Posts Tagged ‘trials grounds’

Mr F HQ Gets a New Toy for Trials Grounds

April 12th, 2019 | News | 0 Comments

We’ve got a new toy here at Mr Fothergill’s HQ!

We’ve set up a time lapse camera overlooking our Kentford trials grounds for this upcoming season, so month by month you can follow the progress being made in the run up to Mr F’s annual Press Day, where members of the gardening media world are given the chance to take a look around the grounds. On the trials grounds, we grow thousands of varieties of seeds from our range to test them for performance, as well as new varieties that we’re considering including in our future range. It’s an incredible feat of gardening that our Trials Manager Brian is able to meticulously plan for all the different varieties of flowers and vegetables to be at their very best and in bloom all simultaneously in time for Press Day, don’t you think?

Check out the videos below for what’s gone on each month.

In March, arguably not a lot happened – except for some speedy ploughing.

April‘s video shows the grounds being prepped, ready to begin sowing in the beginning weeks of May (please excuse the darker parts of film, we’re still working out the kinks with our new technology). Plus, take a look at the bonus footage from inside the tunnels! This month involved sowing flowers and veg that will eventually be transplanted to the field, as well as peppers and tomatoes that will stay in the tunnel.

May was still very much dominated by brown field, but some promising spots of green start to appear at the end as this month we began direct sowing and transplanting from the polytunnel. Features lots of (mostly) lovely weather – plus blink and you’ll miss the beekeeper!

In June, you can really see things starting to take shape! This month featured a lot of typically British summertime weather, from some heavy downpours of rain to then a fair bit of sun. All the direct-sown plants are in the ground and growing, and all the plants grown in the polytunnel have now been transplanted to their final growing positions, after having had a period to harden off at the side of the trials grounds where they’re covered in fleece overnight if the temperature drops. Where you can see the canes with the white bottles on top is our staff competition area, where those competing have been asked to grow a small children’s garden from seed, which will be judged by a visiting journalist on Press Day!

There’s also some more bonus footage from inside the tunnels this month! The polytunnel now has a different purpose since the earlier plants that were started off indoors have been transplanted outside, and is now the home of our growing tomato and pepper plants. The tomatoes are in the centre and the peppers are on either side, with sweet peppers on one side and the chilli peppers growing nearest the camera. The chilli plants are especially fun to watch – as they’re growing they look like they’re dancing!

Be sure to watch this space for monthly updates of behind the scenes footage straight from Mr F HQ as the year goes on!