BobTheGardener


Latest posts by BobTheGardener

Big garden bird watch

Posted: 25/01/2014 at 11:25
flowersforbees wrote (see)

I know just what you mean Nutcutlet!  I had a flock of starlings came down onto

the bird table this morning, but it was impossible to count them as they were

constantly changing position and as others flew in, some flew off!  Have been able

to count one robin, two blue tits, two great tits, one thrush, five blackbirds, eight

sparrows and seventeen starlings (but there were probably about twenty five - they

just wouldn't stay still).

I know what you mean about the starlings - they go crazy over mealworms!  Love the collective nouns for them: Chattering, affliction or murmuration!  However, I have my own - a squabble of starlings!

Anti fungal help

Posted: 24/01/2014 at 19:10

Hi RD, I think we all try and spray chemicals around as little as possible these days.  If you wash your pots and seed trays in hot water with a bit of detergent and use good quality seed compost you should be fine.  You can even microwave the seed compost to sterilize it if you like.  Gardeners of old used to make anti-fungal sprays using various compounds which were easily available from chemists (eg copper sulphate) but as most of the chemicals used were quite poisonous to humans if accidentally (or otherwise) consumed, the powers that be have restricted the sale of most of them in recent decades.

Best way to i.d this plant?

Posted: 24/01/2014 at 00:00

I agree - your OH may change her mind once she sees the flowers and may only want it cutting back.  It's always best to wait a full year when you move to somewhere with an established garden so you can get to see the full range of plants. 

Folk here love identifying things from photo's and are very good at it so fire away!

improving heavy clay soil

Posted: 23/01/2014 at 23:01

For drainage you want to dig the grit in as deep as you can really to at least a foot and the more the better - even up to 50% in really heavy clay - a mere sprinkling will have no effect.  For the manure it depends on what fruit you'll be growing but many fruit plants have relatively shallow 'surface feeding' roots, so the manure doesn't need to be dug in so far and can even just be spread on the surface after improving the drainage - the worms will take it down into the soil over time.  Google "no dig gardening" for more on that technique.

Rosemary hedging

Posted: 23/01/2014 at 22:46

Hi Eve, I don't see why not unless your soil gets waterlogged as rosemary won't like that at all.  Take cuttings in summer when your father's bush is growing lots of new healthy shoots.  Here's how to root them:

http://www.gardenersworld.com/how-to/projects/herbs/how-to-take-rosemary-cuttings/283.html

 

improving heavy clay soil

Posted: 23/01/2014 at 22:34

Yes, grit, sharp sand and any kind of organic matter will help improve heavy clay.  However, herbs don't need much in the way of fertilizer and they have a more concentrated flavour when grown in poorer soil so put most of the farmyard manure in the end where you'll be growing the fruit which will really benefit from it.  Clay is naturally very fertile anyway so will provide everything the herbs need as long as you really improve the drainage - many are Mediterranean plants which naturally grow on poor stony soils on slopes etc. so good drainage is essential. 

Strawberry Plants

Posted: 23/01/2014 at 20:48

The usual reason given for starting afresh after 4 or so years is that viruses build up in the plants which reduces their vigour.  If that were the case I can't see why the viruses wouldn't also affect runners but that's what I've always read.

Strawberry sticks

Posted: 23/01/2014 at 20:23

Rings a bell nut now you mention it - I grew chenopodium 'strawberry sticks' from T&M seeds about 10-15 years ago.  Can't say they tasted much of anything and haven't grown them since.  Maybe it's me, but those, tomatillos and cape gooseberries just seemed very bland compared to more traditional fruits.

Strawberry sticks

Posted: 23/01/2014 at 20:17

Ah, but the 'sweet tobacco' was yummy - shredded coconut coated with cocoa and brown sugar I think!

Talkback: How to make a comfrey feed

Posted: 23/01/2014 at 18:47

Hi Anthony, yes.  The more nettles you use, the higher the nitrogen content will be though so not quite so good for fruit but better for leafy things like brassicas.

 

Discussions started by BobTheGardener

Plant ID quizzes

Have fun identifying plants! 
Replies: 16    Views: 291
Last Post: 14/09/2014 at 13:17

Watering dried-out pots

Tip to help to stop water running straight through 
Replies: 13    Views: 295
Last Post: 28/07/2014 at 12:28

Blackfly - ladybirds to the rescue!

Broad bean tip blackfly infestation 
Replies: 2    Views: 158
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: 146
Last Post: 05/07/2014 at 18:52

Lovely surprise

I went down the garden in the gloom.. 
Replies: 15    Views: 461
Last Post: 18/06/2014 at 14:32

Dragonfly/Darter/Mayfly ID?

Flew into the polytunnel for a while 
Replies: 6    Views: 269
Last Post: 01/06/2014 at 21:44

A week of rain = jungle garden!

It's been too wet to really do anything outside.. 
Replies: 16    Views: 520
Last Post: 01/06/2014 at 17:42

Deep Down & Dirty: The Science of soil

Replies: 4    Views: 350
Last Post: 24/04/2014 at 11:30

Check your delphiniums for caterpillars

Look for distorted and damaged leaves near the tips 
Replies: 10    Views: 425
Last Post: 22/04/2014 at 10:58

Seed grown Wisteria finally in flower - Hooray!

Planted many years ago 
Replies: 3    Views: 205
Last Post: 15/04/2014 at 12:39

Oops!

Polytunnel growing 
Replies: 16    Views: 508
Last Post: 16/04/2014 at 19:05

First day of (meteorological) Spring

How id your garden looking 
Replies: 13    Views: 514
Last Post: 03/03/2014 at 20:31

DIY heated propagator

Making one from scratch 
Replies: 48    Views: 3722
Last Post: 30/06/2014 at 19:57

Cost of bird food

bulk vs supermarket 
Replies: 31    Views: 1546
Last Post: 10/02/2014 at 12:33

Wild Garden (Community Channel)

On Freeview/Sky 
Replies: 5    Views: 473
Last Post: 10/12/2013 at 12:21
1 to 15 of 24 threads