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, laboratory work, maintenance and cultural work, which are explained in more detail here.
PROPAGATION – RAISING YOUNG PLANTS– Close to half a million plants are propagated at Walberton each year, and 2.8 million are either propagated or sown from seed at Binsted, about 50% of their combined total plant production. In addition, Fleurie sow approximately 8 million seeds each year, to produce 3.6 million potted plants and vegetable products. Several specialist propagators on each site undertake this work with additional support during our busy spring period. The humidity and temperature controlled Propagation glasshouses could accommodate up to 650,000 cuttings at any one time, as well as the 8 million seeds sown in Fleurie’s Hot Box facility each year. Propagation techniques utilised include cuttings, division and grafting, as well as seed sowing. Back to the top of the page
POTTING– Almost all of Tristram Plants 7.5 million plants are potted on one of 12 potting machines and a seeding line. Potting rates vary considerably depending on the type of machine, plant and pot size and the number of people involved. Broadly speaking, teams of between 4 and 10 people would pot 4,000 to 6,000 9cm pots per hour; 1400 to 2400 1L to 3L pots; seed 1305 packs through the seeding machine (three people).
Fleurie Nursery purchased a seeding line in February 2015. The line has 27 drum configurations allowing the sowing of 8 million seeds per year in 17 different pack and pot size configurations.
Our growing media is peat-reduced with a minimum of 25% non-peat materials and is supplied in ‘big bale’ format. Mixes are tailored to meet crop specific requirements. Back to the top of the page
DESPATCH– The Despatch teams lift product in bulk onto Danish trolleys. They are delivered to the Farplants Finishing Centre (FC), accessed by internal road from our two main sites, using a tractor and trolley mover and carried by a haulier for the sites not bordering the FC. Some of the product is cleaned on the nurseries, but otherwise the The FC Team clean the plants and apply colour and customer specific retail price labels. On a busy day up to 430 trolleys may be delivered from Walberton’s sites into the FC, 450 from Binsted’s sites and a staggering 1900 from Fleurie’s sites. Back to the top of the page
CROP PROTECTION – As BOPP accredited businesses we work to a strict Integrated Crop Management Programme (ICM), 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. The Crop Protection teams are often called upon by other institutions to share their knowledge and learning. Back to the top of the page
LABORATORY – In 2019 Walberton Nursery took the rather sad decision to close it’s Micropropagation Laboratory. Started in 1994, it was a unique facility at the time, almost one of a kind in the UK. It was instrumental in ensuring David Tristram’s Walberton’s® bred varieties were exported around the world. For 25 years the Laboratory teams provided consistently clean, virus free, elite material to the nursery’s production department; we are indebted to them for that. We will continue to keep current and yet to be bred Walberton’s® varieties virus free and elite with the help of our laboratory partners across Europe. Back to the top of the page
MAINTENANCE – Our highly skilled Teams, comprising 5 permanent people across Walberton and Binsted, design, construct, maintain and repair many of the facilities and machinery required for the smooth running of our business. Examples of projects undertaken include building a new cold storage facility at Binsted and building a bespoke Despatch loading bay facility at Walberton. External contractors are commissioned to carry out big building projects, such as construction of new glasshouses, but our teams always assist throughout. Back to the top of the page