Archive for the ‘News’ Category

The winner of RHS Chelsea Garden Product of the Year 2018 is…. Optigrow

May 23rd, 2018 | News | 0 Comments

We are delighted to announce that its cutting-edge range was awarded for quality, innovation and environmental sustainability!

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This year, the winner of the RHS Chelsea Garden Product of the Year 2018 is Mr Fothergill’s Optigrow seeds which competed for the prestigious title with 11 eclectic finalists.

Optigrow is a revolutionary, non-chemical seed priming treatment that uses only water and air to get the seed biologically ready for germination, breaking dormancy prior to use. It is then quickly dried back to a storable state for packing, just like any other seed. The treatment means seeds wake up and get underway within hours of hitting the soil.

Not only do Optigrow seeds promise superfast germination, they are also proven to produce vigorous seedlings able to out-grow competing weeds. Extensive trialling of Optigrow seeds under garden conditions has consistently produced more uniform crops, better harvests and quality vegetables.

There is also evidence that germination becomes possible under a wider range of conditions, allowing gardeners to sow Optigrow seeds in colder, warmer and drier conditions than the ideal.


The judges said: ‘In a world where we are trying to remove the use of chemicals, this unique non-chemical process naturally prepares seeds for more successful sowing. Anything that removes disappointment in seeds germination it to be welcomed.’

Our Retail Marketing Manager, Ian Cross, said: ‘We are very pleased that Optigrow was recognised by the judges. Seed priming has been used in professional growing for many years but launch of this range marks a real step change in the seed market. It presents the professional and hobby gardener alike with genuine and valuable performance benefits. It is the most exciting development for home gardeners since the introduction of F1 hybrid seed varieties. ‘

We are Celebrating the Year of the Carrot with Four Vibrant Carrots Added to our Line Up for the 2019 Season

May 23rd, 2018 | News | 0 Comments


Supporting Fleuroselect’s Year of the Carrot, we have 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.

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.



Among the new flower varieties look at 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 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)

We are Teaming up with the RHS to Send Seeds to Syrian Refugees

May 23rd, 2018 | News | 0 Comments

Hundreds of Syrian refugees from the Domiz Camp in Northern Iraq are benefiting from receiving 2,000 flower and vegetable seed packets, from Mr Fothergill’s Seeds.

Sent as part of a project set up by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) and The Lemon Tree Trust, the seeds were specially chosen by 200 Syrian families, who despite living in difficult circumstances, hope to gain some joy from the benefits of gardening. The list was made up of varieties that would bring colour to the camp and could be grown in the harsh conditions, including marigolds, sunflowers, peppers and cucumbers.

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The delivery of seeds to the refugee camp is reminiscent of a similar act, a hundred years ago, when the RHS sent seeds to British prisoners of war in the Ruhleben camp in Germany. Both instances showing that gardening and plants can bring hope, comfort and sanctuary to those displaced by war.

Tim Jeffries, our Commercial Director commented “We were absolutely delighted to be able to help out the RHS and The Lemon Tree Trust by donating seeds from our ranges. We hope that they will provide some pleasure for those living in the difficult conditions of the Domiz Camp.”

‘The Lemontree Trust Garden’ designed by Tom Massey, is being showcased at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show this year and is inspired by the gardening in the Domiz Camp, where the seeds were sent.

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Natural Plant Tonic Gets Seeds off to a Flying Start

May 21st, 2018 | News | 0 Comments

• Trials revealed that Seasol improves seed germination rates
• Organic seaweed treatment boosts quality and size of seedlings
• Seasol helps to produce bigger, more vigorous plants with no deformities

Seasol, the organic plant tonic from Mr Fothergill’s, improves seed germination rates, leading to bigger, stronger seedlings – trials have shown.

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.

Our 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.

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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.

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, a seaweed-based complete garden health treatment derived from a blend of the finest brown kelps, is proven to stimulate root development, promote healthy growth of plants, flowers and vegetables, enhance flowering and fruiting and increase resistance to heat, drought, frost, pests and diseases.

The product, which is exclusive to Mr Fothergill’s in the UK, can be applied directly to soil or foliage. It contains beneficial micro-nutrients and is rich in trace elements. A 1-litre bottle has an RRP of £7.99 and is available at garden centres now, or direct from Mr Fothergill’s website.

We are joining forces with BBC Children in Need

May 16th, 2018 | News | 0 Comments


We are delighted to announce our new partnership with BBC Children in Need, to launch two seed packets for children – Sunflower Pudsey and Pumpkin Pudsey. For each packet sold, Mr Fothergill’s will donate 30p to BBC Children in Need, to help make a real difference to the lives of children all across the UK.


The bright and fun packets have an RRP of £1.99 each and are available as a compact counter top display unit of 40 packets or as a hot spot stand of 150 packets. Colourful and eye-catching POS is included on the displays, featuring the familiar Pudsey Bear character.


About BBC Children in NeedMr-Fothergills-seed-packets-dispenser-in-aid-of-BBC-children-in-need

BBC Children in Need believe that every child in the UK should have a childhood which is safe, happy and secure and allows them the chance to reach their potential. To help achieve their vision, they provide grants to projects in the UK which focus on children and young people who are disadvantaged. They currently support 2,400 of these projects.
Since 1980, over £800 million has been raised in aid of BBC Children in Need.
To find out more about the Mr Fothergill’s range, log on at or telephone 01638 554111.