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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Check out your soil

To give your plants the nutrients they need, you need to know what kind of soil you have, how acid it is and what it needs in the way of nutrients. Here we’ll tell you what you need to do and where to get the equipment you need.

So to get the best results we have to control a range of factors.  And to do that we need to know  fairly accurately what the condition of our soil is.

  • Is it’s structure good?
  • Does it have adequate organic matter  and a good soil population of worms, bacteria and fungi?
  • Above all does it have the right degree of acidity (pH) and enough nutrients to grow the crops we want successfully?

The soil itself needs to have a good structure of both large and small pores to have the right balance of water and air to suit the plants. If it’s waterlogged the roots will get no oxygen and will die. If it drains too freely – like pure sand – it will retain very little moisture so the plants will be really under threat of drying out.  Its characteristics depend on the size of the particles that make it up.  Fine particles give clay soils, intermediate sized particles give silty soils and large particles result in sandy soils. Mixtures are known as loams. Clays have lots of small pores – hold a lot of water but the high surface tension effects  may mean it doesn’t get released so well.

So you need to know what type of soil you have – but you also need to know what the acidity of the soil is and how much accessible Nitrogen Phosphate and Potassium is available. (often called NPK for short after the chemical symbols for these elements (K is used for Potassium because of its Latin name Kalium) There are about 12 other minor mineral nutrients that plants need. However the soils we tend to find in Europe and the UK are generally quite rich in these.

So we can offer you professional test kits as used by nursery owners like ourselves. Together with a range of multimeters which will indicate light, moisture and pH values quickly and effectively

Details of the Intelligent Gardener’s Tool Kit.

How we do business – the large print

We already run a sizeable on line business (plants4presents.co.uk) which ships nearly three thousand plants a year. So we know all about customer service and picking couriers who are reliable. We will normally turn round your order within 24 hours (we’ll email you if we can’t) and ship by first class post or courier if the value is over £30. The prices quoted are before VAT and shipping . We charge you a flat rate of £4 if the item weighs less than 1 kg and £7 if its more. If you have any problems at all you can ring 0845 094 0407 – this is a local rate call from landlines. We are here from 8am – 6pm on weekdays and it will be one of us that answers the phone – not a call centre.