Hello from Haxnicks
We are a friendly, enthusiastic company that have been designing, manufacturing and distributing garden care and plant protection products for many years. Professional, experienced and amateur gardeners all love to grow using our innovative, easy to use products.
Watch our Helpful Videos
We've put together a collection of Videos from our archives that demonstrate the great things our gardening products can do.
A-Z Grow Your Own Advice
- Beans - Climbing
- Beans - Dwarf
- Broad Beans
- Brussels Sprouts
- Chilli Peppers
- Courgettes / Zucchinis
- Onions (seeds)
- Onions (sets)
- Peas (and mangetout)
- Sweet Corn
- Zuchinnis / Courgettes
"I've used Haxnicks products for years - they're designed to do a brilliant job AND look good. Just what's needed!"
- Pippa Greenwood (Horticulturist, grow-your-own TV and radio expert, garden writer)
Have you got a specific gardening question? Just ask Pippa!
Click here for personalised advice from gardening specialist Pippa Greenwood.
The News by Haxnicks
Grow at Home: Endive
19th August 2019
Endive is a really great ingredient to be used for salads or as greens. It comes in two types. An upright Batavian or escarole with larger broad leaves. This type is very robust, crops in the winter and the outer leaves can be used as greens. And the second type, is a curly or fringed frisee hence its alternative name of Curly Endive. This has delicately serrated leaves and crops in the summer.
Endive germinates best at 20-22°C (68-72°F) but can germinate at temperatures as low as 15°C (59°F). Plants tend to bolt if temperatures fall below 5C (41°F) for too long, but bolt-resistant cultivars are around so looks these out.
Sow from February to October for ‘cut and come again’ seedlings. Warm the soil by covering with an Easy Poly Tunnel for a month before you plant. Then cover with an Easy Fleece Tunnel to keep out the chill. Sow in broad drills or containers every three weeks.
For summer varieties Sow thinly from April to August, 1cm (½in) deep in rows 30cm (12in) apart, thinning to 23-38cm (9-13in) apart.
Soils should be light, rich and free draining, It is all about getting the water right for Endive. They don't like to be soggy so make sure they don't get waterlogged. And dry soil can cause them to ‘bolt’ so try to keep the soil moist.
If you like your endive bitter than pray for a hot summer as high temperatures encourage the bitterness. Water thoroughly before the onset of dry weather, mulch and keep weed free. Liquid feed fortnightly in summer with a general fertiliser.
In order to keep the texture at its best for eating blanch the at about 12 weeks after sowing. This will keep the plant white and tender. Blanch a few at a time as they need to be eaten soon after blanching. Make sure the leaves are dry so that they don't rot and then choose whichever way you find easiest. Some of the options are
- tie the leaves loosely together with raffia or soft string.
- Build up the soil round the plant leaving just the top exposed
- cover with a bucket or a black plastic pot with the drainage holes covered
This process takes about 10-14 days, but if its cold may take longer.
‘Cut and come again’ crops can be harvested after about five weeks – one or two cuts are possible before they bolt.
Cut off the head with a sharp knife when the head is mature and the leaves are creamy white.
Harvest ‘cut and come again’ leaves with scissors.
Pests & Diseases
Slugs and snails: feed on the young seedlings so make sure you protect your plants with a Slug Buster.
Aphids: Greenfly love the soft shoot tips of plants and the leaves. Pinch them off with finger and thumb or try to encourage their predators like lady birds into your garden by planting wildlife friendly plants.
Grow at Home: Melons
12th August 2019
Melons are popular with gardeners who have plenty of space to accommodate the spreading vines under glass. A greenhouse or cold frame are needed in cooler climates but in warmer areas, a sheltered South facing spot may allow outdoor success for growing this delicious crop. Of all the many varieties of Melon, Cantaloupe are reputed to be the sweetest, but do not tolerate cool temperatures well, and Honeydew Melons store particularly well.
Where to grow
Melons can grow outside in sheltered locations but will generally do better undercover.
Clear an area with fertile, well drained soil that is not too rich a few weeks before sowing, and prepare a 'planting pit'. Each pit should be 30cm square. Place a good spadeful of well rotted manure in the base before backfilling.
Water the pit well and then cover to warm the soil in readiness for planting. A Giant Easy Poly Lantern would be perfect for the job.
Sow seeds in early to mid Spring. Plant in their final positions - either outside or under glass - when they have developed four leaves and all danger of frost has passed.
Allow at least 1.5m between plants and plant with the pot soil just above the ground level as a precaution against stem rot. Water the plants in, rather than firming them in.
'Stop' Melons at the fourth or fifth leaf to encourage the production of fruiting side shoots. Keep the four strongest side shoots then remove the rest after 2-3 weeks.
Ground growing plants should be trained into an 'X' shape or supported on a frame such as the Ornamental Square Frame. As fruits develop they may need supporting in a sling - old tights work well!
If bees can't access your plants easily, pollinate by hand and with a soft brush. Once the crop has set, pinch out the growing shoots and side growth.
Regular feeding and watering are key to a good crop. You may find thinning the fruits to concentrate on just one or two pampered melons is a good approach to avoid overloading the plant.
Harvesting and Storage
The fruits are mature when there is a characteristic melon scent and circular cracking appears near to the stalk. Eat straightaway, preferable warm from the vine.
Pests and Diseases
For an exotic crop Melons are relatively free of pests and disease. Powdery mildew and stem rot can be a problem if there is not sufficient ventilation. so watch out for this.
Grow at Home : Radishes
5th August 2019
This extremely fast growing vegetable is available in more varieties than many people realise. Along with the familiar round red radish often used in salads, there are also varieties with pink, yellow or white roots. There are few more attractive plants to see in the ornamental kitchen garden than a neat row of ruby red radishes peeping out from the soil!
In fact, in ancient Greece, radishes were so highly regarded that gold replicas were made of them. The Greek name for the radish, Raphamus, means "quickly appearing," which perfectly describes their reputation for being the first vegetable to sprout in a spring garden.
Where to grow
Radishes will grow in most soils, but thrive in soil that is rich in organic matter and is moisture retentive. Dig in plenty of garden compost before sowing if the ground has not been previously manured.
Choose an open sunny site, although radishes can cope with dappled shade in the height of summer which makes them ideal for intercropping at this time.
Summer crops can be started by sowing outside under cloches in late winter and early spring. Sow thinly 1 cm deep with 15cm between rows and thin as plants develop.
Successional sowing is important to prevent a glut - small rows every 2 weeks will give you a good continuous supply.
Keep well watered and weed free - radishes are a very easy crop to care for!
Harvesting and Storage
Pick radishes before they get too old and woody. Select the larger roots first and leave the rest of the crop to grow. Late crops can be covered with straw to protect them from the cold or kept under a fleece cloche.
Radish Pests and Diseases
Radishes are related to cabbages and so prone to the same pests and diseases. Flea Beetle and slugs are normally the main issue.
On the plus side radishes are also good at deterring cucumber beetle so a great companion plant for cucumbers.