Latest posts by BobTheGardener

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raised planting beds against brick wall

Posted: 08/11/2017 at 18:45

One way would be to build a rear wall into your raised beds and leave a gap against the wall but if you are piling soil up above the DPC then you need a damp-proofing membrane fixed against the wall.  However, much of the stuff from builders merchants is pretty thin and easily pierced so I would use heavy duty pond liner fixed to the wall with a suitable adhesive such as a strong 'grab' adhesive.

Possible compost problem

Posted: 04/11/2017 at 11:47

I agree, some of the loam-based ericaceous composts are a lot heavier than compost-based ones so adding about 20% grit is a good idea.  You could always mix it with some compost-based ericaceous to lighten it too.  I lost a couple of blueberries to root rot over the winter a few years ago when they were planted in a JI formula ericaceous which had become waterlogged even though the drain holes were clear.  I mixed it with with a compost-based ericaceous, composted bark and some grit, planted new blueberries and they are thriving.

New 'fruit garden'

Posted: 04/11/2017 at 11:36

Yeah, looking good nick!  Try and get hold of as much well rotted manure as you can (make sure it is well rotted though) and dig some into the beds when you fill them then finish off with a good 4 inch layer on top over the winter.  That will add life and goodness to the soil for many years, encourage the worms which will seem to come from nowhere and you will be rewarded by good crops as the fruit trees and bushes will love it.

Conservatory advice

Posted: 03/11/2017 at 19:37

Mine (in Leics) is unheated and double-glazed but I'd say the biggest issue is keeping it cool in summer.  I fitted solar powered extraction fans so the stronger the sun, the faster the fans rotate but even with those I need to keep several windows open for most of the year.  It can easily hit in excess of 50C in there if the windows are shut which will kill many plants very quickly.  I use it to over-winter plants and grow chillies and sweet peppers in the summer.  It's also great for those (recently rare) occasions where a very cold snap arrives which threatens seedings in the greenhouse.  Because the conservatory is built against the west house wall, it never gets even near freezing point, even in severe weather.

Ericaceous plant food

Posted: 30/10/2017 at 19:07

If your soil isn't naturally acidic then sulphur chips can help:

Yellowing leaves

Posted: 30/10/2017 at 19:04

I agree with Paul - evergreens do replace their older leaves but not all at once like deciduous trees and it is this time of year when it's most noticeable.

Polytunnel or Plastic Greenhouse

Posted: 29/10/2017 at 12:08

I had one of those green coloured polytunnels (the type with a sort of green string embedded in the cover) for a couple of years but I found the light levels were pretty low so things didn't grow as well as I'd hoped.  Given the choice between the two, I think I'd go for the polycarbonate greenhouse.


Posted: 28/10/2017 at 20:38

I add lots of shredded laurel and ivy to my compost heaps and it all breaks down just fine.  The thing to be careful of is when actually shredding the laurel as the sweet smell is indeed caused by plant cyanides which are released when the leaves are damaged, so don't take huge lungfuls and shred so you are standing upwind.  Once shredded, all plant chemicals are broken down by the composting process and the resulting compost is, well, simply compost.  There is a similar myth about rhubarb leaves.  They are in fact a suberb addition to a compost heap.

Allotment diary.

Posted: 28/10/2017 at 16:54

I normally start broad beans in pots and plant out in spring as mice are a problem if direct sown here, Loana.  Last year I started them in deep root trainers and they did exceptionally well so will be doing that again.  However, in general I agree and find there's often not much difference between early-sown veg under glass and those sown direct when conditions are naturally suitable.  I often do a bit of both so all angles are covered. 

Miniature apple

Posted: 28/10/2017 at 16:32

Always a good idea Caz8 as the drainage holes can get blocked if the tub is on the ground.  Trees also have a tendency to send roots down through the drainage holes.  If the tub is kept slightly clear of the ground then roots will 'air prune' themselves and not do that.

1 to 10 of 6,287

Discussions started by BobTheGardener

Some kind of mint?

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Accidental greengage

Wrong variety but happy 
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Seems hedgehogs are breeding in my garden 
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New greenhouse

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Border design by Spanish bluebells

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Unknown bird

Came home this evening to find this 
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Garden photos April

By month so folk can see what is in bloom for reference purposes. 
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Winter soft fruit pruning

Some things to do now 
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'Dramatic' music in TV programmes

Increase in noise! 
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Autumn foliage photos (2016)

Thought I'd start a thread just for our photos 
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Gardener's World about to start now!

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Cutting ID

I thought these were philadelphus 
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Last Post: 11/07/2016 at 17:34


Hope it finds it's way home 
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Vine weevils

..ate all of my winter carrots! 
Replies: 8    Views: 1612
Last Post: 01/01/2016 at 22:01

Huge pest problem

Don't think netting will work 
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1 to 15 of 44 threads