Developing nutrient management guidance for Hardy Nursery Stock


Summary:  This proposal has been developed in consultation with a consortium of key researchers and growers working across the Horticulture sectors. The work programme focusses on collating and generating data to provide nutrient management recommendations and industry guidance.  Data generation to address current knowledge gaps will be informed by literature review and grower holding nutrient response testing.  Integration of the industry will be key in providing realistic recommendations and the actual impact of any change in nutrient management on marketable yield and the environment at a commercial scale.  

More specifically, there is currently no guidance in the current edition of RB209 for ornamental crops, but there is potential for improved nutrient management practices to better control growth and scheduling and reduce nutrient loss from small containerised production modules.  Hardy Nursery Stock presents the opportunity for dynamic nutrient management of controlled release and liquid fertiliser in containerised systems, particularly for plants grown over more than one season and under protected and outdoor conditions.  A number of plant nutrient status measurement techniques are available and will be tested for improved timing, application and loss practice. 

Project code:
HNS 200
02 April 2019 - 31 March 2022
AHDB sector cost:
Project leader:


HNS 200_Annual report 1_WP2_30.11.20 HNS 200_Grower Summary Annual report 1_WP2_30.11.20 HNS 200_Annual report 1_WP3_30.11.20 HNS 200_Grower Summary Annual report 1_WP3_30.11.20 HNS 200_Annual report 2_WP3_31.03.21 HNS 200_Grower Summary Annual report 2_WP3_31.03.21

About this project

AimThe overarching aim of this project is to produce clear nutrient management recommendations for growers of hardy nursery stock (field and container). The recommendations will help growers to optimise nutrient management and minimise the environmental impact of their business activities.


1. To improve deficiency recognition and avoidance
2. To establish baseline information on nutrition for field-grown HNS (trees and roses)
3. To improve knowledge of CRF release and nutrient leaching
4. To determine best practice application of foliar feeds and fertigation or liquid feeding (timing, application rate, mode of application)
5. Establish baseline nutrition information for specific, or problem crops (Vinca, Choisya ‘Sundance’, Daphne, Cornus canadensis), or groups of crops (ferns)
6. Work should include literature reviews and a range of trials, shorter term or longer term as appropriate
7. Knowledge exchange to include provision of speakers for AHDB or third parties events throughout the project duration

8. Provide suitable new guidance to sit alongside the Nutrient Management Guide (RB209) 

Benefits to Industry: If available - Copy in from proposal/application form, otherwise leave off.