Johnsons of Whixley is one of the longest established and largest commercial nursery businesses in Europe. On five sites, totaling 20 ha, the nursery produces over 2.8 million container grown shrubs and herbaceous plants for UK landscapers, retailers and developers.
The production team, led by Ian Nelson, relies on six Levington Advance Solutions growing media mixes, each carefully tailored to suit different crops taking in to account the key elements of grow, nurture and protect.
Working with ICL technical teams, each growing media mix contains a carefully designed blend of professionally graded raw materials manufactured at our state-of-the-art facility in Scotland.
The nutrition package is scientifically and accurately designed with the help of ICL’s award winning AngelaWeb precision nutrition software. Each mix contains the ideal Osmocote controlled-release fertilizer to maintain nutrient availability throughout the crops’ growing cycle, while the Micromax trace element package ensures appropriate levels of iron are made available helping deliver healthier, greener plants. Inclusion of the plant protection product Exemptor gives protection from all important vine weevil and aphids.
“I look upon suppliers as being ‘partners,’ working together to get the right result at ultimately the right, not necessarily the lowest, price,” says Ian Nelson. “I look for a relationship that ‘fits’ and has respect from both sides.
“The partnership with ICL has been a good one. Wendy, and the team behind her, understand the way we work and what we need.
“As we move into new products we rely on ICL’s expertise to look at new mixes to get the best outcomes. From the outset I’ve confidence I’m benefitting from their network of technical experience gained in the UK and abroad.
“Aside from the young plant, I look at the substrate as being the number one production element. It has to be spot on and it has been. Wendy’s monitoring of plant/substrate performance has been comprehensive and re-assuring.
“Of course it’s important that the substrate is here on-site as per our order – to-date we’ve never been let down. Provided we’ve followed the agreed protocol then we have been 100% satisfied in loads being here on time, free of weed contamination and of suitable moisture. While that is basic but fundamental - getting it right 46weeks a year is impressive. I guess I’m a happy customer.”