by Rhiannon James
ROOT!T Propagation Kit
Check out the latest tools and accessories to make gardening quicker, easier or just more fun. This month: plant pots made from composted cow poo; a set for growing your own ladybirds and a handy propagation kit.
If you’re looking for an easy and eco-friendly way to grow plants from seed, then you could try CowPots, made from composted cow manure, as an alternative to plastic seed trays and containers. Seeds are sown straight into the pots and when the plants are big enough to go into the garden, you can just put the whole container straight into the ground. As no transplanting is needed, plants should establish quickly and the pots will quickly break down and feed the soil.
CowPots cost £4.99 for 12 and are available from The Range and independent garden centres, www.cowpots.com
Grow Your Own Ladybirds
Ladybirds go through an amazing transformation to become the little red bugs we’re all familiar with, but these changes usually take place deep in the leafy undergrowth of the garden. With this kit, over the course of a month, kids can watch the whole process, from the tiny eggs hatching into larvae to the adult ladybirds finally emerging from their pupae. Included in the package is a voucher for 50 eggs of the native two-spot ladybird and food for the larvae, a rearing box, an instruction booklet and an observation chart. Ladybird larvae are big consumers of aphids and if you’re more interested in their pest-controlling powers, the company also offers the option to buy ready-grown larvae for release on to affected plants.
The Grow Your Own Ladybirds kit costs £24.99 and is available from www.agralan.co.uk
Root!t Propagation Kit
This kit offers a low-hassle way to raise plants from seeds or cuttings and comes complete with all the equipment you’ll need including a propagator, 24 rooting sponges, baby plant feed, rooting gel for cuttings, a scalpel and a detailed ‘how to’ guide. Made from a mix of peat and bark, each rooting sponge comes with a dual-level hole to make it easy to plant seeds at the right depth and to keep cuttings in place. The rooting gel is used instead of hormone rooting powder for cuttings and forms a seal around the cut surface, aiding uptake and helping to prevent infection and dehydration. The kit is available with a longer, narrower propagator for windowsills and any refills can be bought as separate packs.
The Root!t propagation kit costs £14.99 and is available from www.rootit.co.uk