Soft tie

  • Grow at Home: Soft Fruits Currants

    Growing Currants

    white_currants_hanging_on_bushIf you’ve got enough space to dedicate an area to growing soft fruit it is always worth growing currants.  Black, Red and White varieties are all easy to grow, tolerate a little shade and will reward with a heavy crop of vitamin rich fruit.

    Currants from cuttings

    Currants can be propagated quite easily from hardwood cuttings taken during the dormant season.  Choose healthy blemish free branches from the previous seasons growth that are about 20-25cm long and cut it from the plant right at the base.

    Trim the cutting just below a bud at the base, and above a bud at the top. Remove any soft growth at the stem tip. Leave all the buds on for blackcurrants.  For redcurrants and whitecurrants remove all but the top three or four buds to create a clear stem.

    Make a trench and add a little sand to it if you have it.  Then plant the cuttings around 20cm apart. insert them into the soil to about half their length.  Water well and they should be ready to transplant in about a year’s time and to fruit in around 3 years.

    Alternatively Nurseries and Garden Centres can provide an array of mature plants ready fruit straightaway.

    Aspect, soil and Growing in Pots

    Currants are heavy feeders that need a deep, fertile and well drained soil. It’s well worth taking the time to prepare the soil properly.  Dig well rotted compost or manure in prior to planting. For heaviest crops choose a sheltered sunny site but all varieties will cope with some shade.

    In Pots

    If you want to grow soft fruit in a pot then 20L Vigoroot Pots are ideal.  Currant bushes will do well in normal pots for several years but they will eventually become pot bound.  The result of this will be to stop fruiting.  You will find that once this has happened even repotting is unlikely to reverse it and the plant will never fruit again. This will not happen in Vigoroot pots as the roots will be air pruned.  Therefore if properly watered and fed currants will go on indefinitaly in Vigoroot pots.

    Cultivating Currants

    currants_in_Haxnicks_round_fruit_cageContainer grown stock can be planted out at any time but bare root stock should be planted in late Autumn or early winter. Plants should be spaced 1.5m – 2m apart to allow for growth and easy access for picking.

    Encourage new shoots by planting 5cm deeper than it was grown in the nursery – currants grow as ‘stooled’ bushes sending up new shoots from below ground level.

    Blackcurrants in particular will benefit from feeding – they have a high nitrogen requirement so use blood, fish and bone or other similar feed in the spring.  Additionally, a mulch of well rotted manure will help support the fruit production.

    No support or training is needed for currants – they grow well as free standing bushes. Fruit is produced on wood made the previous year, which means that little or no pruning is needed in the first year, other than removing damaged or diseased branches.

    After the first year, annual pruning should be done in late summer after fruiting.  It is best done on a three-year cycle, pruning out growth over 2 years old down to ground level to thin out the bush but still leave branches that will fruit the following year and others that will mature to fruit the year after that.

    Harvesting and Storage

    Pick the fruits as clumps when they are ripe. Some gardeners prefer to cut out the whole branch for convenience, pruning the bush at the same time!

    Currants are best eaten straightaway or otherwise frozen for use later.  They do not store particularly well in the fridge. Delicious used to make puddings, jam, cordials or liquers.

    Pests and diseases

    A Fruit Cage or net will help prevent the birds from stealing the crop.  Birdscare could allso be used but otherwise currants are fairly resistant to disease when well fed and grown in an open sunny spot.

  • Product Bites: Soft tie - the original and best plant tie

    What is Soft Tie :

    Soft_Tie_tying_cane_tipeetipeeSoft Tie is a reusable, soft, strong plant tie for a multitude of garden uses.  It comes in two widths; Original and Slim.

    Original - designed for use with the thinner, more delicate stems of climbing annuals, young vegetables and shrubs, tall perennials and houseplants

    Slim Soft Tie - superior cushioning and strength and is the perfect choice for tying up plants that are heavily-laden with growing crops, or for tying up the thicker stems of trees, shrubs, roses, large climbers and fruit bushes.

    What crop is it for:

    It can be used for everything from fruit and veg to flowers and trees.

    Supporting young trees:  the ideal size to support branches it cushions rather than strangles.

    Supporting fruiting trees : particularly useful for heavily laden branches it has the strength to hold the weight, and the gentleness to not cut into the bark.

    Training the new growth of climbers and ramblers from Roses to Runner Beans : Starting with a small loop that encircles the shoot, but does not constrict it in any way, the ends can be firmly tied around the frame or support. The tie will now be immoveable, but the shoot will be able to grow through the loop without being impeded.

    Tall plants : Delphiniums, Gladioli,  Sunflowers, Hollyhocks and Foxgloves need to be able to bend with the wind, but when tied to canes they can chop themselves off at the tying point. Soft-Tie’s hard wire core allows it to be bent into a ring that is large enough to let the plant wave about in the wind, but the soft sleeve stops the wire bruising or cutting the stem.

    Where can I use it:

    It can be used in all manner of ways, not just to support plants. Keeping electric cables tidy, hanging pots, tying canes, emergency bicycle clips, temporarily securing drain pipes.  The list is endless!

    Soft-Tie™ is easy to secure with a simple twist.  No knot knowledge required! And can be cut with a sturdy pair of scissors.

    What's so special about it?

    Woody_Soft_Tie_around_plantSoft-Tie™ can do any job that garden twine or string can but with greater strength, more gently and it can be used again and again. Unlike copy-cat versions Haxnicks Soft-Tie™ is made from superior quality materials which last longer and perform better. The steel wire is galvanised so it won’t rust and it is thicker than competitor versions making it stronger. The rubber coating is UV stabilised.  It is also made to a specific formula which makes it just the right squidgyness !

    Find out more: 

    See it in action: To see it in action head over to our YouTube channel here for an amusing video sure to inspire! Soft Tie

    Related Blogs:  Read about it in use Introducing Soft Tie

    Buy it Now:  

    Original

    For thinner, more delicate stems of climbing annuals, young vegetables and shrubs,.  Also for tall perennials and houseplants.   Original Soft tie or Woody Original Soft Tie

    Slim Soft Tie

    Stronger for heavily-laden plants with growing crops.  Or for tying thicker stems of trees, shrubs, roses, large climbers and fruit bushes.   Slim Soft tie or Woody Slim Soft Tie

     

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