Display to highlight increases in plant yields

Morel, Ball Colegrave, David Kerley, Beekenkamp, Earley Ornamentals, Paul Jackson, Benary, Thompson & Morgan and East Malling Research are among those supporting a display at RHS London Shades of Autumn Show on 21-22 October.

The display will show how improvements have been made to plants and cropping over the past 60 years.

Display organiser Peter Seabrook said: "Historically apple orchards would yield 3.5 tons of fruit per acre. An old Cox's Orange Pippin orchard with widely spaced trees and ladder work would yield 5.9 tons. Now an outstanding Cox's crop is 11.8 tons. With modern cultivars, Gala can yield 22 tons and an exceptional crop of Braeburn 29.5 tons. So yields have increased almost tenfold.

He added: "There are similar examples with crops of strawberries, tomatoes and cut stems of roses etc increasing by at least fivefold over these years.

"A number of companies are supporting this display, including Morel cyclamen with their latest cultivars. It used to take 15 months to grow a good 13cm cyclamen and now it can be done in half the time for a plant producing many more flowers."

Begonia 'Whopper' and a 1kg tomato will feature among the displays.

- Should any member of the RHS MHort/NDH alumni be attending the RHS London Shades of Autumn Show, taking place across the Lindley and Lawrence Halls, Mike Hall and Peter Seabrook have asked that they meet on the steps of the RHS New Hall at 3pm on 21 October for a group photo at 3.15pm. Seabrook said there is no known complete record of who has the award. He believes there are about 150 holders.


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