Posts Tagged ‘plant trials’

Seeds Tested Whatever the Weather

August 9th, 2018 | News | 0 Comments

As all gardeners know, 2018 has been a challenging year weather-wise and Mr Fothergill’s, the UK leading seed company, can confirm it from their Suffolk weather station data!

In the February to August period the range of temperature was 41C, between -7.2c and +33.8C.
After a particularly cold and wet winter, where temperatures were at freezing from early October and still very cold well into May, the weather changed dramatically. The great drought then arrived in the main growing period with 54 days of no rain – only 21 mm coming on the day the heatwave broke on Friday 27th July when the temperature also peaked at 33.8C.

In June and July 2018 Mr Fothergill’s experienced 33 days where the temperature was over 24C. In June and July 2017 there were only 6 days including the annual high of 27C!

From January to the end of July 2018 Mr Fothergill’s received 230mm of rain which is actually more than the same period in 2017. The difference was distribution with most of that rain coming in the first three months of the year and little since while it was more evenly spread over the six month is 2017.

Despite the vagaries of the UK weather, the seed trials were doing their job at Mr Fothergill’s and looked superb. In this way the company are testing all their varieties in real life conditions to ensure everything is fit for purpose for the home gardener.

Rachel Cole, Seeds Manager at Mr Fothergill’s said: “The weather is different every year and that’s why our trial grounds are so important to us. We can be sure of the quality of everything we sell and absolutely certain things will perform in UK conditions, however varied. Our weather station has proved invaluable in allowing us to track performance against conditions.”

The Nation of Gardeners are planting out and growing is underway

November 8th, 2013 | Nation of Gardeners, News, The vegetable garden | 0 Comments

Sixteen enthusiastic amateur gardeners representing all the UK mainland regions are busily toiling away helping create the first growing map of the country as part of Mr Fothergill’s Nation of Gardeners campaign.

Nation of Gardeners Pontypridd October Broad BeansThey are being sent monthly parcels of flower, fruit and vegetable seeds, plants and bulbs and reporting on how they are growing, eventually helping produce a regularly updated map of mainland Britain showing what is growing where and when.  With Britain’s changing weather conditions the map will become an essential tool for gardeners and garden centres, enabling them to plan their activities more accurately.

In October, the Nation of Gardeners group received their first parcel, which was broad beans, sweet peas and garlic.   The first green shoots of spring 2014 were spotted quickly by the group.  From as far afield as Glasgow, Buckinghamshire, Staffordshire and Devon members reported signs of broad bean growth within a few days of planting.

“We asked them to plant everything around the same date across the country so that we can monitor progress in the various areas,” says John Fothergill.  “Members communicate via social media, giving regular updates on how the plants and seeds are performing.  We will be able to see the true differences between autumn compared to spring planting as the members will be sent the same broad beans, sweet peas and garlic again in the spring.”

“Already we have seen fascinating differences from the group with different approaches to sowing sweet peas.  This has prompted us to examine how seeds should be treated before sowing. What gets the best results; soaking, chipping, pouring on boiling water or just leaving it to nature?” says commercial director Tim Jeffries.

To follow the Nation of Gardeners progress, follow the hashtag #nationofgardeners on Facebook and Twitter

Grown in October were the following varieties: