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

     

    Haxnicks Garden Products can be brought online

    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 made certain to prepare them for life in a new location. Each day I moved them out of the greenhouse for a little longer, making 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.

    Haxnicks Patio Planters

    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 that I am sorry to say I have not managed to capture on camera for you, but I know where he has been by tracing his long slimy footprint! He comes in to the house through the cat flap, 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 and 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.

    Orange Peels attracting 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. All that remains is to pack up myself...which as you can see can have it's difficulties!

    Haxnicks Garden Products can be brought online

  • 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. Much like adolescents become tall, leggy and outgrow their shoes in the blink of an eye, 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.

    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!

    Haxnicks Tomato Patio PlantersThe tomatoes had barely settled in their planters a week when they received an invitation from Grandpa Haxnicks 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

    So I fed and watered my tomatoes in preparation for an arduous week of being poked and prodded on a Chelsea Flower Show Trade stand. I'm happy to say that they survived rain, wind, sunshine, hail and being knocked over by a Pimms soaked punter. 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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