Growers keep eyes on weather

After record bank holiday sales, growers hope for an extended season to compensate for poor spring.

Growers saw record takings during the May bank holiday weekend
Growers saw record takings during the May bank holiday weekend

Summer bedding growers have seen sales pick up significantly as the weather has improved, but say it is difficult to predict how the season will turn out.

Bad weather caused a poor start to the season, but many growers saw record takings during the May bank holiday weekend.

"The weather has definitely helped us," said Arden Lea director Stuart Taylor. "We can see sales picking up, but in the north-west we're still quite affected by the weather.

"In Lancashire, we've had a couple of days where it has felt like summer, but it has still had that edge. We're still behind. It's not sorted, but it is better than it was."

He added: "It's difficult to predict what the final score will be. It was looking disastrous at one point and now it's looking less disastrous. I can't remember a more difficult year to predict. We need to keep our eyes down and hope the weather will stabilise."

WD Smith & Son director Mike Smith added: "We had 10 days last year and it's felt like we've had a bit longer this year. Fingers crossed it will carry on for a few more weeks yet. We've had a good couple of weeks.

"It was a shame about March, but April and May are the important ones. April worked out all right and if it can carry on to the end of May and even into June, that's great."

He added: "We needed it to start and carry on because we haven't had too much money coming in for a while."

Some growers are hoping for an extended season to make up for the slow start.

Botany Bay managing director Jamie Ratcliffe said: "We're growing crops to try to extend the season. We're a young plant producer and normally our finished product is in plug form to sell to other growers. We're growing some plants in one- or two-litre pots to sell to garden centres."

He said there was still the potential for plant shortages. "In the autumn, the time we normally get pre-orders, the level of these orders was very low. If the good weather continues, there will be a shortage of bedding plants, and we're hoping to cash in on that. We have enough to cater for our customers and will look after them first, but with new businesses calling up maybe not."

Comment - BPOA chairman Ian Riggs

"Recent good gardening weather has lifted grower spirits, and garden centres have noted record or near record takings during the May bank holiday weekend when the weather held.

"But to negate the poor start, growers need almost perfect weather for the remainder of the summer. Of concern is that recent weather has not been good. Of more concern is that the mid- to long-term weather forecast is not optimistic as it appears the Gulf stream and weather pattern look to be following the same pattern as 2012.

"As usual, both growers and garden centres are looking forward to the 'Chelsea Bounce' next week, especially as Chelsea precedes the bank holiday, but again we all need the weather to play its part and be fine."


Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Read These Next

Horticulture careers - plugging the skills gap

Horticulture careers - plugging the skills gap

Bespoke apprenticeships and internal training are helping firms to get ahead in skills-shortage horticulture, says Rachel Anderson.

Tractors: market roundup

Tractors: market roundup

Manufacturers are working to provide solutions to many challenges. Sally Drury looks at their newest models.

Aster

Aster

Brightening up gardens in autumn, these daisies are seen as a gem in the gardener's arsenal, writes Miranda Kimberley.


Opinion... Why no-deal Brexit should worry you

Opinion... Why no-deal Brexit should worry you

Whether you voted leave or remain all those years ago, a "no-deal" Brexit should worry you.

I will not be importing oaks this season. Will you?

I will not be importing oaks this season. Will you?

I find myself in a difficult situation. A few weeks ago I was fortunate to be present to hear details of imminent changes to regulations concerning Oak Processionary Moth (OPM) and oak trees. I heard details, asked questions and probed the implications of these changes. That may not sound like a difficult position to be in, yet I am uneasy.

Opinion... Better targets to tackle pollution

Opinion... Better targets to tackle pollution

Lobby groups jumping onto fashionable campaigns, often to promote their own interests, can do much more harm than good. Take, for example, the move against black polythene plant pots and containers.


Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +

HORTICULTURE WEEK BUSINESS Awards 2019

The Horticulture Week Business Awards is now open for entries

Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

Horticulture Week Top 60 Ornamentals nurseries

See our exclusive RANKING of ornamentals nurseries by annual turnover plus the FULL REPORT AND ANALYSIS

Tim Edwards

Boningales Nursery chairman Tim Edwards on the business of ornamentals production
 

Read Tim Edwards

Pest & Disease Tracker bulletin 

The latest pest and disease alerts, how to treat them, plus EAMU updates, sent direct to your inbox.

Sign up here

Are you a landscape supplier?

Horticulture Week Landscape Project Leads

If so, you should be receiving our new service for Horticulture Week subscribers delivering landscape project leads from live, approved, planning applications across the UK.

Peter Seabrook

Inspiration and insight from travels around the horticultural world
 

Read more Peter Seabrook articles