Air-Pruning

  • Exploring the rhizosphere: how to grow trouble free onion sets...

    Rootrainers are what I've chosen for years to grow overwintering onion sets, garlic and spring planted onion sets. Onion sets (small immature onions) allow me to have onions all year round. But, originally manufactured to grow tree seedlings, why would I use Rootrainers for onion sets?

    Growing Onions using Haxnicks Rootrainers
    Growing onions from seeds can be a hit and miss affair, with weather, birds and the like all affecting the young seedlings’ growth outdoors, particularly those seedlings that have to overwinter. I am not after prize winning onions anyway or even huge onions so don't need to use onion seeds. I prefer sets. However, whenever I planted sets direct into the soil outdoors, within a few days, I would find many of the sets had been pulled up from where I had planted them and scattered all over the soil. Who or what was responsible?

    Some detective work - root zones and rhizospheres...

    The root zone is the name for the region of the soil around plant roots as they grow.  The roots produce secretions that help and protect them as they force their way downwards through the soil. The immediate area around the root is called the rhizosphere. There will be many rhizospheres within the root zone of a plant.

    The rhizosphere is the most dynamic environment in the soil, or a microbe ‘hot spot’, the fast food areas of the soil! The roots are also continually shedding old tissue and sloughed-off plant cells. The root secretions and dead plant cells are a feast for microbes living in the soil. In return the soil microbes provide nutrients for the plants, which encourage plant growth. More plant growth means more roots. A win-win situation! Hence soil microbes themselves congregate around the roots. Microbes in turn are a beacon for earthworms, who sense the root secretions and microbes in the soil and target such ‘hot spots’ to feast upon them!

    The Culprit!

    In my garden its the blackbird.  Blackbirds deliberately pull up the onion sets to seek out earthworms and other such tasty morsels, living and feeding in the root zone underneath the onion set.

    By planting onion sets in Rootrainers, the roots will grow in and around the compost, binding it together.  Then when planting them outdoors, unless the blackbird has fed on at least 3 Weetabix (!) that morning, it will not have the energy or strength to pull out the onion set with its well rooted fibrous compost ball, which is a lot heavier than an onion set on its own. Result:  no more scattered onion sets!

    Due to their size onion sets are great for children and school projects too.  Handling them is easy.  Planting requires less skill as sets are easier to handle than seeds.  Together, sets and rootrainers make the exercise easy and interesting for children to do for themselves. One major advantage for schools is that the children can grow AND harvest them all within the school year.

     

  • No more pot bound plants

    Fed up with re-potting patio plants? Haxnicks
    new VigorootTM planters have a technically advanced growing fabric liner that
    encourages stronger roots and more productive plants, removing the need to re-pot as frequently.
    Haxnicks Vegetable Patio Planters
    Vigroroot Planters come in a range of sizes for different fruit trees and shrubs
    VigorootTM fabric liners work by ‘air-pruning’ the roots of plants, encouraging more
    vigorous rooting which in turn enables the plant to absorb more nutrients. When the root tips reach the side of the Vigoroot fabric an air pruning process takes place, enabling the roots to continue to develop without root-balling and thereby removing the need to re-pot. This enables plants to grow to a much larger size in a relatively small planter and fruit bushes may not outgrow the planter for several years.
    Haxnicks Garden Products can be brought online
    Haxnicks Vigoroot Table Garden is ideal for growing fresh produce right outside your kitchen window
    Haxnicks has used the fabric in a collection of VigorootTM planters with decorative flat
    packed steel frames, ideal for growing small trees, herbs and vegetables on patios. The standard, large and long containers are great for patio orchards, ornamental and exotic plants whist the VigorootTM Table Garden lends itself to a wide variety of vegetables, herbs and flowers.
    VigorootTM planters are available from garden centres across the UK or www.haxnicks.co.uk
  • Easy to open propagator

    This year, more gardeners than ever are propagating their plants using Haxnicks RootrainersTM, a unique propagating tray for seeds, plugs and cuttings. The deep grooved modules encourage the faster formation of straight roots and the trays open out like a book
    to avoid damaging the baby plants when planting out.
    Haxnicks Rootrainers
    The Rootrainers propagator can be popped on a window sill
    Haxnicks
    RootrainersTM have specially designed cells with grooved sides that
    encourage the main root to grow towards the drainage opening at the bottom
    where the tip makes contact with the air and dies off, encouraging vigorous
    root growth. This air-pruning produces a faster formation of straight roots
    without root balls which is particularly good for growing sweet peas where a
    long, vigorous root system is the key to strong plants.
    Haxnicks Rootrainers
    Opens like a book making it easy  to remove the plants

     

    When
    the plant is ready to be re-potted, the cells simply open like a book which makes it easy to remove the plug without damaging the root system. Each RootrainersTM pack contains a holding
    tray, propagating lid and set of cells and can be reused year after year for
    bedding plants, salads and herbs as well as for runner beans, fruit and
    vegetables.As your local garden centre for Haxnicks Rootrainers. 

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