The Crocus Nursery

You can grow a lot of plants on a 30 acre nursery. Crocus grow 2,823 different varieties and last year they delivered 600,000 plants to customers across the country. It takes a lot of doing, but Karen, Crocus nursery manager, has a fantastic team and every year they come up trumps come rain or ….more rain!

Peat free compost trials

For a long time gardeners and the trade were very resistant about moving away from peat, because it is such a valuable growing medium. However, there are now increasingly good alternatives and this year Crocus will be using a reduced peat mix for all their plants. The mix is 50% peat plus a mixture of bark, wood fibre and coir.

Water recycling

Despite recent years being some of the wettest on record, water is becoming an increasingly rare resource. As a nursery, Crocus use a vast amount of it. Over the last 18 months they’ve built a network of channels across the 30 acre site to collect water from the nursery and buildings. This water is collected in a reservoir and then re-used on the nursery. Last year they reduced their mains water usage by 80%.

Warehouse heating from waste material

Crocus used to use oil, but in 2010 they decided to install a wood burner. This burner is capable of burning most of their waste material – like pallets etc, which used to be sent to landfill. In recycling terms, it’s been a bit of a double whammy!

Recycled cardboard

Like any mail order company Crocus have to package everything in order to get it out to customers. As they send out 650,000 plants each year, that’s a lot of packaging. In 2010 they made sure all their boxes were made from recyclable board. That way they can, in theory, be used again.