Latest posts by BobTheGardener

Red acer turning green

Posted: 23/07/2015 at 19:07

This can happen when a starved tree gets a sudden abundance of food.  As the nutrients in the JI#3 start to get used up it will sort itself out and should not look so green - next year it will probably be back to it's usual colour.   Expect strong new growth next Spring, too.

Apricot tree

Posted: 23/07/2015 at 19:00

All you can do is gently bend it and tie it to a strong upright stake using tree ties (these are essential to prevent damage to the trunk.)  As it is so young it will be flexible and as it gets older the wood will harden into the new shape.  Check and loosen the tree ties every few months if they become tight around the trunk.  Eventually it won't need the stake any longer.   Don't put the stake in too close to the base of the tree in case you damage the roots while driving it in.

Composted bark

Posted: 23/07/2015 at 18:49

I think it would be fine to use around your fruit bushes but I would hesitate to use it around brassicas because of the pH issue.  They would still grow but it might encourage any clubroot spores in your soil.  In the Autumn I would dig some into your soil and test the pH in Spring - if it is below about 6 you can always add some garden lime to sweeten the soil and bring it back to neutral (7) or even slightly alkaline if growing brassicas.  I would also mix some in with your compost heap - added sparingly it won't hurt.  The other thing you could use it for is growing blueberries - mixed with 1/3rd of your own compost and about 1/3rd John Innes #3 it would make a great growing medium for use in containers.

compost heap advice please.

Posted: 22/07/2015 at 20:14

Keep it secret B3!    I don't think I'd lend any of my gardening tools to anyone these days - I'd miss them too much if they were damaged or not returned. 

'Recycled beer' is an excellent compost accelerator by the way, so hubby can save himself a trip to the loo if no-one is looking and it will really help things along!

compost heap advice please.

Posted: 22/07/2015 at 19:37

Bit hard to recommend one but mine is an Alko and still going after about 15 years (on the 3rd set of new blades though.)  Look at the path the material goes through is my best advice - those where it goes straight through tend to clog less and feeding plenty of dry or woody stuff when also shredding soft green stuff helps.  I try to feed 80 per cent dry to 20 percent green.

Thornless Fruit Bushes

Posted: 22/07/2015 at 19:30

Probably better to have a mix rather than several bushes of a single cultivar as far as pollination goes.  I have about 6 or 7 varieties and they crop well.

Plum tree problem

Posted: 22/07/2015 at 19:19

Jo, it shouldn't, but as a general rule I would never grow the same species of plant/tree in exactly the same spot as one which was diseased.  If I had to, I'd dig out a large hole and swap the soil with that from another part of the garden.  Just general garden hygiene and a case of 'better safe than sorry' really. 

Bluebell preservation

Posted: 22/07/2015 at 19:13

Bluebells are also able to adjust the depth of their bulb.  I know that sounds crazy but if they are planted (or buried) too deep, they will still surface but the stem below ground will swell and another bulb will form at what the plant 'thinks' is the ideal depth.  They might not flower the first year after being more deeply buried but will be fine in subsequent years.

Plum tree problem

Posted: 21/07/2015 at 22:34

Yes, I' agree with that Pansyface - looks like a bacterial canker to me.  The tree's a gonna when it gets as bad as that Geoff, so look at it as an opportunity for planting something new.


compost heap advice please.

Posted: 21/07/2015 at 22:26

Get yourself a shredder B3.  Once shredded, prunings etc take up a fraction of the space and the composting process is hugely accelerated.  I shredded a pile of about 3 cubic metres of stuff last weekend and it now only half fills a 1 cubic metre compost bin.  I know from experience that it will be ready for use before the end of the year.

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!

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Last Post: 01/06/2014 at 17:42
1 to 15 of 32 threads