composting

  • The Potty Gardener and Manure in the Garden

    Haxnicks Garden Products can be brought online

    I have been busy helping Grandpa Haxnicks to dig manure into his vegetable plot and learning some of the ins and outs of using various types of animal excrement in the garden. What comes out of the animal and goes into the soil is so much more than a pile of poo. All creatures great and small can provide free plop for your plot that will vastly improve soil texture, boost nutrient levels and give you bigger, better and healthier crops.

    Poultry Manure for the Garden

    Chicken droppings

    If you happen to keep chickens, then as well as eggs you have a readily available source of useful fertiliser. Fresh chicken poo has high levels of ammonia so should be dug into vegetable plots at least 4 months before planting. Or you can add it to a compost heap and let it rot down before using it. It makes particularly good top dressing for blackcurrants and plum trees.  It tends to be quite alkaline so not so suitable for acid loving plants such as blueberries, or camellias.

    Horse Manure and its nourishing factors

    Cow Poo

    Cow poo is great for improving soil structure. Again, it should be left to rot down in a compost heap or dug in a few months before planting. Autumn is the perfect time for digging it in, particularly if you want to use it in areas where you might be planning to grow root vegetables in the spring. If you try to grow root vegetables in freshly manured soil the results can be a little alarming. Carrots will grow into multi-limbed aliens, beetroot will go barmy and potatoes go scabby. A great plus point for cow poo is that it has been well digested, passing through multiple stomachs a process that kills off any weed seeds.

    Horse manure

    Weed seeds are something to watch out for with horse manure. So be sure that it is well aged to give time for any seeds to compost. Another benefit of horse poo is that it is considerably less stinky than chicken or cow. But if you want a completely non-stinky manure then worm poo is your best bet. Obviously, it is going to take a biblical proportion of worms to create the equivalent of a few cow pats.  However, I am told that you can make worm poo tea out of worm casts from a wormery.  You can then feed it to your potted plants!

  • Leaf Picker Winter tools trial...

    Its the perfect time of year for Leaf Picker.  As its time to start preparing the garden for winter.  Its definitely time to think about clearing leaves,

    Leaf Picker_head_with_leaves Leaf Picker in action

    digging over beds and generally having a tidy up.  To help you, Grow Your Own magazine has completed a trial of the tools you will need.

    Included in this trial is the Haxnicks Leaf Picker.  And they really liked what they saw.  Deeming it to be " An efficient, easy pick-up and discard mechanism for leaves without any backbreaking bending over"  it gets a great big thumbs up from Simon Akeroyd.  They found that it was especially good for picking up leaves in flower beds and borders where a traditional rake may damage plants.  It is definitely a must for the every tool shed.

    How the Leaf Picker works

    Where leaves get caught on traditional rakes a simple push, pull action on the Leaf Picker dumps the leaves into your wheel barrow, compost heap or wheelie bin.  Or better still, put the leaves straight into one of our Composting Sacks and forget about them.  In 12 to 24 months you will have the best home made compost: leaf mould.  Otherwise called gardeners gold this is the real creme de la creme when it comes to compost.  These simple natural jute sacks are fully biodegradable so you can toss them on the compost heap or stick out of the way behind a shed.  Here they make a great habitat for worms, which add their nutritious worm castes to the mix.  The sacks can also be placed round young trees or in borders to suppress weeds.

    Leaf Picker_trial_Grow_Your_Own_Magazine_article

    To read more about Leaf Picker and find out how helpful it can in clearing a neglected,  unruly garden then why not take a look at this blog

  • Spring clean in November!

    By Jo Sensecall - November is “spring clean” time the garden! With nothing to plant, you should clear any remains of crops for composting and fork over bare ground. Store away hoses, pots and canes and have a general tidy up.
    Cover any pots that you have which are not frost proof with jute material, or fleece, this will stop them from cracking.  Lifting them off the ground with blocks of wood or special ceramic feet is also good idea.
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    Use our Easy Fleece Jackets to cover any fragile container plants and to protect them from early or late frosts. These Easy Fleece Jackets are ideal for overwintering plants in containers or hanging baskets and have an integral drawstring for easy and practical use.

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