London (change)
Today 23°C / 16°C
Tomorrow 27°C / 19°C


Latest posts by BobTheGardener

peach tree

Posted: 09/07/2014 at 21:36

Hi Betty, I was going to write a long reply to try and cover everything but while I was looking at websites for images to help illustrate, I came across this one which explains it so well that I don't think I can add much!

The essence is to remove all dead/damaged/diseased wood and prune the rest to open up the tree to light and air.  Peaches grow on one year old wood, so the aim is to prune very spring to encourage new growth without removing too much of last year's growth (which will bear this year's crop.)

Dream of your wish list

Posted: 09/07/2014 at 21:18

An eremurus which actually flowers.. but delivered with an acre plot in Cornwall or the Channel Islands please.

bugs on hydrangea

Posted: 09/07/2014 at 00:27

Hi Sandra, from your description this is certainly hydrangea scale insect.  Have a look at the RHS information on it:


Sweet potato

Posted: 08/07/2014 at 19:03

Here's a pic of mine at the moment:

I'm trying to train them up string (they're about 2 foot tall now) but they don't do this naturally and prefer to sprawl along the ground, like the horizontal shoot you can see at the bottom.  Apparently everything ends up as one huge tangle so will fit in well with the rest of my plants!  

I think we'd need a good summer for them to grow well outside, even though these varieties, Beauregard Improved and especially Carolina Ruby are recommended for growing in "milder areas".  It gets a bit cold here in the East midlands (I'm blummin freezing at the mo!) but I think they'd do well south of the Watford gap.

Sweet potato

Posted: 07/07/2014 at 23:14

Philippa, I'm currently growing the 'duo' T&M ones in my polytunnel so will keep you informed of progress via this thread and will post some photos tomorrow after work.  They were very large well developed 'plugs' (15cm x 5cm 'root trainered' rootballs with 10cm of top growth) and looked extremely healthy.  They were planted in much improved clay-based soil (lots of added MPC and sharp sand, with a sprinkling of blood, fish and bone) in the polytunnel border after acclimatizing them strictly to supplied instructions.

If they don't do well after all the care I've lavished on them (including pre-treating the polytunnel soil with slug nematodes), I'll be very disappointed!

Weed or Veg IDs from my allotment!

Posted: 07/07/2014 at 21:08

If they are bindweed seedlings (rather than springing up from bits of a broken mature root) they should be easy to get rid of.  Fingers crossed that they are beans though - still a possibility!

Weed or Veg IDs from my allotment!

Posted: 07/07/2014 at 21:02

Dig down deep and have a look at the roots of the 3rd one - bindweed has a thick white root to confirm:


Weed or Veg IDs from my allotment!

Posted: 07/07/2014 at 20:52

First one might be a herb Robert seedling, 2nd one is another wild geranium (seeds like mad and is a pest here) and the 3rd could be bindweed, just before it erupts skyward!

Plant ID please

Posted: 07/07/2014 at 20:48

Sambucus nigra is the name of the native form WO, but the black one does have the same species name - that one is Sambucus nigra f. porphyrophylla.

Anyway, it's not that after seeing the 2nd photo.

Cox Orange Pippin tree not looking too healthy, tips please??

Posted: 07/07/2014 at 20:41

Cox's Orange Pippin is a bit harder to grow than your average apple (mine also seems a bit fussy), so it might well be the wet ground and that is making more prone to mildew.  It also looks like it needs a formative prune as there are really too many branches for it to have a good shape.  Have a look at the RHS advice on pruning young apple trees:

Winter pruning will also encourage stronger growth which should help.

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: 229
Last Post: 06/04/2015 at 17:03

Christmas has come early

New trees 
Replies: 9    Views: 843
Last Post: 19/12/2014 at 16:52

Anyone for squirrel crumble?

Thieving rodents 
Replies: 12    Views: 633
Last Post: 27/11/2014 at 21:12

Plant ID quizzes

Have fun identifying plants! 
Replies: 16    Views: 582
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: 406
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: 583
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