Supplier trials tape for lettuce plants to reduce peat use

Salad and vegetable supplier G's Fresh demonstrated a method of establishing lettuce plants using less peat on a tour of its site in Barway, Cambridgeshire, last month.

Seedlings: paper tape trialled - image: Nick Saltmarsh
Seedlings: paper tape trialled - image: Nick Saltmarsh

It is trialling the use of a paper tape on which young lettuces are grown, allowing 900 plants to be propagated per tray rather than the usual 170, which can then be planted mechanically.

Cambs Farms Growers managing director Charles Shropshire said: "They hold five times the amount of plants in the same area, so the amount of peat is greatly reduced. It makes it faster, with less labour."

G’s already employs the technique in Spain and is now trialling it in the UK. "If it is successful, I think all the little gem in the group will be from plant tape in the coming years," said Shropshire.

He added: "We are always looking at our efficiency and sustainability. Because we are using massive amounts of peat in the blocks, we are being asked questions about what we are doing to reduce our peat usage."


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