A couple of weeks ago, over half of the BRIT building was eerily empty for a day as the whole research department set off for a tour of Seville Farms, which is owned and operated by one of our board members, Billy Brentlinger.
Seville Farms is a large-scale plant nursery providing annuals, perennials, and ground covers to numerous garden centers across Texas. The farms have five facilities containing over three million square feet! On this trip we visited the headquarters in Mansfield, Texas, and Billy and his right-hand-man John gave us an in-depth tour of the operations, start to finish.
An industrial seeder fills a tray with growing media, mostly composed of peat. The tray then passes under a stamper that pokes small divots into each cell. Testing shows that the seeds germinate best if they’re planted in the exact center of the cell, and curved divots or depressions help center the seeds.
The seeder uses a revolving drum with tiny holes in it to pick up seeds from the hopper (“breathe ’em in”)…
… and drop them into the trays (“spit ’em out!”).
Can you see the little seeds in the divots?
Billy Brentlinger (above in purple) expertly handled the endless stream of questions one would expect when a group of 15 botanists is surrounded by plants!
Many thanks to Billy and John for giving us such a wonderful tour! We’ll be inspecting the labels on all our future plant purchases looking for that familiar name.