It isn’t just tender young plants that can be affected by frost, with brown patches appearing between their leaf veins. A tough winter frost can even damage hardy evergreen plants, such as bay and pittosporum, making them also turn brown. Perennials, such as dahlias and canna, can become blackened by frost too, ultimately causing their stems to collapse.
For customers with sheltered spots in their garden or greenhouses, it’s simple enough to move vulnerable plants to where they will be better protected from frost. However not all of your customers will be so lucky and sometimes it simply isn't possible to uproot and move an entire collection of plants. That’s where stocking up on frost protection fleece comes in.
Spunbound UV polypropylene with laser welded joints means our frost protection fleece provides superior strength and durability when used to cover vulnerable plants. Not only will your customers’plants be protected from frost, but also wind and pest damage. This won’t be at the expense of light transmission either. It’s permeable nature also means moisture and humidity remain balanced.
This tough and effective fleece is available in 100 and 250 metre long rolls of different widths, from 1.5 to 10.5 metres. You also have a choice of weighting, 17 or 30 grams per square metre. Other rolls sizes are available on request to suit both the needs of your customers and of your nursery or garden centre.
Don’t forget to also stock up on suitable gloves and secateurs. Many an English garden is adorned with roses. However young plants can suffer from wind-rock as winter sets in, with winds picking up, shifting stems, and ultimately damaging roots.
Wind speeds in the UK vary across the year and generally pick up as winter approaches, with summer averaging at about 8 knots and winter at around 10 knots. This seemingly small change can wreak havoc on your plants if they aren’t well protected. A sturdy polyhouse will do the trick but it’s important to make sure that your polyhouse is up to scratch.
Small rips and splits are a common occurrence as wear and tear takes its toll on your polyhouses. These can easily worsen as the wind picks up. A simple and cheap solution is polythene repair tape, available in 33 metre long rolls in varying widths of 50, 75, 100, and 150 millimetres. The tape is clear, which allows light transmission so you needn’t worry about blocking out ever scarcer sunlight this winter.
Polythene repair tape is not only effective at repairing polytunnels, but also cloches and even cracked panes in greenhouses. Here’s how to ensure your repairs last.
1) Clean and dry the polythene surface.
2) Pull the area around the split or tear back together again.
3) Place the tape along the length of the tear or split, with a little excess at either end.
4) Add shorter pieces placed perpendicular to the main strip of tape along its length to reinforce the repair.
With your polyhouse back up to full functionality, your plants should get the protection they need from rising winds.
For those plants exposed to the elements, we also supply windbreak netting. UV stabilisation ensures this green netting is particularly durable and resistant to weathering. Available to order in 50 metre long rolls of varying widths or alternatively made to measure. You can opt for monofilament netting or tape thread.
For added protection, order our high strength windbreak netting made from UV stabilised extruded HDPE. It is proven to reduce wind speeds by up to 60% and is rot resistant.
While the thick of autumn may seem like a quiet time for gardeners, there is still work to be done, much of which centres around cutting back, pruning, and generally tidying up. This autumn your customers may very well still be flocking to your garden centre or nursery to replace worn out tools as they find they’re making their autumn gardening jobs harder work. Here are a few products you can keep in stock and how they’ll come in handy for your customers this October:
Come autumn, there is an abundance of plants that need the attention of a good set of Felco secateurs, available in six different models. Climbing and rambling roses will need to be pruned once they’ve finished flowering and perennials can be cut back once they’ve died down.
Trigger lances and wheelbarrrows
Autumn means leaves. Rather than letting all those leaves go to waste, keen gardeners will be eager to make leaf mould. A sturdy 90 litre Haemmerlin wheelbarrow, available in high density polypropylene or as a green epoxy powder coated tray, will make collecting them all up around the garden an easier task. For those with large gardens, an open corner can be dedicated to creating this nutritious mix, which is where a trigger lance comes in handy to spray the leaves and give them that all important moisture to aid their breakdown.
Our Clover range of bark products provide the ideal mulch to insulate plant roots over the winter, as well as keeping weed growth at bay. They are available in several different bark chip sizes, 0–6 (composted bark), 6–10 (mini chip), and 10-30 millimetres (decorative), all from sustainable sources. Not only do they provide insulation but they suppress weed growth and are an attractive mulch around flower beds and borders.
A chill is in the air this October. While September was still bringing in temperatures in the late teens, the average UK temperature in October hovers around 12°C. It is therefore important that your customers start preparing for early frosts before we sink into single digits. You can help by stocking up on the right products for use both outdoors and for indoor growing areas.
When it comes to bearing up against the weather outdoors, our frost protection fleece is up to the task. Ideal for field grown crops, it can also be used indoors. The spunbound UV polypropylene with lase welded joints provides superior strength and durability, which protects not only against frost damage but also wind. Pest damage will also be reduced, while maintaining good light transmission and permeability to effectively balance out crop moisture and humidity.
Our frost protection fleece is available in two weights to meet you requirements, 17 and 30 grams per square metre. You can purchase this fleece in a range of roll widths with 100 and 250 metre lengths. The more rolls you order, the better your price break.
As for indoor growing, reducing heat loss is vital as the weather gets chillier. Our tried and tested bubble insulation film does the job and is proven to reduce heat loss by up to 50%. You can purchase this effective heat retention solution in 1.5 and 2.4 metre wide rolls.
For ease of installation, don’t forget to order our Ali Plugs, available in packs of 500 for the Super Ali Plug or packs of 50 for the Ali Plug Extender. These handy plugs are designed to fit perfectly into the profile of glasshouse spars, making them ideal for attaching bubble insulation film.
With these insulating solutions in stock, your customers will be ready for the cooler months ahead, assured in the knowledge that their crops won’t suffer.
While the flurry of summer growth may be coming to an end as autumn is ushered in, there are still bulbs that need planting in time for next spring. Not to mention other autumn variety sowings, including onions, spring onions, garlic, spinach, broad beans, and peas. To ensure your customers have the right compost for their seeds, we offer an expansive range from leading manufacturers Sinclair and Clover.
When it comes to Clover compost, there are 4 main varieties to choose from:
· Prim & Pansy – This fine to medium grade peat includes clay granules and low base nutrient for optimal growth. Disease control and iron uptake is also taken care of with the inclusion of fine bark and a lower pH.
· Container – This medium to coarse grade peat contain a wetting agent and base nutrient with trace elements, making it ideal for shrubs and large pot plants.
· Ericaceous – Similar to Clover container compost but specifically designed for a slightly lower pH, which is ideal for a range of lime hating plants.
· Herbaceous – This medium grade peat contains added grit and bark, wetting agent and base nutrients. It is suitable for a wide range of herbaceous perennials.
As for Sinclair, the comprehensive assortment we offer includes modular seed, bedding, potting and growing mediums, to name just a few.
If none of our ready-made bags of compost fit the needs in your local area, we also offer specialist mixes. We can easily accommodate specialist recipe mixes according your specific formulations. These mixes can be supplied in 80 litre and 3 cubic metre bags. Whichever additives you need included, we can help. Here are just some of the options you can choose from:
· Controlled and slow release fertilisers
· Nutrient and pH variations
· Insecticide and fungicides
· Graded barks
· Clay granules
· Moisture storing granules
· Sterilised loam
For specialist mixes, bulk compost deliveries are available. Call us on 01270 212 726 to find out more and place your order.
The hot sun is scarcer with each passing day and the wind is picking up - autumn is arriving. For the avid growers among your customers, they’ll be making the most of what harvests are left to collect. Potatoes in particular will need to be dug up before the slugs get the best of them. With hardy produce that keeps well, such as potatoes, onions, carrots, and the last of the pears and apples, storing them away in a cool, dark place will ensure that they last as long as possible. That’s where you can help by keeping a good stock of our mesh log net bags to hand. These tough orange HDPE sacks are conveniently designed with drawstrings for ease of storage and are available in packs of 100.
Balancing out the harvest, customers will also need to get back out in the garden to start planting spring-flowering bulbs. Daffodils, crocus, and hyacinths in particular need to be planted by the end of this month. Not all your customers will have a border to fill in their garden and instead will be looking for containers in which to grow their bulbs. We stock a range of planters, in all shapes, sizes, and materials, providing your customers with a selection to suit their particular tastes.
When buying containers, it’s fair to say that your customers may also be in need of compost to fill them with. The type of compost needed will depend on the bulb and the display your customers have in mind. For example, it's the difference between whether the bulbs will spend a single season in their containers or whether they will make a home there for more long-term displays. From multipurpose to John Innes, we have a full range of compost, available in bags from 10 to 100 litres.
Browse through our catalogue online to find exactly what your customers will need this autumn.
With August traditionally the hottest month of the summer, it is important to keep your plants well hydrated. However, by the very nature of being the hottest month of the year, it is equally important to make best use of the water available. This is where an effective drip irrigation system can make all the difference. Through a series of valves, pipes, and emitters, drip irrigation can save you on both water and fertiliser by slowly dripping water directly onto the soil on into the root zone.
To help you construct and maintain your drip irrigation system, we provide 16 millimetre standard porous piping, available in various lengths, from 15 to 100 metre rolls. Using the right tools will make easy work of setting up your drip irrigation system, which is why we supply 3 and 4 millimetre hole punches that come with adaptors for inserting drippers and connectors. For the easiest way to punch holes, try our quick cut tool, available in two models, both with a fully retractable blade. Making holes in saddles is straightforward with our twist punch, which can be used after the saddle has been installed. Lastly, for inserting fittings, drippers, or mini sprinklers into 3/4 or 4/7 tubing, we supply a specially patented insertion tool.
To ensure you make the most of your water, effective water storage is also key. Our corrugated steel tanks with Aquaflex PVC or butyl liners are approved for the storage of water for irrigation by the Ministry of Agriculture and the National Water Council. Liners are 0.75 millimetres thick and come with a 10 year guarantee. Supplied in kit form ready for on-site installation, these open top tanks should be erected on a smooth, level, concrete base at least 61 centimetres wider in diameter than the tank and not less than 10 centimetres thick. Matching permeable tank covers are also available for purchase.
In days gone by glasshouses were the best way to grow plants off season, extending the possible yields through the year. Thankfully today there is a cheaper and lower maintenance solution: polyhouses. Whether you are looking to expand or upgrade your existing polyhouse set up or start afresh, we have several structures to meet your needs.
For high quality structures at affordable prices, this is the go-to polyhouse. A large diameter Z35 tube with single ridges is set on swaged foundation tubes. The simple but effective set up makes the standard polyhouse fast to construct, while also providing ample side clearance and shoulder room. The added bonus of a lower height profile means the standard polyhouse can come in handy for meeting planning permission restrictions.
Side clearance in a polyhouse isn’t all about convenience; while access is important, side clearance also provides ventilation. Together these elements can affect the efficiency of maintaining your polyhouse. The Euro polyhouse is designed for maximal clearance, with all hoops being completely vertical for the first 1 metre from ground level. Ventilation is also taken care of with side rails set at up to 1.2 metres, which do not allow rain to drip into the structure. Available in a range of widths, those from 6 metres upwards are constructed using high tensile galvanised steel to protect against corrosion.
This multispan polyhouse includes aluminium gutters and lintels, which incorporate Fordingbridge grip rails. For growers requiring irrigation mounting, room for hanging baskets, or simply additional crop support, this cost-effective multilink comes with the option of crossbraces.
The Multilink CBV
Saving you on maintenance costs, all Multilink CBV polyhouses come with aluminium eave gutters that will never rust. Crossbraces are included as part of the package for additional crop support. The steel and aluminium design of the Multilink CBV also completely eliminates the need for timber.
You can find out more about the specifications of each of our polyhouses by browsing through our catalogue online or giving us a call on 01270 212 726.
A quick glance at any garden, park or even roadside verge and it is immediately clear that nature is busy growing this month. As a result your customers will be trying to keep up with an ever-expanding list of pruning jobs as they try to make the most of their gardens.
For fans of house fronts adorned with the purple blooms of Wisteria, they will soon find it winding its way into guttering and windows. When it comes to reaping the benefits of a bountiful harvest of fruit, gardeners will need to prune back apple and pear trees to help sunlight do its work and ripen the fruit. For those looking for a bed full of blooming dahlias, marigolds or other flowering plants with tough or stringy stems, time will need to be invested in deadheading them. This not only helps with cosmetics but can also help channel stronger growth towards more flowers.
Whatever the fancy of the avid gardeners visiting your nursery or garden centre this month, it is clear that they will need to be armed with the right equipment to get the job done. Our Felco range of secateurs come in several models to suit all needs, from our Economy Model 5 to our Compact Model 6, as well our serrated secateurs. Replacement springs are also available for purchase. Paired with our Felco holsters, your customers can safely stow their secateurs whilst on the go in the garden. We additionally provide a sturdy set of Felco knives, with several different designs for budding and pruning, as well as our general purpose Felco knife. Choose from hardwood or nylon handles to cater to your customers’ preferences.
While our Felco products will help make easy work of all the pruning ahead, don’t forget to advise your customers to protect their hands. Make sure you have a good stock of our rigger and thorn resistant grip gloves.
When listening to summertime weather forecasts, UV levels are often mentioned, usually in the context of skin damage. However UV light also has a role to play in the success of your greenhouse. Visqueen have poured a decade of development and testing into their innovative horticultural film technology, which focuses on creating the best possible growth conditions by managing light transmission, diffusion, and temperature. The result: Lumisol Clear and Lumisol Diffused film.
The technological advancements in Lumisol films come from years of research into how crops, insect pests, disease pathogens, and chemical pesticides react to UV light.
When it comes to pest and disease control, researchers at Lancaster University, in partnership with Visqueen, discovered how certain types of light can make crops more resistant to attack and damage from insects and pathogens. With these key results in mind, Visqueen designed their Lumisol films to specifically let in wavelengths of light that are beneficial to crops.
On top of the ability of Lumisol films to manage UV light, they also help with temperature control. Lumisol Diffused ensures you get effective temperature control management both in the day and at night.
Last but by no means least, Lumisol also offers built-in anti-condensation properties. With proper installation, condensation will not form in droplets but instead will spread evenly across the Lumisol film. This means you are far less likely to experience water droplets falling onto your crops, which consequently prevents the loss of light that results from water droplets. This is all in addition to the reduction in risk of fungal diseases, such as downy mildew and botrytis cinerara, which uncontrolled condensation can encourage.
Available in a range of widths, from 7.3 to 14 metres, you can order your Lumisol Clear or Lumisol Diffused film from us today and also enjoy a 5-year manufacturer’s warrantee.
With the summer sun drawing customers out into the garden, now is the ideal time to push the sale of your plants and blooms. A simple solution for added value is to display your garden centre or nursery plants in our range of decorative and ornate planters. With a variety of options to choose from, you can ensure that your products are showcased in the best possible light, encouraging your customers to buy both your plants and your planters.
Our ornate patio planter range is not only decorative but also tough. Their unique designs come in a range of sophisticated colours, including copper, gold, silver, terracotta, or black complemented with a variety of colours and finishes. The range of designs available will appeal to the varied tastes of your customers, from the Antiqua and Rustico planters and Tudor bowls to Corfu and Barkley troughs. Available in all shapes and sizes, our ranges offer a vintage style to complement any display or garden.
We also offer less sophisticated ranges that provide an ideal budget option for plants, shrubs, and small trees. The Technoplant range is both great value and durable. These sturdy hanging baskets are specially designed for commercial use. With excellent root ventilation and no waterlogging, you can be sure that your plants will be kept in optimal conditions to draw in your customers. What’s more, with a range of vibrant colours, from lime green to Christmas red, you can be sure they’ll catch your customers’ eyes. Also included in this range are Genua planters, presentation bowls, and Rimini herb planters with clip on saucers. To make the best use to of space, we also offer railing planters.
With a good supply of growing medium and fertilisers on hand for use with your planters, you’ll have all you need to display and nurture your stock of plants.
Summer temperatures reaching past 30°C are an increasingly common occurrence in the UK and this summer is no exception. A robust irrigation system will ensure your plants get the vital water they need to thrive in the face of soaring temperatures.
For both existing and bespoke irrigation systems, we provide a range of irrigation pumps, controllers, fittings, connectors, and valves. Let’s take a look at some of these in more detail.
With this series of close-coupled centrifugal pumps you can deliver up to 70 litres of water per minute. With a head of up to 53 metres you can hydrate an expanse of plants with ease. Working at a maximum ambient temperate of 40°C, you can also rest assured that your Lowara pump will be up to the task this summer. You can chose from single phase or three phase versions, both of which come with a fully enclosed motor with external ventilation and aluminium alloy finned casing. If the Lowara system is not quite the right fit for your needs, we supply a vast range of pumps from several other manufacturers.
A kinked hosepipe can be a pain when watering your garden at home but when dealing with a large nursery of plants, it can significantly slow down the efficiency of your operation. With Tricoflex its multi-layered construction ensures superior kink resistance. With knitted reinforcement as part of its design, you can also enjoy an effective balance between pressure resistance and ease of handling. Combined with our range of hose trolleys, both wall-mounted and freestanding, you can efficiently water your plants.
For optimal watering with heavier flows, a lance is essential. We offer a variety of lances to meet all of your needs, including trigger lances, ‘soft rain’ lances, telescopic and fan spray lances.
Connectors, piping, PVC fittings, spray nozzles, and more are all available from our expansive catalogue. So take a look and make sure shrivelled plants and dried out soil are not problems you need to tackle.
While spring may be over, summer is no less busy for the avid gardener. Your nursery may very well be overflowing with bedding plants, which your customers will be eager to get their hands on. Managing your nursery during these busy months can be made easier by getting hold of the right equipment. With some of the below tools at hand you can make sure that you’re able to maintain, transport and display your products effectively.
The Felco Range
Our Felco secateurs come in a range of models, from serrated to standard and compact to classic, we have one to suit each of your needs. Paired with our Felco holsters, folding and pruning saws, and knives for general purpose, budding or pruning, you will be well armed to keep your plants looking great so you can pull in those customers.
Danish trolleys and shelves
Galvanised steel frames, with plastic or plywood shelves, mean you can get your products from one end of your nursery to the other with ease. Our Danish trolley transporter even comes with pneumatic tyres to help you get over any bumps or uneven surfaces.
Danish trolley track
Rather than use heavy, cumbersome concrete slabs, why not put down easy-to-lay Danish trolley track? It is stable, long lasting and weather resistant. With a roller guide and interlinking, this is a versatile flooring solution. You can create a pedestrian area with anti-slipping protection and use this track for both stationery and mobile purposes. Danish trolley track is supplied in 1.2 metre pieces.
Trucks and barrows
When it comes to transporting large quantities of compost, soil or other heavy products, our 90 litre Haemmerlin wheelbarrows are ideal. They are available in high density polypropylene or as an epoxy powder coated tray. We also provide galvanised mesh trucks that can take up to 80 kilograms in load.
The signs are there, daffodils and other bulbs are starting to shrink away. Springtime is ending. This all means summer is upon us. Your customers will be spending ever more time in the garden and not just because they’re mowing their lawns every week. Here are a few things your customers are likely to be doing this month and how you can help them with the right products and equipment:
Planting out bedding
Bedding plants are ideal not only for beds, borders, containers and hanging baskets. At the end of the month, customers will be bedding out their favourite selections. For those that are buying their bedding plants as young plants or plugs, they will be in need of bedding trays and/or pots. We provide bedding trays in all sizes from 4-cell to 12-cell, alongside our nursery and cultivation trays. When it comes to pots we also supply them in a range of sizes, though 9–10 cm pots will likely be most appropriate for young plants.
With the sun high in the sky, watering is best done early or late to avoid too much evaporation. Make sure you have watering cans in stock, such as our Haws watering can, so your customers can keep their plants fresh and thriving. Don’t forget to advise them to recycle as much water as possible.
Regular weed removal
Summer means growth, not just for your customers’ plants but also for weeds. Regular weeding is needed to keep them in check. While a hoe can get rid of some shallow weeds, sometimes only hand weeding will do. That’s why it’s worth keeping a range of protective gloves in stock.
Established hedges need to be maintained with regular pruning each summer, whether deciduous or evergreen. Our range of secateurs will help your customers make easy work of keeping their hedges in shape.
The icy cold of winter is now fading away as spring marches in. This means a long list of jobs for gardeners to get to, if they want to ensure a good season of growing and flowering a few months from now. With your help, advice and well-stocked nursery or garden centre, you can help your customers get started.
Trees, shrubs and hedges will all need feeding by forking in some fertiliser into the ground surface. Ideally a slow release fertiliser or plant food should be used, such as our bonemeal, which is available in 25 kilogram bags. Bonemeal is also ideal for feeding roses, which will also need a prune about now. So ensure you have some pruning knives or secateurs in stock for your customers. These will also come in handy for cutting back dead foliage on perennials.
Now is also the time to get some fresh compost in. With our comprehensive range of Clover compost and compost additives, your customers will be ready to plant whatever they’d like in the coming growing season. Compost can be dug in now if the soil is workable and be used to top dress containers by replacing the first couple of centimetres of old soil. However, it should be warmed up, for example in a greenhouse, if its been sat in the cold for a while.
When it comes to seed sowing, winter brassicas can be planted in a cold greenhouse in seed trays, which we supply in a range of sizes and shapes. Bedding plant seeds should also be sown, so they are ready for planting out in a few months.
With all this work to be done, ensure your customers are well protected with the right gloves, whether that’s thorn resistant grip gloves, rigger gloves or lightweight gardening gloves.
Nothing ruins a carefully nurtured garden or manicured landscape like the sprouting of weeds that rampage across it. Once their seeds begin to spread it can prove increasingly hard to rein them in. Helping your customers get a head start on weeds early this season means they won’t be overwhelmed by them come summer. Let’s take a look at what you can order now so that your customers can tackle their weed problems head on.
Stocking a comprehensive range of herbicides gives your customers the flexibility to take a broad strokes or targeted approach, depending on the area they are treating. For example, Glyphosate 360 is a total weedkiller, while Grazon Pro is a broadleaved weedkiller that will spare the grass. Areas that are on or near water may be better off treated with Roundup Pro-Biactive.
The Doff Range
For easy use in home gardens, our spray bottles of Doff knockdown weedkiller and Doff glyphosphate weedkiller are a convenient way to hold back all manner of weeds. Doff super-strength weedkiller packs that extra punch for tougher weeds, brambles, ivy and even tree stumps, and can be applied using a sprayer or a watering can. Although a stronger formulation, this super-strength weedkiller naturally breaks down in the soil and does not leave behind any harmful residues.
Spunbound mulchtex weed control
When it comes to landscaping, this weed control fabric provides an efficient approach to keep weeds at bay. It is particularly useful under bark and gravel areas, where just a few weeds can easily ruin the view. Mulchtex provides excellent permeability so water, air and nutrients can reach down into the soil, keeping it healthy. However by blocking out sunlight, Mulchtex effectively controls the growth of weeds.
With these products in stock, your customers can spend less time wrangling weeds this year and more time growing their plants.
Spring has finally arrived with daffodils blooming, signalling to your customers that it’s time to get back out into the garden and start planting. While many keen gardeners will be eager to get their hands on seeds of all varieties, there’ll be no growth without well-prepared soil. Give your customers the best chance at seeing their plants flourish by stocking up on the necessary soil and lawn care products.
Acidic soils have a pH less than 7 and are common throughout the UK. Very acidic soils have a pH less than 5 and cause nutrients vital to plant growth, such as magnesium, calcium and potassium, to dissolve more readily. This leaves these nutrients prone to simply washing away in April showers. Soils between pH 5 to 6, aren’t as likely to suffer from such nutrient loss but nor are they able to properly cultivate the growth of many plants. Bringing the pH back to around 6.5 will create the ideal growing conditions for most plants you’re customers are interested in growing, with the exception of ericaceous plants that prefer slightly more acidic soils. All that’s needed to get acidic soils back in shape is some of our garden lime. Garden lime also helps break up heavy clay soils, which improves their structure and makes digging less of a challenge.
With the flowerbeds and border soils taken care of, there’s still the lawn to tackle. You may find that even customers who aren’t avid gardeners, will take pride in a well kept lawn. Top dressing helps level out lawn surfaces, promotes the growth of strong roots and improves drainage. While it can be applied year round, spring is a particularly good time for top dressing. Now is also the best time to let your customers know about the benefits of spring summer granular lawn food. When well watered after application, our granular lawn food will help your customers’ lawns thrive as spring gets underway.
With spring underway, you may find yourself inundated with customers eager to get planting. Whether they are beginners looking to have a go with sure-fire starters, amateurs looking to expand their repertoire, or more experienced gardeners who want to improve their lot, being armed with a range of growing mediums and fertilisers will ensure you can point each of your customers in the right direction. What your customers will be on the look out for will depend on what exactly they’d like to grow. So let’s take a look at some of the products you’d do well to have in stock this spring:
Rhododendrons, azaleas, camellias, heathers, blueberries and the list goes on. The stunning blooms and foliage of ericaceous plants can easily be marred by yellowed leaves produced by growing them in alkaline or limey soils. Ericaceous compost is specially designed to be more acidic than most other composts, creating a more neutral environment in which these plants can thrive.
With indoor sown tomatoes now ready to move outside, soil-based compost such as John Innes will help them grow and develop in their new surroundings. These kinds of compost tend to be too heavy for hanging baskets, so best advise your customers to stick with pots. For those more interested in blooms then veg, this compost is also ideal for planting chrysanthemums.
Container and hanging basket compost
For planting sweet peas, violas and pansies in hanging baskets and tubs, this specially formulated soil is ideal. If for example a hanging basket misses out on the occasional watering, wetting agents within the soil will help dried out soil absorb water when it next gets the chance.
Don’t forget to advise your customers to use their compost within six to eight weeks and carefully store it away where it won’t get waterlogged.
Winter is finally letting up, giving your customers the chance to venture back into the garden. There is now a small window of opportunity to get a few important gardening tasks taken care of before spring is in full swing. Top of the list is pruning.
Your customers now have their last chance to winter prune their apple, pear, medlar and quince trees. The same goes for established autumn-winter fruiting raspberry plants, as well as red currant, white currant and gooseberry bushes. Keeping a healthy supply of pruning knives in stock will mean your customers can make easy work of the task ahead of them.
Pruning trees takes a bit more hard work. Your customers will therefore be in need of a good set of secateurs, with a holster to safely stow them away. Secateurs won’t cut it when comes to tackling thicker branches, which is where a pruning saw comes in handy. With a range of tools in stock, from light to heavy duty, you will be well placed to advise your customers on just what they need.
With the established trees and plants taken care of, avid gardeners can focus on getting things ready for the next batch of plants they would like to cultivate. This means getting seedbeds prepared. With a chill still in the air, these beds will likely need some protection. Providing your customers with frost protection fleece will do just the job. Made of spunbound UV polypropylene, this fleece is strong and designed to last.
With inclement weather still bound to hang around for at least the next few weeks, it’s also worth keeping some handy clothing in store. Waterproofs and gloves mean your customers can get to work clearing last year’s plant debris, keeping themselves protected and dry until the weather finally warms up.
If the flowers and foliage of spring-summer are the time to get out and have some fun in the garden, then the autumn-winter period is a time to knuckle down and put the work in to prepare for the new season, which comes as no shock to those in the horticultural industry itself, but can be something of a surprise for hobbyists at home.
By stocking up on good quality horticultural supplies early in the New Year, you can make sure you're ready to supply whatever your customers need to get their gardens tidied, landscaped and fertilised in time for the planting to start showing through in the spring.
Remember many of your January customers are likely to be newcomers who just made a New Year's Resolution to spend more time outside, or more time in the garden, or potentially to try and go self-sufficient by growing their own veg.
This means a wide range of different horticultural supplies will be in demand especially in January, from the absolute basics for those new hobbyists to specific supplies like planters and boxes suitable for growing vegetables, for those with something more definite in mind for the New Year.
Clothing is also more in demand at this time of year, and it's well worth stocking high-visibility outerwear and waterproofs alongside your more general horticultural supplies.
If you sell to consumers, be ready to make recommendations of the kinds of equipment and clothing first-time gardeners will need, in case you get enquiries from the New Year's Resolution brigade.
And finally, remember to order a good selection of high-quality fertilisers along with your other horticultural supplies, as gardeners new and old should be using this time of bare beds to dig some extra nutritional content into their soil, ready to support the new growth in spring.
In recent articles we have looked at the horticultural supplies your customers are most likely to need in the event of a cold winter - frost fleeces and insulating fabrics, and other protection against ground frost, for example.
But December so far has been largely quite warm and wet, with only a few days on which the outdoor air temperature has fallen substantially. With unsettled weather predicted to remain in place in the run-up to the New Year, this puts a slightly different complexion on the best horticultural supplies for wet winter weather. So, get prepared and get your orders in on time to meet customer demand.
When giving advice to customers, planters are still a good option, but rather than elevating delicate roots away from any ground frost, they now become more about effective drainage and keeping the moisture level in their soil at an acceptable amount.
It's also worth considering polytunnels and covers as a way to keep out the worst of the elements, as a physical barrier against rain rather than as a way to keep the warmth in; of course they will achieve both of those aims, making them a versatile option for whatever the rest of the season brings.
Customers may also find the conditions well suited to the use of soluble fertilisers, although it's important to consider the correct dosing quantities when using these in soil that already has a high water content from wet weather conditions.
In terms of clothing to advise customers on in the new year, the current spell of unsettled weather makes it important to stock some waterproofs alongside your horticultural supplies, including disposable latex and vinyl gloves for quick hand protection when working with soluble chemicals or with wet substances in general.
Finally, with the days still shorter and darker up to Christmas, and only gradually getting longer into the New Year, waterproof high-visibility jackets again serve several purposes, to keep your customers safe and dry when working on gardens with potential hazards, or on roadside verges and beds, for example.
The final month of the year is a time for your customers to finish off some of those horticultural maintenance tasks they've been putting off since the end of the summer - so what gardening supplies will be in demand in the run-up to Christmas?
Tubs and Containers
It remains a key time for containers, tubs and raised planters, along with the usual gardening supplies that go along with them like planter stands, and frost fleece.
Containers provide more protection for roots against frost, but should be well insulated and placed in a sheltered position on the coldest days.
The freeze-thaw effect could also cause gardeners' existing planters to crack in the weeks to come, which often leads to an increase in tubs and containers sold as replacements throughout the winter.
Gloves and Secateurs
Just as planters protect roots against frost, it's important for outdoor gardeners to keep their hands warm if they will be spending a lot of time outside this month.
Gloves are even more important than usual in December, not just protecting against spiky plants or barbed and irritant leaves, but also adding a layer of warmth for the skin beneath.
Powerful secateurs could also be in demand as colder weather means branches are often less supple, making it harder to get a blade through them during essential winter pruning.
Bark chips are a natural alternative to grit or gravel when protecting soil surfaces in a multitude of ways.
They retain moisture well during dry spells, while holding back weed growth as the season draws to a close and new shoots start to come through.
Importantly in December though, bark chips also insulate and protect root systems against some of the cold and against physical damage in soil that has been exposed by the dieback of vegetation in the autumn.
While everyone's mind has been on Christmas in recent weeks, the New Year is fast approaching too, and once it gets here there's not long to stock up on last-minute essential horticultural supplies before the first green shoots of spring start to show.
For horticulture businesses in particular, the winter is a crucial staging time, getting everything prepared so you can be the first to capitalise on the spring market, regardless of when the first warmer week arrives.
Recent years have proved that we can have everything from a February heat wave, to snow on the ground at Easter, but with a few essential horticultural supplies in stock, you can be prepared for whatever the weather brings in the New Year.
Frost protection fleece is one of the key essentials for winter, especially if you have plants growing outside where they cannot be artificially heated or completely covered up.
By putting a warming insulating barrier over the soil surface, frost protection fleece helps to stave off the worst effects of cold weather - putting a physical barrier between the harsh conditions and the delicate roots of your crops.
Pots and planters are another horticultural essential for the New Year, as these can be germinated indoors and then moved outside relatively easily, and are an ever-popular way to get some greenery into the garden early in the season.
Even if used solely outdoors, pots are easier to protect against the cold or to raise up off of frozen ground, making them a good option to bring younger plants to maturity.
And while you may not see many of them at the moment, hanging baskets will soon be ready for planting out, starting one of the shortest but most demanding seasonal rushes for another eternally popular planting option.
Stock up on hanging baskets in the run-up to Christmas and you'll be ready for the New Year, and any keen gardeners who are looking to replenish their own stocks of equipment in preparation for the first warm weekend and a much-needed chance to get some time in the garden.
The clocks have gone back and the heating has (probably) gone on, so what November gardening jobs should take precedence for your clients when the weather is fine, and what horticultural supplies do they need to get them done?
1. Leaf relief
One of the main challenges in domestic and commercial gardens alike is to keep control of the falling leaves, removing them from beds, lawns and ponds before they become a nuisance.
A deep Bullbarrow wheelbarrow is a handy sidekick for this, as you can dump the leaves into it as you rake them up, with its large capacity making it easier to transport them to your compost heap or for disposal.
2. Defence against the elements
All kinds of plants need protection against the harshest conditions of the winter months, and as foliage dies back in the autumn it's the ideal time to add some of this.
Check our tree and plant care range for growing guides like trellis and tripods, secure clips for stems and stalks, and tree protection ranging from sturdy stakes to growing shelters for saplings.
3. Anti-pest preparations
It's not just the weather that can threaten your plants in winter - it's also a time when they may be more exposed to pests.
Netting can help to keep pigeons at bay, while moths are more of a threat to fruit trees, and there are plenty of performance fabrics to protect against frost and pests alike.
4. Seasonal spirit
Finally, if you are in the business of supplying Christmas trees, it's your last chance to stock up on essential supplies before the rush really starts.
Christmas tree tubs and planters, tree stands, netting bales and sleeves all give you options when supplying Christmas trees to customers, while our galvanised metal Christmas tree loader is the only netting machine you'll need this winter.
Pumpkins are an essential part of Halloween, and while it's obviously too late to grow pumpkins for selling in 2016, the coming winter months are the perfect time to stock up on seeds and horticultural supplies ready to grow pumpkins for next year.
You can sow pumpkin seeds indoors from April onwards, so have your seed trays or containers ready when the springtime arrives; you can also grow one or two pumpkins in a grow bag, or one each in larger outdoor containers.
The seeds need warmer weather, so you won't want to plant them outside until at least May, and those that have been started off indoors should be acclimatised to the outdoor conditions, ideally with a week or two in a cold frame, or in a sheltered outside spot.
Your business should take these one or two weeks to prepare planting pockets in your soil too, by digging out a spade-sized hole and filling it with good compost or manure mixed into normal soil, and fertilising the surface of the soil too.
Plant only one pumpkin seed or germinated plant in each pocket, which should be sheltered from wind but in strong sunlight, and in soil that retains moisture well - you can enhance this by planting an empty pot alongside each pumpkin, and watering them through this to feed the roots without rotting the fruit.
Every ten days to two weeks, add liquid fertiliser once the fruit starts to appear, and make sure you support the pumpkins using a piece of tile so the flesh is not left in contact with wet soil to rot.
'Becky' is one pumpkin variety that should be perfect for carving at Halloween, while for something slightly different, the variety known as 'Jack Be Little' gives an ornamental fruit small enough to hold with one hand.
October is an unpredictable month, as the days get shorter, the nights get darker, and the weather tries to make its mind up between staying mild or starting to get colder for the winter months - and that can make planning October gardening jobs a little tricky.
But whatever happens, a good starting point is to make sure your garden is tidy, especially as the leaves start to fall, as a quick sweep-up on a dry day (if we get one) is much easier than trying to remove wet leaves from surfaces as they begin turning to mulch.
You might want to hang on to those raked leaves in aerated storage bags though - as that mulch can be a useful fertiliser when dug back into the soil.
As the last of the summer growth dies off, it's an opportunity to go to work on your exposed flowerbeds, removing unwanted weeds and other growth, working over the soil to improve its texture and fertility, and trimming back any shrubs or other plants that don't die off completely.
Edibles can be harvested this month, so there'll be apple crumbles being made up and down the country - make the most of whatever fruit and veg your garden has given you, before it goes to waste!
You should also take any remaining opportunities to mow the lawn, if it's dry for long enough, as there won't be too many more chances to do so before the winter sets in.
It's a good time to start thinking about protecting your garden against frost, and the last of the October gardening jobs are really preparation for the months to come.
Check insulation around exposed pipes and outdoor taps, so they won't crack if the water freezes inside them, and think about adding suitable felt or frost protection sheeting to roots and other outdoor planting that cannot be moved indoors or into a greenhouse on the coldest days.
Many of us grow flowers because they look pretty, but the coming months could also see a rise in at-home horticulturalists including the petals of their favourite plant in their home cooking.
This is part of a trend identified by the consumer analysts at Mintel, and is perhaps not as strange as it first sounds.
For instance, the flavour of rose has been the standard for Turkish delight in the UK for decades, while elderflower is commonly available as a drinks cordial too.
Both are part of the trend, as Mintel point to new products like apple and elderflower flavoured fruit pastilles and a rose-flavoured ice cream launched in New Zealand.
"It is likely that we will continue to see flowers being used in new ways," writes Mintel's Emma Schofield. "Flowers may start to be used across a broader range of food and drink categories, in less conventional ways.
"Indeed, we are seeing flowers enter food categories such as yogurt, ice cream and sweets. Drinks, notably teas, are the 'home territory' for flowers."
Mintel add that floral flavours are unlikely to ever replace the long-held market leaders like chocolate, lemon and vanilla, but they stress that the trend is likely to last throughout the remainder of 2016 and beyond.
The report suggests that food producers can cash in on the trend by using a wider variety of flower species as flavour ingredients in their products.
In turn, this is likely to see demand rise for high-quality examples of those flowers from nurseries and horticultural suppliers - albeit for their flavour rather than their visual appeal.
Only time will tell whether we will one day tuck into snacks flavoured with lavender rather than lemon, or violets rather than vanilla - but in the meantime, it's a trend with a deliciously floral element behind it, and one that is well worth sampling.
As the nights become longer than the days following the Autumn Equinox, it's time to start stocking up on horticultural supplies for the colder part of the year, in order to keep planting protected against whatever the weather may bring.
Here are five of the main horticultural supplies you may need to make sure your garden emerges into next Spring in top condition...
1. Frost Protection Fleece
This lightweight fleece does more than just insulate against cold - it also protects against wind damage and attacks from pests.
It still allows some light and moisture to pass through the spun polypropylene, ensuring that the plants beneath stay at the right humidity level.
2. Feeds and Fertilisers
With annuals dying off and many perennials dying back to the roots too, it's time to work some fertiliser into the exposed earth - being careful not to damage anything you want to grow back next season.
3. Pots and Planters
Get a head start on next year's planting with pots that you can start off in controlled conditions - autumn bulbs can be started in pots or planters too, so you have options to protect them better in harsh winter weather.
4. Pruning Knife and Secateurs
For many shrubs, it will soon be time to prune dead or unproductive growth, and to generally maintain the shape of the plant.
Make sure you have sharp, reliable secateurs or a sturdy pocket pruning knife, and the task will be a much easier and safer one.
5. Wreaths and Holly
Finally, it's time to start thinking about horticultural supplies for Christmas, from wreath frames and picks of holly and berries, to complete wreaths and fragrant extras like cinnamon sticks.
The festive season will soon be upon us, and as fake berries won't perish anytime soon, it's well worth getting your horticultural supplies for Christmas sooner rather than later, and beating the December rush.