Baby Victorian Bells

  • Grow at Home: Winter Salads

     

    winter_salad_in_soil

    Many people are surprised to know that you can grow salad in winter very successfully without needing too much space or even a greenhouse.  A sheltered spot and a little bit of care and attention and you can enjoy a healthy harvest all year long.

    Although we tend to associate salad with long summer days, there's nothing like the taste of a fresh green salad at any time of year.  Often winter lettuce is actually slightly sweeter than the summer varieties.  Choose hardy varieties of your favourite summer lettuce or try something with a bit of heat such as a mustard spinach.

    A few healthy plants will probably be all you need to see you through so that you can pick leaves as and when you need them.  Vigoroot Balcony Garden will give you strong healthy plants in even the smallest space.  It will also allow you to cover your crop up if the weather turns really nasty.

    Sowing Salad

    For a continuous supply, sow a few seeds every four weeks.  Some lettuce varieties, such as 'Arctic King’ and other winter salads are fine to grow all year round.  They just need a little extra protection during colder months. The cut-and-come-again crops are loose-leafed and you can pick a few leaves from the plants every few days.

     Ideally sow seed up until mid November- earlier rather than later to avoid frost damage to seedlings.  But if you’ve missed the chance to sow, then  supermarket bought trays of living salad will do well if planted now.  Easy Seedling Tunnels or a Baby Victorian Bell Cloche will protect young plants during cold weather, especially frosty nights.

    Sow short lines of winter lettuce seed every couple of weeks or so. Water well afterwards; winter rainfall will probably be enough to keep plants watered. Thin out plants as they start to crowd each other – you can eat the thinnings in a sandwich!

    Protection

    Keep seedlings warm and watered and choose a sheltered area if possible.  To protect your plants from cold winds as sharp drop in temperature may kill off seedlings and young plants.

    Keep an eye on the weather and protect crops with a cloche or cover overnight.  Remove the covering in the day to keep a good circulation of air and avoid rotting.

    If you have to leave the cover over the plants, remove it every day or so and check them.  The soil may need a little forking over to avoid it getting compacted and wet. A Vigoroot Easy Table Garden is ideal for growing winter salads and can be moved to the sunniest spot and the cover removed easily on warmer days.

    Harvest

    Winter lettuce crops can be used as and when the plants are big enough. Varieties that produce a firm head are best left to fully mature.  Although a taking a leaf or two once in a while won’t hurt. The cut-and-come-again varieties should be picked regularly after they are about 2in high. They will produce more leaves if you pick some.  Or you can allow the plants to grow to about 8in and cut the whole head off, leaving a stump – a new plant should soon re-sprout. 

    Whatever you grow it will give you a little reminder that Summer is never far away!

  • The Potty Gardener and Easter Bunnies

    Haxnicks Garden Products can be brought onlineWe all 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 Easter Bunnies

    The flop-side of this Easter bunny’s game plan is that in return for secretly leaving chocolate she thinks that it’s acceptable to help herself.  She'll grab 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

    Growing in pots makes it less tempting and trickier for rabbits to nibble at any new plantings and soft growth.  Those of you growing in rows it may be a different story. Those early shoots that will pop 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.  However, when other vegetation is sparse beware! If trees are ringbarked (nibbled all the way round) it can kill them. If rabbits nibble the tree 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 !

  • BBC Gardeners World - Original Victorian Bell Cloches

    Following the recent features in the 20th Anniversary Edition of Gardener's World Magazine we thought we'd let you know a bit more about the various articles that feature Haxnicks products.

    Helen Riches is a garden designer that regularly contributes to Gardener's World magazine and has won awards for her garden writing in the past.  In this edition she chose to use our Victorian Bell Cloche in 'Summer Pots from Seed' and shows readers not only how to grow flowers for some real summer colour, but also how to do it on a Budget.

    We're reproducing the article in full below, but you can find out much more on Helen Riches' website.

    Haxnicks Patio Planters in the Press

    Haxnicks Victorian Bell Cloches are the original plastic cloche, based on the old fashioned glass type, and having sold well over a million, Haxnicks continue to be the leading manufacturer of these award winning cloches. Versatile, practical, reusable and stackable the Victorian Cloche is a favourite for many modern gardening experts.

    If you're looking to buy some (or want to see them for real) try our Stockist section. We list all current stockists and if your local garden centre doesn't have them you can also buy online.

    As always - it's your feedback that counts... please feel free to tell us what you think of our Victorian Bell Cloches.

  • Haxnicks in 20th Anniversary Edition of Gardener's World Magazine

    We're very proud to note that Haxnicks products have received some fabulous coverage in the 20th Anniversary Edition of Gardener's World magazine. What we want to know is - what do you think?

    Haxnicks Garden Products in the Press

    Helen Riches, Lila Das Gupta and long term friend of Haxnicks Pippa Greenwood can all be seen in the BBC's foremost gardening publication using Haxnicks products.

    Helen Riches, award winning garden writer and garden designer, recommended covering with a cloche overnight to give germinating seeds a better chance in her article entitled 'Summer Pots from Seed'.  Lila Das Gupta also wrote an article about sowing Runner Beans and the benefits of using Rootrainers.

    Pippa Greenwood meanwhile chose to recommend our Kitchen Garden Cloche for her article on protecting small groups of fruit and vegetables in their early stages and to extend their growing season.  And scattered throughout as always, our Biodegradable Pots Naturally range.

    What can we say?  Well, go out and buy Gardeners World Magazine and see for yourselves of course!

    Here's the list in full of products featured:

    And here for your added info is a list of links to Gardeners World Articles and Blogs - enjoy!

    Now we want to hear from you. What did you think, have you seen our products in any magazines or TV shows?  Look out for us, we have great links with gardening experts across England and Scotland and even Ireland.  But don't forget we're a company that wants to produce the best quality garden care products we can and that means listening to your feedback.  Please leave us a comment.

  • Chelsea Flower Show Review

    Chelsea Flower Show
    Emma models the Bag-to-Boot, whilst Emily tries to hide in the Pea and Bean Planter!

    We would really like to thank everyone who came to our stand at the Chelsea Flower Show 2009. It was, for Haxnicks, an incredible experience.  We thoroughly enjoyed it, and were pretty much flat out from 7am to 8pm every day!

    Chelsea is such a great experience.  So we decided early on to get as many of our staff to 'have a go' at running the stand. This provided a great day out.  Plus lots of lessons for us at Haxnicks about what customers really think of our products.  All positive I might add...

    The Haxnicks Planters proved their popularity, selling continuously throughout the show, with a lot of people taking the chance to get some last minute potato planters going- it is still not to late to enjoy home grown organic vegetables.

    However ultimately we would like to thank Chelsea for allowing us, during our occasional breaks, to tour (whizz) around the amazing gardens.

    Victoria's Rootrainers Demonstrations at Chelsea Flower Show Simon at the Chelsea Flower Show
    Victoria takes a break from her Rootrainer demonstrations, and convinces herself that our Pots Naturally palm tree is actually a real palm, somewhere on a beautiful beach... ...Simon gets into his sales pitch.  Julia demonstrates some other uses for the Haxnicks Baby Victorian Bell.   While Emily surveys the scene.

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