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BobTheGardener


Latest posts by BobTheGardener

Talkback: How to apply mulch

Posted: 11/10/2014 at 14:59

"Mulching" is simply placing a layer of matter on top of the soil and is done for two reasons, firstly to reduce water loss by evaporation and secondly to reduce weed seed germination.

However, if the mulch is organic matter, a third benefit comes into play in that worms will pull the mulch down into the soil and improve its structure and fertility.  Multi-purpose compost is as good as anything else in this respect.

You can mulch at any time you like, but if you have clay soil which you have dug over to allow the Winter frosts to help break up the clods, you would not lay a mulch over it as that would prevent the frost from doing the job.  You should also avoid mulching dry soil as it will make it harder for the rain the penetrate, so only mulch soil which is already in a normally moist condition.

Until digested and excreted by worms, mulches add little in terms of nutrients so add fertilizers as a separate task, as and when needed.

Hope that makes thing clearer for you, Marigold.

Mould

Posted: 11/10/2014 at 14:48

I agree, remove the lid.  Cuttings take well with bottom heat (ie warm soil in the pot) but the humid, warm and still air inside a closed propagator lid will only encourage moulds and other diseases.

Fungus in the grass

Posted: 10/10/2014 at 21:08

I forgot to mention, slime moulds are completely harmless to your lawn and it will disappear as rapidly as it came.  It is NOT a disease of any kind and may even be beneficial as they consume bacteria and fungal spores.  

Fungus in the grass

Posted: 10/10/2014 at 20:53

It'll be a slime mould Mark:

https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?PID=246

Fascinating things - lots of info. via google!

 

grafting

Posted: 10/10/2014 at 19:02

Hi Peter, yes you can and many if not most commercially grown grapevines are grafted.  Bud grafting is often used and there's some helpful photo's of that on this site:

http://www.gardenista.com/posts/diy-grafting-grapes

Google "how to graft grape vines" for a huge amount of information and some videos showing the process.  Late Summer would be the best time and, above all, avoid cutting into vines in early Spring before the leaves appear as they will bleed profusely which can lead to their death.

Shafted

Posted: 10/10/2014 at 18:46

Or make your own using hardwood dowels, a saw and a sharp chisel.   This place supplies them and a 2.4m long 1" diameter Ash (good for tool shafts) dowel would cost you 12.54 inc VAT (plus delivery.)  Just picked at random from a google search:

http://www.toolsandtimber.co.uk/timber/wooden-dowels/?gclid=COn_xNLQosECFSuWtAodGCQAWA

 

 

making new fruit trees

Posted: 09/10/2014 at 18:57

As you have already cut them you could try potting them up in a 50/50 mixture of grit and compost then put them somewhere sheltered for a few months and see if anything happens in Spring.  The most successful way would be to graft them onto a rootstock but that's rather tricky and assumes you have a spare rootstock to hand or could get one quickly (unlikely.)  Whatever you try, you need to do it immediately or they'll just die.  I honestly don't think there's much chance of success with rooting the cuttings (aka scions) but why not give it a go?

Tree problems.

Posted: 08/10/2014 at 18:43

Not a good sign for the poplar Philippa.  Most fungi can only grow on dead matter.  Having said that, a tree can lose the vast majority of its heartwood (which is dead anyway) and still survive for hundreds more years although when that happens it becomes structurally weak and prone to being toppled by the wind.

Wasps

Posted: 08/10/2014 at 18:33

Didn't see all that many here (Leics) but certainly not absent.  Not spotted any nests though, or large females looking for places to overwinter.

I thought everyone in the UK agreed about where 'the divide' occurs now;  There's Westminster and everywhere else.

Last years Garlic as this years seed ?

Posted: 08/10/2014 at 00:42

Agree - viruses and rusts can build-up if you keep replanting your own cloves, which are really just clones of the original one so carry any infection.

Discussions started by BobTheGardener

Drought

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?

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Plant ID quizzes

Have fun identifying plants! 
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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 
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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: 405
Last Post: 05/07/2014 at 18:52

Lovely surprise

I went down the garden in the gloom.. 
Replies: 15    Views: 724
Last Post: 18/06/2014 at 14:32

Dragonfly/Darter/Mayfly ID?

Flew into the polytunnel for a while 
Replies: 6    Views: 638
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: 1111
Last Post: 01/06/2014 at 17:42

Deep Down & Dirty: The Science of soil

Replies: 4    Views: 736
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: 1160
Last Post: 22/04/2014 at 10:58

Seed grown Wisteria finally in flower - Hooray!

Planted many years ago 
Replies: 3    Views: 440
Last Post: 15/04/2014 at 12:39

Oops!

Polytunnel growing 
Replies: 16    Views: 774
Last Post: 16/04/2014 at 19:05
1 to 15 of 28 threads