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: 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.
Grow at Home: Avocados
29th July 2019
This one is for fun! If you are growing your plant from a stone taken from a supermarket avocado it is unlikely to be anything other than a decorative foliage plant. At any rate you'd have to be in it for the long haul if you want to eat avocados from your own tree. The trees take around 10 years to fruit. But it is still a lot of fun to see that giant seed sprout so why not have a go?
Indoor or Outdoor?
Avocado trees grow to 20m. They are a tropical fruit and hail from Mexico and Central America and as such they don't tolerate freezing temperatures. They can survive in the right site in the South of England but you are better off growing them in a large pot indoors.
You can buy avocado seeds or most common, just take the seed from your shop bought avocado. It will take from 3 to 8 weeks to germinate but development is rapid after that. You can start them in water or compost.
Planting In water
- Wash and pat the seed dry
- Find a jar with a neck wide enough to fit your seed in. An old jam jar would be perfect.
- Fill it with water nearly to the top.
- Wedge the avocado seed so that it sits at the top of the jar with the bottom touching the water. You can use 3 toothpicks or nails pressed gently into the seed to balance it or little pieces of wood or cork to wedge it in place.
- Put it somewhere warm - ideally a temperature of 20-25°C (68-77°F)
- Check it daily and top up so the base of the seed is kept in contact with the water.
You should see leaves and roots start to appear.
- You will need a well-drained 5" pot filled with potting compost. The Haxnicks Bamboo pots would be perfect. When the leaves and a reasonable amount of root has developed, carefully remove it from the jar and plant. so the seed is covered.
Planting in compost
There are two methods - use whichever you like depending on how much effort you want to put in (and how good you are at remembering a pot in the airing cupboard!)
- Soak the seed first in hot water for 30 minutes at 40-52°C (104-125°F)
- Cut a thin slice from the pointed end off the seed
- Sow in a pot of moist sandy compost with the cut end slightly above the soil surface and keep warm - around 20-25°C (68-77°F)
- place the seed in a pot, and cover it completely. Water well, allow to drain and leave in a warm, dark place, such as an airing cupboard.
- Check on the pot every week to ensure it is moist, and water if necessary.
- Once shoot start to show, move the pot to a sunny spot, such as a windowsill
Planting in the compost Heap
Bit of a strange one this one but the compost heap - if managed well - provides the ideal temperature and moisture level to germinate avocado seeds. So it might be worth experimenting by burying some avocado stones and retrieving and potting up any that sprout.
However you have grown it, when the stem reaches 15cm (6 in) tall, cut back by half. Once it has grown another 15cm (6 inches), pinch out the two newest sets of leaves to encourage bushy growth.
Apply a general pot plant feed every week to ten days during the spring and summer. You can feed less the rest of the year - around every six to eight weeks.
When roots appear through drainage holes, re-pot. This is likely to be needed yearly and is best done in the spring when the container is full of roots. The timing is very important for avocado plants as this is when they are set to grow.
This plant is not likely to do well long term so plan to have it for a few years and then start the fun again with a new seed. After two to three years you may start to see leaf discoloration which can't be remedied. One of the issues causing them not to fare terribly very well long term is the indoor atmosphere. One reason could be the lack of humidity so try keeping it somewhere humid if possible to extend its life.
Flowering & Fruiting
If your tree makes it to 1.5m tall then one trick to encourage the plant to flower is to treat the tree roughly. To do this attack the trunk of the tree with a knife or other sharp implement. Only cut the surface of the bark. You don't want to damage the tree too much or it won't grow properly. The stress brought on by this attack is said to panic the plant into flower, where it will then hopefully bear fruit.
You will to ensure that bees and other insects have access to your flowers so that they can pollinate them. So remember to leave the greenhouse or conservatory door ope in warmer weather and you may just get avocados!
Pests & Diseases
They are prone to a number of greenhouse pests such as Whitefly, Red Spider Mite and Mealybugs. They can also suffer from fungal leaf spots so watch out for these..