Gutter Planting Success

Planting Vegetables with Haxnicks

Sarah Raven in her article "The Veg Patch, Part III: How to Sow Seeds" which appeared in The Daily Telegraph, shows how by a series of experimentation she has achieved nearly a 100% germination success rate by using lengths of guttering to sow her seeds in. She advocates sowing "at least half the vegetable crop into gutter lengths filled with a non-peat-based potting compost.

The Haxnicks Rowplanter offers exactly the same benefits which Sarah outlines in her article, and is much more convenient than the unwieldy method of traditional gutter planting.

The Rowplanter comes in manageable lengths that can be placed in a small protected space. They have their own tray to hold them, so they will not fall over, and there is a propagating lid to assist the germination period.

The rows (gutters) do not need a large amount of soil preparation and sowing into the rows takes no longer than if you were sowing directly into the ground, but there is no need to bend and stoop, it can be done at a table or on your greenhouse bench.

Sowing can be done with care and spacing can be evened out and when germination takes place thinning out can be done in the rows without any kneeling or bending. This means this method conserves seed as well.

Sarah Raven says this method, traditionally suited to peas, is also ideal for serial sowing of salad crops, leafy greens (mizuna, rocket, chard, spinach, chervil) and herbs (coriander, parsley and basil).

Radishes can be left in the rows and eaten straight from the rows without being planted out and the rows are also ideal for parsnips provided they are transplanted before they are 2,5cm high. Even carrots can be grown in the Rowplanter lengths and if left till the seedlings reach 4cm in height you will be sure of a "baby carrot crop right through to Christmas."

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