Home Vegetables Optigrow seeds: RHS Chelsea Garden Product of the Year 2018

Optigrow seeds: RHS Chelsea Garden Product of the Year 2018

David Turner and Ian Cross with Deborah Meaden at this year's RHS Chelsea Flower Show. Picture; Mr Fothergill's
David Turner and Ian Cross with Deborah Meaden at this year's RHS Chelsea Flower Show. Picture; Mr Fothergill's

Non-chemical way to prime seeds for faster germination

You can be sure that the finalists for the RHS Chelsea Garden Product of the Year are an eclectic bunch and one I’ve often criticised for being elitist and out of ordinary gardeners’ price range.

However, this year’s winner is within everyone’s range – Mr Fothergill’s Optigrow seed range, which beat 11 other finalists, ranging from £1.75 to £26,000!

Optigrow is a non-chemical seed priming treatment that uses only water and air to get the seed biologically ready for germination, breaking dormancy before use.

It is then quickly dried back to a storable state for packing, just like any other seed.

The treatment means seeds wake up and get going within hours of hitting the soil.

Super-fast germination

Not only do Optigrow seeds promise super-fast germination, they are also proven to produce vigorous seedlings able to out-grow competing weeds.

Extensive trialling of Optigrow seeds under garden conditions has consistently produced more uniform crops, better harvests and quality vegetables.

There is also evidence that germination becomes possible under a wider range of conditions, allowing gardeners to sow Optigrow seeds in colder, warmer and drier conditions than the ideal.

The judges said: “In a world where we are trying to remove the use of chemicals, this unique non-chemical process naturally prepares seeds for more successful sowing.

“Anything that removes disappointment in seed germination is to be welcomed.”

Step change in seed market

Mr Fothergill’s retail marketing manager, Ian Cross, said: “We are pleased that Optigrow was recognised by the judges.

“Seed priming has been used in professional growing for many years but the launch of this range marks a real step change in the seed market.

“It presents the professional and hobby gardener alike with genuine and valuable performance benefits.

“It is the most exciting development for home gardeners since the introduction of F1 hybrid seed varieties.”

The range has 19 vegetable varieties, priced from £1.80 to £3.75. For more information, visit www.mr-fothergills.co.uk.

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Mandy Watson is a freelance journalist and an incurable plantaholic. MandyCanUDigIt grew from the tiny seed of a Twitter account into the rainforest of information you see before you. Gardening columnist for the Sunderland Echo, Shields Gazette and Hartlepool Mail and editor of the Teesdale Mercury Magazine. Attracted by anything rebellious, exotic and nerdy, even after all these years. Passionate about northern England and gardens everywhere. Falls over a lot.

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