From order to delivery
Stage One: The blocking Process
Specialist blocking peat is delivered and unloaded into one of three large bunkers. An automated machine known as the “digger” collects peat via a large bucket and moves it to a large hopper located at the back of the bunkers. From here it is mixed to break any large lumps and add water to bring it to a semi consistent moisture level. The peat continues up a series of conveyors until it reaches one of 4 blocking lines. Each blocking line has its own mixer to finalise and create a consistently moist substrate.
The moist peat is now moulded into blocks, seed is then sown and the blocks are now moved from conveyor to tray. After this, customers then have the opportunity to add sand/vermiculite or any other fertiliser if required.
Trays are then transported via fork truck to the Germination room. This room is under strict temperature control to maintain optimal germination conditions.
Stage Two: Standing down
After the predetermined days set for germination. Plants are transported out of the germination rooms via fork truck and placed into a holding area ready to be stood down via the internal transport system. This system consists of three parts, the platform, shuttle and carrier.
The trays are de stacked via an automated de stacking machine and laid out into a group on the platform totalling 130 trays at a time. The Platform then pushes these across onto the shuttle ready to be transported to the machine known as the carrier.
Once the shuttle has been loaded it travels autonomously to the location of a carrier. The carrier then drives onto the shuttle and removes all 130 trays and places them into a designated bay.
This entire process can be completed by a mere 3 employees at a rate of around 2000 trays & 300,000+ Plants an hour.
Stage Three: Delivery Day
Plants have now reached appropriate size and strength to be transplanted. The internal transport system now works in reverse. Starting with the carrier and working back to them being stacked onto pallets. They are then strapped and transported to the loading area awaiting to be placed onto lorries.
This is all done by 4 people which gives us great flexibility and the ability to adapt to the ever fighting weather conditions our farmers face.