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What could be better than home grown potatoes at Christmas? British Garden Centres own Sharp’s Express Seed Potatoes are easy to grow but remember to choose a place in the garden which has not been used to grow garlic, onions, shallots or leeks for at least two years. The soil should be open, well drained and not have been manured for at least one year.

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What could be better than home grown potatoes at Christmas? British Garden Centres own Sharp’s Express Seed Potatoes are easy to grow but remember to choose a place in the garden which has not been used to grow garlic, onions, shallots or leeks for at least two years. The soil should be open, well drained and not have been manured for at least one year.

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Unrooted cutting supply comes in from suppliers based in Central/South America, Africa and Europe.

Products are available in varying cell sizes, providing you with plugs that best fit your production requirements.

ThinkPlants™ is a marketing initiative representing a dedicated team, including plant breeding experts, which is seamlessly connected to a supply chain creating an innovative plant offering for consumers and the North American Nursery industry.

Unlike many growers serving large retailers, our November cover operation, Green Circle Growers in Oberlin, Ohio, is very well diversified. While some growers will have as much as 80 percent of their business devoted to one retailer, Green Circle balances this with a well-rounded retail base and as a plug powerhouse serving growers through sister company Express Seed.

Express Seed was founded in 1982 by John van Wingerden and Ron Pierre to address the needs of core growers serving 80 percent of the U.S. market. One of the early innovations was selling seed by number instead of weight for more precise sowing. "Express has always been about grower solutions," says John’s son David van Wingerden, who is a manager at Express. "We take growers to the breeders to give breeders more direction. We’re not tied into our own breeding, so we can be objective. Our greenhouses also are a nice laboratory to see what the issues are and what’s happening with the varieties we grow and sell."

Heading into poinsettia season, cuttings were down. "In poinsettias, we’ve seen a large reduction in the last three years, and that’s only in cuttings," John says. "There was a serious surplus. Poinsettias are up against diversity because now there are alternatives, like cyclamen and orchids."

Trends John and David have observed include a reduction in the number of plugs and a shift to larger plugs later in the season. "Growers are transferring the time spent early in the greenhouse to plug and liner specialists," David says. "The last few years we’ve seen a shift from cheap plugs to programmable items that are consistent every time."

Another reason the volume of plugs and cuttings are down is growers have learned how to shrink their shrink. "We shrank what we throw out," John says. "As an industry, business will be tough until we adjust to numbers that are practical."