Latest posts by BobTheGardener

May Trees in Bloom end of January

Posted: 31/01/2016 at 13:16

There are some 30-40ft tall trees in a park I walk through on my way to work and those were all in flower last week.  Quite sparse flowers, each one small, white or light pink (tricky to tell at that height.)  I can't ever recall seeing any fruit on the ground so probably some decorative stone fruit species which doesn't set fruit in the uk (most municipal parks are full of non-native trees.)  If I remember correctly (which would make a change!), they may have red leaves when foliate.  I'll try and remember to take a photo tomorrow.

Fungus like growth on Coleus

Posted: 31/01/2016 at 11:21

Those are sap-sucking insects known as 'mealy bug'.  Advice from the RHS here:


Anyone done any gardening today?

Posted: 30/01/2016 at 14:42

Cold and windy but nice and sunny so planted a dozen 'tree' lilies and two dozen asiatic lilies which arrived on Friday.  Did a lot more weeding as I went around too.  Topped-up a few large planters with mini fruit trees in them as the squirrels have been retrieving stuff by the look of the holes.  Spotted hundreds and hundreds of bulbs poking through so expecting a seriously good display soon!

Eurphorbias which crept through from next door have taken over an area of 2x2m so need tackling soon.

Garden animal droppings

Posted: 30/01/2016 at 12:54

Looks like lots of seeds in there but difficult to tell from a photo.  Hedgehogs are carnivores so I would expect bits of beetle etc., so I think it's probably from large rodent such as a squirrel.

Strongest Scented Sweet Peas!

Posted: 30/01/2016 at 12:18

In general, the really strong scented ones such as Lathyrus 'Matucana' are directly decended form the wild form so have small flowers.  Those are usually labelled as heirloom types.  You probably want to grow some of those and some of the modern hybrids so you get the larger flowers that we are now all accustomed to.


Posted: 30/01/2016 at 01:13

Thanks pdoc - If the Foxes fail, I'd sooner you won it rather than any of the usual suspects.  Fingers crossed we both gain a place in Europe whatever happens!

When to plant 'roots' ?

Posted: 30/01/2016 at 01:09

Lyn, best to plant them into pots for now.  They are completely hardy so the pots could go somewhere sheltered outside for now, for example by the side of a wall where they won't get soaking wet - too much water is bad for bare root plants when first planted.  You can then transfer them from the pots into the ground in spring by which time the first leaves should be showing.

However, if your soil is free-draining and isn't waterlogged (like it is for many of the rest of us at the moment!) you can plant them straight out into your borders as long as the ground isn't frozen.

Whatever you decide, get them into soil/compost immediately as they will quickly shrivel and die or rot if left in the packets.

calcified seaweed

Posted: 29/01/2016 at 20:56
punkdoc wrote (see)

What is potato fertiliser, is it any different to a general multi purpose fertiliser?

Just a different NPK ratio pdoc.  Farmers use roughly 1:1:1.5.  You won't find that though, it will be something like 6-3-8, 15-13-19 or 14:14:21 just to confuse us!

Too much nitrate (N) will lead to overgrown greenery on top at the expense of fewer/smaller potatoes.

I didn't fertilize mine at all one year and didn't notice any reduction in cropping, but I'm on clay soil.  Sandy soils probably do need it to get a good crop.

To answer James' question, I would never mix two different things like that, always apply separately and with a gap of a few weeks.  Mixing lime and fertilizer, for example, will result in all of the nitrogen being released extremely rapidly (sometimes dangerously so) leaving little for later use by the plants when they need it.

Replacing Fence Panels

Posted: 28/01/2016 at 21:01

One solution for this particular problem is to mount wooden fence posts on the sides (ie front or back as you face the fence) of the concrete ones, using a masonary bit, long screws and rawlplugs.  You will then be able to use 'U' clips on one side of each new wooden post and 'L' clips on the other which will enable you to fit new fence panels in sideways.

Alternatively, fit arris rails between the concrete posts and build a new fence using vertical feather-edge boards.

Shallot seeds

Posted: 26/01/2016 at 18:49

Yes, I think that's what will happen.  If you grow plenty so you eat the majority of single bulbs but keep a few for next year, you'll effectively have your own sets which will split and produce the usual 6-10 bulbs per plant, next year.

Discussions started by BobTheGardener

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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Last Post: 01/01/2016 at 22:01

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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Last Post: 20/09/2015 at 13:33


No real rain here for weeks 
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Last Post: 07/06/2015 at 18:41

Little Red Devils (Lily beetles)

They're about now! 
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Last Post: 06/04/2015 at 17:03

Christmas has come early

New trees 
Replies: 9    Views: 1264
Last Post: 19/12/2014 at 16:52

Anyone for squirrel crumble?

Thieving rodents 
Replies: 12    Views: 1055
Last Post: 27/11/2014 at 21:12

Plant ID quizzes

Have fun identifying plants! 
Replies: 16    Views: 1069
Last Post: 14/09/2014 at 13:17

Watering dried-out pots

Tip to help to stop water running straight through 
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Last Post: 28/07/2014 at 12:28

Blackfly - ladybirds to the rescue!

Broad bean tip blackfly infestation 
Replies: 2    Views: 922
Last Post: 13/07/2014 at 18:04

Bob's guide to picking soft fruit

Only fto be read by your household's main gardener! 
Replies: 3    Views: 746
Last Post: 05/07/2014 at 18:52
1 to 15 of 35 threads