West Pinchbeck nursery at heart of horticultural industry

Grower Mike Roberts checks the progress of a tray of chives at Millview Nurseries. Photo: SG060213-114TW
Grower Mike Roberts checks the progress of a tray of chives at Millview Nurseries. Photo: SG060213-114TW
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Mike Roberts moved to south Lincolnshire 25 years ago because it is the centre of growing.

Now Mike and his wife Sue have placed themselves at the heart of the horticulture industry with the two sides of their West Pinchbeck business.

The main part of the nursery is Alpha Plants, raising mainly hardy perennials, herbs and things like grasses and penstemons for other growers.

The nursery sends out about 3m young plants all over the country annually in soil trays containing between 50 and 100 3cm plugs.

Mike and Sue began plant raising about seven or eight years ago, all grown in computer-controlled glasshouses that determine temperature, heat, lighting, ventilation, humidity and watering.

The couple started Millview Nurseries about 18 years ago, raising and finishing flowering pot and bedding plants to sell on to the garden centre trade.

Mike estimates that 40,000 plants are grown each year, again in computer-controlled glasshouses.

Mike said: “These days the finished cropping tends to fit in around the young plant production.

“We have specialised areas where we can raise from seed and cuttings and we can raise a wide range of subjects that growers would find difficult to grow and we can grow to an accurate weekly schedule so they have fresh material ready when they want to pot it.”