Vegetable Sack

  • Get chitting ready for planting your seed potatoes

    If you have a small or urban garden potatoes are the perfect veg to grow in a Haxnicks Patio Planter - we even have a special Patio Potato Planter!

    Seed potatoes are on sale from December and throughout the spring. Each Patio Planter is suitable for planting 3 seed tubers or 4 tubers if very small 'baby potatoes' are required. By planting each potato planter at 4 week intervals you will be able to harvest over a longer period.

    First you need to 'chit' your seed potatoes by placing them in a cool but frost-free place in egg boxes or shallow trays in full light, so that they can form sturdy shoots (chits) about 2.5cm (1 inch) long. This takes approximately 5 weeks.

    When they are ready to plant, you will need approximately 40 litres of good general purpose compost for each planter.

    Haxnicks Potato Patio Planters

    Pour approximately 10cm (4 inches) into the bottom of the planter. Plant your seed potatoes, with the shoots or eyes facing upwards, and cover with 5cm (2 inches) of compost. Keep the compost slightly damp, but do not over-water.

    When the shoots have grown 7cm (3 inches) high, add another layer of compost to leave the tips of the shoots just showing, keeping the compost damp each time. Repeat this process until the compost and shoots are 3 cm (1 inch) from the top.

    When the Potato Planter is full and the leaves of the plants are showing, feed weekly with a high potash/ low nitrogen soluble plant food. If there is danger of frost, cover with fleece and remove when the frost has passed.

    When the plant produces small white or pink flowers your potatoes are ready to harvest. Simply dig down into the planter to see if your potatoes are ready, and look out for the planter bulging, another sign of good potato growth. Remove a few potatoes at a time, or tip the planter out to reveal a bumper harvest.

    If you want larger tubers then continue feeding and watering for another few weeks. When the potatoes are ready to harvest, you can always store them in a Haxnicks Jute Vegetable Sack!

  • Madeline's Corner: Harvesting Potatoes, Pickled Pears and something brutal about Tomatoes!

    Haxnicks Garden Products can be brought online

    Well I don’t know about you but for me it has been a blustery week and I have been forcing myself to go out and get fresh air and to keep up the garden in a minimalistic way. I do feel that as soon as it is nice you should spend hours in the garden and when it is horrid only do the bare minimum.

    So I have been harvesting potatoes, putting them into jute storage bags and then hanging them in the dry part of the garden shed. You can do the same with your beetroot, carrots etc, but only if they are suffering in the ground. If they are still growing, I would leave them in the ground for as long as possible, until the first frosts.

    I have also been harvesting pears and bottling them, apples and freezing them in slices or bottling them, raspberries and freezing them. I am collecting enough raspberries to make jam, but it will take me about a week.

    Get rid of any unwanted pea and bean plants, some of my beans turned to rubber - as they do when they become old – so I have got rid of them onto the compost heap. In this space I have planted out more rocket.

    Now many of you will be worried about your tomatoes ripening. I cut off all the flowers and ½ of the leaves, I have been brutal, but I believe that all the energy now created will head towards the fruit and help to ripen them. If this doesn’t work them I find that green tomato chutney makes an excellent Christmas present.

  • Vegetable Sack Video

    We want to show you easy it is to properly store vegetables. It is so important to get the most from your vegetable garden, especially with food prices as high as they are, none of us can afford to let vegetables rot and go mouldly.

    In this short YouTube video, Madeleine Cardozo, author of 'Down to Earth' show us how to extend the life of our Beetroots.

    We are also keen to point you in the direction of Madeleine's excellent new book where you can find out how to grow and what to do with your Beetroots. The book is available in all good garden centres, from our Web site (priced at £9.99) and also from Amazon.

    Madeleine Cardozo's Down To Earth Gardening Book


    All of Haxnicks videos are available on
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  • Grow at home: Sweet Potatoes

    Sweet_potatoSweet potatoes are a versatile and increasingly popular vegetable and is certainly able to grow outdoors in the milder areas of the UK.   They are grown more often in southern regions because they require at least four months of warm temperatures, though there are varieties that will grow in northern gardens, too. Here you may need to use a greenhouse, glasshouse or Poly Tunnel.

    Sweet potatoes are surprisingly easy to grow and just a few plants can produce a generous harvest.  It is a scrambling, tender perennial closely related to Morning Glories. Grow it as an annual and harvest in the early autumn.

    You can grow them from a sweet potato from the supermarket.

    1. Take a few clean sweet potatoes and place into a container
    2. Cover them with peat and keep damp
    3. Leave in a warm place
    4. When ‘slips’ emerge from the surface to a height of 20cm, trim them off
    5. Pot into Compact Rootrainers and allow to grow on.

    Wait for the frost danger to pass and plant them in their final position.  In late September, carefully dig them up. Leave for one week to mature in a warm place (allows skins to set and flavour to sweeten)

    Alternatively, order cuttings or slips, which will be delivered from late April onwards and pot the cuttings immediately into the Compact Rootrainers

  • Storing "Home Grown" Vegetables Naturally

    storing_vegetables_potatoes_in_jute_sackSuccessfully growing your own vegetables is only half the story. The challenge is then to harvesting and storing vegetables so nothing goes to waste. Haxnicks has produced a new storage sack designed to make it easy for root vegetables.

    The Vegetable Sack is part of Haxnick’s Jute Naturally™ range of fully biodegradable products.

    The material used is jute.  You may see it called hessian, or burlap in the USA.  It is a material that has been around for along time but is only now rising in popularity again due to the trend for not using plastic.

    The first jute mill was established at Rishra, near Calcutta in 1855 when Mr. George Acland brought jute spinning machinery from Scotland. Four years later, the first power driven weaving factory was set up. By 1869, five mills were operating with 950 looms.

    Out Vegetable Sack's measurements are 70cm (2ft 3in) by 40cm (1ft 4in).  So it is large enough for a fairly hefty crop of root veg.  The names of the vegetables suitable for storing in this way – potatoes, carrots, parsnips, turnips, swedes, beetroot - are printed on the bag for decoration.
    A couple of twine ties are attached to the top of the sack, so it can be easily secured to keep your vegetables safe and sound. The woven jute allows the free passage of air, preventing condensation, so crops are kept cool and dry.

    Vegetable Sacks are available online or from all good garden centres and selected gardening mail order catalogues.

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