Latest posts by BobTheGardener

Is this fungus

Posted: 16/11/2015 at 00:29

If it is only affecting that branch then removing it might well save the tree.  Cut the branch off at the collar, close to the trunk in midsummer.  Instructions here:

The second photo down on this page shows the collar:

Don't be tempted to remove the branch until early to mid summer otherwise the bacterial canker could spread or the tree could be infected with silver leaf disease which would definitely finish it off.

Hope it works Tony.

magnolia watershoots

Posted: 16/11/2015 at 00:12

It will only produce 'watershoots' which are vertical, fast growing shoots, if you prune it hard.  In general, magnolias don't need to be pruned so no need to worry.


Posted: 15/11/2015 at 19:22

I have some tucked away in a shady corner and it does ok - always covered in bees!  Because it is deep rooted I don't think it will compete with nearby shrubs.  If you give the shrubs a mulch with harvested comfrey leaves, they will probably do even better than at present.

New Allotmemt- help with designing needed

Posted: 15/11/2015 at 19:16

Good advice there Steve & Ceres.  The fact that rotovating kills worms is something I think a lot of folk forget!  Can't beat hand digging and, although it is hard work, it's an excellent way to keep fit.  Pick out every bit of root you see while digging Charlotte and that will help get rid of the nasty perennial ones.  My advice is to do one section at a time, and do it well.  That way you will see genuine progress and can feel proud of what you have done, otherwise it can be a bit daunting if you try (and fail) to do the whole plot in one go.


Posted: 15/11/2015 at 19:04

If you know anyone with an allotment, they may be happy to take it Gertie.

New allotment- what's this tree?

Posted: 15/11/2015 at 16:57

I agree with Steve - have a rustle through the undergrowth around the tree to see if you can find any rotten fruit or stones.  If it's a plum or cherry there will be a few stones in which case don't prune it until summer.  If it's an apple or pear you can prune it in mid winter.


Posted: 15/11/2015 at 16:11

Yes Gertie, comfrey has huge roots which need to go down very deep - not one for a pot I'm afraid.  As an aside, it is comfrey's ability to root deeply which enables it to draw up trace elements from deep in the soil and helps make it such a valuable plant for making liquid feed.  Some of those trace elements are often depleted in topsoil as they have been used up by shallow-rooted plants.

What kind of climber support?

Posted: 15/11/2015 at 14:39

If you have room, it's worth putting in extra 50x50mm posts a few inches away from the fence and then making trellis panels, each framed with 35x25mm timber to fix to the posts.  That way you can replace fence panels when you need to without the hassle of detaching the plants/trellis.  Definitely wire and vine eyes for brick walls though.

Nice job there Fairygirl and I agree about making your own trellis - stronger, longer lasting and usually prettier than those normally available which often have holes too large (15x15cm) for my taste - I prefer about 10x10cm.


Posted: 15/11/2015 at 14:27

Strebordale, yes - dig up as much root as possible (you won't get it all as it can go down a metre or more), plant in the new hole and it will grow again in spring.  It is virtually indestructible.  It will almost certainly appear again in the old position from pieces of root you missed but if you keep pulling it up it as soon as it appears, it will eventually give up.

I've moved comfrey this way several times in my garden.



Posted: 10/11/2015 at 22:25

I agree.  Peel the layers off, one by one and see if you find any small brown/black pupae buried inside which will confirm that it's allium leaf minor rather than leek moth.

Had an attack a couple of years ago about this time of the year but didn't get the problem last year.  Crop rotation and/or covering with fleece from mid September are the only controls.

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