Seeds for growth
An award-winning landscaping supplier, who recently expanded its business with the purchase of a respected wildflower seed company, is drawing on the BDC’s expertise to help drive change in the horticultural industry by investigating the germination rates of seed varieties from several seed sources.
Harrogate based Green-tech acquired John Chambers Wildflower Seeds in 2013, a company with an enviable reputation for quality and reliability. “We knew we were buying a business that was trusted and respected throughout the industry. But we wanted to take it a step further,” says Green-tech’s chairman, Richard Kay.
“Currently there is no legislation compelling suppliers to specify the germination rates of their products,” he added. “By carrying out tests on germination rates we believe that we will not only earn the trust of our customers but will also be able to throw down a gauntlet for others in the industry to follow. We hope to raise the standards, which is why we came to BDC.”
Using ERDF funding, the BDC’s plant specialists analysed more than 20 different types of wildflower seed from Vipers Bugloss and Corncockle through to Black Medick and Lady’s Bedstraw, some of which required a process known as stratification to break them out of dormancy.
“The results provided the company with a detailed set of figures for the germination rates of the seeds,” said BDC technologist, Sue Heywood. “By testing their seed batches at regular intervals Green-tech will be able to say with confidence what the germination rates are for different wildflowers. That would set them apart in the industry and give them a unique selling point.”