Latest posts by BobTheGardener

Grease bands

Posted: 12/02/2016 at 18:57

Grease bands won't help against maggots but some years are much worse than others for the flying pests which cause maggots and that is probably what you experienced.  No harm in using them though - ants farming aphids can damage all of the young leaves and seriously weaken a tree, resulting in poor crops the following season.  I use grease bands on all of my fruit trees.

What's the difference?

Posted: 11/02/2016 at 22:18

Primrose and Polyanthus are both primulas which is the plant 'family' they are both in.  The main difference between them is that primroses have the flowers close to the leaves whereas polyanthus flowers are on longer stems.  They have been bred from the wild forms, the cowslip (Primula veris) and the common primrose (Primula vulgaris.)

What's eaten my cabbages

Posted: 11/02/2016 at 21:25

Woodpigeons, without a shadow of doubt!  They are voracious once they find unprotected brassicas and invite all of their mates to the feast once they discover your plot.  I have to net all of my brassicas these days.  They will eat a row of freshly planted brassicas in minutes, leaving just the stalks.

Brassicas like high-nitrate feeds, so nettle tea, chicken pellets or growmore pellets if not bothered about being fully organic.

Tubs and containers

Posted: 11/02/2016 at 21:18

For permanent plantings go for a mix of 75% of a John Innes #3 loam-based compost mixed with 25% bagged well-rotted manure.  Alternatively you could look at 1 tonne bags of a good topsoil and a few bags of well-rotted manure.  For very large planters I've used tonne bags of Rolawn veg & fruit topsoil and I've also used Wickes topsoil mixed with their bagged manure with excellent results.

Mystery sprouting bulbs - can they be moved?

Posted: 10/02/2016 at 18:58

Do any of those tall hollow dead stems appear to be coming from where the new leaves are appearing?  If so, you might have something really nice like nerines.

Bug identification!

Posted: 10/02/2016 at 18:50

PS, I agree that the actual damage does look like it has been made by slugs.  My ID was for the tiny insect but it probably isn't that which is causing the damage in the top pic.

Bug identification!

Posted: 10/02/2016 at 18:34

My best guess would be the larva of a thrip of some kind, especially given you are having difficulty eradicating them as they are persistent little s*ds.  I can't give any tips on fighting them as whenever I've had thrip issues the best I managed was limiting their numbers a little.   RHS advice here:


Anyone done any gardening today - Version 2

Posted: 09/02/2016 at 23:34
Steve 309 wrote (see)

Just a bit of weeding and tidying up in the sunshine.  A lily my mum thought had died has some promising-looking buds low down so I've trimmed and repotted it.

Someone told me daylight's getting more by 15min a day at the mo, which sounds optimistic if you ask me.

It's actually about 4 minutes Steve.  Link here showing calculations for London (it varies by latitude, but that's close enough for anyone in the UK):

As a gardener, I welcome the longer days but the astronomer in me hates it!

Garden Pictures 2016

Posted: 08/02/2016 at 23:07

No, this is the new 2016 garden pics thread Hazel.  I just think it's slowed down a bit because the rotten weather over the last few days has stopped folk going ouside with a camera!

Talkback: How to grow dahlias from seed

Posted: 08/02/2016 at 22:47

Yes, C J W P, but dahlias cross-pollinate readily and there is no guarantee that plants grown from the collected seeds will be like the parent plant although there will probably be a resemblance.  This is how new cultivars are created and it is fun seeing what you get.  Any really nice ones can be propagated by taking cuttings which will produce more plants but this time identical.

Discussions started by BobTheGardener

'Dramatic' music in TV programmes

Increase in noise! 
Replies: 37    Views: 1160
Last Post: 23/11/2016 at 22:23

Autumn foliage photos (2016)

Thought I'd start a thread just for our photos 
Replies: 84    Views: 6104
Last Post: 03/12/2016 at 00:32

Gardener's World about to start now!

Replies: 18    Views: 839
Last Post: 14/07/2016 at 16:55

Cutting ID

I thought these were philadelphus 
Replies: 3    Views: 367
Last Post: 11/07/2016 at 17:34


Hope it finds it's way home 
Replies: 3    Views: 451
Last Post: 26/04/2016 at 18:22

Vine weevils

..ate all of my winter carrots! 
Replies: 8    Views: 1360
Last Post: 01/01/2016 at 22:01

Huge pest problem

Don't think netting will work 
Replies: 10    Views: 983
Last Post: 19/12/2015 at 21:00

Renovate or remove privet hedge?

Replace or cut back hard? 
Replies: 19    Views: 2102
Last Post: 20/09/2015 at 13:33


No real rain here for weeks 
Replies: 11    Views: 674
Last Post: 07/06/2015 at 18:41

Little Red Devils (Lily beetles)

They're about now! 
Replies: 1    Views: 693
Last Post: 06/04/2015 at 17:03

Christmas has come early

New trees 
Replies: 9    Views: 1311
Last Post: 19/12/2014 at 16:52

Anyone for squirrel crumble?

Thieving rodents 
Replies: 12    Views: 1101
Last Post: 27/11/2014 at 21:12

Plant ID quizzes

Have fun identifying plants! 
Replies: 16    Views: 1145
Last Post: 14/09/2014 at 13:17

Watering dried-out pots

Tip to help to stop water running straight through 
Replies: 13    Views: 1143
Last Post: 28/07/2014 at 12:28

Blackfly - ladybirds to the rescue!

Broad bean tip blackfly infestation 
Replies: 2    Views: 1002
Last Post: 13/07/2014 at 18:04
1 to 15 of 36 threads