Frequently Asked Questions
I am new to growing fruit plants, where do I start?
Start by having a look at the Plant Varieties page at the different types of plants you can buy and their varieties, and see what you would like to grow. Then, if you want more information, have a look at our Growing Guides that you can download from the links on the right of any page. You can always give us a call or email if you are still not sure or have other questions.
The best advice we can give you is to try a few plants and varieties and see what grows well on your site, but be patient. You will most likely find that the plants grow well, and you will wonder why you hadn't done it before! If things don't seem to be going too well, give us a call or send us an email and we can help to find out why. We are a small family business with time for you, and we like to see our plants thrive. There are very few other opportunities in the UK to buy plants straight from the propagation fields.
What does FPCS certified mean?
It stands for 'Fruit Propagation Certification Scheme'. To be certified, our plants are regularly inspected by external Plant Health (APHA) ministry inspectors, who ensure that our plants are healthy. You can find out more about it on the Government website, here
How do I grow soft fruit plants without chemicals?
Organic farming is farming without the use of artificial chemicals and fertilisers on crops, or the routine use of hormones and antibiotics on animals. It is better for the environment, soil, wildlife, and better for us too. Organic farmers adhere to strict standards, and rely on manures and compost, natural fertilisers and supplements, crop rotation, mechanical cultivation and biological pest controls that work with the natural immune system of the plants. We are members of and certified under Organic Farmers & Growers Ltd.
However, we were finding that our raspberry beds were not producing quality canes for long enough due to competition with weeds. So instead we are using a new "low input" method for our raspberry canes where we apply a herbicide spray early in the season to reduce weed competition. We still hand weed the canes during the summer months, and plant the raspberry beds in rotation with using the field for livestock and other crops as well as applying organic-based fertilisers as required in order to maintain soil fertility.
We have found that a living, healthy soil will strengthen the plants' own immune systems, and that problems usually occur when the plants are under stress. So it is best to plan ahead and get your soil in fine condition before planting. Test for phosphates, potash and the soil pH, and balance them if they are incorrect. Use plenty of well rotted organic matter before planting, and give a thin mulch around each plant on an annual basis (see individual planting instructions).
Seaweed, either as a fertiliser or as a foliar spray, is high recommended as it contains many trace elements. Keep a regular eye on the plants for any pests and remove them ASAP. Use a garlic spray to help prevent any build up of populations. If the plant is threatened by severe infestations use a soap wash, or as a last resort try a carefully targeted insecticidal spray.
What happens when I place an order
If you decide to place an order by post or telephone, it goes into our database. Your order is marked with a despatch month, depending on what you ordered (and the time of year), and your delivery requirements. For more information on despatch times, please see our Delivery Information section.
When your order is due for despatch, we take a list of all the plants we need out to the fields. The plants are lifted from the ground, then hand sorted and graded by our skilled workforce. Bushes and canes are usually hand dug with a spade, but strawberry plants are more often lifted by machine and hand sorted.
The plants and a paper copy of your order are taken to our packing shed where our packer (or packers in busy times) selects and carefully packs your plants, and addresses and labels the parcel ready for despatch. A despatch note and FPCS details are also enclosed. Then your parcel is sent that day by our carrier, who should deliver your parcel within the next 1-2 days.
The remaining paper part of your order comes back into the office so we can mark your order as despatched.
All of our plants are all supplied as bare root plants and they will need immediate attention on receipt. Bare root plants have many advantages over potted plants. Provided that they receive careful attention over the first few weeks they should establish quickly.
We ensure that all the plants leave us in perfect condition and they are packed to withstand three-four days in transit. Please examine them immediately upon receipt, and inform us if you are at all concerned.
We do our very best to send you healthy plants, and you should expect healthy growth. However, as in nature, very occasionally some can under-perform. If this does occur, you should contact us to discuss possible causes.
Very occasionally, for example, at the end of the season, we may need to substitute a variety of plant for one which we consider to be similar. If you do not want us to do this please notify us when ordering.
For existing customers, orders are accepted on the understanding that you will be invoiced for the full amount after the plants have been despatched.
For new customers, full payment will be required prior to despatch.
You can make payment by sending a cheque (made payable to Welsh Fruit Stocks), or, ideally, by bank transfer. Our bank details will be printed on your invoice.
No financial information is stored on our computers. We do not pass on any of your personal details to anyone else, except your name, address and telephone number to the delivery company delivering your plants.
Orders from EU Countries, subject to approval, will be subject to a £7 bank charge which will be included in your invoice. Monies paid should be in sterling and you must advise your bank that you will pay any charges.
Please note that the acceptance of an order does not constitute a contract to supply. Orders are accepted conditionally upon plants being available, subject to crop and certification. We endeavour to constantly assess the availability of plants, but in the event that we are unable to complete an order then we have the right to cancel the order without incurring any further liability to you. In this case a full refund of any deposit paid will be given.
You are able to cancel your order at any time until the plants are despatched and we will give a full refund. If the plants have been despatched you may still return the plants but please let us know in writing within 7 days following the date of receipt of the plants and then ensure that they are returned to us. We ask that you pay the cost for their return in this instance. We will ensure that you are refunded for the plants within 28 days.
We obviously cannot accept any returns which have been planted out or held in a garden or allotment situation, because of plant health risks.
We like to hear that our plants have done well and we hope that you are very pleased with your purchase. In the unlikely event that you are not, then please contact us giving details of the problem.
We may ask for the plants to be returned to us for examination purposes only, and we may ask you to send photos of the plants in their current position to help us identify any potential causes.
Delivery costs will still be applicable to any replacement plants which are sent out.
Further Plant Propagation*
All varieties marked * are protected under the Plant Breeder's Rights Act (PBR) 1964, or by EU Plant Variety Rights (PVR). All associated royalties (and levies) are included in the sale price.
You are reminded that further propagation of these varieties for resale is forbidden without a propagation licence from the Head Licensee. All plants are sold on the understanding that they will be used for fruit production only.
We are only able to lift the plants when they are ready and these times can vary from year to year, so dates are given only as a guide.
We are also, of course, dependent on good weather conditions for all of our plant lifting and every effort will be made to supply plants when you require them. However, please bear with us if conditions are severe.
AUTUMN DELIVERIES (ordered July onwards):
Strawberry plants will be despatched from late October, followed by bushes and canes in early-mid November (after a hard frost). Autumn Fruiting raspberry canes will not be lifted and despatched until late November/early December. Orders containing strawberry plants have priority. We avoid the Christmas period unless you have special requests.
SPRING DELIVERIES (ordered mid-Dec onwards):
We can despatch bushes and canes up until the end of March in an average season. Fresh-dug strawberry plants will be available until early May or as cold-stored plants until late June (dependent on stock). Strawberry plants are not usually despatched in January.
By placing an order you will be accepting these delivery dates.
Your plants will be despatched as one shipment, unless you wish to pay separate delivery charges to receive part of your order sooner.
For UK deliveries: we generally use a guaranteed 24-48 Hour Delivery Service or Palletline for larger orders. Other services can be arranged if required, at cost.
Customers in UK mainland areas,:
Parcel - £9.65
Palletline - Price on request
Customers in Scottish Highlands & Islands, Northern Ireland, Isle of Man and Isles of Scilly:
Price on request
We can deliver to other areas but please contact us directly to discuss delivery options.
If you wish to have part of your order sooner, please bear in mind that delivery will be charged on each despatch.
Please inform us of any special requests for delivery dates, and we will try our utmost to oblige.
Also please provide landline and mobile phone numbers which we will pass on to the carriers.
We cannot accept responsibility for plants delivered to you if you are not there, unless we have been previously notified of any dates not to deliver. We are charged a daily re-delivery fee which we reserve the right to pass on to our customers if the parcel cannot be accepted within two days.
Any order may be collected directly from our site, but only by prior arrangement please. Due to the isolated nature of the propagation beds and the potential plant health risks involved, we are not able to encourage visitors except for the pre-arranged collection of plants.