Tomato Patio Planters

  • Self Watering Tower garden

    The Self Watering Tower Garden is self watering. That's right!  Self watering!

    Haxnicks Self Watering Tower Garden water reservoir

    It does what it says on the tin, or would do if it came in a tin.  But why is this important when actually, plants love water and I quite like watering them too?  Don’t know about you, but for me it’s a calming activity during which I contemplate life, the universe and beyond.   This watering zen is the ‘ideal’ though and some weeks the ‘ideal’ is as rare as a blue rose.  The plants will survive my inattention.  The rub is that not only do plants love water but more than this they like regular water.  Otherwise it can have a drastic effect on their output.  Who hasn’t taken their eye off the ball and ended up with split tomatoes?

    Cue the Haxnicks Self Watering Tower Garden . So on those weeks when the cat needs the vet, the kids need new shoes and the fridge definitely needs a clean out the ingenious wick is doing what you can’t and keeping your plants happy and healthy.  No more coming back to dejected looking plants and a guilty conscience. Problem solved.

    Haxnicks Self Watering Tower Garden with Vigoroot pots Self Watering Tower Garden with Vigoroot pots

    My Tower Garden is in its second year and the Vigoroot pots can be washed at the end of the season and stored flat by the organised gardener.  I am not an organised gardener though (must have been one of those weeks) so I had just emptied them and stored in the shed.  A quick brush off left them looking as good as new though and I was able to start planting.

    Not only does it solve your watering issues but it also allows you to grow a staggering amount of plants in a very small area.  My garden is large but with building work about to start most of it is off limits for this season.  The 3 layers allow me to have 12 x 5L pots  in a tiny space.  Each layer has 4 Vigoroot pots which air-prune the roots to give healthier plants with better roots that lead to higher yields.



    Three Layers:

    Haxnicks Self Watering Tower Garden with strawberries, herbs and tomatoes Fully planted!

    I won't even have to worry about watering when I go away for a week's holiday in summer which is a bonus. All that is left to do now  is to make sure that the water reservoirs are full once a week and then and wait to pick my very first crop.   Might just have to plan a nice bruschetta recipe for all those glorious tomatoes...

  • Growing on a balcony, a roof top and more!

    Growing plants on rooftops, balconies and terraces with HaxnicksWhether it’s a balcony, a roof top or a terrace, urban gardeners need to be creative about growing in small spaces. I met a lovely lady in a nice hat at Chelsea Flower show who has this balcony in central London. I think it would look marvelous adorned with pots and planters, but she claimed to be rather too busy!

    Over the years, all sorts of gardeners have been kind enough to share their pictures of creative growing in unusual places….

    Haxnicks patio planters and pots growing in a treehouse.

    These crazy crops are 30 ft high in a tree house. I am told the benefits of growing so high outweigh the impracticality. Not only are the planters out of reach from the family goat, but slug pellets are not required at such dizzy heights. Even the least sluggish slug would find the climb beyond his capabilities. Watering requires a cleverly devised pulley system that keeps the children fully entertained, mostly due to the soaking of unwary passers-by.

    Haxnicks patio planters on the roof of a river boat

    No problem with watering here! This floating herb garden in pots and planters helps to add a little home-grown flavour when cooking up a feast in the galley.

    Growing Tomatoes in a Telephone Box

    In the absence of a Greenhouse this disused telephone box is a great place to grow tomatoes. Not only is it a warm shelter, but the perfect width to support the plant as the stems become heavily laden with fruit. It’s the perfect colour too!

    Growing Plants in the back of a car

    More colour matching here. This car may have reached the end of its useful life on the road, but makes a perfect greenhouse now. It’s cosy for germination in the early Spring and the windows can be wound down for ventilation on warmer days. When crops are ready they can be popped on the top out of reach of cats, dogs, goats and slugs. Carrots à la car!



  • The Potty Gardener puts her planters to bed


    Haxnicks Garden Products can be brought onlineThis week I decided that my well-travelled potted veg garden had given its all and was ready to be put to bed for the winter. The pots and planters have had an exciting year travelling from greenhouse to garden, from the Cotswolds to Chelsea and finally settling in their new spot on top of a windy hill in Dorset.

    Healthy Potatoes and other Vegetables grown with Haxnicks ProductsMy final colourful crop was a healthy collection of oddly sized, strange coloured veg that nevertheless gave me a grin of self-satisfaction and made me wonder a few things….

    Q Are the satisfied smiles of celebrity gardeners that glare out of my gardening magazines perhaps true grow-your-own grins rather than I-can-charge-an-enormous-fee faces?

    A Of course.

    Q Can I call my giant courgette a marrow?

    A I can if I want to. Marrows and courgettes are both members of the squash family (cucurbit) with just a few horticultural differences. Strictly speaking, according to my research, if you want to grow marrows you should choose a thicker skinned variety of courgette designed to grow big and make sure that you are happy to spend most of autumn making chutney!

    Q Can I ripen the last few green tomatoes without the Indian summer that I was expecting?

    A Yes with a banana! Put the green toms in a box or jar with a ripe banana and it will release its magic ripening gas to turn your tomatoes red. Wouldn't we all go red if we were trapped in a confined place with a banana?

    Q What can I do with the seemingly useful looking soil that I have emptied from the planters?

    A The soil will have lost its magic, drained of goodness and gusto for growth.  As with crop rotation in veg plots you don’t want to be growing the same sort of veg again in the same soil risking pests and diseases that would turn your grow-your-own grin into a grimace. Put the soil on the compost heap or spread it on borders, but beware of the escaped potato from your potato planter soil. There will be at least one and it will pop up in your flower bed next year totally unaware how out of place it looks.

  • The Potty Gardener with Fancy tomatoes

    Haxnicks Garden Products can be brought onlineWhy garden in gardening clothes? My expectations of all things to do with gardening are changing. This year I have discovered that you don’t have to have a garden to grow your own fruit and veg, you don’t have to dig to grow potatoes, carrots don’t have to be orange and tomatoes don’t have to be red…or smooth… or even taste of tomatoes, therefore I conclude that you don’t have to dress like a gardener to garden. If  tomatoes can dress up and pretend to be something else then so can I.

    Growing Healthy Tomatillos in your Garden with Haxnicks

    Tomatilloes claim by their name and inner appearance to be something like a tomato and yet on the outside they wear a Chinese lantern fruit cloak. This week I harvested the first of this strange looking crop. The round green fruit beneath the cloak of disguise did indeed look very much like a green tomato, it also had the texture of a green tomato, but it was very sticky and tasted like a lime! It’s all a bit Willy Wonka and got me thinking about other possibilities…onions that taste of bananas perhaps, or beetroot that taste of kiwi but look like strawberries.....

    Single Tomatillo grown with Haxnicks Products

    However, if like me you prefer your tomatoes to taste like tomatoes then you don’t have to stick with growing round, red ones. There are plenty of crazy tomatoes with less confusing appearances such as yellow, green, black, stripy or crinkly ones, that like the best fancy dress outfits, attract plenty of attention but don’t spoil the feast!

    Growing Fancy Tomatoes with Haxnicks Products

  • The Potty Gardener and her Travelling Teenage Tomatoes

    Haxnicks Garden Products can be brought online

    Recently I decided that my tomatoes had reached teenage-hood. Much like adolescents become tall, leggy and outgrow their shoes in the blink of an eye, in a very short space of time my tomato plants became tall, leggy and their toes ( tom-toes of course!) began pushing out of their pots.

    Growing Seeds in Haxnicks Plant PotsAfter a good drink (just water-they are not true teenagers after all) I carefully persuaded them out of their pots and settled them into their new accommodation - A Haxnicks Tomato Patio Planter which comes complete with 3 integral cane pockets and en-suite drainage holes- luxury accommodation indeed!

    Haxnicks Tomato Patio PlantersThe tomatoes had barely settled in their planters a week when they received an invitation from Grandpa Haxnicks to take up temporary residence amongst the very best of plants at The RHS Chelsea Flower Show. Of course, I proudly accepted on their behalf. The marvellous thing about using Patio planters is that no uprooting is involved in relocation.

    Haxnicks at RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2015 Haxnicks stand at RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2015

    So I fed and watered my tomatoes in preparation for an arduous week of being poked and prodded on a Chelsea Flower Show Trade stand. I'm happy to say that they survived rain, wind, sunshine, hail and being knocked over by a Pimms soaked punter. Like post party teenagers they are now back home recovering, and I very much look forward to seeing them blossom into fruit bearing  maturity.(NB: the teenager analogy does not extend to fruit bearing!)

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