Our Expert Nursery Team
Operating from 3 nurseries in Jersey, all nursery operations are overseen by our expert horticulturist Peter Clark along with our dedicated growing team. Peter has been with Gardening Direct since we started in 1996 and has a massive 35 years' growing expereince.
Located in the beautiful parish of St Ouen in the North West of the island with fantastic views of Jersey's Atlantic coast, we currently operate over 7 acres of glasshouses.
Utilising the latest technology, our expert growing team currently grow tonnes of seeds per annum and thousands of cutting raised premium plants.
The Nursery Process
When sowing starts, the seeds are placed into the hopper which vibrates to ensure the seed is evenly mixed. Next, the seed is placed on the seeding plate a vacuum behind the seed plate holds it in place.
All our compost is delivered tightly compressed in large bales. We break the bales into manageable chunks and these are added to the shredding machine, as the compost needs to be finely shredded before the seeds can be sown.
To sow, the plant trays roll through the conveyor and when they arrive at the correct point are evenly filled with the shredded compost.
When the dibbling unit is in the correct position over the plant tray it is then lowered down to the tray and makes a small impression on the shredded compost in the centre of each cell of the plant tray.
The Hopper that has evenly distributed the seeds and ensured their correct position on the seed plate is then manoeuvred into place to deposit a single seed in every cell of the tray, which you can see here
The final stage of seed sowing is to add a fine layer of vermiculite over the top surface. This layer helps hold the seeds in place and also keeps the humidity high as vermiculite is able to retain water.
Once the vermiculite has been added, the trays are moved on benches to the glasshouse. The high humidity in this section assists in the breaking down of the seed dormancy.
Here we undertake the fogging process. The fine spray combined with the high temperature provides the perfect environment for the seeds to germinate.
It takes between 3 and 10 days of careful nurturing (depending on variety) in the fogging section for the seeds to start to germinate. Getting this part exactly right is essential to the quality of the plant and its eventual performance so great care is taken in the control of this particular environment.
When the plants are between 2 to 4 weeks old, we carry out the gapping procedure. Each tray is meticulously checked by staff to ensure that there is a healthy plant in each cell.
When the plants are between 2 to 4 weeks old, we carry out the gapping procedure. Each tray is meticulously checked by staff to ensure that there is a healthy plant in each cell. If a cell is empty or the plant does not look healthy it is removed.
As you can imagine this is a job that needs steady hands and good eyesight!
Once the gapping process has been carried out, our dedicated growing team continue to grow and nurture the plants until they are ready to be despatched.
Once the plants have grown to the required size, whether that be a small plug for the more experienced gardener to grow on at home or a large plug plant ready to be planted out, they are then given a final check before being approved for despatch.
Once they they have been approved for despatch, our experienced packing team utilise one of our 11 uniquely designed boxes and accompanying protection solutions to ensure that the plants are fully protected on their journey to your door!
Once they arrive, we love to see how they grow and the lovely gardens you create and design with them, so please feel free to send your photos or tag us in your images on instagram by using @gardeningdirect. You never know, you may even win a prize!