Monthly Archives: November 2009

  • Container Gardening with Compact Rapid Rootrainers

    Haxnicks' Compact Rapid RootrainersHerbs All The Year Round!

    Herbs are really so easy to grow.  As a bonus, picked fresh they add an extra special zest to food that can't be achieved with dried versions. The beauty of growing your own is that you can keep a tray of parsley, mint, chervil, coriander, sage and thyme on your windowsill.  This means you don't even have to go outside in the rain to pick what you need!


    One of the easiest ways to grow your herbs is to take a Compact Rapid Rootrainer tray, fill it with good multipurpose moist compost and sow your seeds into the cells, cover with the propagating lid and leave for about a fortnight to germinate.

    Once the seedlings begin to emerge the tray can then be placed on a windowsill where it gets adequate light.  As the plants grow the lid can then be taken off and used as a drip tray.

    Remember that herbs do not tolerate north facing windows.  They prefer a window that get at least 4 hours of direct sunshine per day.

    Without a plentiful source of light most indoor herbs will slow down or even stop growing. If you find this happening you should reduce picking as well as reducing the watering. Make sure the indoor temperature is not in excess of 65 degrees until plant growth restarts.

    It must also be remembered that not every herb likes living indoors.

    Harvesting & Resowing

    Herbs like coriander, cress and dill are annuals which when harvested and cut need to be re-sown in order to produce a continuous crop. So it is a good idea to keep 3 trays of these herbs at different stages for a continuous supply.

    Herbs that are grown indoors should be clipped or have leaves picked regularly to encourage new growth.  Remember that potted herbs dry out more quickly than those in the open ground, although if you are using Rootrainers the structure of the cell encourages a maximization of all water to the roots.

    Herbs with large soft leaves such as basil need a fine spray to humidify the air on hot days. Indoor plants should be fed every 2 weeks with a liquid fertilizer to help maintain vigorous growth.

  • Top Tips for Using Rootrainers

    rootrainers_open_showing_rosemay_rootsRootrainers are so easy to use and make seed sowing a pleasure. Here is a whole host of Top Tips, to get the most out of growing with them.

    The Five Inch Rule
    If you prepare the ground well and place in plants with a five-inch deep mature root system, little should go wrong. Plants suffer no check and are deep enough to withstand most vagaries of weather.

    Rooting Cuttings

    Rootrainers are ideal for cuttings. Take your cuttings, dip into rooting powder and just insert in a cell.

    For Large Seeds

    When planting large seeds, such as beans, gently press the seed down into compost with your finger.

    Large Leafed Plants

    If using Rootrainers seed trays with large leafy plants use every other cell or use the Compact Rapid, which has been specially designed for this purpose.

    Fragile Plants

    Rootrainers are ideal for fragile plants, such as sweet peas.

    Emerging Seedlings

    As soon as seeds begin to emerge from the soil, remove lid or take trays out of the propagator. The Rootrainers lid cleverly becomes the drip tray.

    Small Seeds

    Small seeds can be first sown in seed trays and then pricked out into Rootrainers.

    White Fly

    One brassica grower claimed he had never suffered from white fly since he had used Rootrainers.

    Under Bench Heating

    Under bench heating will promote even quicker root growth, without inhibiting top growth.

    Cuttings and Pot Size

    Most cuttings benefit from a shorter pot to encourage early air pruning of the root system.


    Remember that as the season warms up you will need to water your plants and seedlings thoroughly to prevent drying out.

    Stem Cuttings

    Stem cuttings can be taken all year round but do best in Spring and Summer. If you use The Rooterpot you can be sure of success in ONE season.

    Planting Out Plug Plants

    Remember when planting out plug plants to make sure that the top of the soil plug is completely covered to allow the plant to seat.


    Water collected from a water butt should not be used to water seedlings. Use tap water which has stood for a couple of hours to allow the chlorine to disappear.

    Houseplants Love Aquarium Water!

    Don't throw the water from your aquarium away, keep it in bottles for your houseplants and watch them flourish.

    Lilies And Tulips

    Lilies and Tulips should never be planted together because they suffer from the same diseases.

    Planting Tulips

    Tulips should not be planted in the same spot for 2 consecutive years, but if African Marigolds are planted where the tulips have flowered there will be no problem in using the same spot again.


    Azaleas like acidic soil and it is a good idea to water them once in a while with a mix of 2 tablespoons of white vinegar to 2 pints of water.

    If you have any tips that you'd like to share please add to the list below: Drop us a comment.

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