Monthly Archives: March 2010

  • Gutter Planting Success

    Planting Vegetables with Haxnicks

    Sarah Raven in her article "The Veg Patch, Part III: How to Sow Seeds" which appeared in The Daily Telegraph, shows how by a series of experimentation she has achieved nearly a 100% germination success rate by using lengths of guttering to sow her seeds in. She advocates sowing "at least half the vegetable crop into gutter lengths filled with a non-peat-based potting compost.

    The Haxnicks Rowplanter offers exactly the same benefits which Sarah outlines in her article, and is much more convenient than the unwieldy method of traditional gutter planting.

    The Rowplanter comes in manageable lengths that can be placed in a small protected space. They have their own tray to hold them, so they will not fall over, and there is a propagating lid to assist the germination period.

    The rows (gutters) do not need a large amount of soil preparation and sowing into the rows takes no longer than if you were sowing directly into the ground, but there is no need to bend and stoop, it can be done at a table or on your greenhouse bench.

    Sowing can be done with care and spacing can be evened out and when germination takes place thinning out can be done in the rows without any kneeling or bending. This means this method conserves seed as well.

    Sarah Raven says this method, traditionally suited to peas, is also ideal for serial sowing of salad crops, leafy greens (mizuna, rocket, chard, spinach, chervil) and herbs (coriander, parsley and basil).

    Radishes can be left in the rows and eaten straight from the rows without being planted out and the rows are also ideal for parsnips provided they are transplanted before they are 2,5cm high. Even carrots can be grown in the Rowplanter lengths and if left till the seedlings reach 4cm in height you will be sure of a "baby carrot crop right through to Christmas."

  • The Birds!


    Spring has sprung, and all that sort of thing, and I'm sure you're all getting pretty busy in the garden. I wanted to write a little article about a very underestimated product, which has been doing some pretty amazing things.

    We have had reports from Spain telling that it has been the best thing for keeping wild boar off the crops - Tales from St. Tropez claiming that nothing keeps a yacht more free from seagulls and their droppings - and also praise from the gardens of England.  One of which I've pasted below for you to see.  And the name of this 'many-beast-repelling' and magical product? Birdscare!

    Letter from Warwickshire

    Here's a letter i received from Warwickshire: 

    Hi, I must let you know about this item. Do you realise you can make a fortune with this stuff. We have had a heron problem for over 3 years and lost a lot of fish/frogs and tried EVERYTHING to no avail, the thing keeps coming back for the restocked stuff.

    I love wildlife so would never hurt it BUT really was a real pain. We put netting, old tyres supporting canes, fruit netting, poles suspending even more netting. It looked like a rubbish tip on speed. What a sight - AND we couldn't see what we had left. He still got in - under - through and even on.

    We put on this line (with some scepticism!) and were stunned. Not only did it WORK but it WORKED immediately. Down he came, cocked head on one side, took a look/listen/see and WENT without even coming close. We have watched for nearly 3 weeks now - he came back twice but we have not seen him since! Only snag is we are scared it will break in really high winds we have sometimes. But nevertheless we are DELIGHTED. You should tell ALL. Tx

    So if you're being hunted by wild boar, (or even if you just want to keep your plants unpecked),  take a look at the Birdscare Humming Line.

  • Growing Brassicas From Seeds

    Growing brassicas

    Cabbages, kale, kohlrabi, cauliflower, broccoli and Brussel Sprouts are all varieties of the same species of Brassica oleracea which is native to the Mediterranean. Brassicas thrive on transplanting and some gardeners even swear by transplanting them twice.

    • Brussel Sprouts sow the seeds in March early April
    • Spring Cabbage' make two sowings 4 weeks apart in February
    • Summer Cabbage sow in March
    • Winter Cabbage sow in May
    • Summer Cauliflower sow in March
    • Broccoli sow in April

    purple_sprouting_broccoliDeep Rootrainers make an excellent way to start them when growing from seed, just fill with compost (preferably peat free) and cover with a clear propagating lid and leave to germinate in a warm place.  if you are using Rootrainers then just flip the drip tray over when you have watered them and you have your propagator lid.

    Once plants start emerging use as a drip tray under the tray and grow on in a good strong light place,

    When plants are ready plant out into a deep, rich well composted and moist soil. Make 15cm deep holes with a garden stake and place the seedling into the hole. Don’t close the hole with soil .  Instead, water the plant which will close the hole with the right amount of soil.

    Watering of the young plants is vital until they are well established and weeding is just as essential.

    Using Garden Cloches from Haxnicks

    If pests are a problem when growing brassicas or you want to bring on growth a little quicker then we do recommend our Victorian Bell Cloches, these provide instant weather protection and additional warmth for faster growth.

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