Growing peg plants – bare root transplants – Webinar
Date Published: 14th February 2023
This webinar explored the potential of ‘peg plants’ as an agroecological and sustainable alternative to transplants in modules and blocks.
It covered the opportunities and challenges of growing peg plants. What crops are best-suited? How much space do you need? How do the costs compare? Do I need to change my planting machine?
Most vegetable transplants were produced as bare-rooted transplants or ‘peg plants’ prior to the uptake of peat blocks and modules. They allow more flexibility for the grower, as they can hold longer in the soil, simply growing bigger, without getting too stressed or needing additional feeding. This can be an advantage in wet summers when planting can be held up due to unfavourable ground conditions. Crucially, for organic systems they give seedlings a perfect start in biologically active soil, and can be much more robust and resilient than modular grown plants.
Iain Tolhurst (Tolly) of Tolhurst Organic has been growing organically since 1976 and is one of the country’s most highly respected organic growers and advisers. He grows 17 acres of field vegetables in addition to a 2 acre walled garden, supplying their own box scheme, farmers markets and veg shed. They raise around 80,000 transplants a year with 50,000 as peg plants and 30,000 as modules and pots using their own growing media developed with their own composted woodchip.
Nathan Richards grows 15 acres of organic vegetables at Troed y Rhiw in west Wales. He shared his experiences of growing peg plants.
Phil Sumption (Bio Communications/OGA) briefly presented a hybrid system of Soil Assisted Modules, pioneered by Brian Adair in Jersey, suitable for leeks.