Q. What has happened to the Rootrainer pot?
A. Rootrainer products are now manufactured by Haxnicks. The product range has been expanded over the past 12 months to include Rapid 32-cell tray and the Compact Rapid 20-cell tray, Slim 50-cell tray, the Deep version for trees, shrubs, fruit and vegetables, the Maxi 40-cell tray for broadleaved trees grown on longer cycles and Jumbo single cells for long-term growth.
Commercial pallet racks and a racking station have been developed to help improve efficiency when growing in Rootrainers. The racks hold 12 Rootrainer trays - Rapid, Slim or Deep - and enable forklift transport. For smaller growers and gardeners, the racking station holds eight trays on two levels.
Haxnicks has also introduced the Torpedo pot, designed for plants that develop a deep, strong root. It offers a tray system for handling plants and allows individual cells to be removed when needed. The pots, offering air pruning benefits, are available as 50x50x180mm with 30mm legs and fit 25 to a 256x256x25mm tray.
Q. Has anything been introduced that will air prune roots?
A. In addition to the Torpedo pot, Haxnicks has developed Vigoroot air-permeable fabric containers for trees and shrubs. Made from 100 per cent recycled polypropylene, the Vigoroot is available in tree, bush and herb or shrub sizes. Custom sizes are available on request.
Q. What is the latest news in terms of biodegradable pots and containers?
A. Manufactured in Europe by Square Root Horticulture (Europlast), new Square Root Bio Pots are made from used potato materials and are 100 per cent biodegradable. The material has been tested in accordance with EU Standard EN13432. The product is injection moulded, so has similar characteristics to normal injection moulded pots, is available in 9cm and 13cm sizes and comes in natural (white potato colour), terracotta or lime green colours. More sizes are expected in the future. UK sales agent Nigel Swain says the pots are light and flexible.
Q. Are there any new three-litre pots for use with potting machines?
A. Kreuwel Plastics has launched a three-litre pot with advanced drainage. Injection moulded, the pots are smooth and, according to Swain, will run and run and run in potting machines.
Q. Are there any new grower pots designed to enhance stick-on labels?
A. New from Kreuwel Plastics, the Large Lip container pot is offered in 17cm (two litre) and 19cm (three litre) sizes and has been made with a large rim to enable a wide area for labels to be stuck directly onto the rim. The rim of this Dutch-style pot can also be used for larger product and barcode labels.
Available in the UK from Square Root Horticulture, the injection mould of the pot is smooth, with no sharp edges, and provides strength while giving flexibility to allow roots to grow and to help reduce damage when the plant is removed. Raised cross drainage is incorporated. The Large Lip container pot is also available from LS Systems and JFH Horticulture.
Q. Marketing trays and pots need added value. What is the latest news?
A. TEKU Poppelmann cultivation and marketing trays have been designed for reliable plant cultivation and also to optimise the use of production and transport space. Irrigation and drainage characteristics are effective in all situations and the trays fit 24 packs per shelf on Container Centralen trolleys.
The volume of individual cells in the four-pack (1619/4) compares to that of a 9cm round pot or 8cm square pot, while the six-pack (1619/6) has a volume equivalent to an 8cm round pot or 7cm square pot. Carrying handles and photo labels can be added by hand or machine into pre-cut slots.
Incidentally, Popplemann now offers the TEKU Flex+ printing to allow words and colour photographs to be transferred to pots.
New from Labels & Packaging is a paper cup printed with cultivation details for seedlings contained within. Sealed containers are also offered for seed sales.
Q. Is there anything new for interior landscaping projects?
A. Greek manufacturer Plastona has introduced the range of Go Green landscape planters for use indoors as well as out. Manufactured from injection-moulded plastic in 10 colours, the planters are available in a woven finish called Natura, a shiny finish called Brilliante and also in Tetra matt finish. Size is 31.5x31.5x56cm and a minimum order of 21 applies from Square Root Horticulture.
Q. Have new products been introduced for patio use?
A. Yes, there are several. Fiore from Sankey is a new collection of classic contemporary pots, flower bowls and hanging baskets.
The Giant Groovy Pot, priced £3.95, can be ordered online from Harrod Horticultural. Designed to add instant colour to patios, balconies and courtyards, the pots are supplied in shocking Tomato Red, cool Cucumber Green and hot Pepper Yellow. Manufactured from recycled plastics, the round pots have a capacity of 12 litres and stand 28cm high.
Latest outdoor decorative containers from Haddonstone include the 65cm-high Gothic Basket in Portland, Bath and terracotta colours, the Bay Planter with or without self-circulating fountain and the Lagoon Planter with a 157cm-wide top.