Be Sure with Gro-Sure – £1m TV and national press spend!

Garden retailers can ‘be sure’ they are stocking the right products this spring, with £1m pledged for Gro-Sure’s TV and national press campaign.

The Be Sure with Gro-Sure® campaign is back on TV screens with a series of 10 second TV adverts, supported by national advertising. These will drive 14m consumers to your doors. It is estimated that 2 out of 3 consumers will see the adverts at least once.

The adverts each feature different gardeners who are not sure how to achieve success in their gardens. Gro-Sure® products provide reassurance and a solution to their problems. There are 2 separate 10 second adverts to promote Gro-Sure® Smart Lawn Seed and Gro-Sure® Easy Containers Compost. They will be aired from April 24 to May 29, including key Bank Holiday weekends.

Jen Richardson, Senior Marketing Manager for Gro-Sure said: “Our research tells us that regardless of gardening experience, many of us are unsure how to get the best results. Gro-Sure® packets feature our ‘Grow with Certainty’ promise, meaning consumers are given reassurance they have picked the right product.”

Westland giving away £15,000 of garden makeover vouchers in promotional compost giveaway

To celebrate its 15th anniversary, Westland Multi-Purpose Compost with John Innes will be giving away £1,000 of garden makeover vouchers to 15 lucky consumers.

The anniversary branded packs will feature on 50L and 60L packs of the compost from February 2017 onwards, designed to help consumers join in the celebrations. Winners will be selected in a monthly prize draw from April to August (3 winners each month), with a PR and digital campaign running to maximise the campaign. Stores will also be given bespoke POS will be provided to retailers to support the promotion and drive sales through.

Since being launched 15 years ago, Westland Multi-Purpose with John Innes has become a ‘go-to’ compost for many, appealing to all types of gardeners. The compost is Westland’s No.1 selling compost* with more than twice the rate of sale than its main competitor*. It regularly receives 5* peer-to-peer recommendations online amongst happy consumers, who love it because it produces consistent quality results.

Jen Richardson, Marketing Manager for Westland Horticulture said: “Westland Multi- Purpose with John Innes is now 15 and still going strong! It is our leading compost and has thousands of loyal consumers.

“To celebrate this we will be encouraging these gardeners to celebrate this milestone with us by offering £1,000 of garden makeover vouchers to 15 lucky customers. This competition will be promoted on pack and will benefit from full PR and instore support, including online marketing and bespoke POS.”

It’s time for a revolution in mulch!

westland colourwestlandgro-sure-smart-ground-coverSay goodbye to messy, weedy borders with Gro-Sure Smart Cover, a revolution in mulch that has the appearance of freshly dug soil.

Gro-Sure Smart Cover is the result of 3 years of research and testing and is an industry first! Smart because it’s protective, weed-supressing, decorative and locks together to stay in place.

Delivering weed-free, neat and tidy borders that enhance the natural beauty and colours of your plants, flowers and shrubs – the holy grail of gardening achievements!

Wind, animals and sloping ground can cause other mulches to look messy quickly. Gro- Sure® Smart Cover uniquely locks together, staying neat and tidy for longer!

westland-gro-sure-smart-ground-cover-trial-picturesOffering 75% better weed protection than bark*. Gro-Sure® Smart Cover helps gardeners to win the war on weeds and ideal for those looking for a natural, yet easy alternative to weed control.

Protects plants in beds and borders by creating a micro-climate to keep roots insulated against ice and snow in the winter and moist during summer months.

One bag of Gro-Sure® Smart Cover will treat 50% more ground than an equivalent bag of bark. Plus, as it’s made from wood fibre, Gro-Sure® Smart Cover is easier to handle and transport to a garden than conventional mulching materials.

Jo Wilkinson, Senior Marketing Manager for Westland Horticulture, said: “Gro-Sure® Smart Cover is a revolution in mulching! It delivers the appearance of freshly dug soil, providing a quick makeover for beds and borders with long lasting benefits…giving gardeners more time to enjoy their garden!”


Incredicompost®: best growing media on the market

Thompson & MorganIt takes confidence to launch a new product in a crowded market while claiming to have the best in the business, but consumer champion Which? has confirmed what Thompson & Morgan already knew: the mail order specialist’s incredicompost® really is the best overall compost for sowing seeds and raising young plants.

The premium-grade compost was officially launched in March 2015 in response to increased levels of Thompson & Morgan customer disappointment with existing blends on the market, which were leading to poor performance in their gardens from the mail order specialist’s core range of seeds and young plants. Following extensive in-house comparison trials incredicompost® was launched along with incredibloom® and incredicrop® fertilisers, promising the healthiest of plants with up to 400 per cent more flowers and fruit.

Incredicompost Credit THOMPSON & MORGANJustifiably the trials team at Which? Gardening was keen to put the claims to the test. Their independent trials, carried out during the 2015 growing season, have named incredicompost® as the best overall compost for sowing seeds and raising young plants. It was given a score of 95 per cent for sowing seeds, setting it well ahead of the next best performer, which scored 80 per cent. It came miles ahead of the worst seed sowing performer, labelled a ‘Don’t Buy’ product by the trials team having scored just 33 per cent. For raising young plants incredicompost® also gained a high 90 per cent test score, leading to a Which? Best Buy.

Two seed varieties, antirrhinum and cabbage, were sown in the Which? trial and two plant varieties, fibrous begonias and tomatoes, were chosen for growing on. According to the trial report incredicompost® “had the highest germination rate by far for the antirrhinum seed and close to perfect germination for cabbage seed. The seedlings were all very healthy. The young begonias were the best in the test and the tomatoes were robust plants.”

In another Which? Gardening compost test looking at container performance, incredicompost® was listed as a recommended product: “The bedding plants [grown in incredicompost®] were dazzling. They shot away and were larger and flowered better than in most other composts early in the season. They were also superb in August.”

Thompson & Morgan Horticultural Director Paul Hansord said: “We always knew we were on to a winner with our first move into the compost market. Our aim with incredicompost® has been to develop a premium-quality product that brings consistency and reliability back to the market – something that has been missing since the increased use of green waste materials in a bid to reduce peat content in many well-known brands. Gardeners are keen to reduce their peat use but many have reported poor results with green-waste products.”

He adds: “To reduce the peat in our blend we have instead included wood fibre, sourced from Irish saw mills, actually making use of a surplus by-product. This wood fibre is graded by chip size, so each time we make a new batch we can guarantee consistency from our ingredients, leading to consistent performance from the compost, no matter the time of year or which ‘batch’ our customers are supplied from .”

If you can’t afford failure in the garden, choose incredicompost® for the best performance from all your seeds and plants. Available from Prices from £9.99

incredicompost® comes packed with trace elements and minerals and like many other composts includes wetting agent for easy watering, plus a little pre-mixed fertiliser to ensure good early growth. What sets it out from the crowd is a pre-packed sachet of incredibloom® in every bag for mixing in at planting time, ensuring strong healthy growth for 7+ months – a little goes a long way! Separating the feed into a sachet prevents degradation (leading to either a lack of nutrients for plants or nutrient scorch), a common problem with other pre-mixed, long lasting composts.

Full coverage of the compost trials can be found in the Jan/Feb 2016 and April 2016 issues of Which? Gardening

Consumer insight leads to new range of traditional compost

westland colourA traditional range of compost has been launched to help core gardeners achieve the results of their dreams.

The Westland Gardener’s Range has been developed following 2 years of in-depth consumer insight, in which respondents were asked to describe their perfect growing media – a traditional nutrient-rich growing media of old.

Dympna Carron, Brand Manager for Westland said: “We’ve listened to our core consumers, who told us they want a core range of growing media, which is rich, dark and packed with nutrients.

“These consumers aren’t afraid to roll up their sleeves and get stuck in. They recognise the complexity of gardening and are looking for a compost to rely on when Mother Nature deals them a blow.”

There will be 3 products in the range, all featuring a simple, yet attractive pack with the ‘approved by Westland, loved by gardeners’ stamp of approval. Each will be launched exclusively at garden centres in a 50L size, priced at £5.99 RRP:

  • Westland Gardeners Range Seed and Potting On Compost 50L - NEW  Multi-Purpose Compost – Rich, peaty compost for all plants, vegetables, trees and shrubs. Perfect for all round use. Feeds for up to 8 weeks.
  •   Seed & Potting-On Mix – Rich, peaty compost for seedlings and young plants. Contains peat, West+, loam, vermiculite and horticultural sand. Plus contains organo-mineral fertiliser and added seaweed extract for young plants.
  •  Soil Conditioner – Rich, dark, open structure, which adds vital organic matter for all soil types. Improves soil fertility and productivity.

Dympna Carron, Brand Manager for Westland, said: “There’s a reason why we’re the only manufacturer to be driving growth (17.6%) in the category* and that’s because consumers trust Westland to give them a compost which is consistent and delivers results.

“Core gardeners make repeat purchases with Westland composts as they know it will be the same great quality, every bag, every time! This range will help us to drive home this advantage even further.”

Kelkay to launch exclusive RHS Gardeners Collection at Glee 2015

Kelkay logokelkay RHS StandKelkay, the market-leading manufacturer and distributor of aggregates, will launch an exclusive range of horticultural grits and sands at Glee 2015. The range is endorsed by the world-renowned Royal Horticulture Society (RHS).

Kelkay’s RHS Gardeners Collection comprises Sliver Sand, Grit Sand, Sharp Sand, Potting Grit and Washed Gravel. All are available to retailers in large packs and handy packs.

This versatile, bespoke range offers infinite options for the garden from improving drainage, aeration, aquatic planting, creating rockery and Alpine gardens to mixing with composts for seed planting. Included on the reverse of each bag are expert tips from the RHS on how to get the very best from the range.

1021 River Pebs bag 001

Antony Harker, managing director at Kelkay, said: “It’s fantastic to launch a new range with the support of the RHS. The RHS only supports the best products on the market, so it’s a real honour to offer retailers products with such prestigious endorsement. The RHS Gardeners Collection embodies everything retailers and their customers love about Kelkay products – durability, versatility and longevity.”

To help retailers maximise sales, this range is supported by a new stand with eye-catching point of sale materials to promote the RHS Gardeners Collection and special deals.

The RHS is the world’s leading gardening charity. It works with carefully selected companies to develop products that set the highest standards of quality and design.

Exclusive compost and fertilisers hit the spot with mail order gardeners

T&MLaunching a premium range in a crowded market brings risk, but Thompson & Morgan’s first move into the compost arena has paid off for the mail order specialist and its customers!

Lugging hefty bags of compost to and from the car is now a thing of the past, as is poor quality. Thompson & Morgan customers can now add the incredi-range to their mail order baskets to get the very best from their seeds, plugs and instant impact plants.

The incredi-range includes incredicompost® – a professional grade reduced-peat blend, incredibloom® – a controlled slow release granular fertiliser for ornamental plants, and incredicrop® – controlled release feed for edible plants. The range puts reliability back into the compost market, following customer disappointment with existing blends in recent years. Better still, both unique feeds promise 400% more flowers, fruit and veg from a single use.

t&m incredirange imageAs with standard blends, incredicompost® comes with added wetting agent and fertiliser to ensure good growth. What sets it out from the crowd is a pre-packed sachet of incredibloom® in every bag, for mixing in at planting time, ensuring continued strong, healthy growth for 7+ months – a little goes a long way! Separating the feed into a sachet prevents degradation (leading to lack of nutrients for plants) and ‘overheating’ while bagged in storage, which can lead to root scorch when put to use in containers – a common problem with other pre-mixed blends.

Thompson & Morgan Horticultural Director, Paul Hansord, says feedback from customers is really positive and that sales speak for themselves: “Uptake in the first year has outsold our wildest dreams – we’ve sold 65 tons of the fertilisers alone. From what customers are sending us, its going to be a hard job picking a winner for our Plants for Life Competition.”

Customers can send images of plants grown using the incredi- range for a chance to win £100 worth of plants every year for life. T&Cs can be found at

A brand new website has been launched, giving sole focus on the range and what it offers the home gardener. As well as technical data and product information, a gallery of customer feedback and images is being built alongside a growing list of retail stockists. Visit for information.

Westland set to showcase strongest brand line-up at GLEE

westland colourFollowing the Sinclair’s acquisition in July, Westland will be showcasing the new and strengthened brand line up at GLEE.

The Westland GLEE stand, 19G20-H21A, will showcase the 2016 range, which will include J. Arthur Bowers and New Horizon ranges, as well as the re-introduction of the Cambark brand and re-positioning of the Growing Success brand.

Keith Nicholson, Marketing Director at Westland, said: “We have acquired a number of strong garden brands and we have moved quickly to focus on what these brands mean to gardeners and the trade. In essence we have focussed on the core heritage of our brands.

“Going forward we will actively be developing a strong innovation pipeline, clear communication plan and strong in-store support for J. Arthur Bowers, Growing Success, DeadFast, New Horizon and Cambark.”

J. Arthur Bowers and New Horizon will sit alongside the Westland and Gro-Sure brands. This portfolio approach is aligned with the needs of consumers and collectively will ensure all retailers benefit from a comprehensive offer with the widest possible gardener reach.

The J. Arthur Bowers brand has been trusted by gardeners since 1935 and is set for a bright future. For 2016 a comprehensive range of growing media, John Innes and soil improvers will be available under this brand, all backed by the Compost Consistency Assurance. In addition, a focused range of fertilisers will support the Westland range. J. Arthur Bower’s granular feeds, including Bonemeal and Growmore will also form a strong part of the range, with the traditional feeds continuing alongside the Westland and Gro- Sure feed range.

The New Horizon brand will no longer include green waste as an ingredient. Consistency and growing results will be at the brand’s heart, using a unique blend of ingredients including the patented West+ compost fibre. New Horizon will be a key part of the Westland growing media range and will form part of the 2016 advertising plans.

Cambark brand will be brought back into the range to re-establish its position as the lead bark in the sector. Cambark bark nuggets have a reputation for outstanding quality and are seen by many as the best bark you can buy!

A strong focus will be put on Garotta, the UK’s No.1 compost maker since records began1. This is a key line in every garden centre and is in the shopping basket of every gardener who wants to produce their own compost. Garotta is an example of a brand that is set to benefit from much greater focus

Growing Success and DeadFast will be the perfect partner for category leading brands, Resolva and Eraza. DeadFast will focus on the toughest weeds and pests. The brand has already seen significant growth and includes the UK’s fastest growing concentrated weedkiller2. 2016 Deadfast is destined for big things, starting with the additional of a new range of rodent controls.

As regards Growing Success, this will be re-focussed back to its core proposition – safe garden controls. The brand has a unique position in UK horticulture for those looking for effective pest-control with a minimal environmental impact. Containing the UK’s No.1 environmentally friendly slug killer3 and cat repellent4.

Use pesticides and biocides safely. Always read the label before use. DeadFast weedkiller contains Glyphosate. Growing Success Advanced Slug Killer contains Ferrous Phosphate.

1GfK Hitlist, Sales Volume, Compost Makers, May ‘15
2GfK Management Report, Sales Value, Weedkiller RTU, Jan-May ’14 vs. Jan-May ‘15 3GfK Hitlist, Sales Volume, Slug Killer, May ‘15
4GfK Hitlist, Sales Volume, Animal Repellents, May ‘15


Westland to remove Green Waste from Sinclair products

westland colourwestland sinclair new horizonFollowing a detailed review of raw material, quality and performance, Westland will be removing green waste from all its existing Sinclair products for the 2016 season.

Keith Nicholson, Marketing Director, said: “Westland will not allow green waste into the hands of our gardeners. We believe green waste is simply not up to the standard or consistency required by all and is not delivering the results our consumers deserve.

“Significant investment in research and development is needed by the industry as a whole to make green waste a material which will provide the results Westland demands. As the Compost Consistency Assurance is at the heart of our growing media strategy it is important this standard of quality is not compromised at any stage.”

The New Horizon range will not include green waste moving forward and will focus on a blend of peat alternative ingredients, plus the patented West+ compost additive. New Horizon will be a key part of the Westland growing media offer going forward and will form part of the 2016 advertising plan.

No Dig Soil Improver

sinclairNothing deters first-time garden owners more than the prospect of back-breaking digging so the introduction of No Dig Soil Improver by Growing Success should encourage plenty of new gardeners to get stuck in.

The new No Dig Soil Improver contains a BSI PAS100-certified1 100% organic compost and will appeal to anyone with limited time or energy to devote to the garden since it gives optimal results when simply spread as a 5cm deep mulch on any soil type.

No complex calculations are needed since each 50 litre bag is sufficient to treat one square metre. And as an added bonus for any gardener, the mulch will also help to suppress weeds while it breaks down into the soil.

sinclair growing success no dig soli improverNot only is this the easiest way to improve the structure of either clay or sandy soil so that beneficial organisms can thrive and essential air, water and nutrients can reach plant roots but according to independent trials, it is also the most efficient method. In the first year, a mulched conditioner produced similar marked benefits in vegetable crops and flowering length and intensity as the digging method; however, in the second and subsequent years, the no-dig method proved noticeably superior, improving the yield of some crops, such as leeks, by around 50% and producing a visible improvement in the quality of rose bushes.

And the difference a soil conditioner makes is remarkable. In extended trials conducted by Gardening Which? (published in November 2004), potato yields doubled in conditioned beds while other vegetable yields were at least 50% higher. Clay soil became much more workable while nutrient availability in sandy soil increased dramatically, including a 400% increase in available potassium.

Home-made compost is the best, and cheapest, soil conditioner but even experienced gardeners often can’t produce enough of it to meet their needs – and, of course, it requires time and effort to assemble and then turn regularly. Gardening Which? tested various alternatives and found that green compost made from graded tree and shrub prunings, grass clippings, local authority horticultural waste and filtered green bin collections was very similar to home-made compost and gave the best results2.

The new organic Growing Success No Dig Soil Improver is made from properly composted plant material which has been sieved and graded multiple times, resulting in a powerful soil conditioner which is packed with goodness. And if you don’t believe the trial results, go ahead and dig it in.The exercise may do you good but you will miss out on the cumulative benefits of mulching in subsequent years. Alternatively, lightly fork it into the topsoil a week or two before planting.

At £4.99 per 50L bag, it’s not as cheap as making your own compost of course but you don’t have to wait 6-12 months for it and there is plenty of it to go round.