Monthly Archives: March 2016

  • The Potty Gardener and Easter Bunnies

    Haxnicks Garden Products can be brought onlineI understand that Easter Bunnies don’t like chocolate and are especially keen to give it away at this time of year. I am happy with this arrangement. I am not happy with the flip-side of this arrangement. (In the case of this particular lop-eared bunny I will call it the flop-side.) The flop-side of this Easter bunny’s game plan is that in return for secretly leaving chocolate for me she seems to think that it’s acceptable to help herself to anything that takes her fancy in the garden, wreaking havoc and causing considerable damage. In this particular case the problem is easily solved by returning her to her secure accommodation. For her wilder and far naughtier cousins the problem must be solved with plant protection.

    Baby Victorian Bell Cloches from Haxnicks

    For me, growing in pots and planters makes it less tempting and trickier for rabbits to nibble at any new plantings and soft growth, but for those of you growing in rows it may be a different story. Those early bean and pea shoots that may be popping up soon are at particular risk of becoming a bunny salad. So unless you have a rabbit proof fence surrounding your veg plot then some Bell Cloches or an Easy Tunnel pegged over the plants should keep the naughty nibblers at bay and keep the plants cosy and moist too.

    Flexi-Mesh Treeguards from Haxnicks

    At this time of the year there are far more tempting treats than tree bark for bunnies to gnaw on, but when other vegetation is sparse beware! If trees are ringbarked (nibbled all the way round) it can kill them. You can protect young trees easily with a tree guard, just make sure that it is over 50cm in height to allow for a giant rabbit invasion, small rabbits on stilts and normal sized rabbits on their hind legs. I have ambitions to grow small trees in pots  which should mean that they are growing high enough off the ground to be out of rabbit reach. Anyway that's quite enough of me rabbiting on, I'm off to hunt for chocolate !

  • Haxnicks finalist at Chelsea Flower Show

    Hello Gardeners,

    Preparations are already underway here at Haxnicks for Chelsea Flower show and they have been given en extra boost this month with the news that our Big Ben Bean Frame has been chosen as a finalist for the Garden Product of the Year Award!

    Haxnicks Big Ben Bean Frame for the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2016

    Could our Big Ben Bean Frame be heading for further fame? Well it was designed to attract attention, and where better to do that than at the fabulous Chelsea Flower show just a few miles down river from its iconic inspiration. Haxnicks Big Ben Bean Frame is just one of our new and exciting range of architectural growing frames that include Eiffel Tower and London Eye Plant Frames. The range is designed to inspire creative, ornamental vegetable growing, offering the necessary support for climbing veg and making the most of limited ground space. The officially fabulous Big Ben Bean frame will be on display at RHS Chelsea flower show this year as part of the Haxnicks range on the Agriframes stand (RHW/356).

    This Grandpa is very proud of the accolade, but not half as proud as he will be if he can manage to grow early enough runner beans to climb up our Big Ben bean Frame in time for the show on 24th May!

    Happy gardening,

    Grandpa Haxnicks

     

     

  • Haxnicks helps orphans in Zambia to Grow their Own

    Haxnicks Speedhoe in full use in The Heal Project in Zambia

    Hello gardeners,

    I Have a heart-warming story to tell this month. Haxnicks has been preparing a new vegetable garden far from its homeland in sunny Zambia. Inspired by my great grand-daughter Lali Cardozo and her work with an orphanage near Lusaka, we sent out a team of enthusiastic gardeners armed with Haxnicks products, a generous donation of seeds from Suttons and lots of energy. Our aim was to kick-start a vegetable garden enabling the children of the orphanage to grow some exciting new fruit and veg that might make a refreshing and healthy change from maize and cabbage.

    Zambian children choosing Seeds given by Haxnicks

    Lots of children from the orphanage chose their own packets of seeds to plant: they all wanted to plant cucumbers, strawberries and melons!

     

    Zambian Children at the Heal Project planting Seeds from Haxnicks

    Rootrainers were used for the larger seeds such as squash, melons and cucumbers and the speciality tomatoes, when the Rootrainers ran out the children ran off to find any old empty plastic water bottles, or cups to sow more seeds in.

     

    Haxnicks Garden at the Heal Project in Zambia

    Easy net tunnels were used for protecting the seedlings in pots, micromesh fabric was laid over rows of seeds to protect against heavy downpours of rain during the rainy season. Micromesh barriers were put up around the beds to protect them from the cats, dogs, snails and wandering children. Birdscare was used to ward off the birds. Last but not least the ornamental frame of Big Ben was erected at the top of the patch in the hope that eventually peas will clamber up and the children will have great fun harvesting them.

    Seeds appearing in Haxnicks Rootrainers in the Vegetable GardenWith a downpour of rain and temperatures of 25 degrees within 4 days all the radishes had appeared as well as all the squash, melons and courgettes. 100% germination rate in the rootrainers! The children are hoping that they will have more than they can eat, and some to sell in the market. The orphanage has the space to make the garden bigger and Haxnicks plan to return to help expand the garden, build a fence around it with a gate, set up an automatic watering system and much more. Now the gardening team have returned, wondering in anticipation which seedlings are appearing, whether they will be washed away by the rain, die from drought, or mature into healthy bumper crops to fuel the children and a market stall business. Lali hopes to be able to send some updates and let us all know how things are progressing, but in the meantime she has sent this to tell you a little bit more about her friend Jeannie's orphanage.

    Lali Cardozo teaches at Heal Project School in Zambia

    'My friend Jeannie Mulenga is the inspiration behind The Heal Project, a charity set up in 1999 in Zambia. The Heal Project supports people living with HIV/Aids in Zambia working together towards a better life. Jeannie has 3 of her own children as well as thirty children who have nowhere else to turn, all of whom have lost their parents and many of whom are living with HIV. If you have been inspired, as I have by Jeanie and her wonderful children then please have a look at our Just Giving page.'

    I hope to be able to update you all soon with how things are going and growing at the orphanage, but in the meantime,

    Happy Gardening,

    Grandpa Haxnicks

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