Fletching Glasshouses

One of the delights of social media is that it’s quite easy to incorporate information from one place into another. Our vegetable production arm has its own web site which is all about Organic Vegetables in East Sussex. It has its own blog that updates the details of what’s available when with information about what else is going on at the nursery. So thanks to the wonders of the internet you don’t have to go looking for it – you can find it here.

Why we started the Intelligent Garden

I first started gardening as a research student working on how plants grow. Then we bought a small holding in Shropshire for a while before we discovered computers and marketing. 20 years later we started selling plants on-line.

Expansion meant we needed premises - so we acquired a nursery with 2 acres of glasshouse and started growing organic vegetables again. By September 2008 we had our soil association certification and had started selling biological controls online.

Talking to people on farmer's markets I sense a real hunger for people to garden and produce their own food. And a real interest in local and pesticide free produce.

So we created the Intelligent Garden ito help you get the most from your garden by offering the knowledge, products and advice you need to work effectively with nature to release the intelligence in your garden.

Company Registration 5003969
Vat Registration: 826 8892 74
Reg Office The Glasshouses, Fletching Common, BN84JJ

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Welcome to the Intelligent Garden

Fletching Glasshouses

Fletching Glasshouses

The Intelligent Garden developed from our Organic Nursery at Fletching Glasshouses where we grow organic vegetables, sell plants as gifts on line and supply serious gardeners with organic pest controls and a few other items that we’ve found useful as growers and which will be useful for serious gardeners like yourelf.

If you want better vegetables,  a natural environment or to learn to work with nature in a practical way –  you’ve come home to the right place. You’ll discover how plants grow, what they need and how to make your garden into that vibrant outdoor space you want.

In The Intelligent Garden, Science works with Nature to create a space that gladdens the heart and lifts the soul.

You can enjoy some of our favourite gardens via pictures and videos with the odd recipe to delight the inner man. So join us on this exciting adventure. You can contact us on 0845 094 0407 or 01825 724282 –  Dr Alan Rae – Fletching Glasshouses – 2014

Garlic Wash - another useful organic pest control product

The benefits of Garlic

Garlic preparations have been used for years by commercial growers for deterring plant pests – they are even used in the propagation area at Kew Gardens for keeping aphids away. If the preparation is extracted so as to  maximise the sulphur content, a garlic spray will stimulate growth and improve resistance to insect pests and fungal diseases, as well as driving away  insects that are repelled by the smell of garlic.

bottle of garlic wonder garlic wash

Garlic Wonder

If you use garlic spray on any crop  it will not affect the taste of vegetables or fruit, and won’t  leave unpleasant residues.

It operates in 3 separate ways :

By acting as a bio-stimulant – strengthening the plant
By acting  as a disenfectant – killing bacteria and fungi
By acting as a deterrent to drive insects away
We recommend Garlic Wonder   for deterring ants and wireworms . It’s also has been reported to reduce aphids, blackfly, carrotfly, red spider mite, scale insects, thrips and whitefly.

Garlic Wonder

This garlic wash contains garlic together with other plant extracts that stimulate healthy growth. It is a totally organic product with no additives – safe to use  where people, pets and wildlife are present. It is supplied as a very concentrated solution which you just mix with water. 500ml makes 5 litres of wash.  For best results simply spray on the affected plant.

You can buy the product via our ladybird plantcare site. It costs £17.50 including post and packing for a 500 ml bottle.

You can order it here

If you would like to know more please ask your question here

Horticultural soft soap - a useful pest treatment.

Here’s a review of another organic pest control product from our Ladybird Plantcare site.

Horticultural Soft Soap

Horticultural Soft Soap

Horticultural Soft soap is a highly refined soap made from natural oils which acts as a contact insecticide with no residual effects once it has dried.

It comes as a concentrate and if used at dilution of 30-50 x it will reduce the population and the breeding capabilities of  pests such as Aphids, Whiteflies, Red Spider Mites, Thrips, Mealybug and Scale insects .  Soft soap works by plugging up the breathing holes in the insects body, and also by sticking their wings and moving parts together.

We started using it ourselves when we had an attack of scale insects on peppers and citrus in our nursery. The great thing about it is that it is not a poison and can therefore be used quite safely on edible crops – something that is quite important to us as we use a large section of our nursery for growing edible leaf crops such as salads and spinach and chard.

It can be applied simply to individual leaves and stems with a sponge or it can be sprayed using a suitable dilution – up to 50 times. It’s not advisable to use it too strong as it can damage the plant also. Indeed some plants notably Fuschias. Ferns and some bedding plants don’t respond well at all.

However as a simple, easy to use, inexpensive remedy for a number of pests it’s hard to beat.

You can find out more or buy the product here.

Know your pests #1 Red Spider Mite

Red Spider Mites

red spider mite

Amblyseius – spider mite predator

They are now the commonest glasshouse pest of all.

Spider Mites are less than 1mm in size and difficult to see without a lens or microscope unless you have very sharp eyes. They often live underneath leaves, and are only active when it is warm. In winter they hibernate either as eggs, or inactive newborns which you can often spot as tiny red or orange shiny dots.

Spider mites can be spotted more easily by looking for the damage . They pierce the leaf cells with their mouthparts and suck the plant juices resulting in discolouration of the leaves and sickly looking growth, and in worst cases the death of the plant. The leaf damage initially results in a fine speckling effect on leaves where the cells have died. The pattern of the mottling varies from plant to plant, so on strawberries you will see brown spots on the underside, and in citrus these develop into yellow patches throughout the leaf. On some plants with tougher leaves the spider mite eats young growth and flower buds and may be even more difficult to spot. Ultimately they may cover the plant in a fine cobweb – they ARE arachnids after all.

You can now see what they look like in action thanks to this video which we have taken in our own nursery. It shows them on a strawberry leaf, in close up at 3 different stages of their life cycle and finally an Aubergine covered in cobwebs.

 Pest Control

The main predators for Red Spider mite are Phytoseiulus and Amblyseius. There’s also a predatory midge called feltiella.

Here’s a picture of an Amblyseius squaring up to a Red spider mite – the Amblyseius is on the left.

Amblyseius and Red spider mite

Amblyseius and Red spider mite

More information here http://ladybirdplantcare.co.uk/red_spider_mite.html

Amblyseius are also good against broad mites who normally go for strawberries and flowers but which have also made hay with our pepper crops over the last couple of years.

If you need any help or advice please just ask

Biological Pest Control




One of the key principles of the Intelligent Garden is working with nature to control pests.

A good way of doing this is to use predators to bring the pests back into balance. For instance we might use nematodes to control slugs and vine weevils or ladybird larvae to eat aphids.

Our sister site, Ladybird Plant Care have a long and proven record of supplying gardeners and small growers with biological controls for their gardens, allotments, conservatories, greenhouses and polytunnels.

We ourselves grow 2 acres of organic vegetables under glass at Fletching Glasshouses in Sussex and our nursery is certified organic by The Soil Association.

Over the last few years we have seen more and more people to biological pest control as a way of protecting their plants and because it works they have continued to use this approach.

In a natural ecosystem nearly every creature is food for something else and biological pest control is the act of boosting the population of a a pest’s naturally occurring predators. Because these predators are already all around us they are completely safe to children, poets and native wild-life.

Many of these predators are invisible to the naked eye so not many people have seen them. However our support staff have made some videos so that you can see what they look like an how they act.

We will be showing you these over the next few posts.

Fletching Glasshouses updates

One of the delights of social media is that it’s quite easy to incorporate information from one place into another. Our vegetable production arm has its own web site which is all about Organic Vegetables in East Sussex.

It has its own blog that updates the details of what’s available when with information about what else is going on at the nursery. So thanks to the wonders of the internet you don’t have to go looking for it – you can find it here.


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