The arduous drive from AutoPot HQ in Hampshire to Anglesey is mind-numbing at best. The M6, “soon to be a Smart Road”, should be renamed “a Smartless road”! BUT heading to see Medwyn’s of Anglesey (MoA) is the light at the end of the tunnel. Driving along the North Welsh coast this week, several hours before the sun was threatening to slide into the sea, I shot through the last tunnel leading into Anglesey at 50 mph, I think, I hope, to see why it is that Mr Medwyn Williams grows such fantastic produce.
Firstly, the light levels on Anglesey, no matter how bright or dull, are staggering. The microclimate that Anglesey possesses is unique, even through the powers that be at MoA are never quite content with their strong climatic cocktail. Such is the perfectionism of an eleven-time-consecutive RHS Chelsea Flower Show Gold Medal Winner that Medwyn would happily have a go at fine-tuning the weather if he could.
Ever the conscientious guest I took something to the table, specifically a bottle of chilli growing knowledge in the shape of Dean Finley, AKA Dean Finley. The aforementioned proprietor of The Chilli Lab and I went to conduct a little talk about all things CHILLIES and AutoPot before some guests of MoA who were like-minded growers and enthusiasts. Needless to say the morning went well, both myself and Dean rattled off our piece and then we were alone with Medwyn. NOW for the REAL reason I wanted to come here.
On the 5th of July this year I had popped up to Medwyn’s to show him, well in all honesty his sons Alwyn and Tom, how to use AutoPot in conjunction with CANNA substrates and nutrients. So a couple of us, not Medwyn himself, got our hands dirty and potted up a row of tomatoes in CANNA Coco and CANNA Terra and hooked it all up to the AutoPot Watering Systems. Unfortunately neither myself or Medwyn took any photos of the tomatoes in question once potted up at the beginning of July, from my point of view “because they looked crap”. Medwyn advised they were destined for the compost heap so he didn’t take any either. Well just under a month later the plants look perfect! The green is back into the plant, the trusses are forming and the inter-nodal spacing is compact. Although there was a feeling of elation, there was also a sigh of stupidity for not taking any photos of how the plants looked before they were fed and irrigated correctly. The transformation considering the time of the year and the climatic conditions did however make me smile.
The whole growing area in the greenhouse is now potted up with a huge variety of plants, some not looking as well as others but it’s the first time using the AutoPot products. This was put together in a mere 20 days. It just goes to show: people listen, people talk, and most importantly people learn from one another and their collective mistakes. This is the REAL reason why I love driving all the miles I do to see Medwyn’s of Anglesey. Medwyn and Co have collectively won eleven gold medals at the worlds MOST prestigious horticultural event. BUT with all this elation and prestige they still listen and want to learn from others. There is a while to go and no doubt some horticultural hurdles to leap but Rome wasn’t built in a day and I’m sure it won’t be long before the team from MoA create an exhibit at Chelsea that will show people that award-winning plants can be grown using hydroponic AutoPot Watering Systems.