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

Introduction to Organic Pest Control

One of the delights of having a birthday at the back end of February is that you know if you can just grit your teeth and hang on till the critical date then winter will nearly be over.

The light has turned already and things are starting to stir. However, we know that if spring time comes the pests won’t be far behind.

One of the things we’ve been doing here during the winter is going out and giving talks to gardening societies about how to control pests biologically. This means using their natural predators to keep them in balance. As we run a plant nursery specialising in house plants on the one hand and organic vegetables on the other we have a fair amount of experience in managing the attacks of pests like red spider mite, mealy bug, whitefly and of course the inevitable slug.

So the talk is based on our own experiences in controlling them ourselves. We’ve chopped the highlights up into a series of videos – one for each of these major pests.  These combine slides with the chance to see some small videos we’ve taken of some of the pests and their predators in action so that if you’ve never had the chance to see the enemy face to face you can have the chance to get to know them. They’re posted on our  You-tube channel so we thought it would be quite timely to post the series over the next few weeks.

To get you started here’s the introduction video.

Enjoy :)

 

SB Plant Invigorator

SB Plant Invigorator

SB Plant Invigorator

We came across this product when looking for a spray that would control citrus mealy bug when light levels were low in the winter. We now use it extensively on imported pot plants, which often arrive with a few aphids or other unwelcome guests.

This is another product from natural ingredients which is totally biodegradable. It has a three-way benefits.

  1. It controls mildew and other fungal infections.
  2. It acts as a foliar feed to strengthen plant growth.
  3. It attacks a wide variety of insects on contact, simply by gumming up their wings and breathing tubes.

The 500ml bottle goes a long way – it will dilute 100 to 1 to make up 50 litres of solution. This product

Acts as a bio-stimulant – strengthening the plant
Acts as a disinfectant – killing bacteria and fungi
Acts as an insecticide – killing insects on contact

We use SBI to control and reduce aphids, blackfly, red spider mite, scale insects and mealybug at our nursery at Fletching Glasshouses. We use it almost every other week and wet the plant thoroughly including the undersides of leaves where the aphids and crawlers like to lurk.

Repeat applications are necessary because it works by “suffocating” the smaller insects and there will always be the danger of more hatching out or flying in to replace them.
We even “dunk” small plants upside-down in SBI if the aphids are hiding in the flower buds

You can buy this product via our Ladybird Plantcare Site or on Amazon.

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

Amblyseius and Red spider mite

Currently causing problems for our customers is the glasshouse spider mite is known as “Red Spider Mites” they are actually better named “Two Spotted Mites”. When active they are pale greeny-brown in colour and can be recognised by the two 2 dark dots on their backs – they are only red in winter. […]

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. […]

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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Cosmic Beetroot - a great recipe

This is a great recipe for beetroot. It goes really well with Curries – we used to used to serve it with Keema Korma […]

Visit to TableHurst farm

Yesterday I visited Tablehurst farm near here as part of a group organised by the Food academics group at the local universities. This is a community supported agriculture scheme run by a co-op of around 600 local people.

The organiser is active on the management team but in his day job is prof of land economy at the University of Brighton.

The relevance to this thread is that they got some money to do a research project into the motivation Ot the group. They chose to do this by involving one of the activists in creating an oral history.

Certain […]

Wanted! Research into slugs, thistles, TB and much more | OGA – Organic Growers Alliance

See on Scoop.it – Communication in Business AlanRae‘s insight:

Interesting set of research projects in UK via Soil Association

See on www.organicgrowersalliance.co.uk

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