet can be found in The Ruby Garden greenhouse and at the Capel Manor Gardens entrance, which includes a map and details of all the flowers, along with a few words about Mr Fothergill’s anniversary.

To find out more about these seeds and the rest of the Mr Fothergill’s range, log on at www.mr-fothergills.co.uk

 

Six Ways to Extend Your Harvests

September 5th, 2018 | News | 0 Comments

Pickings from fruiting and pod-producing vegetables such as beans and tomatoes are coming thick and fast right now, but as summer wanes both the quantity of what you pick and how often you are able to pick it will begin to tail off.

Keeping these productive staples cropping for longer is the aim of the game, so read on or watch the video for some top tips to keep those pickings coming…

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Keep on picking

The first rule with any fruit or pod-producing vegetable is to keep up with the picking.

Leave those courgettes to swell into marrows and you’ll inadvertently slow the initiation of new flowers and fruits. Beans will also stop producing more pods if the existing ones are left to ripen to biological maturity – by forming seeds, the plants will have completed their lifecycle, and will have no reason to continue flowering.

Check plants every couple of days and remove fruits and pods before they get too large or overripe. And if you’re heading away from home for more than a week, encourage your neighbours to harvest them – they’ll get free food and you’ll come home to more pickings!

Keep watering

All vegetables need water, but fruit and pod-producing vegetables are particularly thirsty – water-stressed plants quickly slow down.

Aim to water regularly for consistent soil moisture which will encourage plenty of well-formed fruits and pods, free of problems such as blossom end rot. It will also avoid the annoyance of fruits splitting, which happens when they have dried out too much then receive a sudden deluge of water.

Continue feeding

Don’t scrimp on feeding your crops. Continue watering a suitable organic liquid fertiliser on to fruiting vegetables like tomatoes, peppers and aubergine.

Feeding plants costs money but does mean more fruits of better quality, so the investment is well worth it. Or why not make your own liquid feed from fast-growing, nutrient-rich plants such as comfrey?

Top up mulches

Mulches of organic material applied earlier in the season may now be looking a little scant.

Top up mulches with new material – straw that’s free of seeds is a great mulch for many fruit-bearing crops including, of course, strawberries. It’s naturally full of potassium, which fruit and pod-bearing plants love. Grass clippings are a ready-to-hand source of instant mulch too, and will help to keep plant roots cool and moist in hot, dry weather.

Let the sunshine in

Strong growth over the summer months can mean that taller plants cast shade where they didn’t before, compromising crops that need plenty of direct sunlight. Consider cutting back overhanging foliage and act promptly to remove spent crops so that those remaining enjoy plenty of sunshine and good air circulation.

In cooler climates, now may be the time to wash off or remove any greenhouse shading, to trap more of the late summer sunshine.

Keep plants warm

Later on in the season stragglers can be encouraged to keep producing for a week or two longer by adding the thermal comfort of a floating row cover such as horticultural fleece or plastic.

Remove covers during the day to enable pollination, then replace it in the evening to provide a little warmth and protection against lower temperatures.

 

If you have any advice on how to keep the pickings coming, comment below or head over to our Facebook and Twitter page.

 

 

Mr Fothergill’s Boosts its Plant Tonic Offering with NEW Seasol 4-Litre

September 4th, 2018 | News | 0 Comments

Buoyed by recent sales of our Seasol 1-litre product, which is now stocked in over 650 retail outlets nationwide, we’ve launched the seaweed-based plant tonic in a 4-litre format!

Ian Cross, Mr Fothergill’s Marketing Manager comments “The great thing about Seasol is that because it is a natural plant tonic, you can use it regularly throughout all stages of growth, from seed to mature plant, unlike chemical fertilisers. The new 4-litre bottle will not only give our customers great value for money, but as you can use Seasol on most areas of the garden, at any time of the year, it also won’t run out as quickly.”

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Seasol, a seaweed-based complete garden health treatment, is derived from a blend of the finest brown kelps and is proven to stimulate root development. The tonic also promotes healthy growth of plants, flowers and vegetables, enhances flowering and fruiting and increases resistance to heat, drought, frost, pests and diseases. It can be applied directly to soil or foliage, contains beneficial micro-nutrients and is also rich in trace elements.

Studies confirmed that soaking seeds in Seasol prior to sowing, or watering with Seasol immediately after sowing, gives seeds the best possible start in life and leads to vigorous, uniform plants.

Mr Fothergill’s trials team took seeds of Delphinium ‘Raider Mixed’, which is known to be tricky to germinate, and set about two separate trials. In the first, two seed trays were half-filled with multi-purpose compost and sown with delphinium seeds, which were covered with vermiculite. One tray was soaked from below with water, while the other was soaked from below in Seasol solution. Both trays were then left to germinate with no further watering.

Trials manager Brian Talman said: “The overall percentage of germination was better in the tray treated with Seasol, but it was the quality and the size of the seedlings that was visibly better. The cotyledons were slightly bigger and without any deformities, as opposed to the tray with Delphiniums that had not been treated with Seasol.” Two weeks on, seeds treated with Seasol had produced bigger and better plants, with more vigour and no deformities.

A second trial found that soaking seeds with Seasol prior to sowing offered improved germination. Two batches of fifteen seeds of Delphinium ‘Raider Mixed’ were sown in two 11cm pots of multi-purpose compost and covered with vermiculite – but only one batch of seeds had been soaked in Seasol for 15 hours prior to sowing, using 10ml of Seasol concentrate mixed in 500ml of water.

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Brian added: “Even though 7 seeds germinated in both pots, the advantage was once again clear for the Seasol-treated seed. The seedlings germinated quicker, were visibly bigger, with better vigour and no deformities. In comparison, the untreated seeds were slower to germinate and had slightly deformed cotyledons.” As plants were grown on, those treated with Seasol proved to be more vigorous, leading to bigger plants.

Overall, the trial found that seed treated with Seasol led to healthy plants with better colour and a more developed root system.

Seasol 1-litre (RRP £7.99) and NEW Seasol 4-litre (RRP £19.99) are available from selected garden retailers.

To find out more about Seasol and the rest of the Mr Fothergill’s range, log on at www.mr-fothergills.co.uk.

Carrots Take Centre Stage in Mr Fothergill’s New Variety Line-up for the 2019 Season

August 29th, 2018 | News | 0 Comments

Supporting Fleuroselect’s Year of the Carrot, Mr Fothergill’s has added four new varieties to its existing selection.

RHS AGM winner Carrot Malbec F1 (RRP £3.05 for 350 seeds) is a red long rooted, imperator type. It is perfect for roasting with exceptional flavour. The unusual hue makes it a greatest addition.

Carrot Gold Nugget F1 (RRP £3.05 for 350 seeds) produces long smooth-skinned yellow roots.

Exclusive to Mr Fothergill’s, Carrot Volcano F1 (RRP £3.05 for 350 seeds), distinguishes itself with strength and reliability. It is resistant to breakage, splitting and disease.

For maincrop, Carrot Purple Haze F1 (RRP £3.05 for 350 seeds) provides ‘Nantes’ type, dark purple roots with a bright orange core.

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Kale Candy Floss (RRP £2.10 for 50 seeds) features large leaves enveloping a central heart in an eye-catching pink colour. Its leaves are full of flavour and will retain the colour when cooked. It is a vibrant variety that can be grown for both ornamental and edible purposes.

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Other vegetable highlights include new and exclusive Dwarf French Bean Red Swan (RRP £3.05 for 100 seeds), a remarkably decorative heritage variety with pink flowers and pink tinged pods. For high yields of extra fine green pods Dwarf French Bean Nautica (RRP £2.75 for 100 seeds) is a perfect choice, whereas Dwarf French Bean Cala d’Or (RRP £2.75 for 100 seeds) provides large crops of yellow, great flavoured beans.

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Among the new flower varieties in Mr Fothergill’s, look out for Morning Glory Party Dress (RRP £2.30 for 30 seeds), which produces pink blooms that flower noticeably earlier than other cultivars. This vigorous climber will keep this colour spinning all summer long. Large magenta flowers contrast beautifully with white centres.

Other new introductions include Brachycome Blue Star (RRP £1.80 for 200 seeds), Cornflower Classic Fantastic (RRP £2.35 for 200 seeds), Poppy Lauren’s Grape (RRP £2.10 for 500 seeds), Silene Blue Angel (RRP £1.80 for 1000 seeds), Sweet Pea Balcony Mixed (RRP £2.35 for 25 seeds), Sweet Pea Teresa Maureen (RRP £2.35 for 20 seeds), Sweet Pea Terry Wogan (RRP £2.35 for 20 seeds), Sweet Pea Capel Manor (RRP £2.35 for 20 seeds).

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