Marshalls in the 80s and 90s

16 July 2015 | Posted in Food by The Marshalls Family

Marshalls have been selecting and breeding varieties for decades, working with expert suppliers to bring top-quality products to its customers. Here are some highlights from the 80s and 90s.

80s fan

Chelsea greats – ‘87 success!

We got some great recognition in the 80s when we started exhibiting at RHS Chelsea Flower Show. Our exhibits got lots of complimentary comments and notable awards to add.

In 1982 and 1983 Marshalls picked up a Silver-Gilt. It was Marshalls first Chelsea appearance, so was thrilled with the award as was seeing our supporting growers and customers at the show. Then in 1987 Marshalls got the coveted Gold Medal, so congratulations on all the hard work!

Make room for the mushrooms - grow kits for ’84.

80 mushroom1984- This is when we launched our first mushroom kit. So that home growers could try this new and intriguing way of growing mushrooms at home. Our kits are easy to set up, soil is already impregnated with spores. Kits just need a top dressing and ambient temperature of 12-18°C. Yes, mushrooms are easily available at supermarkets, but growing your own - that’s quite a conversation-starter!

Colour crops

The 1990s started seeing some interesting new colour introductions in the crop world and new varieties raised a few eyebrows. Yellow French bean ‘Golddukat’ introduced in 1996 and purple-podded lab-lab started to add a touch of exotica to the allotment of the Marshalls cutomer.

Potatoes with mauve skin made their first appearance in the 1990s and new colours have come about ever since, like multi-coloured beetroots and purple carrots.

Strawberry ‘Marshmello’ – Many Happy Returns!

80 strawberryHappy 20th anniversary to our exclusive strawberry ‘Marshmello’, which came about in the early 90’s, was trialled for fruit consistency, flavour, and pest and disease resistance. In 1995 we launched it as a full-flavoured strawberry, perfect for home gardeners. Our customers loved it in 1995 and its popularity has remained high ever since.

Peter Walker, Live Goods Category manager says;

“Variety ‘Marshmello’ was selected on account of its flavour, which is the sweetest that we’ve found. It has a superbly soft, melt-in-the-mouth strawberry flesh which is no good for the supermarkets, but perfect for the home gardener.”

An innovation in seed sowing

In 1996 Marshalls made seed sowing a whole lot easier for its customers. They introduced the ‘M-coat’ a covering of insecticide and pesticide for successful and healthy germination free from the risk of dampening-off disease, and brightly-coloured so seeds are easy to see and handle.

Our treated seeds are so much simpler to sow on account of their new easy-to-see bright coverings.

Mini vegetables – a new wave in 1996

80 cucumberMarshalls launched a collection of vegetables in 1996 based not on their great size, but rather their miniature status.

Taste tests revealed that vegetables possessed a unique sweetness and freshness at the young stage in their development, which can truly be savoured when they are steamed, used in stir-fries or even eaten raw. Popular at the time, we offered a range of mini vegetables from lettuces, pepper ‘Minibelle’ to carrot ‘Suko’ and courgette ‘Patriot’.

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