Promoter and manufacturer of Phostrogen plant food Bobby Manners has died, aged 86.
Manners launched the revolutionary product in 1960. The name derived from its phosphate/nitrogen/potash content. Manners’ aim was to promote a product that provided the perfect balance of nutrients to all areas in the garden.
Garden Writers’ Guild chairman Stephen Green said: “The idea of watering your plants with a liquid feed was revolutionary. There weren’t any other high-potash formulations out there.
“[Manners] got the best writers of the day to write leaflets publicising Phostrogen. It is the most economical and effective plant feed.
“He was a brilliant businessman. It’s an incredibly sad loss to the industry. He is irreplaceable
— a most charming gentleman.
“He was one of the most inspiring people I’ve ever met. He produced a platform for me to step out from amenity horticulture to commercial horticulture as a horticulture correspondent, answering his letters 30 years ago.”
HW columnist Peter Seabrook said: “He was such a good businessman and a very charming gentleman. If anyone, anywhere wrote anything about Phostrogen, they received a letter within days signed by Bobby.”
Garden writer Fred Whitsey said of Manners: “He was a very skilful entrepreneur. He wouldn’t make a more-than-one-product company despite being courted by ICI and Fisons. He was one of the great figures of horticulture.”
The Phostrogen brand is now owned by Bayer Garden.
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