Compact Rapid Rootrainers

  • Grow at Home: Spring Cabbages

    Spring cabbage is delicious and tender.  It will be one of the first proper crops you can enjoy in the Spring.
    Autumn is the ideal time to sow - seedlings will over winter and produce heads the following year.

    Where to Grow

    Spring Cabbage is classed as a heavy feeding plant so add plenty of garden compost and/or well rotted farmyard manure your soil before sowing or planting.

    Cabbage takes up a lot of room in your garden needing up to 45-60 cm all round so the available space may dictate your numbers.

    Sowing Spring Cabbage

    Spring cabbages, smaller and sweeter that the summer varieties, can be sown directly into the soil but for the best results Rootrainers will give your seedlings the perfect start.

    Autumn sown Spring Cabbage thrive in a greenhouse or similar environment for planting out under protection after about 4 weeks - for this hardening off period use a Fleece Lantern Cloche or  Easy Fleece Tunnels

    Planting Out

    Spring Cabbage should be planted 45 cm between plants and 45 cm between rows.

    Water plants well before you begin and make a hole in the soil with a dibber or trowel.

    Fill the planting hole with water before planting the seedling - this will help the plant to establish. Push the soil in around the roots firmly bout avoid compacting the soil which can prevent water reaching the roots.

    Keep well watered and weed free - a Speedhoe make this quick and easy - and protect with fleece in extreme weather.

    As Winter approaches earth up the cabbage stems by dragging soil up around the stems to prevent them rocking in the wind.

    Harvesting Spring cabbage

    Spring cabbage has a short harvesting period  and need to be cut before they run to seed.   They have a neater more conical shape than round Summer cabbages.  So they may be ready sooner than they first appear.

    Remove every second cabbage as Spring greens in March.  Leave the remaining plants to heart up for harvesting in April/May.

    Harvest cabbage by cutting the stem with a sharp knife close to soil level. Cutting a deep cross in the stump will give you the bonus of a secondary crops of mini cabbages from the old stem!

    Dispose of the root on the bonfire rather than compost to avoid encouraging club root.

    Pests and diseases

    The main threat to your crop is Cabbage Root Fly. - The best way to it is to keep the flies out by covering your crops with fine mesh - Giant Easy Tunnels are ideal as they have the height to accommodate the growing plants -  making sure it is secure at the edges so nothing can creep underneath.

    Check periodically for small yellow eggs of the Cabbage White Butterfly on the underside of the leaves.  Remove them by brushing them off. Cover the seedlings with fleece or micromesh to keep out cabbage white butterfly

    Pigeons can make quick work of your cabbages - Netting is the answer if you have a pigeon problem.

     

     

     

     

  • Grow at Home - Sweet/Bell Peppers/Capsicum

    What are they?

    The Bell Pepper (Capsicum annuum) is also known as the Sweet Pepper or Capsicum and is originally native to the Americas.  As its name suggests, it is sweet rather than spicy.  This is because it does not produce capsaicin, the chemical that creates a strong burning sensation that makes the other members of the family such as chillies taste 'hot'.

    Botanically speaking, like tomatoes, bell peppers are fruits.  However, when cooking they are considered a vegetable and despite their sweet taste no one is going to thank you for adding them to the apple crumble!

    Colours  Multi_coloured_peppers

    They come in green, red, yellow, orange, brown, white, purple, lavender and black.  Red peppers are ripened green peppers, the exception being the Permagreen pepper which is still green when ripe and will never turn red.
    The sweetness of the pepper depends on growing conditions and how much it has been allowed to ripen.  So a ripe red pepper will be sweeter than the less ripe green one.  Peppers that have ripened on the plant will also be sweeter than those that were picked and allowed to ripen after.  Not something you can change when buying them but if you grow your own then you can ensure they are as sweet as possible by leaving them to ripen on the plant.

    There are many varieties but I would choose a hardy, early variety such as Yellow Monster or Lipstick to get the best results.

    Sowing

    Peppers are easy to grow from seed and have a high germination rate.  Sow seeds 1/2" (1cm) deep inside in Rootrainers, pots or seed trays from mid-February to end of March.  They will take 2-4 weeks to germinate.

    Peppers like it warm so so use a propagator and aim for a temperature of around 18-21°C (65-70°F) or place on a warm windowsill, with plastic bags over the pots to keep the heat and moisture in.  Of course if you have used Rootrainers then they come with their own lid so you can just pop this on for the perfect environment.

    Transplant into 3" (8cm) pots when two true leaves have formed.  Handle the seedlings by the leaves to avoid damaging the delicate stem.

    If you don't want to grow from seed then most Garden Centres will sell plants.

    Planting

    Position

    If growing in England this crop is much better being grown in a greenhouse or on a windowsill for as long as possible.

    If planting in the ground space the rows 18" (45cm) apart with the same distance between plants.  The more you prepare the bigger the yield you will get so dig in some well rotted manure.  You may also wish to cover the ground with a  Easy Poly Tunnel  to warm the soil before planting.  Once your plants are in position keep them covered with a cloche or a tunnel as they like it warm, but remember to take it off or open it for periods to allow pollination.

    Peppers grow well in containers and can also be grown in grow bag planters or in the garden as long as it is in a sheltered, sunny spot.  Ideally a South or West facing brick wall or fence.

    Potting On

    Once the roots fill your 3" (8cm) pot transfer plants to 12" (30cm) pots of good compost.  Do this in mid-May (heated greenhouse), late-May (unheated greenhouse) or June if growing outside.

    Pinch out the growing tips of chillies when they are about 12" (30cm) tall to encourage bushiness.

    Watch the plants as the fruits begin to grow.  If fruit becomes heavy then stake and tie plants in to prevent breakages.  Also, if growing in a greenhouse the leaves can become scorched so watch out for this and open vents and shade as appropriate if the temperatures start to soar.

    Feeding & Watering

    As with all plants regular water is vital so make sure you keep the moisture levels as constant as you can.

    Once flowers form start feeding with a fertiliser suitable for tomatoes e.g. a high potash liquid fertiliser with seaweed.  Feed every 10 days as you water.

    Harvesting

    Harvest August to November.  Expect to harvest between 3 and 8 peppers per plant.

    Start to pick the fruit when it is large, green and has a glossy sheen.  If you prefer sweeter peppers then leave it on the plant to mature but this will reduce yield.  If you still have peppers on the plant when the frosts arrive then dig up the whole plant.  Hang it upside down in a shed or greenhouse to allow the fruit to continue to ripen.
    Once harvested, if kept cool, bell peppers can store for up to 3 weeks once picked.

     

  • Salad anyone?

    We have returned back to a very grey and rainy England with not much hope for our little shoots after slight neglect for a week. However, we were greeted with huge shoots bursting to get out of their Rootrainers!  Seems like time to get the husband out building the Haxnicks Raised Bed with it’s very handy Raised Bed Polythene Cover to keep those courgettes, cucumbers and tomatoes growing upwards and outwards into something edible for my plate.

    Haxnicks Raised Bed with polythene cover on and plants inside I have plants now in my Raised Bed

    Most of all, the joy of this Raised Bed is that you construct and locate it wherever you wish, so for convenience it is sitting right outside our kitchen garden door.  As much as I love my garden who wants to traipse to the end of it to pick their veggies!  We have added a variety of herbs too - why not!

     Haxnicks Raised Bed with polythene cover off and salad plants showing  

    Pull back the polythene cover for easiy watering and as you can see we have a little bed of very healthy young plants which we hope to harvest sometime in July.  We will be back in July with an update!

    Haxnicks Raised Bed with polythene cover off and slightly larger salad plants inside Really growing now - here comes summer!
  • The Potty gardener sorting with Soft-Tie and spiders!

    Haxnicks Garden Products can be brought online

    Thanks to the fearsome weather over the past few weeks any gardening time has been spent undercover in my garden shed, clearing, sorting and tidying. There were moments, with the full force of Storm Barney raging outside, when I feared a Wizard of Oz style take-off in the gale force winds. There were also moments when I feared a horror movie style savaging from the monster sized spiders crawling out from every dark corner of the shed. Thankfully, I have survived the storms and the spiders to tell the tale of the looking after Rootrainers, the marvels of Soft-tie and the cure for arachnophobia….

    Haxnicks Rootrainers stored in a Garden Shed

    I was busy stacking up a neat pile of the Rootrainers, that had so successfully nurtured my sweet peas earlier this year, when I heard some disapproving mutterings blowing in with the wind through the door….Grandpa Haxnicks had arrived to help. My neat stacks of Rootrainers, he told me, were all wrong. Apparently, stacking the propagation lids inside one another in direct sunlight can dramatically reduce their life span as, in warmer weather, heat can build up between the layers and warp the plastic. He also advised that I keep the black Rootrainer cells away from the direct sunlight of the shed window too. He says that I should look after my Rootrainers as I would look after biscuits…hmmmm….?  Unwrap, eat within 2 days and buy more? I think perhaps store in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.

    The next mess to tackle was the unruly pile of bamboo canes that had somehow been interwoven with the electric strimmer cable and some nylon strawberry netting and was resembling some form of giant primary school textile project designed to teach texture and uninhibited creativity.

    Original Woody Soft Tie from Haxnicks binding canes

    Grandpa Haxnicks’ answer to this mess….Soft-Tie! Small lengths of the bendy, stretchy garden tie can be tightly twisted to keep all manner of things in place. I still had to untangle the mess but hopefully now that all is secured such muddles will be a thing of the past.

    Slim Soft Tie from Haxnicks in Proper Use

    Haxnicks Slim Soft Tie used to hang up Garden Tools

    I won’t bore you with the rest of the clearing that went on, except to say that it was interspersed with involuntary screams as the largest, hairiest spiders in the whole of Dorset were uncovered. One particularly evil spider, that had clearly had enough of all the fuss I was making, decided to disappear up my sleeve whereupon I entered into a kind of possessed frenzy, removing layers of clothing, shaking my arms and, much to Grandpa Haxnicks’ amusement, tripping over the wheelbarrow. This complete loss of dignity, coupled with extreme exposure to spiders seems to have had a curative effect on my arachnophobia. I feel a lot less squeamish in their presence and, I hope in the future, a little more in control when under attack. If any spider dares to crawl up my sleeve again then he will find I have a trick up there to render him helpless…Soft-Tie. Perfect for keeping unruly things, such as 8 hairy legs, under control!

  • 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. 
  • Lila Das Gupta - Using Rootrainers for Runner Beans

    It was only a small segment - but it meant a lot to us.  When we see our products in one of Britain's most popular and trusted Garden Magazines we do feel we must be getting something right.

    In the March Issue of BBC Gardeners World Magazine (also it's 20th Anniversary Edition), Haxnicks were mentions for Pots Naturally - our biodegradable pots, Victorian Bell Cloches (Helen Riches' article), Kitchen Garden Cloche (Pippa Greenwood's Growing Tips) and Rootrainers.

    The 'Step by Step' segment was about sowing Runner Beans and although you can usually just plant Runner Beans in ordinary pots, Lila recommended using Deep Rootrainers because these have the added benefit of encouraging the roots to grow downwards. We would note they also allow extremely easy planting out as the book like Rootrainers can be opened and the plug removed without damage to the roots - something that cannot be said for ordinary cell trays.

    Here is the article in full, click to enlarge, or read more of Lila Das Gupta's articles online.

    Haxnicks Garden Products in the Press

    Most Garden Centres stock Haxnicks Rootrainers and a we have a list of stockists available, alternatively you can buy online.  However, we appreciate your feedback - have Rootrainers helped you?  Do they make a difference?  Let us know and leave us a comment, and why not send a picture of your results - we have a seperate section for customer's photographs.

  • 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.

  • Compact Rootrainers - 2 'Best Buy' Awards in the same month

     

    Haxnicks in the Press
    Garden News 18th Jan 2011

     

    We are very proud to announce that our own Compact Rapid Rootrainers have been awarded 'Best Buy' awards in not one but two weekly gardening magazines, Garden News and Amateur Gardening.
    Garden News chose our Rootrainers because they were "Re-useable, rigid plastic containers.  Especially useful for plants that need deep root runs and dislike root disturbance."  Geoff Hodge, gardening expert and tried and tested journalist for the weekly publication awarded it 5 out of 5 for Use & handling, Watering, and Root growth.

     

    Haxnicks Rootrainers in the Press
    Amateur Gardening 29th January 2011

     

    "Opens like a book for easy inspection of moisture levels, root growth and removal of the plants...my Best Buy went to Rootrainers as they are re-useable."

     

    Compact Rapid Rootrainers come with a drip tray, propagating lid and have 20 cells in total.  To top it all off they are made in Great Britain, and as well as being re-usable, with a lifespan of approximately 6 years, they are also manufactured from recycled plastic.
    Amateur Gardening have always been fans of our Rootrainers. They regularly feature in gardening editor Kris Collins' weekly articles, in Anne Swithinbanks' column and have now been awarded 'Best Buy' by consumer editor Julia Heaton:
    "The shape and grooves promote optimum root formation.  Good way to raise bedding or cuttings as it makes handling the plants simpler. Those produced should be bigger and garden ready due to the larger root system."
    So why not see if the experts are right - try out our Compact Rapid Rootrainers and see for yourselves (quite literally) the quality of plant you can produce. Available as a deluxe version with a handy drip tray, perfect for windowsills.
    Amateur Gardening and Garden News are both priced £1.99 and available from newsagents and supermarkets every Tuesday.
  • Rootrainers - Versatile plant growing cells - from George Pilkington

    Another article sent in from www.nurturing-nature.co.uk - thank you George.

    Haxnicks' RootrainersRootrainers I wholeheartedly recommend. It’s not often that I would recommend a product or sing its praises. Every now and then though, a product comes onto the market that I buy and try. Many are, to be quite frank, rubbish. Rootrainers are different.

    Designed by a Canadian professional engineer, Henry Spencer, in which to plant forest tree seedlings - it is obvious that he knew what he was doing and what was needed to achieve a genuinely first rate product. Rootrainers have been designed to open and close like a book. Each book contains 4 or 5 cells and each cell grows one plant or tree.

    The hinged book allows for easy root inspection, moisture checks and seedling removal. The closed books fit snugly together and several can sit side by side inside a clever little tray which holds them securely. Each cell contains vertical ridges which encourage roots not to spiral, and to form a good fibrous downward growing root system, whilst protected in the rootrainer prior to planting out. Upon reaching the aeration hole at the bottom, they are ‘air pruned’ which basically means that the roots stop growing downwards when they meet air, thereby encouraging more lateral roots inside the cell. If they were not air pruned, they would continue growing downward and along the bench, floor or wherever they were being grown. This would make it very difficult to remove from the cell.

    Haxnicks RootrainersInitially, they are expensive (as many patented products are) and a bit fiddly to clean. However, when you consider that I have had some rootrainers for 6 years, then the price pales in significance.

    They are so versatile, from acorns to peas, runner beans to onions all of which can be successfully grown in rootrainers. They do represent excellent value for money. Several sized cells can be purchased to cater for different plants, trees etc.

    Get your Rootrainers here, and have a look at other information from George on his website, www.naturing-nature.co.uk

  • Sowing Seeds in Autumn with Down to Earth author Madeliene Cardozo

    Sowing Seeds in Autumn with Down to Earth author Madeliene Cardozo

    Traditionally, broad beans must be sown before 5th November - Bonfire night - so you have a few weeks left to get ahead.  Last week, we watched our in-house author Madeleine Cardozo and her boys Orlando and Bruno sowing beans and sweet peas in Haxnicks' Rootrainers™. The broad beans have already started sprouting in the cold frame, so we are already well on the way.

    If you haven't already seen Madeleine's new book 'Down to Earth' do take a look, it is available to buy through the website.  In the meantime please enjoy this video.

    Love to grow? Stay tuned to www.youtube.com/haxnicks!

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