Monthly Archives: April 2015

  • The Magic of Vigoroot

    Haxnicks Garden Products can be brought online

    The Potty Gardener with Vigoroot magic for Beginners

    Without any April showers I hope that you are not forgetting to look after any plants in pots.  It is important to make sure that they get enough water to reach their roots. Be careful not to fill your boots as I did posing for my photo! I have been told to pay particular attention to watering my recently potted herbs.  They are growing outside the back door in a Vigoroot herb planter. Plants in Vigoroot pots need more water to support their vigorous growth.

    According to Grandpa Haxnicks, Jack started off his beanstalk in a Vigoroot pot. Apparently the healthy strong roots and abundant growth of his beanstalk were a direct result of growing it in a pot made of a fabulous felty fabric called Vigoroot.  Hmmmm Whilst I do have my doubts about the truth of some of this tale (Grandpa Haxnicks does have a rather long nose), I do believe, as do many green fingered, (short nosed) scientists that growing plants in a pot made of a porous fabric like Vigoroot gives you stronger, healthier plants.

    Haxnicks Normal Vigoroot Plant Pot
    Haxnicks Vigoroot Plant Pot

    Air Pruning

    What happens in these pots is a process called 'air pruning'. As I understand it 'air pruning' is not, as I first suspected, the gardener's equivalent to air guitar.  But rather a clever process that changes the way the roots form, giving healthier, more vigorous roots.  They won't grow too long or result in a 'pot bound' plant. So what you get is a larger, healthier potted plant.

    Haxnicks Vigoroot Pot

    Vigoroot Herb Planter

    Call it magic, or call it science but I thought it best to try Vigoroot for myself. I was not over keen to grow a giant bean with a resident hungry giant at the top, ( I already have enough resident hungry giants...3 teen-aged children ) and instead opted for some handy herbs to keep outside the kitchen door in a Vigoroot herb planter.

    You can find out lots more about the magic of Vigoroot and many more Vigoroot products on the website. Let me know if you decide to grow in Vigoroot pots too, especially if it's a giant beanstalk!

  • Grandpa Haxnicks offers advice on Ground Elder

    Over winter it is easy to forget about some of those nasty perennial weeds that lurk beneath the soil. One of the most rampant, vigorous and downright stubborn of these is ground elder.  Also known as gout weed, bishop weed and most appropriately jump about. Left unchecked, it will spread from one tiny corner of the garden.  It will invade all useful growing space by spreading its network of underground stems (rhizomes). In an alien like fashion it can regenerate into a new plant from just a tiny fragment of those underground stems.

    Ground Elder in Garden Borders

    This weed has driven my friend The Potty gardener...well...completely potty. She was living in a rented property where ground elder has been able to take a firm hold.  as a result, she has turned to gardening in pots, but.  Howevr, there are other alternatives.  I am often asked for advice on beating the evil weed so I thought that it would be good to share that advice with you.

    My advice...

    For a serious invasion of ground elder you will need time, patience and lots of black polythene!

    Dig up any cultivated plants in the area and gently tease out any ground elder rhizomes from their roots. Do not put the weeds in the compost!

    Replant your plants in pots or clear soil

    Dig out the ground elder. You will need to dig to a depth of about 2 foot and be very thorough, making sure that you get out every last scrap of those rampant rhizomes. A second digging over is often required a few weeks later to catch the ones that you missed.

    The Roots of Ground Elders

    Alternatively you can cover the area with black polythene to starve the ground elder of light.  This will take at least a year and possibly two. A few years ago I helped friends clear a large patch of ground about 12ft square. The digging took us a few weeks and because they couldn't bare to stare at black polythene for two years we seeded the area with grass and mowed it regularly which seemed to work very well.

    You can, of course turn to a glyphosphate weedkiller, but for a large patch of ground that can be expensive, so I tend to advise that you use it for small areas or to keep on top of any new growth after an initial clearing.

    There is one saving grace for this pesky perennial, that it is edible. The young leaves are slightly nutty and can be used in a salad or cooked in butter like spinach. So if you can't beat it, eat it!

    Goodbye for now,
    Grandpa Haxnicks

  • Thinning Carrots and Potted Primulas

    Happy Easter from The Potty Gardener.  It is the first of April, but I am in no joking mood…I thought that growing your own vegetables was meant to be good for the soul, rewarding, satisfying, character building even, but my soul is sullied. Such seemingly benign gardening gurus as Monty Don and Bob Flowerdew have persuaded me to be ruthless and destructive. Thinning Carrots is to blame.  My lovingly sown carrot seeds, that I nurtured single handed into young carrothood, have been culled!

    Those that strayed from their row, did not grow enough, or simply got in the way of my clumsy fingers are now chicken fodder. Of course, thinning carrots out to leave a few centimetres between each means that there is now room for them to grow healthily. In the end it will be the greatest good for the greatest number, but it is no less disturbing to have had to choose the lucky few. I will have to repeat this process in a few weeks with my second sowing of carrots that has yet to germinate...I think that perhaps they are too fearful. They may also be a little embarrassed due to their unusual, most uncarrot-like colour...they are purple.

    Primulas_in_teracotta_pot_after _thinning carrots

    To cheer myself up I have potted up some primulas to add a touch of Easter colour outside the porch and despite being a simple task it has satisfied my horticultural soul and restored my mood....

    Next week I will be sowing turquoise tomatoes,

    Happy Easter!

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