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Latest posts by BobTheGardener

water butt

Posted: 24/12/2014 at 13:32

Nice one Alan.  It can get very dry for those of us in the East of the country - I'm sure you have noticed since moving from wettest Wales!


Posted: 24/12/2014 at 13:28

Actually I remember the Christmas smilies being more trouble than they were worth and long threads about them because some couldn't use them and later, some couldn't get rid of them!

Yes please Fairy - can I have a noisette (pretty please!)?


Posted: 24/12/2014 at 12:08

Same here in Leics Dove

Just off outside to plant a Magnolia which has spent a year in a large pot.

Hey, where are our forum Christmas smilies - I've only just noticed we don't have them this year!



Posted: 24/12/2014 at 11:59

They can be kept going if they like the conditions you give them over the winter but can be a bit finicky and usually some won't survive.  No harm in trying though.  When I've kept both peppers and chillies alive it was without leaves in a sort of dormant state - the stems remained green and any sections which turned brown from the tips were removed.  In the spring new stems start growing from the points where the old leaves had fallen (or had been removed) from.  I kept them in a room where temps were never outside the range of 10 to 20C (usually towards the lower end of that range) and didn't water them unless the compost was bone dry.  I know others keep them growing (with leaves) on a sunny windowsill but find I always and up overwintering aphids too when I try that!

Ground cover between veg?

Posted: 23/12/2014 at 17:57

Have to agree with scroggin and verdun as I also grow veg with closer spacing than usually recommended so they effectively keep the weeds down themselves.  One other reason is they grow smaller;  I used to grow cabbages almost the size of footballs but with only the two of us there was always a lot of waste or the excess had to be kept in the fridge.  With closer spacing I now grow them to the size of large grapefruit which is the perfect size for us and means everything is that much fresher - nearly all veg come straight from the garden to the pot.

Camera Corner

Posted: 22/12/2014 at 23:31

I know what you mean Charlie.  At least he wasn't convinced it was a 'UFO' which Jupiter is often reported as! When the atmosphere is unstable even bright planets can 'twinkle' like stars, showing muliple changing colours and can even seem to move about a small amount which often causes confusion.  There are some great mobile phone apps now which allow you just to point your phone at the sky and it tells you what you can see.  Quite amazing technology really!

ID please - unknow bulb

Posted: 22/12/2014 at 16:42

I'd guess arum lily too, perhaps one of the more tender types with spotted leaves, judging by the shoot.

Raspberry Canes

Posted: 22/12/2014 at 14:07

Hi Yorkshire Lass, there should be small buds on redcurrants at this time of year.  If you think it might be dead, use your thumbnail to scrape away a little bit of the bark on a stem.  It should be green underneath.  If it is brown, try a few more stems but if you don't see any green anywhere it might be a dead.

If you do find some green, then it should start growing in about March and the small rather insignificant flowers appear not long after the new leaves, in about April.

Here is the RHS link about growing redcurrants:

There are no real rules as far as returning plants, but if one is clearly dead and doesn't show any growth or performs poorly even though you have followed their instructions, then state this when complaining and most suppliers will exchange for another or alternative plant, supply vouchers to the value of it, or give you your money back (their preferences are usually in that order!)

Having no transport, I always buy online and there is an excellent thread called 'the good guys' where members have recommend suppliers who they have had good experiences in using.  Local GCs can be a bit of a lottery - some are excellent, some not.  You can tell by asking about the plants you are interested in - if they don't seem to know much then avoid.


Posted: 21/12/2014 at 15:44

Daffs not even poking through yet here, but I'm in a bit of a frost pocket and it did hit -3.5C recently which would have put the mockers on any ideas they had of coming up early!  Plenty of crocus showing although none in flower so far.  On the plus side one of my young vibernum bodnantense 'Dawn' is covered in buds, some now opening and the red Witch Hazel (Rubin) is already in flower.

Pruning an apple tree

Posted: 20/12/2014 at 13:04

Yes MJ, that's exactly where I would cut it.  Leave a small part of the old branch proud of the trunk as cutting completely flush will damage the branch collar and inhibit healing;  You want to cut just flush with the end of the branch collar.  Don't try and cut the whole thing off in one go as that could be dangerous and also lead to tearing a strip of bark from the trunk.  Make an undercut a few inches away from the bottom of the branch first, to avoid any possibility of tearing the bark.  These links should help:



Discussions started by BobTheGardener

Renovate or remove privet hedge?

Replace or cut back hard? 
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They're about now! 
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Christmas has come early

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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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Blackfly - ladybirds to the rescue!

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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! 
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Last Post: 05/07/2014 at 18:52

Lovely surprise

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

Dragonfly/Darter/Mayfly ID?

Flew into the polytunnel for a while 
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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: 1176
Last Post: 01/06/2014 at 17:42

Deep Down & Dirty: The Science of soil

Replies: 4    Views: 834
Last Post: 24/04/2014 at 11:30

Check your delphiniums for caterpillars

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

Seed grown Wisteria finally in flower - Hooray!

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