Low Maintenance Rapid (Shrub) 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.

  • 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

  • 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.

    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.

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