Deep (Sherwood) 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!

  • Pippa Greenwood - Q&A - Part II

    The second in our series of questions and answers from Pippa Greenwood.  Please remember we are open for more questions at the bottom - just leave a comment and we'll get our panel of experts to answer your questions.


    Q: How can I keep my greenhouse a bit cooler in the height of the summer?
    A: Make sure that greenhouses and conservatories have adequate shading – temperatures soon soar in this warmer weather and plants inside will dry out rapidly and may be severely scorched. Paint on shading is the cheapest and is readily available from the garden centre but a conservatory is better fitted with more attractive looking blinds in the long term. Keep vents and windows open as much as possible too so that cooler air can come in. Try to allow a through draught, and even consider fitting an extra window or vent. The old-fashioned remedy of ‘damping down’ works brilliantly too – simple water any hard-standing such as the path in the greenhouse, as the water evaporates it uses heat energy and so temperatures drop.

    Q: There is ivy growing up through my well-established hornbeam hedge, will it harm the hedge?
    A: Much as I love ivy (and am not one for removing it from trees), if the ivy is starting to get a hold in your hedge, I’d be inclined to try to remove it. It is a vigorous plant and although I’m sure it won’t kill the hedging plants, it can start to swamp them and may lead to a degree of gappyness in the foliage covering as the hedge comes in to full leaf. The easiest way is to try to dig out the ivy at the base, or failing this, to sever the stem from the base, and then pull off the dead ivy plants once they have turned brown.

    Q: My hostas are riddled with holes, any suggestions?
    A: Hostas and holes pretty well always means slugs, and possibly snails.

    If they are growing in pots try using a copper based paint or a self-adhesive copper tape applied around the rim of the pot – slugs and snails hate crossing copper. If they are in open ground I suggest you try setting traps eg beer traps, and also consider using a nematode biological, or an organic slug control as this way you can kill them off without endangering the wildlife.

    Q: Can I grow a rose in a pot?
    A: yes, you can, but looking after it will definitely be much more effort than if it were growing in open ground! If you cannot plant it in open ground then I suggest you use as large a pot as possible, ideally something like a half barrel, and use a loam-based compost with added grit, something like John Innes number 3 would be good, plus some horticultural grit.

    Q: How do I know what size containers to use for my patio veg. I have a tiny flat with a small balcony and need to be as space-saving as possible?
    A: Assuming the balcony is up to the job (and please do check first!!) the bigger the better, but generally speaking I find pot-shaped containers work better than growing bags as they allow you to put in a top quality compost, and are easier to keep moist. A minimum of about 30cm3 , but ideally bigger is what I would recommend. If space and weight are an issue, then try the crop bags made from a sort of plasticised hessian material as these are very light weight, available in a range of sizes, fold flat and tiny for off-season storage, and have brilliant drainage holes in them!

    Q: I’ve just noticed that my apple tree has several areas on it where the branches are all bobbly and swollen, but they seem to be coming in to leaf OK. What is this?
    A: It sounds as if they were hit by woolly aphid. This sap-sucking pest causes you stems to swell and distort as it feeds, but its a symptom that is often first noticed when the plants start to grow in the spring. Once this damage has appeared the infested stem may start to die back, especially when the damage is severe, or if apple canker disease gets in via the wounded bark. I suggest you prune out the worst affected areas.

    Q: Is it too late to sow peas in March?
    A: Its certainly worth sowing some peas in March and in many areas, the soil stays so very wet and so extremely cold well into March, so for much of the country sowing any earlier is not possible! If the soil is still a bit wet and cold where you are, I suggest you sow the seed in cells, root-trainer pots or small flower pots and then transplant the peas when the plants are three or four inches tall and things have warmed up a bit. Remember to get some twiggy sticks in to the soil when you sow the seed or plant the young peas out, these will act as supports as the peas grow.

    Q: Is it true that it is not a good idea to cut an established hedge in spring, and if so, why?
    A: Its certainly true, and in fact as the bird nesting season has officially started in spring, it is actually illegal to do anything which might disturb nesting birds! The hedge itself would not mind, but you could very easily cause tragedy as far as the wild birds are concerned.

    Q: Some of my seedlings have suddenly died, sort of flopped over, can I save them?
    A: The most likely cause is damping off disease. This is caused by fungi, often introduced via unclean compost, trays or pots, or from non-mains water. Sadly there is no way you’ll be able to resurrect the seedlings but do check on your gardening hygiene. Its also worth watering seedlings with a dilute copper fungicide as this can help to prevent the infection getting a hold in the first place.

    Q: The winter has left my lawn riddled with moss, what can I do?
    A: First try to alleviate any compacted areas using a fork driven in deeply at intervals over the lawn. Then if you wish you could use a proprietary moss killer and, once the moss has been killed off, and after the delay period suggested on the pack, rake out the dead moss.

    Don’t do this any earlier than suggested or you may end up spreading the moss! If areas are very thin, you could then roughen up the surface and re-seed with fresh grass seed. Good lawn care ie feeding, scarifying and adequate water are the real key to a moss-free green carpet!

    Once again Pippa has given us a bonus question:

    Q: I am fed up with all the caterpillars I get in my brassicas, especially the calabrese, please, please suggest a chemical free solution?
    A: I never spray mine either, but with out a physical barrier you can guarantee a good crop of caterpillars! I plant low-growing brassicas under fleece or fine net pull-out tunnels, and taller ones a brilliant metal frame which comes with a fine mesh ‘jacket’ and a zip-up doorway – this is great because it is just tall enough for me to get in and so amongst the crop, making it very easy to harvest just what I want. Mesh covers like this will also protect against other flying pests such as aphids, cabbage root fly, flea beetle and so make organic veg growing so much easier!

    We cannot thank Pippa enough for these valuable tips and answers, please add your own questions and we'll try to help.

  • Growing Brassicas From Seeds

    Growing Brassicas From Seeds using Haxnicks RootrainersCabbages, kale, kohlrabi, cauliflower, broccoli and Brussel Sprouts are all varieties of the same species of Brassica oleracea which is native to the Mediterranean. Brassicas thrive on transplanting and some gardeners even swear by transplanting them twice.

    • Brussel Sprouts sow the seeds in March early April
    • Spring Cabbage' make two sowings 4 weeks apart in February
    • Summer Cabbage sow in March
    • Winter Cabbage sow in May
    • Summer Cauliflower sow in March
    • Broccoli sow in April

    purple_sprouting_broccoliDeep Rootrainers make an excellent way to start them when growing from seed, just fill with compost (preferably peat free) and cover with a clear propagating lid and leave to germinate in a warm place.  if you are using Rootrainers then just flip the drip tray over when you have watered them and you have your propagator lid.

    Once plants start emerging use as a drip tray under the tray and grow on in a good strong light place,

    When plants are ready plant out into a deep, rich well composted and moist soil. Make 15cm deep holes with a garden stake and place the seedling into the hole. Don’t close the hole with soil .  Instead, water the plant which will close the hole with the right amount of soil.

    Watering of the young plants is vital until they are well established and weeding is just as essential.

    Using Garden Cloches from Haxnicks

    If pests are a problem or you want to bring on growth a little quicker then we do recommend our Victorian Bell Cloches, these provide instant weather protection and additional warmth for faster growth.

  • Growing Cuttings

    Growing Cuttings with HaxnicksRootrainers – Perfect for Cuttings
    Almost anything can be grown from a cutting. It is also an easy and cheap way to obtain more plants. It is also an excellent way to keep your half-hardy perennials from year to year. Rootrainers excel with cuttings of all types.

    Preparation
    With cuttings, good preparation is essential. In particular the seed tray, compost mix and the moisture are vital.

    In late summer, take a few cuttings from your container plants, hanging basket plants and half-hardy border plants and root them in the greenhouse and then pot them up.

    No Re-Potting with Rootrainers
    Cuttings love a lot of side – that is why most cuttings are initially placed around the side of a large pot, or in very small pots, to be re-potted later. But, re-potting requires skilled timing, and will cause root disturbance.

    Rootrainers are small pots, with a massive amount of side. But, unlike small pots they have depth and don’t become pot-bound, so timing ceases to be critical and there is no re-potting.

    Quick Growth
    Try any nodal, stem, leaf or root cutting for success. The encouragement of quick root growth and natural air pruning achieved by Rootrainers will create a marvellous root plug. Some cuttings can be ready and planted up within a very short space of time, but others can be left in over winter and even longer if you want to grow semi-standards.

    Compost MixUsing Haxnicks Rootrainers to grow Cuttings
    (This mix is sufficient for two trays of the 3”/8cm Rootrainer seed trays - typically an ideal pot size for cuttings)

    Using a 12cm pot, mix:

    • 8 pots of multi-purpose compost;
    • 3 pots of perlite or vermiculite; and
    • ½ pot of grit or sand (for free drainage).

    Mix all the components together well. Fill the trays as you would for seed sowing, making sure the compost comes level with the top of each cell.

    Cell Size
    Most cuttings will prefer the 8cm Rapid (Shrub) size - it is ideal for geraniums, fuchsias, marguerites, chrysanthemums, lavenders and shrubs.

    They can be grown in the longer 12cm Deep (Sherwood) size, but it is generally desirable to get the air-pruning in earlier to encourage new root growth at the first opportunity, and this will occur more quickly in the 8cm size.

    It should also be noted if you are going to place your cutting later in a house pot or a hanging basket, it may not be desirable to have a longer root system.

    The 12cm Deep (Sherwood) size is excellent for hardwood cuttings, soft-fruits, clematis nodal cuttings or oriental poppy root cuttings and similar plants. The longer cell is excellent for retaining semi-standards grown from fuchsia cuttings etc, where they can be held in a Rootrainers for well over a year.

    Many cuttings can be placed in either size according to individual preferences and circumstances, but in all instances success with cuttings will be easier, difficulties fewer, handling will be less, compost and space will be saved, and the plants will be stronger if you use Rootrainers.

    Watering - Preparing your Seed Trays for CuttingsPlanting seeds in Haxnicks Rootrainers
    Before planting your cuttings give the seed trays a good soaking using a watering can.

    Leave the seed trays with their plastic lids on to conserve water while you select your cuttings.

    Hardy cuttings need to be placed in a sheltered position away from full sun – ideally in a cold frame. Put them somewhere handy so that they can be looked at daily. If the leaves of the cuttings look a little wilted then, using a water sprayer, you can give them a light spray.

    On-Going Watering During Propagation
    With Rootrainers, it is easy to check moisture levels and how the roots are doing. Just open the ‘book’, check and re-close. But - a little hint! Don’t open them until the plant is reasonably established and the roots have hit the side; otherwise you may just be pulling the soil away from the roots and weakening the strength of the plug.

    Rootrainers packs come with a clear plastic propagating-lid, which sits on top of the tray and retains the moisture and warmth. This can be easily removed and replaced for watering, and provides the ideal growing environment for most cuttings - but do not use the lid for geraniums and other plants that do not like humidity.

    When plants have developed sufficiently, the lid can be placed under the tray for capillary watering if desired, and for clean handling – ideal if you are keeping or over-wintering plants indoors.

  • Top Tips for Using Rootrainers

    rootrainers_open_showing_rosemay_rootsRootrainers are so easy to use and make seed sowing a pleasure. Here is a whole host of Top Tips, to get the most out of growing with them.

    The Five Inch Rule
    If you prepare the ground well and place in plants with a five-inch deep mature root system, little should go wrong. Plants suffer no check and are deep enough to withstand most vagaries of weather.

    Rooting Cuttings

    Rootrainers are ideal for cuttings. Take your cuttings, dip into rooting powder and just insert in a cell.

    For Large Seeds

    When planting large seeds, such as beans, gently press the seed down into compost with your finger.

    Large Leafed Plants

    If using Rootrainers seed trays with large leafy plants use every other cell or use the Compact Rapid, which has been specially designed for this purpose.

    Fragile Plants

    Rootrainers are ideal for fragile plants, such as sweet peas.

    Emerging Seedlings

    As soon as seeds begin to emerge from the soil, remove lid or take trays out of the propagator. The Rootrainers lid cleverly becomes the drip tray.

    Small Seeds

    Small seeds can be first sown in seed trays and then pricked out into Rootrainers.

    White Fly

    One brassica grower claimed he had never suffered from white fly since he had used Rootrainers.

    Under Bench Heating

    Under bench heating will promote even quicker root growth, without inhibiting top growth.

    Cuttings and Pot Size

    Most cuttings benefit from a shorter pot to encourage early air pruning of the root system.

    Watering

    Remember that as the season warms up you will need to water your plants and seedlings thoroughly to prevent drying out.

    Stem Cuttings

    Stem cuttings can be taken all year round but do best in Spring and Summer. If you use The Rooterpot you can be sure of success in ONE season.

    Planting Out Plug Plants

    Remember when planting out plug plants to make sure that the top of the soil plug is completely covered to allow the plant to seat.

    Water

    Water collected from a water butt should not be used to water seedlings. Use tap water which has stood for a couple of hours to allow the chlorine to disappear.

    Houseplants Love Aquarium Water!

    Don't throw the water from your aquarium away, keep it in bottles for your houseplants and watch them flourish.

    Lilies And Tulips

    Lilies and Tulips should never be planted together because they suffer from the same diseases.

    Planting Tulips

    Tulips should not be planted in the same spot for 2 consecutive years, but if African Marigolds are planted where the tulips have flowered there will be no problem in using the same spot again.

    Azaleas

    Azaleas like acidic soil and it is a good idea to water them once in a while with a mix of 2 tablespoons of white vinegar to 2 pints of water.

    If you have any tips that you'd like to share please add to the list below: Drop us a comment.

  • 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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