Monthly Archives: June 2015

  • The Potty Gardener growing her own strawberries

    Haxnicks Garden Products can be brought online

    Pick up a punnet of strawberries from the supermarket and you will have an instant bowl of super-sized, plump, scarlet fruits. They may look pretty on the plate, but they can be a little disappointing on the palate and I find that I have to dress them up in all sorts to bring out their strawberryness. You can adorn them with a splash of lemon juice or balsamic vinegar and a sprinkling of vanilla sugar, or (like slipping on that little black dress) you can really add some excitement with a little black pepper (I may be Potty but believe me, it works!)

    Haxnicks Strawberry Planter

    However if you want strawberries that taste good naked (the strawberries, not you) then growing your own is the answer. I have known strawberries grown in rows, rounds, pots, baskets and guttering, but I am of course growing mine in planters. You can fit a whole row's worth of strawberry plants into one planter- 4 in the middle and 1 in each of the eight side pockets. With no threat of weeds and a prime location in the sun my strawberries are coming on a treat. With the fruits raised off the ground the berries won't rot, but I must still be on my guard for strawberry pick pockets. Slugs, birds and worst of all greedy children will need to be kept at bay!

     

     

     

     

     

  • The Potty gardener prepares to move house, garden and slugs

     

    Move_house_woman_peeking_out_of_cardboard_box

    With one week to go before we up sticks and move house to sunny Dorset.  I bet it rains on moving day! I have prepared my portable, potted garden for travel. The tomatoes in the green house needed to get used to the outside world. With their cosy life under glass coming to an end I have prepared them for life in a new location. Each day I moved them out of the greenhouse for a little longer.  i made sure that they were tucked up again by early evening. Eventually they spent the night out alone and having suffered no ill side effects I decided that they were hardy enough to remain in the open.

    Move_house_Haxnicks_Patio_ Planters_outside_blue_back_door

    Confront the Enemy....

    Carrots, sweet peas, potatoes and strawberries have been outside for sometime now.  Their only enemy being the slugs. There is one particularly huge and predatory slug.  I am sorry to say I have not managed to capture on camera yet.  But I know where he has been by tracing his long slimy footprint! He comes in to the house through the cat flap. He munches on some cat food, then slimes back out the way he came. With a belly full of whiskas he then trundles round the corner.  He slimes his way up the pea and bean patio planter for some pudding! Strong enough to open the cat flap, and well fed on 'carefully prepared, complete nutrition for cats'  I imagine he is nearing the size of a small kitten.

    Move_house_Orange_Peels_covered_in_SlugsOne of my solutions for slug tackling is to put out some orange peels as they rather effectively do the job of redirecting and collecting the slimy fellows without much effort. Anyway, having fed, watered and hardened off all the plants I now declare them fit for travel. They can move house with us!  All that remains is to pack up myself...which as you can see can have it's difficulties!

    Move_house_4_stages_of_woman_hiding_in_cardboard_box_box_falling over

  • The Potty Gardener and her Travelling Teenage Tomatoes

    Haxnicks Garden Products can be brought online

    Recently I decided that my tomatoes had reached teenage-hood. This is much like adolescents becoming tall, leggy and outgrow their shoes in the blink of an eye.  Therefore in a very short space of time my tomato plants became tall, leggy and their toes ( tom-toes of course!) began pushing out of their pots. It really was time to do something about it.  And fast!

    Growing Seeds in Haxnicks Plant PotsAfter a good drink (just water-they are not true teenagers after all) I carefully persuaded them out of their pots and settled them into their new accommodation.  A Haxnicks Tomato Patio Planter which comes complete with 3 integral cane pockets and en-suite drainage holes- luxury accommodation indeed! they are all going to be very comfortable there.

    Teenage_tomatoes_in_Haxnicks_Tomato_Patio_PlantersThe tomatoes had barely settled in their planters a week when they received an invitation from Grandpa Haxnicks.  They were invited to take up temporary residence amongst the very best of plants at The RHS Chelsea Flower Show. Of course, I proudly accepted on their behalf. The marvellous thing about using Patio planters is that no uprooting is involved in relocation.

    Haxnicks at RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2015 Haxnicks stand at RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2015

    Teenage Tomatoes Homeward Bound

    So I fed and watered my teenage tomatoes in preparation for an arduous week of being poked and prodded.  All par for the course and run of the mill for life on a Chelsea Flower Show Trade stand. I'm happy to say that they survived rain, wind, sunshine, hail and a run in a Pimms soaked punter. Its a miracle they made it home to be honest as many Chelsea punters want to make one more purchase as they leave.  Even if those plants are my precious babies and not for sale.  Anyway, like post party teenagers they are now back home recovering, and I very much look forward to seeing them blossom into fruit bearing  maturity.(NB: the teenager analogy does not extend to fruit bearing!) .  

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