Urbinati Vertical Bale Breaking Machine

February 21, 2010 11:56


Last week saw the delivery of our latest piece of machinery to the nursery.

We have long since used a compost mixing machine on the nursery. We had compost delivered on a tipper lorry. We would then shovel the compost into our compost mixing machine, add in long term fertilizer as necessary and fill trays through the output of the machine.

But the compost was delivered from a long distance away and this, combined with the fact that we only had space for a delivery of 25m3 at a time (a small lorry load) meant that the compost was expensive to buy. It was also a lot of work to shovel it all into the compost mixing machine.

So, enter our new machine. We now have compost delivered in 'pro bales'. This is a pallet load of compressed compost wrapped in plastic. We take one of these pallets and load it into the front of the machine using a fork lift truck, removing the wrapping as we go.

Once the machines doors are shut, the machine uses powerful motors to lift the pallet and a set of strong metal 'scrapers' scrape the compost from the top of the pallet as it is lifted. The compost falls through a chute and into our existing compost mixing machine.

Then bale breaker is computer controller, and is worked by simple push button switches.

Filling a load of compost used to take a few minutes and a lot of elbow grease, now takes the push of a button and fifty seconds.


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plantality Offically in Beta Testing

February 19, 2010 20:15


I'm not sure I'm ready for it. I'm not sure I'll ever be ready for it. But the time has now come to state that is officially in beta testing, with the following provisos:

  • Search isn't yet working.
  • Receiving emails doesn't yet work (if you send a private message, and the reply comes via email, you should be hit the reply button and email a reply back). This doesn't affect outgoing email (for sign ups etc).
  • While the code is in beta testing, much of the website is still in alpha (or less than alpha) state: my web designer is still working on it.
  • My units tests are showing a few error, but they are either cosmetic or only affect admin areas of the site.
  • Clicking the 'use for profile' option for one of your uploaded images causes a failure. I know where the problem is, but not (yet) how to fix it.

Feel free to play away and try your best to break things.



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Potentilla "Primrose Beauty"

February 18, 2010 12:27


Potentilla Primrose Beauty

Potentilla is a deciduous shrub hardy to zone 7. It's close relationship to the strawberry is shown in the similarly shaped flowers, being 5-petalled flat discs about an inch(3cm) across. Unlike some shrubs which are a mass of flower for a short period, Potentillas tend to bear less flowers at one time, but for a much longer period. You can expect a Potentilla to be in flower for most of the summer, but it may take some short breaks while it catches it's breath. In "Primrose Beauty" they are coloured a delicate primrose-yellow. Other varieties are available in colours from white to orange, yellow and (rarely) red.

Potentilla "Primrose Beauty" is a compact shrub growing to a height and width of 2-3 feet (70-100cm). Leaves are about an inch (2cm) across, mid-green and deeply lobed. Care is fairly simple, trim back by about half in early spring, and the flowers are too small to be worthwhile deadheading. As with other shrubs a mulch or bark or composted horse-manure in spring will help with flowering. Grow Potentillas in any reasonable garden soil with average moisture levels and fairly neutral acidity.

Photo by seeks2dream


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First Delivery of the Year

February 13, 2010 14:29


It's not every Monday morning that is interrupted by a large lorry covered in massive pictures of pansies backs into our yard. Nor, indeed, every Monday that the a burly, muscular northern driver descends from his cab and, after a little conversation, is clearly unhappy with driving a lorry covered in massive pictures of pansies.

At least our suppliers have been spending they're budgets prettying things up over the quiet winter season (a second lorry arrive half an hour later, from a different supplier, and it's driver told me his lorry was shortly due to be covered in giant pictures. Let me know if you see these lorries out and about).

So kicked off week six (or the sixth week of the year for those not in the trade). This was the first week that a most suppliers have a large range of varieties available to send out, and so it's our first big delivery week of the year.

Delivered this week we have geraniums (zonal, ivy, scented leaved and fancy leaved), fuchsias, penstemon, ostoespermum, argryanthemum and a few other bits besides.

A grand total of over 10,000 plant. Yikes, that's a lot.


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A Little About Me

February 09, 2010 22:59


I grew up (and still live) in southern England. My parents ran a market garden growing tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and lettuce for the local wholesale market, so I've always been around and interested in plants.

After university I returned to the family business which by this time had moved site and mutated into a retail plant nursery growing mainly bedding plants and plants for hanging baskets and patio containers plus a small range of hardy shrubs and perennials. My parents and I still run the business to this day.

I also grew up with computers, starting with a Sinclair ZX80. I learnt to program and always wanted to write and sell my own software. I achieved that dream when the internet made selling software easy in the late nineties, and I've run a side-line selling my software ever since.

For the last year or so I've been mulling over the idea of creating an online community of some sort. My first idea was for something related to model railways, another interest of mine, but looking at a list of popular hobbies one day I noticed gardening up in the top ten. Well, I know far more about gardening than I do about model railways, so a gardening website it would be.

And now it's ready for the world. As with every piece of software, there will be bugs to be fixed. If you notice anything amiss don't hesitate to use the 'Contact Us' link at the bottom of every page.


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Welcome to

February 09, 2010 21:05


Hello, and welcome to My name is Mike and I'm the owner of this site. If you've found your way here you're probably wondering what this place is all about.

Well, it's my idea for a website where gardeners can kick off their boots and gloves, settle down in a comfy chair and talk gardens. Something for those days when it's too cold or wet to get outside, if you like (unless you're of the hard core who go outside whatever the weather).

Once you've signed up here (for free, of course) you can post a profile describing yourself and you interests, make friends with other gardeners, post status updates about what's going on in your gardening life, upload photos of your garden and plants, and write blog posts about anything gardening related.

We welcome all ability levels newbies to green fingered experts, and all types and sizes of garden from a few houseplants on the windowsill to great rolling country estates. You can talk about anything from flowers to vegetables, fruit to the wildlife that eats it (or preferably the food you leave out for them). As long as it's related to gardens or plants (and suitable for a family audience) it's welcome.

Here's raising a glass to a long and healthy future.


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