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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Grow Better Veggies

Growing vegetables effectively is all about making sure that you create the conditions so that the bit of the plant you want to eat is promoted at the expense of other bits of the seed cycle.

So – if you want to eat leaves you need to stop the plant from flowering.  Since many plants are affected by the day length it’s not a good idea to plant something like pak choy in the spring when the days are rapidly lengthening.  Because that’s a message to the plant to hurry up to flower and fruit.

Water stress – underwatering – has  a tendency to make plants hurry on in their seed cycle. Great for Tomatoes and Peppers – terrible for lettuce. I’m sure you’re starting to get the picture.

The truth is that understanding a little bit of the plant science behind the garden can make a great difference to the quality and quantity of the vegetables that you’re able to produce. It’s possible to get quite a lot out of quite a small space if you go about it the right way.

One thing you can do is to start many vegetables off in propagation equipment – we are offering root blocks and some propagation kits so that you can grow seeds to seedling stage on window sill or in greenhouses so that you can extend the growing season. That means that you can get early crops of lettuce, chard and other welcome greens early in the spring. Growing under glass or in polytunnels can also really extend what you can do. When we had a small holding in Shropshire we had a small polytunnel which was about 2 x 5 metres and this kept us in lettuce throughout much of the year – we went on to use it for tomatoes in the summer.

Vegetable production, however is a balancing act between all of the things that a plant needs to grow, light, water ,space, nutrients, soil condition. We are trying to encourage the plant to grow to suit our agenda rather than its own so there’s a bit of pushing on and pulling back that needs to be carried out if we are to get leaves instead of fruits – or indeed fruits instead of leaves.

You can learn more about these ideas in the pages under this heading.