Latest posts by BobTheGardener

Is it ok to use pressure treated timber to make raised beds?

Posted: 20/09/2015 at 17:32

Yes it's fine as the chemicals used to preserve the wood these days are safe.  If you use untreated wood it has to be much thicker as it will quickly rot.  Even pressure-treated timber can have a short life when in contact with constantly wet soil - mine tend to last for between 5 and 10 years on clay soil.

tayberry pruning

Posted: 20/09/2015 at 17:24

Tayberries are a cross with blackberries and have the same fruiting habit and pruning regime.  Basically they fruit on last year's wood, so the canes you see now will bear fruit next year.  Once you have picked the fruit from a cane you remove that cane by cutting it right back to the ground.  New canes will appear from the ground next spring and those will give you fruit the following year.  Tie the canes into a support frame of some kind and after you cut the fruited ones out, you tie-in the new canes which will replace them.  More here:

inherited garden - can you help?

Posted: 20/09/2015 at 17:14
Holls1988 wrote (see)
Thank you for your quick responses and advice. That buddlea is growing right next to the rose, as in main stems touching, will there be a reason they have planted them like that?

The buddleia may not have been planted at all and has probably sprung up from a wind-blown seed - they grow like weeds around here.  You can transplant it to somewhere with more room if you want to keep it.


Posted: 20/09/2015 at 12:46

Can you tell us which herbs snowy?  Lots depends on what you have as many need different conditions and some are annual so won't last the winter anyway.

Renovate or remove privet hedge?

Posted: 20/09/2015 at 12:40

Thanks all, chainsaw it is!  I'll need to start with vertical cuts to separate it into managable chunks I think, otherwise I'll never get it through the gate to the shredder!

Good idea to remove a few roots to introduce other shrubs Tetley, if I can - looking at the base, some of the stems are about 4-5 inches dia., so fall under 'trunks' in my book.  I can still swing a pick-axe though - just not so good up ladders as I was!

I'll post photos of the massacre as I go!

Plants being stripped

Posted: 20/09/2015 at 12:27

As nut says, it will be different things, the most likely being:

  • Gooseberry: gooseberry sawfly
  • Roses: rose sawfly
  • Climbing plants: snails
  • everything else: slugs and woodpigeons

Veggies are also usually attacked by the last two plus they have their own army of specialist invaders such as cabbage white butterfly caterpillars.  Don't worry though - regular inspection is the key and when you see something you don't recognise take a photo and post it here as we have our own 'home guard' of troops to advise you!


Posted: 19/09/2015 at 20:20

Pinks are very easy to take cuttings (aka pipings) from.  Just cut off non-flowering shoots a few inches long, pull off the bottom 2/3rds of the leaves and plant a few around the edge of a pot in 50/50 grit/compost.  After a few weeks they should take root (some may dry up and die - remove those) and when you see roots appearing from the bottom of the pot you can separate and pot them individually, at which point nip the top out to encourage branching.  Do that every year and you will have a constant supply to replace the older plants when they become leggy and untidy.

Renovate or remove privet hedge?

Posted: 19/09/2015 at 20:08

Hi all, time to ask advice rather than give it!

I have a privet hedge in the front garden which has become a bit of a pain.  The neighbour on the other side spends 50 weeks of the year overseas so that side never gets cut and, together with the fact that I find it hard to manage cutting it on step ladders these days, it has got a bit out of hand.  It's about 2.5m high, 1m thick and about 10m long.

I've asked for quotes from several local companies for complete removal (roots and all so I could replace with a mixed hedge for wildlife) but not one has got back to me after 2 weeks, so it looks like I'm going to have to tackle it myself.  The least difficult thing to do would be to cut it back hard with my chainsaw and hope for regrowth so I could keep it at a managable 1m high.

I don't have a car so ripping it out with a towbar/ropes is not an option and it will certainly have to be done over a number of weeks as I know from experience that it will take several hours to shred just a metre wide chunk with the awkward branching way privet grows.  What I don't know is:  Can/should I take it back almost to the ground or would it be better to leave longer stumps, say 0.5m?  How likely is it to regrow from such a severe hacking?



Posted: 19/09/2015 at 12:14

Lou, just google "bulk bark chips" and add your location or nearest town/city.

Replace plum?

Posted: 19/09/2015 at 00:17

Consider replacing with a Japanese plum on a semi-dwarfing rootstock.  I have 'Lizzie' on St. Julian A rootstock and it's a wonderful tree which is literally covered in blossom very early in the season, crops heavily and earlier than standard plums and the fruit has a fantastic flavour.  Japanese plums are grown everywhere else in the world but rarely in the UK for some bizarre reason!

Discussions started by BobTheGardener

Gardener's World about to start now!

Replies: 18    Views: 715
Last Post: 14/07/2016 at 16:55

Cutting ID

I thought these were philadelphus 
Replies: 3    Views: 264
Last Post: 11/07/2016 at 17:34


Hope it finds it's way home 
Replies: 3    Views: 390
Last Post: 26/04/2016 at 18:22

Vine weevils

..ate all of my winter carrots! 
Replies: 8    Views: 1221
Last Post: 01/01/2016 at 22:01

Huge pest problem

Don't think netting will work 
Replies: 10    Views: 866
Last Post: 19/12/2015 at 21:00

Renovate or remove privet hedge?

Replace or cut back hard? 
Replies: 19    Views: 1768
Last Post: 20/09/2015 at 13:33


No real rain here for weeks 
Replies: 11    Views: 613
Last Post: 07/06/2015 at 18:41

Little Red Devils (Lily beetles)

They're about now! 
Replies: 1    Views: 633
Last Post: 06/04/2015 at 17:03

Christmas has come early

New trees 
Replies: 9    Views: 1251
Last Post: 19/12/2014 at 16:52

Anyone for squirrel crumble?

Thieving rodents 
Replies: 12    Views: 1039
Last Post: 27/11/2014 at 21:12

Plant ID quizzes

Have fun identifying plants! 
Replies: 16    Views: 1039
Last Post: 14/09/2014 at 13:17

Watering dried-out pots

Tip to help to stop water running straight through 
Replies: 13    Views: 1025
Last Post: 28/07/2014 at 12:28

Blackfly - ladybirds to the rescue!

Broad bean tip blackfly infestation 
Replies: 2    Views: 887
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: 724
Last Post: 05/07/2014 at 18:52

Lovely surprise

I went down the garden in the gloom.. 
Replies: 15    Views: 1163
Last Post: 18/06/2014 at 14:32
1 to 15 of 34 threads