History

Germinal is a longstanding company with a great history. Our heritage has been built on the strength of great people who through their skills, knowledge and hard work have made Germinal the market leader it is today. Germinal Holdings Limited was founded in Belfast, Northern Ireland in 1825.  Since then, the company has spearheaded some of the most groundbreaking work in seed development and has led the way in major contributions to the farming and amenity industries. It is now the largest family owned British and Irish Forage & Amenity Seed Company.

The birth of sophisticated amenity grass breeding began in America during the 1960’s. Advances in European amenity grass breeding developed during the 1970's and 1980's, largely through organisations in Germany and Holland.

Germinal, which at that time was known as British Seed Houses, having already forged strong links with international grass breeders then introduced top amenity varieties into the British and Irish market. At that time innovative and popular varieties included the Duchess Browntop Bent and Countess Chewings fescue; both of which were resistant to aminotriazole, this allowed turf producers to control annual meadowgrass in their turf without killing the other grasses. 

Today, Germinal continue to maintain these strong relationships with breeders around the world and a large part of our portfolio is still made up of grass that we exclusively distribute throughout the UK. We are proud to work in partnership with our international breeders to produce world-class varieties which we can bring to market and contribute to the continued evolution and progress of the entire Britsh and Irish amenity industry.

Some of our most groundbreaking varieties today include Cabrio Ultra Fine perennial ryegrass and 007 Creeping bentgrass. Cabrio is highly acclaimed in use for summer sports receiving first place in the BSPB's L1 table for perennial ryegrasses and its unique characteristics mean it is the first of its kind in the UK. Another modern and highly successful variety is 007, a new generation creeping bentgrass that allows greenkeepers to take advantages of creeping bentgrass with the lower inputs associated with the more traditionally managed Browntop bents.

1825

Samuel McCausland Ltd opens for business in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

1953

Samuel McCausland Ltd opens for business in Bristol, England following the decline of Northern Irish seed production.

1963

Germinal Holdings Ltd is founded following the merger of Samuel McCausland Ltd and Joseph Morton Ltd of Banbridge, NI.

1969

British Seed Houses is formed following the merger of McCausland and Morton in England. Germinal acquire David Bell Ltd (Scotland and England).

1977

David Bell Ltd (England) is merged with British Seed Houses.

1985

Germinal acquired the planting breeding at the Welsh Plant breeding station.

1987

Germinal begin the first and only UK based amenity grass breeding programme.

1989

Germinal Holdings Ltd forges an agreement with the Welsh Plant Breeding Station (IBERS) to secure world marketing rights for new varieties.

1997

We proudly present the first ever UK bred amenity Perennial Ryegrass, AberElf, to the British and Irish market.

1999 

Our second successful variety, AberImp, became the first variety to top both tables S1 for Winter Sports use and Table L1 for Lawns and Summer Sports Use from the BSPB.

In subsequent years...

Germinal has successfully bred notable varieties including slender creeping red fescues: AberFlight and AberCharm, browntop bentgrasses:AberRoyal, AberRegal and AberAce. Going forward Germinal Amenity continue to breed and partner with the worlds finest grass breeders to bring exceptional grass varieties to market which meet and exceed the demands of our industry.