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Latest posts by BobTheGardener

Summer has arrived

Posted: 18/06/2013 at 22:22

Just before I came in 3 swifts came very low and swooped through a low part of a hedge (just as I stood up from weeding) passing just a couple of feet over my head  - they are quite big birds when you see them up close and coming straight at you!   About 18" wingspan I would guess.

Any know what these plants are ?

Posted: 18/06/2013 at 22:11

Scabiosa.  Several suppliers were selling "Blue jeans" this year - I have some too.


Turnip Root Worm

Posted: 18/06/2013 at 18:41

Hi Suzanne, depends what 'root worm' is.  If it's cabbage root fly which attacks all brassicas - see here:

then planting any other brassicas in their place will very likely be a problem.  You could treat the area with Nemasys Grow Your Own (as mentioned in the RHS link above) which is a mixture of nematodes which prey on cabbage root fly (and many other pests) and will help to clear up the problem.  Crop rotation is a must once you have had a root fly infestation, so don't grow any brassicas in that piece of ground next year.


Posted: 18/06/2013 at 00:24

It can be hit and miss as to whether you get a second flush - depends on the weather.  Some varieties will self seed, others (F1s) are often sterile.  I've grown seeds from some of mine (parents were all blue) and got a mixture of colours, but many were quite bland (eg dirty whites and some with sparse flowers.)  One thing I've learnt from experience is to cut them down right to the ground at the end of the year.  I left some until the next spring once (I usually leave most of my plants uncut to provide winter cover for wildlife) but found that the next year the flowers had all been eaten when they were small by caterpillars of the delphinium moth.  They overwinter inside the hollow stems..

Sick Tomato Plant

Posted: 17/06/2013 at 22:43

They all look nice and healthy to me.  Slight curling of the leaves is perfectly normal - all it indicates is that the temperature is varying a little more then would be ideal.  This can be improved by ensuring all the vents and door are open and if this is not enough, providing some shading from very hot sun (eg shade netting.)  Try and keep the maximum temperature below 30C.  If the temperature is dropping to below about 12C at night, then close the vents and door.  A max-min thermometer (under £10) is extremely useful to monitor what is happening in a greenhouse and I wouldn't be without mine.



Posted: 17/06/2013 at 21:20

I think the keywords you need are  "cane supports" - Google finds several suppliers.

Fruit cages - DIY options?

Posted: 17/06/2013 at 20:19

For the netting, you want insects to get through to pollinate the fruit but not birds so holes need to be about 20mm (=2cm, 3/4"), which will let bumble bees through.  As far as the supporting structure goes, it's all a matter of how long it will last.  Canes will be only be good for a couple of years or so before the section in the ground rots.  Making fruit cages can be tricky as you need to secure the netting to the frame and make a door or other way of entering but if you're good at DIY then you can certainly save some money.  You could use something like cheap PVC overflow pipe (about 50p per metre) for which you can buy various connectors (eg 90 degree bends, T-pieces) to form a frame and perhaps wire ties (or a hot glue gun?) to secure the netting to it.  Some folk use this stuff to make polytunnel frames, too.

grannys bonnet

Posted: 16/06/2013 at 23:05

Might get some viriflora, nut - throw a few more genes into the mix (not that there's much chance of preventing it!)

grannys bonnet

Posted: 16/06/2013 at 22:51

These are my favourites, caerulea, about 4" flowers:

 which I'm trying to cross with various McKana hybrids like this one:

 I'm hoping for the upward-facing habit of the caerulea in different colours - none of my McKanas have any blue in them.  The results are too young to flower this year and I expect 95% will be weeded out but live in hope!


Posted: 16/06/2013 at 21:54

I don't remove side shoots from peppers or chillies myself.  The flowers appear at the joints between leaf and stem, so the more side shoots you have the more fruit you can get from a plant.

Discussions started by BobTheGardener

Seed grown Wisteria finally in flower - Hooray!

Planted many years ago 
Replies: 3    Views: 77
Last Post: 15/04/2014 at 12:39


Polytunnel growing 
Replies: 16    Views: 323
Last Post: 16/04/2014 at 19:05

First day of (meteorological) Spring

How id your garden looking 
Replies: 13    Views: 368
Last Post: 03/03/2014 at 20:31

DIY heated propagator

Making one from scratch 
Replies: 57    Views: 2144
Last Post: 11/02/2014 at 11:06

Cost of bird food

bulk vs supermarket 
Replies: 31    Views: 888
Last Post: 10/02/2014 at 12:33

Wild Garden (Community Channel)

On Freeview/Sky 
Replies: 5    Views: 321
Last Post: 10/12/2013 at 12:21

Front garden revamp - before and after photos

Redsigning weedy crazy paving 
Replies: 24    Views: 1282
Last Post: 21/10/2013 at 20:16


Flowering in September 
Replies: 7    Views: 460
Last Post: 13/09/2013 at 13:20


The sparrows have had a good breeding season 
Replies: 15    Views: 562
Last Post: 07/10/2013 at 09:26


Replies: 4    Views: 319
Last Post: 10/08/2013 at 11:31

ID trumpet flower

Replies: 8    Views: 412
Last Post: 18/06/2013 at 11:41

Bee spotting

Have you seen any bees yet? 
Replies: 61    Views: 2006
Last Post: 11/04/2013 at 18:55

New deliveries

Tree and shrub planting 
Replies: 4    Views: 373
Last Post: 16/02/2013 at 19:01

Flower ID

Pink flowered perennial 
Replies: 4    Views: 692
Last Post: 10/07/2012 at 16:52

Oh no, lily beetles are back!

More of warning than a plea for help.. 
Replies: 21    Views: 6588
Last Post: Yesterday at 22:14
15 threads returned