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Growing Techniques

Growing techniques

At Bean Place Nursery we are trying to grow in a more sustainable way by reducing the amounts of chemicals, fertilizers and water we use. Water is collected from the roof of the greenhouse and other buildings and then used around the nursery. Water consumption has been reduced by the construction of capillary beds. Slugs are kept at bay via biological control in the form of nemaslug. Chemicals have been dramatically reduced by the use of more organic crop sprays such as Garlic Barrier and SB Plant Invigorator.

Capillary beds

We have constructed outdoor capillary beds on which our plants are grown. These are constructed by placing a plastic sheet at the bottom with drainage pipes laid on top. This is then covered with a layer of sand and a permeable membrane placed over the top.
Capiliary Bed Under Construction Completed Beds
Water is taken by gravity from the main tank and fed through the drainage pipes into the capillary beds. The water is taken up by the plants as required. In winter, the water is drained from the beds through the pipes, removing any unwanted water and allowing the plant to over winter with no loss of root. By growing the plants on capillary beds they are supplied with as much or as little water as each plant requires. This produces a healthier plant because the cells of the plant have not elongated due to over watering, which produces a much better plant structure and the plant copes more easily if it comes under stress during prolonged hot or dry spells. The root system is also healthier and is already used to searching for water from below making them quicker to establish in your garden once they have been planted.


Nemaslug is a biological control for slugs and small water snails, using a parasitic nematode called Phasmarhabditis Hermaphrodita. These are applied twice a year, once in the spring and then again in early autumn. They are applied with a sprayer and then watered in to allow them to move around to find the slugs. This has proven to be an efficient and environmentally friendly way of controlling slugs on the nursery.

Organic Sprays

We prefer to not use chemicals unnecessarily at the nursery and have adopted a more organic approach using Garlic Barrier and SB Plants Invigorator.  
Garlic Barrier is a very strong natural liquid garlic extract that we dilute with water before spraying it over the foliage of our plants to help aid natural resistance to insect pests and fungal diseases. Completely safe to people, pets and other animals as well as the environment and bees. 
SB Plant Invigorator is a natural pesticide and mildewcide as well as being a foliar feed at the same time. We spray this over our plants throughout the growing season maintaining strong healthy growth in a non-toxic and environmentally friendly way which is not harmful to the bees.