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Latest posts by BobTheGardener

Seamless/tightly butted patio joints - how to grout?

Posted: 31/12/2014 at 14:51

Greg, you can get kiln-dried fine sand for just that purpose and simply brush it in when the weather is dry.  Here a link to the Wickes version:


Gardening challenges for 2015

Posted: 31/12/2014 at 12:43

Hi Pauline, peas can be a bit disappointing crop wise, often even when grown in the ground.  If you like climbing (French) beans, you may well get a more useable crop when grown in pots.  Even if not, the flowers are very pretty and come in various shades including red, white and purple.  The Victorians used to grow beans purely for the flowers and it is only in more recent times that we started to grow them mainly as a food crop.

Camera Corner

Posted: 31/12/2014 at 10:08

Super sunset and sunrise photos everyone.  KEF, I suspect you are right about moisture levels - may be related to 'lake effect' which is oft used in reports from the US and Canada.


Posted: 31/12/2014 at 10:00

You might well be right KEF - Cornwall is so much like another country it may as well be one (which many Cornish folk say it is anyway!) 

Hoariest frost yet here last night - will try and take some photo's.

Put an extra feeder up yesterday, so now two with just sunflower seeds and two with mixed seed plus a fatball holder and the birdtable.  So far this morning (watching via video camera), the bluetits seem to have claimed one of the sunflower feeders and the coaltits have bagsied the other - exclusively as far as I can tell.  The blackbird still 'owns' the birdtable but the robin is overseer and owns everything when he is around - busy little begger!


Controlling re-shooting shrubs

Posted: 29/12/2014 at 23:00

The shoots will grow quickly as they have roots to match the trunks.  I have a large laurel and it grow over a metre per year so all of the top growth has to be pruned off to keep it under some sort of control.  You can prune the new shoots once they reach the desired height and they will then form side-shoots and should bush out nicely. 

2015, here we come!

Posted: 29/12/2014 at 14:38

Good luck Gemma, I always find this time of year exciting and cold, bright days like we're having at the moment are perfect to get some of the hard work done which keeps you nice and warm (as well as burning off any Christmas 'excesses'!)

The cold frame sounds like an excellent idea - I find mine indispensible and would give that a high priority!

2015, here we come!

Posted: 29/12/2014 at 13:39

Well, just bagged six 80 litre compost bags with my own stuff dug from the 'ready' heap, and lovely black crumbly stuff it is too!    Made mainly from shreddings with the addition of copious amounts of comfrey and, erm.. 'natural human liquid compost accelerator', an unbeatable combination!

That will give my plants a nice head start come spring.

When I came in to warm my hands and feet up, I found three seed catalogues had come through the letterbox, so that's the evenings sorted for the next few days.

Plum Codling Moth battle

Posted: 28/12/2014 at 22:23

I agree with Berghill.  Unfortunately, an insecticidal spray when the traps indicate Plum moth are active is the only thing which will seriously reduce fruit damage, but if you don't want to use insecticides you could try nematodes like "Nemasys Grow Your Own" which you spray on the branches, trunk and ground below (to kill pupae.)  The nematodes will kill caterpillars without poisoning other wildlife.

Victoria plum tree

Posted: 26/12/2014 at 18:05

I would also only use a John Innes No 3 for this.  Composts based on the No 3 formula are not only suitable for permanent container plantings but, because they are loam-based, are much heavier and will help to prevent the wind blowing the tree over.  That can be quite a problem for fruit-laden trees which are planted in pots.

Camera Corner

Posted: 26/12/2014 at 17:42

It's snowing here with very large flakes which have been caught nicely by the flash:

Discussions started by BobTheGardener

Renovate or remove privet hedge?

Replace or cut back hard? 
Replies: 19    Views: 648
Last Post: 20/09/2015 at 13:33


No real rain here for weeks 
Replies: 11    Views: 327
Last Post: 07/06/2015 at 18:41

Little Red Devils (Lily beetles)

They're about now! 
Replies: 1    Views: 367
Last Post: 06/04/2015 at 17:03

Christmas has come early

New trees 
Replies: 9    Views: 962
Last Post: 19/12/2014 at 16:52

Anyone for squirrel crumble?

Thieving rodents 
Replies: 12    Views: 747
Last Post: 27/11/2014 at 21:12

Plant ID quizzes

Have fun identifying plants! 
Replies: 16    Views: 705
Last Post: 14/09/2014 at 13:17

Watering dried-out pots

Tip to help to stop water running straight through 
Replies: 13    Views: 664
Last Post: 28/07/2014 at 12:28

Blackfly - ladybirds to the rescue!

Broad bean tip blackfly infestation 
Replies: 2    Views: 530
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: 456
Last Post: 05/07/2014 at 18:52

Lovely surprise

I went down the garden in the gloom.. 
Replies: 15    Views: 788
Last Post: 18/06/2014 at 14:32

Dragonfly/Darter/Mayfly ID?

Flew into the polytunnel for a while 
Replies: 6    Views: 697
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: 1178
Last Post: 01/06/2014 at 17:42

Deep Down & Dirty: The Science of soil

Replies: 4    Views: 835
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: 1295
Last Post: 22/04/2014 at 10:58

Seed grown Wisteria finally in flower - Hooray!

Planted many years ago 
Replies: 3    Views: 508
Last Post: 15/04/2014 at 12:39
1 to 15 of 29 threads