Component Parts

  • Container Gardening with Compact Rapid Rootrainers

    Haxnicks' Compact Rapid RootrainersHerbs All The Year Round!

    Herbs are really so easy to grow and if picked fresh add an extra special zest to food that can't be achieved with the dried varieties. The beauty of growing your own herbs is that you can keep a tray of parsley, mint, chervil, coriander, sage and thyme on your windowsill and you don't even have to go outside in the rain to pick what you need!

    One of the easiest ways to grow your herbs is to take a Compact Rapid Rootrainer tray, fill it with good multipurpose moist compost and sow your seeds into the cells, cover with the propagating lid and leave for about a fortnight to germinate.

    Once the seedlings begin to emerge the tray can then be placed on a windowsill where it gets adequate light and as the plants grow the lid can then be taken off and used as a drip tray.

    Remember that herbs do not tolerate north facing windows and prefer a window that get at least 4 hours of direct sunshine per day.

    Without a plentiful source of light most indoor herbs will slow down or even stop growing. If you find this happening you should reduce the picking of the herbs as well as reducing the watering. Make sure the indoor temperature is not in excess of 65 degrees until plant growth restarts.

    It must also be remembered that not every herb likes living indoors.

    Herbs like coriander, cress and dill are annuals which when harvested and cut need to be re-sown in order to produce a continuous crop. So it is a good idea to keep 3 trays of these herbs at different stages for a continuous supply.

    Herbs that are grown indoors should be clipped or have leaves picked regularly to encourage new growth and it must be remembered that potted herbs dry out more quickly than those in the open ground, although if you are using Rootrainers the structure of the cell encourages a maximization of all water to the roots.

    Herbs with large soft leaves such as basil need a fine spray to humidify the air on hot days. Indoor herbs should be fed every 2 weeks with a liquid fertilizer to help maintain vigorous growth.

  • The Flower Garden - Sweetpeas

    Growing Sweet-peas using Haxnicks RootrainersSweet Peas are an excellent early cut flower to grow and they thrive if you have a polytunnel. They are also very hardy and very easy to grow. They produce a good crop of long stemmed and sweet smelling flowers, whilst taking up only a small area of ground.

    Two sowings should be made, one in November for inside flowering and a second in January for outside flowering. The Deep (Sherwood) Rootrainer and the Rowplanter are ideal to sow into.

    Fill the cells of the Rootrainer tray with good multi-purpose compost and wet it thoroughly then sow one seed into each cell about 2cm deep. If you are using the Rowplanter, place the seeds 15cm apart.

    If you have a heated propagator then place the tray into it or else cover the tray with the propagating lid and leave until the first seeds emerge.

    At this stage the trays should be transferred to a bench in the polytunnel (if you have one), or they can be left in the greenhouse to slowly grow on. When the plants have three leaves, pinch out the tops so that the resulting side shoots become stronger and more vigorous than the main stem.

    In February/March they can be planted out in the polytunnel in double rows with the plants spaced 15cm apart. If you are using the Rowplanter, you will simply need to slide the rows into the prepared trenches.

    It will then be necessary to fix a vertical net to allow the plants to climb or alternatively to tie each plant to its own cane with sweet pea rings.

    All that is then needed is to water well and harvest the blooms regularly, not leaving any to form pods.

    As soon as the blooms become short stemmed, pull up the plants and replace with the summer crop.

    Remember that you can leave the plants in Rootrainers until the weather is warm enough to plant outside.

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