Latest posts by BobTheGardener

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Hollyhock and rust

Posted: 06/12/2016 at 18:35

My experience is that if hollyhocks are infected with rust, there is nothing you can do to save them.  I had to give up growing them completely as no matter whether I grew from seed or bought plants, they always became infected in no time.  No difference in pots or ground.

Anyone done any gardening today - version 3

Posted: 04/12/2016 at 17:52

Potted some bare root peonies which arrived on Friday.  They don't look up to much much so will need growing on for a few years I think.  Moved some potted azeleas into the cold gh for protection and did a bit of weeding - those blummin' willowherb are popping up everywhere as usual!  Also sowed some clematis seeds I got from a well known member into pots on the heated bench which is set to 10C.

Fox Tail Lilies

Posted: 04/12/2016 at 16:52

I'd keep them in the potting shed over winter, Wild Violet.  That should prevent them from getting too wet and rotting or freezing.  For the potting mix, you could use something like one third perlite to two thirds multi-purpose compost if you don't have any grit.  Plant them out in spring and if any shoots have appeared, protect those from any late frosts by covering with more compost mix or bark etc.

Fox Tail Lilies

Posted: 04/12/2016 at 15:40

I would suggest you plant them now in gritty compost in pots.  Foxtail lilies have fibrous tubers rather than proper bulbs and I don't think bare roots will survive storage until spring.

Fungus where I want to plant roses

Posted: 04/12/2016 at 15:30

I can't see any evidence of a collar on the stems so would suggest this is not honey fungus.  Have a look at the leftmost mushroom in the image on the RHS honey fungus page:

If you can't see that collar on any of the stems of your fungi, I would just go ahead and plant your roses and not worry about it as most fungi are beneficial or have no effect on plants.

What I would suggest is that you dust the roots of the roses with mycorrhizal fungi such as 'root grow' which will help them to establish.  I use this on all shrubs and trees I plant and, having honey fungus in my garden, have not lost any of them since using it.  Whether it provides some sort of protection is a good question which even scientists can't currently answer so I can only give you the benefits of my own experience.

Last edited: 04 December 2016 15:32:47

Sweeten & improve flavor of tomatoes? (cherry)

Posted: 04/12/2016 at 13:06

The sweetness of a tomato is almost entirely down to its genetic makeup, so you need to grow the right variety.  For sweet cherry tomatoes, good varieties are sungold (a yellow coloured one), suncherry premium F1 (red), sweet apertif & sweet millions.

Strange red/pink growth on Dahlias

Posted: 03/12/2016 at 14:56

You could be right - it could be leafy gall rather than crown gall I would think.

Mobile Phones.

Posted: 03/12/2016 at 11:31

I finally relented when my parents got to an age where they might need to contact me urgently and that has proven valuable many times.  However, the most useful thing on it is an app that shows me exactly where the buses are on my route so no more waiting in the rain as I can now arrive just a minute before the bus arrives.  As I only use public transport (dumped motorcycles and cars decades ago - hated the experience of driving), it's a genuine boon.  I don't use it as a phone much and don't often use it for web browsing or email as, even though it's a top-of-the-range model, the technology is pretty rubbish compared to a PC with adverts and poor web page layouts making the experience quite painful.  Having said that, the thing has reminded me of appointments which had slipped my mind on many more than one occasion!  At £5 a month the cost isn't an issue.
I am in control of the technology I use and not a slave to it, which is where I do see issues with many others.  To interrupt a real conversaion just because your phone rings or a text arrives is nothing less than rude and if someone does that to me I simply return the favour and walk away from them.

Kiwi fruit

Posted: 03/12/2016 at 11:12

See here:

However, if the plant has been grown from seed (I have several grown from supermarket fruit), you'll be extremely lucky if you ever see a flower, I certainly have not in about 15 years!

You should be OK with Jenny or one of the others bred to grow in the UK as long as you have it in full sun and in a sheltered position (grown against a south-facing wall would be ideal.)

greenhouse plants.

Posted: 01/12/2016 at 19:29

Agree with the above.  What you can do next year is sow many seeds when they are naturally produced by plants, usually in late August.  They will germinate and grow a little, then slow down as the temperature and light levels drop.  Keeping them in the cold greenhouse will protect them from the worst of the winter and slugs etc. and give you a head start in the spring.  Good flower seeds for doing that with include aquilegia, aconitum, delphinium, hardy geranium, lupin, salvia & verbascum.

1 to 10 of 5,175

Discussions started by BobTheGardener

'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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Hope it finds it's way home 
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Vine weevils

..ate all of my winter carrots! 
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Huge pest problem

Don't think netting will work 
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Renovate or remove privet hedge?

Replace or cut back hard? 
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No real rain here for weeks 
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Little Red Devils (Lily beetles)

They're about now! 
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Christmas has come early

New trees 
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Anyone for squirrel crumble?

Thieving rodents 
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Plant ID quizzes

Have fun identifying plants! 
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Watering dried-out pots

Tip to help to stop water running straight through 
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Blackfly - ladybirds to the rescue!

Broad bean tip blackfly infestation 
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1 to 15 of 36 threads