Monthly Archives: March 2015

  • Sweet Peas and mice!

    Haxnicks Garden Products can be brought online
    The Potty Gardener

    At last the boring brown is yielding to verdant specks of life!  Potatoes are pushing up, and must be buried with another layer of compost, keeping their prying eyes covered. My first sowing of carrots has germinated in a most disorganised fashion thanks to some ‘help’ from my chickens. Tiny tomato seedlings are emerging and receiving a light misting of water when they ask nicely, but the biggest push has come from the sweet peas in their Rootrainers. Grandpa Haxnicks is full of advice about sweet peas, mostly mice advice…..

    Mice like cheese but mice LOVE sweet peas! Did I not soak my seeds in liquid paraffin overnight before sowing to put off the mice? Well no, actually that instruction was not on the seed packet. The sweet peas are now out in the greenhouse keeping cool to promote root rather than stem growth  (I grew up in a cold house, maybe that’s why I have long legs and a short body?). There is plenty of mousey evidence in the greenhouse so I had a good think out of the box, in the box and around the box about how to prevent my sweet pea seedlings from becoming a rodent salad.

    Growing Sweet Peas in Haxnicks Rootrainers

    Sweet pea fortress

    First, I have instructed my cat (who goes by the name of Mouse) that for once I will not get cross with her if she leaves me a furry present on the doormat. Second, I read that mice, like horses and elephants, do not like hanging upside down so I have raised the Rootrainers with a central flower pot so that a mouse would have to negotiate an overhang to reach the sweet peas. Thirdly, just in case a mouse might consider a Bear Grylls style ascent to the Sweet Pea summit I have surrounded all access points with holly bush trimmings to prick their little pink paws. My final fortification, should my first three fail to deter the ravenous rodents is a light sprinkling of chilli powder over the seedlings. Ha! So far so good, my four pronged approach seems to be doing the trick and keeping mice, horses and elephants at bay.

  • Sowing Tomatoes for planters

    Haxnicks Garden Products can be brought online

    I went to the garden centre this morning to buy my tomato seeds and was amused to find that all the staff were wearing tomatoes…on their noses! Well I felt that I had to try it for myself and I must say that it greatly enhances the experience of sowing tomatoes and I would recommend it to everyone.

    Having learnt last week that it is important to identify with your plants I bought 3 different types of tomato seed to reflect different parts of my character:

    Tumbler promise to be small, delicious and good in pots.
    Artisan™ bumblebee mix are colourful and go on giving.
    Tomatillo’s (lime flavoured tomatoes that come in a Chinese lantern) are suffering from an identity crisis!

    Tomato Seeds ready for planting in Haxnicks Rootrainers

    I sowed the seeds in seed trays and covered them with 6mm of compost. I then made some smart labels for the trays so that I could identify the seedlings as they appeared and bring them up according to their expectations. Finally, I proudly placed them on my kitchen windowsill. However, someone (I won’t mention names, but it wasn't my cheeky chickens this time), helpfully removed the ‘little bits of paper’ from the seed trays so I now have no idea which is which. Someone says that it doesn’t matter, and anyway it is not politically correct to use labels at such an early stage in development!?

    Speaking of labels, Grandpa Haxnicks told me a marvellous fact that made my day- apparently the word tomato comes from an ancient Aztec word meaning ‘plump thing with a navel’. So when my tomato seedlings are ready to be transplanted into their pots or planters I will label them 'plump thing with a navel', and maybe even give some as a present to Grandpa Haxnicks reminding him that it is important for him to identify with his plants.

  • More new Haxnicks products for 2015

    Hello gardeners,

    With longer,warmer days arriving I am very much looking forward to the new growing season ahead and getting out in the garden for a little longer than the hour that it takes for my fingers and toes to start complaining of the cold. We have lots of new products to inspire you in the garden this year. I told you about Sunbubble and Easy-Path, but if you missed that then do read my blogs below for last month that popped up somewhere in between the Potty gardener's ramblings about potatoes, carrots, and sweet peas.  However, now I want to tell you about our new range of elegant plant supports. They are all easy to use and will not only help you tame and support your climbing plants but add a touch of professional style to your garden.

    Fold-a-Frame

    The Fold-a-frame can be used in a square to support tomatoes or as a dividing screen in flower borders. The four hinged steel panels clip together to lift separate and support the crop.

    Haxnicks Cane Supports for Patio Planters

    Cane Supports

    Cane supports for grow bags and planters are a set of 3 steel supports to keep bamboo canes upright and in their place and they look good too. They are perfect for supporting tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers and when you are finished with them they pack flat to be stored away for the next year, and the next, and the next....as they are made to last!

    Haxnicks Cane Rings Sweet Peas

    Cane Rings

    Cane Rings are such a simple idea, but will do wonders for your unruly climbers whether they are in a pot or in the ground. The 2 rings will hold 6 bamboo canes top and bottom in a circular shape and make a sculpture from your sweet pea, bean or pea plants.

    Parasol Plant Support

    Finally there is the  Parasol Plant Support. This clever set of 6 curved parasol arms and tough polypropylene strings can be put together to create a growing frame for climbing plants to tame them into an impressive display. So when you are planning your planting this Spring why not plan for Haxnicks to help you to add some elegance and a touch of professional style to your climbers.  All these wonderful new products are available in garden centres and here on our website now.
    Happy Planning!
    Grandpa Haxnicks

  • Potatoes in Planters

    Haxnicks Garden Products can be brought online

    The time has come, I can no longer tolerate their mischievous presence on my kitchen window sill. If they have eyes on stalks that grow by the day who knows what else they might develop? I certainly cannot risk the possibility that they may someday be able to talk and expose my fifty shades of green lifestyle! So the potatoes are going under….well some of them anyway, the rest have been relegated to the windowsill at the back of the larder to chit behind a closed door.

    Grandpa Haxnicks advised that I shouldn’t sow them all at once unless I want to harvest them all at once and have a glut of potatoes, and then I would have to eat them all at once and have a gut full of potatoes and end up looking like a potato, not one of my ambitions, so I will sow one planter at a time.

    Planting Potato Seeds in Haxnicks Potato Patio Planters

    Job done. I chose the 4 seed potatoes with the most prying eyes, about 2.5cm long and buried (I think the kinder word is planted) them in a potato planter on top of 10cm and under 5cm of multi- purpose compost. When their prying shoots appear through the soil I will bury them further!

    Haxnicks Giant Standard Easy Fleece Tunnels

    EasyFleece Tunnels warming the soil

    I went to visit Grandpa Haxnicks this week hoping for a cup of tea and some gardening gossip (mostly vegetable based rivalry with his neighbour), only to be put to work preparing some of his raised vegetable beds for the growing season ahead. We removed all the weeds, dug it over and then put out some Easy Fleece tunnels to help warm the soil presumably so that he can get his growing season well under way before Mr Perfect Parsnips next door.

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