With seven locations in South East England, Hall Hunter is one of the largest soft fruit growers in Britain.
With 7 sites in the South East of England, Hall Hunter is one of the largest soft fruit growers in Great Britain. The family business has been growing strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries since 1966. Raspberry cultivation has traditionally suffered from root problems such as Phytopthora, uneven growth and failure of parent plants. Through fellow grower Trayplant, Hall approached Hunter PHC for advice. Based on that advice, a large-scale practical trial with 400,000 plants was initiated. In cooperation with potting soil supplier Jiffy, adhesive plugs were produced with a mixture of PHC Miniplug (mycorrhizal spores) and PHC Biovin. The glue plugs with cuttings were transferred to 7 litre pots with coconut mixture. The plants with PHC treatment have not been treated with fungicides. Fertilisation is according to the standard programme.
Based on PHC advice, a large-scale field trial with 400,000 plants has been initiated.
The results are clearly visible. The mother plants have grown stronger and more evenly. The plants are virtually disease-free, which means that the drop-out rate is minimal.
The plants grown in the standard manner show uneven growth and more failures due to Phytophthora. The plants grown with PHC Miniplug (mycorrhizal spores) and PHC Biovin in the potting soil grow faster and are stronger.
Meanwhile, colonisation tests have been done on these plants to assess the development of mycorrhizae. This laboratory research shows that the colonisation is well under way. This can also be seen in the more finely divided rooting with more hairy side roots. This rooting gives a higher fertiliser efficiency, as considerably less fertiliser is washed out.
Although the medium was found to contain phytopthora spores, the plants themselves were not affected. This provides a growth advantage and a cost saving in resources and labour. All in all, the plants make a strong, healthy impression. We will keep you informed of the progress of this practical trial.