IPM Show News: UK start-up markets granular soil additive at show

The IPM show proved a successful launch pad for a moisture-retentive, growth-promoting soil additive from a British company, which it claims could transform international horticulture.

"Officially, our company only came into existence on the first day of the show," said Arpolith managing director Dr George Thorburn. "But already we've had 80 leads, including golf courses in Spain, retailers in the US, Australia and the Middle East, a German Hydrangea grower, rose growers in Central America, and equestrian centres."

A newly branded version of the product, aimed at the domestic garden and container market, will launch in retail form in the UK in spring, in collaboration with "a major retailing group", Thorburn added.

Talks are also underway with compost producers to develop a combined growing media product.

The German-manufactured granular additive has taken more than 30 years to develop, and in tests has been shown to reduce water use by 60 per cent, while yielding about a 40 per cent rise in plant mass. It degrades biologically after about five years in the soil.

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