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BobTheGardener


Latest posts by BobTheGardener

DIY heated propagator

Posted: 29/01/2014 at 18:17

Hi Alan, I have already bought the soil warming cable and thermostat but progress will have to wait until the weekend as it's dark when I get home from work.

Talkback: Valerian

Posted: 29/01/2014 at 18:14

Just be careful where you let it seed.  If you have any gravel and it gets in there (even if the gravel is on top of membrane) you will never be rid of it!  It also stinks when rotting at the end of the season so best not grown close to entrances.  It is quite nice for what is a rampant weed for me though .

Unproductive fruit trees ?

Posted: 28/01/2014 at 22:02

Try clearing the ground around the base of their trunks so there is open soil (no grass especially) within a metre all round and gently fork-in some well rotted manure or garden compost with added food (eg fish, blood and bone.)  I think they could be a bit starved of food which has been taken by other plants growing too close.  They might be being shaded out a bit by the taller trees surrounding them, too.

Shredder Bosch AXT2000HP

Posted: 28/01/2014 at 18:34

Berghill, are they plastic gears (might sound daft but hey often are these days)?  If so silicone grease will be OK.  Mineral oil based grease will damage them.

Edit: the reason I ask is that plastic-safe grease is often bright green.

anyone know of a good gardening quizz book to challenge myself

Posted: 27/01/2014 at 21:42

Hi Jenny, also try using google to search for "gardening club" and your town/city or county.  Pages and pages of them when I tried it.

Poly tunnel water harvesting.

Posted: 27/01/2014 at 21:21

Hi James, I've a polytunnel on the way so have been thinking about this myself and have decided to use cheap household plastic guttering.  What I'm going to do is hammer some vertical wooden stakes in along the long sides so that they are about 3" away from the tunnel sides.  Then fit plastic gutter clips to the inside face of the stakes to hold a length of plastic guttering against the polytunnel wall at the point the curved roof becomes vertical (ie about 3ft above the ground.)  Finally, I'll run polytunnel sealing tape along the length to seal the join where the gutter touches the tunnel wall to ensure water runs into the guttering.  B&Q 76mm Mini Line guttering is pretty cheap so might use that.

apple canker

Posted: 26/01/2014 at 17:24

If you can find any of the things mentioned in the RHS apple canker control page which Dave mentioned:

http://apps.rhs.org.uk/advicesearch/profile.aspx?pid=63

they may help a little but there is no cure as such.  A lot of the chemicals mentioned are no longer available though.  Any time over the winter while the tree is dormant is fine for pruning out the damaged areas which I think is probably your best bet if you want to try and save the tree.  Hard pruning will encourage lots of 'water shoots', most of which you'll want to remove in the summer, but you can let a few develop into new branches and fruiting spurs.  Advice from the RHS on this (called 'renovative pruning') is here:

http://apps.rhs.org.uk/advicesearch/profile.aspx?PID=279

Good luck and hope you can nurse it back into health.

 

apple canker

Posted: 26/01/2014 at 14:22

Hi PP, there's not much you can do other than the options you've already considered - either cut the affected branches out or live with it.  Canker is not usually fatal on a mature tree so just keeping an eye on it would be my advice.  If growth dies beyond the canker you will  have to remove the affected parts - if you can cut it back to another branch lower down the limb do that otherwise the whole branch should come off at the trunk.  The other possibility is to start a replacement tree in a large tub now with a view to removing the old tree and replacing it in a few years.  You could even try grafting a healthy scion from the old tree onto the new one if you don't want to lose it completely.

 

Soil warming cables

Posted: 26/01/2014 at 13:08

Hi Brumbull, that's exactly the type of cable I already bought, ready for my heated bench.  I have a different thermostat (from something else) but the one you show is also what I'd recommend for anyone starting from scratch.

Old timer2, I'd also recommend the Parasene cable.  Information from the company recommends that a 6m long cable is ideal for a 4'x2' box, so your 8'x2' would need twice that, so a 12m cable should be perfect.  They are on Amazon for £23 + £3 delivery which is very good value.

DIY heated propagator

Posted: 25/01/2014 at 18:15

Hi all, over the next couple of weekends I'm building a heated propagator from various bits of wood etc which I have left over from other projects around the house and garden and will post photos as I go.  Feel free to ask any questions if this sort of thing interests you.  

Today I made the base from left-over decking boards and some outdoor-grade plywood I happened to have:

 

http://s4.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/36539.jpg?width=288&height=350&mode=max

Screwed together using stainless steel screws and painted with clear wood preserver before being put into the greenhouse overnight to dry.

 

Discussions started by BobTheGardener

Plant ID quizzes

Have fun identifying plants! 
Replies: 16    Views: 368
Last Post: 14/09/2014 at 13:17

Watering dried-out pots

Tip to help to stop water running straight through 
Replies: 13    Views: 333
Last Post: 28/07/2014 at 12:28

Blackfly - ladybirds to the rescue!

Broad bean tip blackfly infestation 
Replies: 2    Views: 190
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: 180
Last Post: 05/07/2014 at 18:52

Lovely surprise

I went down the garden in the gloom.. 
Replies: 15    Views: 499
Last Post: 18/06/2014 at 14:32

Dragonfly/Darter/Mayfly ID?

Flew into the polytunnel for a while 
Replies: 6    Views: 308
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: 672
Last Post: 01/06/2014 at 17:42

Deep Down & Dirty: The Science of soil

Replies: 4    Views: 406
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: 479
Last Post: 22/04/2014 at 10:58

Seed grown Wisteria finally in flower - Hooray!

Planted many years ago 
Replies: 3    Views: 234
Last Post: 15/04/2014 at 12:39

Oops!

Polytunnel growing 
Replies: 16    Views: 540
Last Post: 16/04/2014 at 19:05

First day of (meteorological) Spring

How id your garden looking 
Replies: 13    Views: 554
Last Post: 03/03/2014 at 20:31

DIY heated propagator

Making one from scratch 
Replies: 48    Views: 4192
Last Post: 30/06/2014 at 19:57

Cost of bird food

bulk vs supermarket 
Replies: 31    Views: 1706
Last Post: 10/02/2014 at 12:33

Wild Garden (Community Channel)

On Freeview/Sky 
Replies: 5    Views: 510
Last Post: 10/12/2013 at 12:21
1 to 15 of 24 threads