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. In 2010 we introduced compost tea into our system and we have been very pleased with the results.

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 is 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 better plant structure and a healthier root system.


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.

Compost Tea

Compost Tea is the “actimel” of the plant world. It is a mix of beneficial organisms that help to keep the plants healthy and makes the plants more resistant to attack. Compost Tea is environmentally friendly and reduces the need for extra fertilizers, pesticides and fungicides. Compost Tea is safe and it is applied via the over head irrigation pipes to cover the surface of the plants.



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