Latest posts by BobTheGardener

Espaliered Apple Tree Recommendations for SW France

Posted: 27/08/2015 at 12:35

I don't think cold will be an issue as apples are as tough as they come in that respect and actually require a certain length of cold weather but summer heat might be an issue although your irrigation system will undoubtedly help.  Look at the Orange Pippin site for advice on suitable varieties.  These are recommended for southern Europe:

They can also give you advice on which of those varieties are suitable for training as espaliers.

begonia's what s the best ?

Posted: 27/08/2015 at 12:22

Tuberous begonias are actually enlarged hypocotyls (seedling stems) as are cyclamen just to confuse the issue further.   Really rolls off the tongue doesn't it!

Summer fruiting raspberry issues :/

Posted: 27/08/2015 at 10:26

They are probably an autumn fruiting type.  Any canes of that type which are not cut down in February will fruit early (often earlier than summer fruiting types) and the new canes will fruit at their normal time in autumn, but with a much lower yield.  To regain control, cut them all back to the ground in February or, if you are getting decent crops, continue as you are and enjoy a double crop each year.

My nuts are floating :(

Posted: 26/08/2015 at 22:36

Yes Nicky, squirrels can tell whether there is a good nut inside so pick them direct from the tree yourself to have a better chance.  A couple of years ago all the nuts from my hazel disappeared in just 24h thanks to squirrels - they seem to wait until the perfect time and then snatch the lot!  None of the ones left on the ground had anything inside.

Vermiculite or Perlite

Posted: 26/08/2015 at 22:30

I use both.  Perlite is good mixed in to provide a very light and free-draining growing medium, good for striking cuttings.  Fine grade vermiculite is great for lightly sprinking over surface-sown seeds to help stop them drying out but still lets light get to those types which need it.

Night Scented Stock

Posted: 26/08/2015 at 12:27

They don't like germinating in my soil either so I start them off in modules and plant them out when an inch or two tall.

So, suckers...

Posted: 26/08/2015 at 12:21

The best way to deal with suckers is to dig down to where they join and physically pull them from the root.  This makes it less likely for new suckers to appear from the same spot whereas cutting them off with secateurs etc actually promotes new shoots, just like above-ground pruning does.

Tree for windy/sunny garden?

Posted: 25/08/2015 at 20:51

How about a Rowan?  The red berries are very decorative and loved by birds.  It's a tough tree which should thrive in almost any conditions (it's not known as Mountain Ash for nothing!)

Cherry belle tomatoes

Posted: 25/08/2015 at 17:49

It could have been an issue with the seed producer, such as a failure of one of the two parent crops last year (it is an F1 which means it is a cross between two parent plants and the seeds won't come true.)  If you can't obtain them next winter, I can highly recommend another F1 cherry called 'Suncherry F1' which is the tastiest cherry tomato I have ever grown without being over sweet like sungold and is extremely disease resistant, crops early and for a very long period.  I grow a lot of tomatoes (at least 10 varieties each year and usually double that) and I would rate Suncherry as 10/10.

tiny holes in my onions

Posted: 25/08/2015 at 14:00

Probably not onion fly or narcissus fly as you would be finding grubs inside, so good news there.  My best guess would be something like flea beetles which bit through and decided they didn't like them or even keeled slugs doing the same.  You could try covering them with horticultural fleece when first planted, removing it once they grow tall but that won't help if it is keeled slugs.  Growing them in another part of the garden would be advisable too.

Discussions started by BobTheGardener

Gardener's World about to start now!

Replies: 18    Views: 657
Last Post: 14/07/2016 at 16:55

Cutting ID

I thought these were philadelphus 
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Last Post: 11/07/2016 at 17:34


Hope it finds it's way home 
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Vine weevils

..ate all of my winter carrots! 
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Huge pest problem

Don't think netting will work 
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Last Post: 19/12/2015 at 21:00

Renovate or remove privet hedge?

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


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

Little Red Devils (Lily beetles)

They're about now! 
Replies: 1    Views: 612
Last Post: 06/04/2015 at 17:03

Christmas has come early

New trees 
Replies: 9    Views: 1233
Last Post: 19/12/2014 at 16:52

Anyone for squirrel crumble?

Thieving rodents 
Replies: 12    Views: 1016
Last Post: 27/11/2014 at 21:12

Plant ID quizzes

Have fun identifying plants! 
Replies: 16    Views: 1011
Last Post: 14/09/2014 at 13:17

Watering dried-out pots

Tip to help to stop water running straight through 
Replies: 13    Views: 987
Last Post: 28/07/2014 at 12:28

Blackfly - ladybirds to the rescue!

Broad bean tip blackfly infestation 
Replies: 2    Views: 855
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: 704
Last Post: 05/07/2014 at 18:52

Lovely surprise

I went down the garden in the gloom.. 
Replies: 15    Views: 1129
Last Post: 18/06/2014 at 14:32
1 to 15 of 34 threads