Location
The Pot and Bedding Plant Centre - New product opportunities for pot and bedding plant growers

Research

PO 019 - The Pot and Bedding Plant Centre - New product opportunities for pot and bedding plant growers

Start Date: 
01/10/2014
Completion Date: 
31/03/2017
Project Leader: 
Dr Jill England, ADAS
Code: 
PO 019

Industry representative: Caroline Shove, Bryants Nurseries

HDC total project cost: £100,000

 

Project summary:

This project will provide a focal point to test and bring to market innovative products and approaches to growing for the UK Horticulture pot and bedding plant sector. UK pot and bedding plant businesses continue to be challenged by downward pressure on price points, spiralling input costs, unpredictable pest and disease pressure and the vagaries of the UK climate whilst producing quality plants that meet retailer specifications and consumers who seek novel and inspiring plant products
for their gardens.
This proposal is aimed at growers who produce finished plants on a typical bedding and pot plant nursery, who rely more heavily on growing skills than high tech glasshouse systems (i.e. the type of structure that the majority of small to medium growers might use, it could be a glasshouse or polytunnel; facilities with some heat, but limited technical equipment such as lighting and screens).
It seeks to 1) trial and demonstrate new crops and varieties with potential to be marketed as novel, niche and/or value added products and for season extension, 2) to provide practical solutions to problems encountered on by growers, 3) provide a forum for dialogue between growers, breeders, retailers and researchers.
Trial work and open days will be hosted by a centrally located Pot and Bedding Plant Centre based at Baginton Nurseries. This will become a recognised centre for pot and bedding plant product development and research, providing a focal point for plant breeders, and companies associated with ornamental horticulture to approach for independent assessment of their products, and to stimulate future plant breeding developments and research targeted at Industry needs.
 
Aims and objectives:
 
Aim:
To develop a programme of work that delivers new product opportunities or answers to
production problems for demonstration to and immediate uptake by pot and bedding plant
growers.
 
Objectives:
The overall objective of the project is to deliver a series of approximately five small scale, but statistically robust, work packages per year to:
  • trial potential new crops/varieties as new products and to extend the growing season
  • to provide practical solutions to problems encountered on standard nurseries
  • demonstrate the results to industry with supporting cultural information
  • provide a financial and technical impact assessment of the work on commercial production as it becomes available
  • provide a forum for dialogue between growers, breeders, retailers and researchers.

Specific objectives:

The specific objectives relate to the work packages (WPs) described within this proposal:

  • WP1. Design and deliver trials of new pot and bedding plant varieties that offer new product
    opportunities or resolve production issues.
  • WP2. Design and deliver trials investigating production of pot and bedding plant varieties
    under cooler/cold growing conditions.
  • WP3. Design and deliver trials of perennials in pots and packs targeting the early spring
    market.
  • WP4. Design and deliver trials to identify plant material suitable for production as added value
    product lines/niche/novel crops.
  • WP5. Design and deliver trials to investigate further and demonstrate the use of cultural and non-chemical techniques to manipulate plant growth.

The specific objectives are for small scale, discrete trials and are not interdependent.