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BobTheGardener


Latest posts by BobTheGardener

Need advice on Cauliflowers please!

Posted: 16/03/2014 at 19:30

Cauliflowers are one of the hardest veg to grow well, so don't be too downhearted if some of them don't produce good heads.  Transplant the young plants to their final positions when they have 5 true leaves, give them plenty of space  and bury them up to the lowest leaf, firming the ground well around the roots and stem.  Adding fish, blood and bone to the soil at planting time will help, after which they need plenty of nitrogen, so regular feeding with home made nettle tea will really help, too.  Don't forget to fleece or net them to prevent the cabbage white butterfly.  Good luck!

LILY BEETLES

Posted: 16/03/2014 at 19:19

Despatched one today.  Found it in the veg plot, while I was harvesting the last row of leeks and some celeriac.  No sign of any of my lilies yet though.

Can someone tell me what this is...

Posted: 16/03/2014 at 13:36

You are welcome, Vonni.  Solitary bees just use a nice-looking ready made hole - they are 'garden goodies' and won't have been responsible for the demise of the tree.

Container grown Acer

Posted: 16/03/2014 at 12:12

That's right Lancashire Lass, all acers will grow in acid soil, but many won't tolerate alkaline (limey/chalky) soil.  If anyone wants to grow them in a pot, add say 25% ericaceous compost to a loam-based compost like John Innes No.3 and you can't really go wrong.  Good advice from Fairygirl about siting - keeping them out of the wind and away from early morning sun is best, so avoid East-facing exposed sites if possible.  

Can someone tell me what this is...

Posted: 16/03/2014 at 12:04

Look like they are made of leaves so would suspect some kind of solitary bee.

Edit: Leaf cutter bee larvae, probably:

http://www.moraybeedinosaurs.co.uk/solitary.html

 

The best multi purpose compost this year

Posted: 16/03/2014 at 11:05

You are right Fairygirl, it seems compost formulae for many branded makes is changing every year at the moment, so I would only take recommendations for makes when they have been bought this year.  Own-branded compost from the large well-known GC/DIY stores tends to vary between areas of the country, too, so recommendations for those should also be taken with a pinch of salt!  I use a lot of the stuff (60-90 bags a year) and I buy one bag of each of several brands at this time of the year to see which I like before ordering in bulk.

Favourite vegetable to grow?

Posted: 16/03/2014 at 09:57

Tomatoes, potatoes and carrots.  None of the varieties I grow are available in the shops, and as for taste, the shop bought ones may as well be made from cardboard!

Packet seeds

Posted: 16/03/2014 at 09:51

It depends on the seeds, NellyG.  The date on the packet is if you leave them unopened but they begin to age once you have opened them.  Some seeds like tomatoes are generally good for a couple of years after opening but opened parsnip seeds won't keep 'til next year.  What seeds do you have?

A few plant I.D's please

Posted: 15/03/2014 at 15:25

That one foxes a lot of folk, Jack.  If (say) an apple tree was growing weakly on one side, you would prune the weak growth in Winter, not cut back the long branches on the other side.  It doesn't seem to make sense, but that's what you have to do.

It's not quite as cut and dried as that because if you prune in Summer, that will restrict growth.

sowing peas

Posted: 15/03/2014 at 15:21

Hi Vivienne, that's one of good old Geoff Hamilton's tips. 

No drainage holes needed - the compost will be shallow and will dry out quite quickly by itself, so keep an eye on that.  Plant peas 2" apart.  Transplant when they are about 3 inches tall, weather permitting.  I don't bother hardening off - too much chance of an accident when carrying a gutter full of them in and out!  Instead, cover them with newspaper or fleece once they are transplanted, if frost is forecast overnight.

Discussions started by BobTheGardener

Christmas has come early

New trees 
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Only fto be read by your household's main gardener! 
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Flew into the polytunnel for a while 
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A week of rain = jungle garden!

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Deep Down & Dirty: The Science of soil

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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

Oops!

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Last Post: 16/04/2014 at 19:05

First day of (meteorological) Spring

How id your garden looking 
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Last Post: 03/03/2014 at 20:31

DIY heated propagator

Making one from scratch 
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Last Post: 30/06/2014 at 19:57
1 to 15 of 26 threads