Now you may be wondering what I am doing showing you a photograph of a tea-bag and this would be a good question. However, it is not a teabag in the sense you are thinking but a plant in a kind of teabag! Trust me it will make sense in a moment.
B&Q invited me to review some plants from their new easyGrow range. They have been working on developing a way of packaging bedding plants that does away with the polystyrene trays. As we all know landfill is full of these trays and other plastic pots that are used to transport the plants we fill our gardens with. B&Q’s solution is to wrap the plant roots in a small bag – like a tea-bag and then pack the plants into a plastic tray which is recyclable. The ‘tea-bag’ are biodegradable so will break down in the soil of their own accord.
I received a tray of begonias, which had suffered a little in the post, but when I removed the damaged leaves looked like they would be good and strong plants. I have planted them up in a pot to provide some summer interest on the patio. You don’t have to do anything to the plants except plant them in the soil as you normally would and then give them a good soak. I did find it a little strange handling the plants but I think it was all in my mind. I am used to pulling bedding plants out of the polystyrene trays and planting them firmly in pots and baskets but for some reason I found myself handling the begonias as though they were going to break. It may have been because they had suffered some damage in transit or it might have been that it just seemed strange. However, when you think about it these ‘tea-bag’ rooted plants are no different to when you grow a plant in a jiffy pot which you have rehydrated.
I like the idea behind this range but I do wonder if the tray that the plug plants are in is robust enough to keep them protected during transport from the store. With the polystyrene trays the plants are firmly held in the tray, if the tray hasn’t been allowed to dry out completely, but the easyGrow plants whilst packed into the green tray have a tendency to move around.
You can learn more by watching this Youtube video
However, it is good to see that B&Q are trying to address this problem and I think that gardeners, especially those who are concerned about the amount of trays and pots they send to landfill, will welcome this product.