Author Archives: Shaun Bowen

Endosan Water Treatment

Last year we started using hydrogen peroxide as a water treatment method.

Using Endosan gave us the advantage of extending the period of time that hydrogen peroxide remains active in the water in low concentrations all the way down the irrigation lines and our capillary beds. The active ingredient, stabilised with silver ions, worked extremely well in high concentrations as an irrigation system cleaner.

The dosing system incorporates a high injector ratio pump, resistant to corrosive chemicals. Fine tuning the pump allows us to achieve the desired concentration, whether for shock treatment or in conjunction with a pulse meter for continuous treatment. The system is very easy to connect, maintain and adjust.

Endosan Hydrogen Peroxide treatment equipment

Our Endosan Hydrogen Peroxide treatment equipment

Healthy and vigorous Agapanthus root growthUnlike chlorine, hydrogen peroxide degrades quickly and doesn’t leave any residue, which makes it more environmental friendly. Its effectiveness is relatively unaffected by pH changes. Continuous dosing at low concentration doesn’t affect biological control. We didn’t notice any reduction of activity and effectiveness of Nemasys in our applications. Also, when hydrogen peroxide products degrade, oxygen is produced. That can be very beneficial for the plants when located in the root zone.

We can see the improvement in root condition of our overwintered production already.

We also noticed a significant decrease in leaf nematode activity. It is unclear yet how much we can credit to continuous treatment with hydrogen peroxide. Some researchers suggest that H2O2 has a direct and indirect effect on nematode eggs and hatched juveniles and boosts plant resistance to infection. We are still at the early stages of finding out.

Read more about Endosan here.

Dawid Handswchuh-Pawlak, February 2016

How to grow Agapanthus

These tips will help you keep your Agapanthus plants looking great.

Planting in the Garden – Agapanthus thrive in well-drained soil, in a sunny site that receives sun for most of the day. In heavy soils, mix in grit when planting to improve drainage, otherwise follow the instructions on the reverse of the label. Dwarf plants can be planted 30cm apart and larger forms 60cm.

Hardiness – Agapanthus have fleshy roots and leaves which can make them prone to frost damage. The hardiest of Agapanthus are deciduous, dying down in winter. They will survive most UK conditions once they are established.

Evergreen types are more tender and their leaves can be damaged by
frosts. Therefore, a mulch of straw or fleece is advisable when young
plants are establishing or extreme cold (below -5C) is forecast.
Established clumps of evergreen Agapanthus can withstand -10C to -15C
if the ground is well drained, but the number of flowers maybe reduced
the following summer. Planting in beds against house walls can reduce the likeliness of frost damage.

Growing in pots – Evergreen cultivars are especially suited to being grown in pots, allowing them to be brought into a conservatory or greenhouse for the
winter. Use a loam based compost like John Innes No3 with slow release
Miracle Grow granules added for long term feed. Liquid feed with Miracle Grow All Purpose Feed during the growing season. Overcrowded plants should be re-potted in spring.

Feeding – Agapanthus are quite hungry feeders so liquid feeding plants in
containers with Miracle.Gro liquid feed during the growing season is
important. A sprinkle of Sulphate of potash can also encourage flower
quantity and colour. Avoid giving plants too much Nitrogen or you will
encourage lush leaves at the expense of flowers.

Pruning – Flower stems should be cut down after flowering, unless you wish to
leave them for winter structure in the garden, or spray them silver or gold once dried as Christmas decorations.

Dividing and encouraging flowering – Plants that don’t flower or are over-crowded may be divided in late summer after flowering or in early spring. Large plants maybe pulled apart using 2 forks after lifting from the ground or removing from the pot. Agapanthus doesn’t like to be re-potted into pots that are too spacious as this will encourage leaf growth rather than flower production. Ideal conditions are provided where root development is restricted but the plants are well watered and fed through the growing season. The belief that flower production is maximised when the roots are climbing out of the pot is not correct.

Fairweather’s and the Saints Foundation

Fairweather’s Wholesale Nursery has been helping provide employment opportunities for young adults.

See how the Saints Foundation programme has helped participant Drew Mainwaring get on the employment ladder at our wholesale Nursery:

From the Saints Foundation website:

Southampton Football Club embraces its role within the community and is committed to ensuring the power of football can have a lasting impact. The Saints Foundation is an independent charity aligned to Southampton Football Club using the brand of the Saints and sport in general, as a tool of engagement working outside the traditional boundaries of the National Game.

The Charity works with over 25,000 individual participants each year, accumulating to over 200,000 visits across a range of projects within the core themes of; Football & Sports Participation, Education, Youth Engagement, Disability Sport and Homelessness.

Trollius Dancing Flame at Chelsea

Patrick Fairweather was at Chelsea Flower Show with our new Trollius ‘Dancing Flame’

Trollius dancing Flame Trollius Dancing Flame Trollius 'Dancing Flame'

Bred by Patrick Fairweather, Trollius Dancing Flame is a stunning deciduous perennial being launched at the Chelsea Flower Show 2014.

It has large, bright orange flowers with striking upright inner petals that appear to glow in the sunlight. It enjoys sun and thrives in moist soils.

There are around 30 different species of Trollius, native to stream banks and wet meadows in the mountains of Europe, Northern Asia and North America.

This is a truly hardy perennial that will brighten up the dullest of gardens.

UPDATE: Trollius Dancing Flame qualified in the top 20 for ‘Plant of the Year’.

Lavandula Little Lady

Lavandula 'Little Lady'Are you after a hardy compact lavender?

Look no further than Little Lady. With her masses of clear light-Blue flowers she will only reach 40cm in 5 years. Even though smaller in size, she still fills a pot nicely and is just as fragrant.

If you have customers asking for a Lavender that creates a low hedge or to edge a path, then this is the perfect specimen for the job.

We have 9cm ready for dispatch.