A study day put together by the HDC and IPPS in association with Fargro, GroSouth and West Sussex Nursery Stock Discussion Group attracted more than 100 participants.
Coordinator David Hide from Fargro’s technical department said the event set a new high point in industry collaboration.
The day included nursery visits, a practical weed control workshop and early evening grower talks, all themed around plant propagation and weed control, designed to build on the work of two HDC publications which were published this year - Practical Weed Control for Nursery Stock and the Hardy Nursery Stock Propagation Guide.
The first visit was to New Place Nurseries in Pulborough and was led by general manager Mike Norris. The tour focused on the propagation and production of quality ornamental liners and containerised trees.
The second visit to Walberton Nurseries showcased propagation under polythene tunnels and their utilisation of a range of therma prop polythenes and how the nursery is using integrated crop management within propagation to reduce its dependence on conventional pesticides.
A third visit took the group to John Turner Phormiums where nursery manager Tom Wozniak described the setting up of a range of flexible propagation environments used for the rooting of phormiums and an increasing range of evergreen shrubs. This visit also included a watering masterclass from David Hutchinson from DHS Horticulture.
The group then moved on to The Norfolk Hotel in Arundel for Tea Time Talks, where the day’s theme of plant propagation and weed control was explored further.
Kees Eigenraam of Rhizopon BV gave a presentation on getting the best out of rooting hormones, including selection and application.
John Summers, Fargro's growing media expert, followed with a talk on propagation growing media, while Susie Holmes, the independent growing media and nutrition consultant, developed the theme further and looked at the nutritional requirements of cuttings and young plants.
John Atwood (ADAS) completed the series of seminars when he updated the audience on the latest thinking in maintaining weed free plug and liners.
The day was rounded off by a 'Welcome to Grosouth' by Chris Need from Roundstone Nurseries followed by pre- show dinner.
Meanwhile, the Grow Careers Day at GroSouth saw 12 students from colleges and workplaces across the South East take part in the inaugural Grow Careers event.
The objective was to provide the best horticulture students with a tailor-made visit to the show. The day was designed for students seeking a career within production horticulture.
On offer was the Grow Careers Passport which included speed presentations and mentoring from industry experts, tour of production facilities, business introductions and a free Grow Careers Goody Bag which contained £50 travel expenses, RHS student membership, crop walkers guides, hand lens and Growtrain voucher.
David Hide from Fargro’s technical team, who was instrumental in putting the day together, said: "The success of the day was down to the enthusiasm of the organising committee, the quality of the students who took part and the absolute energy and commitment of those of us who made it happen on the day including all the buy- in we obtained from the exhibitors, a big thank you to everyone who took part."