Today I revisited a Garden Centre to speak with a horticulturist called Leonard Jacques, in Waterford:
Leonard grows plants purely to sell them, however his wife grows vegetables to harvest. Leonard would grow his own vegetables but he does not have the time to maintain both plants to sell and plants to use. He has noticed an increased interest in selling vegetable plants, and states that the most people buy vegetable seeds and plants from the end of April to the end of May. In fact, he is almost out of stock by this time. Even though his stock sells relatively quickly, Leonard is still adamant that there is still a very small market for these types of plants and seeds, roughly 5% of his entire sales per year. Also, prices haven’t changed for vegetable seeds and plants in over two decades. He says that this is due to the seasonal nature of vegetables growing, but added that a product that could take seasons out of the equation would be very useful and beneficial. The people who are interested in growing their own fruit and vegetables are quite varied, Leonard mentioned, with no apparent group of people standing out.
Leonard also does not use any methods other than traditional ones to grow his plants. He has enough land and expertise in this area to use these methods effectively and efficiently:
Speaking of traditional, organic cultivation methods, Leonard also mentions that he has many visitors who bring diseased leaves and plants to him, asking for advice and products to help cure their plants.
This, and other information taken from the interview will definitely help me with this project.
Today I had also organised a trip to an allotment in New Ross, but due to unforeseen circumstances, that trip has been moved to tomorrow.
Grows plants purely to sell them
Does not have the time to grow plants for cultivation
Has had people visit him with issues of plant disease
Uses traditional methods only
His stock of kitchen garden seeds goes on sale at the end of April, but are gone by the end of May
Kitchen Garden seeds account for about 5% of his total sales