Latest posts by BobTheGardener

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Bulbs and seeds

Posted: Yesterday at 19:10

As general advice, I would make the border deeper (as in remove a bit more lawn) Dew_drops.  Once the plants grow they will soon run out of room and overhang the lawn anyway so the grass will suffer where that happens.  The usual advice is to have a minimum border depth of 1 metre.  Making it curvy also always looks better too.  Love the fence colour!

Bad batch of runner bean seeds?

Posted: Yesterday at 18:48

I think it's something to do with the weather conditions.  I had seed left from last year and sowed two lots in pots about 3 weeks apart.  The first lot have distorted leaves etc much as pansyface describes but the 2nd lot look fine.  Even the leaves are greener.  Same compost used in the pots and they were planted out into similar soil with a similar aspect, so only the timing varied.

Blueberry Bush

Posted: Yesterday at 18:39

Difficult to recommend pruning without a photo but certainly remove any weak spindly growth near the base.  Once they are a few years old they benefit from removing (one or two only, early in the year) of the oldest branches, right back to the base.  This will promote vigorous new shoots from the base which will bear the crops in subsequent years.  Feeding with something high in nitrates early in the season will help these strong new shoots to grow and then switch to high potash feeds later to help promote flowers and fruit.  Use feed for ericaceous plants as these contain iron in a form which can be taken up in the acid conditions that is needed to grow blueberries.

Last edited: 29 June 2016 18:40:36

Ideas for a small shady corner

Posted: 28/06/2016 at 23:46

if going for autumn fruiting raspberries, I would highly recommend Polka (I've replaced all my autumn bliss with them now.)  As you have plenty of room a Jostaberry (cross between blackcurrant and gooseberry but a stronger grower than either) would love it there - and no spines!

Peppers and Chillies - how to get the best crop?

Posted: 28/06/2016 at 22:30

I just put my hand over the soil with the stem between my fingers, turn the pot upside down and gently slip the pot off from the roots to see if they're ready to re-pot.  Usually you can see roots appearing in the holes at the bottom of the pot too when they are ready.  To overwinter, I only water them when the top inch of compost is completely dry (stick a finger in to tell) and then only enough to dampen the soil.  In the spring there will just be a (hopefully) green stem left with some dead bits.  Cut the brown bits off and water them.  Don't water again until you see signs of growth.  At that point I take them out of the pots and shake off most of the old compost and repot them into damp fresh compost.  It doesn't always work but after a mild winter like the last one you can get an amazing head start.

They do well in smaller pots, much better than tomatoes would.  You'll get less fruit per plant of course but in the case of chillies in particular that isn't a big deal as a little can go a long way!

Trailing evergreen for container?

Posted: 28/06/2016 at 21:50

Lingonberry will thrive in the acid soil you are using for your rhodo etc.  It will trail down the sides of the pot (in fact, you'll need to trim it after a couple of years) and can easily be propagated by layering.  Completely hardy,  evergreen and won't grow upwards.  I use it to cover the soil in my large blueberry pots.  Bonus: it flowers and produces berries which are similar to cranberries.

Peppers and Chillies - how to get the best crop?

Posted: 28/06/2016 at 18:50

Regular potting on to slightly larger pots is the key to growing both peppers and chillies.  Mine go from modules to 7cm then 9cm then 15cm and finally into 6.5l square pots.  This is done when the roots reach the side of the pot they are currently in.  If you put them straight into a large pot while small I guarantee they won't do well.  Don't keep the soil damp in the pots, wait until it is drying out before watering.  Here are some of mine started from seed (about 6 or 7 varieties):

If you reduce watering at the end of the season you can often overwinter them successfully.  These are my overwintered ones which I'll soon be eating:

Last edited: 28 June 2016 18:51:21

Patinova Squash?

Posted: 27/06/2016 at 23:17

It's a czechoslovakian variety of Patty pan (aka pattison) squash.

Last edited: 27 June 2016 23:19:16

backen fern

Posted: 27/06/2016 at 21:01

There is a herbicide which can control it called Asulox but is strictly controlled and won't be available for use after this year.  I would seriously consider getting a professional in who will have that available.  Bracken (even the spores) is carcinogenic so never let any of the ferns grow full size, even if you have to fight it forever.

Cross breeding zuchini and pumpkin

Posted: 27/06/2016 at 19:28

Lots of possible outcomes and no way to predict.  The F1 is already a cross and even pollinated with another tiger cross plant wouldn't produce tiger cross seeds so you could get some genes from either or both parents as well as some from the pumpkin.  Quite often crosses between different cucurbits produce inedible fruit.  Every seed could give you something different!

Last edited: 27 June 2016 19:29:30

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Discussions started by BobTheGardener


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Only fto be read by your household's main gardener! 
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Flew into the polytunnel for a while 
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A week of rain = jungle garden!

It's been too wet to really do anything outside.. 
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