Seed sales helped by warmer weather

Seed companies are seeing a good start to the year as the warmer winter weather is bringing in orders earlier.

A number of companies exhibiting at this year's Garden Press Event in London reported orders well up on last January.

Kings Seeds sales manager Tracy Palmer said: "January sales are through the roof. We are 800 orders up on this time last year."

Franchi Seeds' Andrew Collings added that the weather had helped sales. "Last year was a cold season, which suppressed demand.

"We can't tell until the end of the season how well it has gone, but it seems good at the moment. We have customers wanting to bring orders forward, which is a good sign. They ordered much later last year, probably because of the weather."

Suttons Seeds also reported strong sales and said its new grafting process for vegetables, which provides earlier cropping and more trusses, was proving popular with garden centres by providing a value-added product.

Garden Press Event exhibitor numbers were up 20 per cent to 87, with visitor numbers up to 250.

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