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Latest posts by BobTheGardener

Bilberry plants or berries

Posted: 13/07/2014 at 13:31

I got some a couple of years ago from Mr Fothergills - also small but cheap.   I'll check on them now it's stopped raining and report back.

name and can I please

Posted: 12/07/2014 at 16:54

Pretty sure that's Yucca filamentosa 'Bright Edge' Alan, although it doesn't usually get to tree size, so may not be that cultivar.

With yuccas, you normally remove the lower leaves when they start dying or look a bit ratty.  It must have been a giant with a thick trunk like that!  It may have been killed by a hard frost and so cut down - they then sucker or sprout side shoots like that.  

Tomatoes - Fungus/Lichen in growbag?

Posted: 12/07/2014 at 14:54

The type of fungi which grow in soil are very different to those which infect plant tissue and are generally nothing to worry about.  You would cause far more harm trying to transplant them than anything the fungus in the growbag will do.  It may even be beneficial as fungi break-down organic matter into nutrients which plants can take up via their roots.  In my opinion, if the plants are looking healthy, ignore it.

apricot Tree

Posted: 12/07/2014 at 13:17

Try giving it a feed of sulphate of potash (or other fertilizer very high in Potassium) in late Winter which will encourage blossom and fruit;  It might be getting too much nitrate as it is producing lots of vegetative growth.  The RHS have some advice on feeding fruit trees here:


squash crown prince

Posted: 12/07/2014 at 13:07

Too right, Steve!  I used the last one (stored from last year) in May and had to start the (very sharp!) kitchen knife off with a rubber mallet in order to make the first cut!  I slice the skin off each section completely before roasting as the skin on Crown Prince does not go soft during roasting like it does on some other varieties - rather the opposite in fact and the reason I started doing that was because I cut my gum on a sharp piece of roasted skin!

apricot Tree

Posted: 12/07/2014 at 12:51

Did you get plenty of blossom in the Spring, Brian?  If so the problem may be lack of pollination.  Apricots are early bloomers and the blossom often appears before there are any pollinating insects about.  You can help by using a small, soft, paintbrush or similar to hand-pollinate the blossom, going over the whole tree just like a bee would.  Hopefully you are talking about a relatively small tree or that will obviously be rather difficult!

Making a potting bench

Posted: 12/07/2014 at 11:10

Hi artjak, that looks wonderful - the curvy back sections really set it off.

The only thing I'd suggest is a solid area on the top bench near the bucket, rather than it all being slatted.  That way the inevitable spilt compost won't fall through and if you can make the top of the bucket flush with the surface (perhaps by supporting it from underneath) you can simply sweep the spillages back into the bucket.

squash crown prince

Posted: 12/07/2014 at 10:45

I grew 3 crown prince last year fidget and they were indeed rampant - they grew to well over 6m!  I left them to their own devices but only had one or 2 fruit set per plant despite hand-pollinating - each was about 4kg,  so I suggest some control may be better and might produce a greater number of more manageable sized fruit.  Perhaps try that with one or two of them?  This year I also have a couple of them and am going to pinch out the main growing tip at 3m as an experiment and when side shoots develop, pinch those out after the first fruit set on each (if they do..)  In addition I have several other varieties and harrier are my best hope for the future - they are producing female flowers much closer to the centre and are supposed to be bushy and less spreading.  We shall see!  Also growing barbara butternut, autumn crown (blurb says average 5 fruit per plant and a bit smaller than c.prince) and pumpkin summer ball which I can't praise highly enough - extremely compact, incredibly productive (think courgettes!) and also store much better than I thought they would.  They are a regular here.  If no-one else with more experience chips-in, perhaps we can report back on this thread about developments/results?

edit: Edd replied while[ I was typing, so looks like pinching out is the thing to do.

Olive tree

Posted: 10/07/2014 at 21:14

Mine grows happily in John Innes no.3 with a fair bit of gritty sharp sand mixed in.  Pot-grown things can be re-potted at almost any time of the year - if you do it now, give it a good watering before and after then leave it until the top inch of soil is dry - one thing they really don't like is wet feet and must have very free-draining soil.

Don't be tempted to try and remove a lot of the old compost from the root-ball when you re-pot it - that won't do it any good at all.  Just put it in a new pot which is about 20% bigger then the one it is now in and pack the new compost down the gap between root-ball and sides of the new container to ensure no air gaps. You could mix a bit of slow-release fertiliser in with the new soil though.

peach tree

Posted: 10/07/2014 at 20:48

I'd leave them be at the moment and do the pruning in spring, just as the flower buds are starting to show colour.  That way you can see which branches are going to bear fruit and can avoid losing too many of those.

Discussions started by BobTheGardener


No real rain here for weeks 
Replies: 11    Views: 200
Last Post: 07/06/2015 at 18:41

Little Red Devils (Lily beetles)

They're about now! 
Replies: 1    Views: 228
Last Post: 06/04/2015 at 17:03

Christmas has come early

New trees 
Replies: 9    Views: 842
Last Post: 19/12/2014 at 16:52

Anyone for squirrel crumble?

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

Plant ID quizzes

Have fun identifying plants! 
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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 
Replies: 13    Views: 538
Last Post: 28/07/2014 at 12:28

Blackfly - ladybirds to the rescue!

Broad bean tip blackfly infestation 
Replies: 2    Views: 405
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: 359
Last Post: 05/07/2014 at 18:52

Lovely surprise

I went down the garden in the gloom.. 
Replies: 15    Views: 668
Last Post: 18/06/2014 at 14:32

Dragonfly/Darter/Mayfly ID?

Flew into the polytunnel for a while 
Replies: 6    Views: 581
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: 1048
Last Post: 01/06/2014 at 17:42

Deep Down & Dirty: The Science of soil

Replies: 4    Views: 657
Last Post: 24/04/2014 at 11:30

Check your delphiniums for caterpillars

Look for distorted and damaged leaves near the tips 
Replies: 10    Views: 965
Last Post: 22/04/2014 at 10:58

Seed grown Wisteria finally in flower - Hooray!

Planted many years ago 
Replies: 3    Views: 397
Last Post: 15/04/2014 at 12:39


Polytunnel growing 
Replies: 16    Views: 722
Last Post: 16/04/2014 at 19:05
1 to 15 of 28 threads