On a daily basis Nursery Workers and Team Leaders are allocated to Supervisors and Crop Growers in order to carry out a wide range of nursery work. This includes pest and disease identification and control, grading to maintain quality, trimming, watering and testing irrigation, as well as propagation, potting, despatch, crop protection, maintenance and laboratory work, which are explained in more detail here.
PROPAGATION- Close to half a million plants are propagated annually in-house, about 50% of our total plant production. Three specialist propagators undertake this work with additional support during our busy spring period. The humidity and temperature controlled Propagation house contains up to a maximum of 150,000 cuttings at any one time. Propagation techniques utilised include cuttings, division and grafting.
POTTING- Almost all of Walberton’s one million plants are potted on one of three potting machines. The Javo potting machine can pot 1-3L products and a team of four can pot and place on the ground on average 1,400 pots per hour. Our growing media are peat-reduced with a minimum of 25% non-peat materials and are supplied in ‘big bale’ format. Mixes are tailored to meet crop specific requirements.
DESPATCH- The Despatch teams lift product in bulk onto Danish trolleys. They are delivered to the Farplants Finishing Centre (FC), accessed by internal road using a tractor and 12 trolley trailer. The FC Team clean the plants and apply colour and customer specific retail price labels. On a busy day up to 330 trolleys may be delivered from our main site and a further 100 trolleys from our rented sites at The Haven and Strathmore.
CROP PROTECTION – A service department comprising two highly skilled NRoSO accredited operators. As a BOPP accredited business we work to a strict Integrated Crop Management Programme (ICMP), which ensures that the minimum of pesticides are applied to a crop. Our aim is to be good growers working within clean, healthy environments, where the risk of pest and disease is reduced.
LABORATORY - The Lab develops and supports our nursery breeding programme, producing elite propagation stock and initial multiplication of new plants. Much of our work is to test for virus and to clean up stock where needed by meristem culture techniques. We also undertake work for other members of The Farplants Group. The Team develops protocols for a number of our exclusive introductions including Helleborus ‘Rosemary’. We also send micro-propagated material around the world in order to supply our elite stock to other countries and to support our plant breeding programme.