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November 2013

Record numbers attend IPPS/HDC Study Day

The study day put together by the HDC and IPPS in association with Fargro, GroSouth and West Sussex Nursery Stock Discussion Group attracted more than 100 participants from right across the UK and was described by one of the coordinators David Hide from Fargro’s technical department as having set a new high point in industry collaboration. The day included nursery visits, a practical weed control workshop and early evening grower talks all themed around plant propagation and weed control, designed to build on the work of 2 HDC publications which were published this year. (Practical weed control for nursery stock and the Hardy Nursery Stock Propagation Guide). The day started with a visit to New Place Nurseries in Pulborough and was led by Mike Norris, General Manager. The tour focused on the propagation and production of quality ornamental liners and containerised trees

The Group then visited Walberton Nursery who showcased propagation under polythene tunnels, their utilisation of a range of therma prop polythenes and getting the best out of integrated crop management within the prop house. On hand throughout this visit was Fargro’s very own biological specialist Neil Helyer.

A third visit took the Group to John Turner Phormiums where Tom Wozniak, Nursery Manager described the setting up of a range of flexible propagation environments used for the rooting of phormiums and an increasing range of evergreen shrubs. This visit also included a watering masterclass from David Hutchinson (DHS Horticulture).

Finally the Group moved on to The Norfolk Hotel in Arundel for Tea Time Talks, where the day’s theme of plant propagation and weed control was explored further.

Kees Eigenraam of Rhizopon BV gave a presentation on getting the best out of rooting hormones,including selection and application. John Summers (Fargro growing media expert) followed with a talk on propagation growing media, while Susie Holmes an independent growing media and nutrition consultant developed the theme further and looked at the nutritional requirements of cuttings and young plants. John Atwood (ADAS) completed the series of seminars when he updated the audience on the latest thinking in maintaining weed free plug and liners.

The whole day was rounded off by a 'Welcome to Grosouth' by Chris Need from Roundstone Nurseries followed by pre- show dinner. In summing up the day with the IPPS President David Talbot , Katie Ingram HDC research manager urged attendees to ‘’use today as a springboard for innovation and improvement within their own businesses’

Here is just some of the feedback we have received about the day. ‘It was fantastic day and we all enjoyed it’ Tom Wozniak John Turner Phormiums, ‘A big thank you and congratulations to all involved for a very well put together, targeted, stimulating day and evening of cross industry interests, visits & talks.’ Chris Holmes Hedgehog nurseries ‘I got so much out of the study day.It was well put together and I’m sure you all feel it was a great success.’ Jenny Bowden RHS Horticultural Advisor.

Jim McAlpine MD Fargro who chaired the evening session commenting afterwards said ‘There was a great buzz throughout the day, it was so good to see our industry coming together in such a positive manner and it was great that we at Fargro could play our part’