Martin Fish, and our friends at Pots & Trowels, have been to sunny Suffolk to visit the Mr Fothergill’s trials ground on Press Day to see how it all works behind the scenes and take a sneak peek at next year’s new for 2022 seeds!
We all look through the wonderful Fothergill’s catalogue when it lands on our doorstep, but have you ever wondered how Mr Fothergill’s decides which varieties to sell? The trials ground is a place to grow and test existing varieties to ensure they do what they say on the packet and help the team decide what to sell, but it’s also where new varieties are tested and launched.
You can join Martin Fish as he explores the grounds in the video below, or you can keep reading to find out what delights you could be growing in 2022!
What Flowers Should I Grow in 2022?
Gaura (Emmeline White) producesdainty flowering stalks that will flower from late spring to September. You’ll have to do some small deadheading, of course, but these dwarf plants will look fab in containers or on your border. They need a sunny, well-drained position, but they look magnificent, and they are a beautiful addition to the 2022 collection.
If you’re looking for some fast-growing annual climbers, the wonderful Ipomea (Morning Glory) are a fantastic choice from the Mr Fothergill’s range. These are sown in the spring, and grow up wigwams of canes, just as runner beans do. These will flower from late summer through to late autumn and have masses of buds. You’ll find them in traditional deep violets or pink cerise colours, which can add a statement piece to your garden, or even small red flowers with attractive foliage. These flowers add height to your garden, and you can bring them back year on year. You can find out even more about the new season flowers on the Mr Fothergill’s website.
What Vegetables Should I Grow in 2022?
On the veg side there are some great options, with new varieties of courgettes, runner beans, leeks and much more.
If you like your big onions, then the Kelsae onion is one that’s very well-known, and is being reintroduced for 2022. These are grown from seed and will need to be sown in the late winter. They are a sweeter variety – not too strong, but nice and mild. Do note, though, that big onions often don’t keep well and need to be eaten by late autumn. Great for the showbench!
If leeks are one of your favourite veg to grow, there is a new variety that will be launched called, Autora F1. These are lovely strong leeks with a gorgeous foliage and a lovely taste! They also have a good resistance to rust.
On the trials ground, there is lots of growing taking place in polytunnels too, with over 80 different varieties of indoor tomatoes being trialled. They’re all grown in 10-litre pots and then plunged into a growbag so they’ve got a good root system – everything from cherries to beef steak to plum tomatoes. The Mr F new for 2022 range includes the incredible beefsteak variety Tomato Supersteak F1 – perfect for a burger bun!
What Did Mr Fothergill’s Have to Say?
Mr Fothergill’s is very proud of their trials and of their grounds. With over an acre of space on the site for testing and growing, it’s a fantastic plot. The factory is also on site and is full of packets and seeds, as well as packers hard at work.
The visuals of seeing the trial site is fantastic. Seeing the real-life products growing adds a whole different layer of understanding. Mr Fothergill’s work with growers from around the world to sample new varieties, test how the seeds work and how they perform before they’re brought into the range.
Ian Cross, Head of Marketing for Mr Fothergill’s Seeds, said: “The site is not open to the public, so the press are lucky to have a look around on days like this. We use this working trial ground to grow thousands and thousands of lines and move things around every year. We grow crops to see how they perform and treat the areas as a home gardener would do, using the standard processes and methods of growing that anyone would at home, to see how our plants perform.”
A lot of development work takes place to test vegetables and talk with growers, specifically trying to bring back older varieties of plants and working to ensure the home gardener is getting what they need, such as gradual cropping instead of glut growth.
How Can I Buy Mr Fothergill’s New for 2022 Seeds?
To get your hands on the exciting Mr Fothergill’s 2022 stock, visit the Mr Fothergill’s website and keep updated with all things Mr F by following them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. You can also keep reading our Darlac blogs, and we’ll be sure to let you know about these exciting seeds!
At Darlac, we’ve got the tool to help you with your planting and sowing jobs, like our stunning bamboo Weeding and Seeding Trowel. You can find these in store from your local garden centre. Read more about Darlac stockists here.
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