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Latest posts by BobTheGardener

Dreaded vine weevil

Posted: 06/04/2014 at 14:15

 Hi tattianna, yes once the birds have picked-out all of the grubs it's fine to use the compost on borders.  Vine weevils rarely infest garden soil, much preferring compost in pots.  If you have a lot of potted plants, it's worth investing in a small pack of nematodes and treating them all. 

I.D. please?

Posted: 06/04/2014 at 14:07

I don't think it's a weed either.  Possibly an Amberboa?

What Would You Do Next?

Posted: 06/04/2014 at 14:00

Yep, MP will be fine - just mix it in well.  I add some to all of my raised beds if they need a top-up and I've no home-made to hand.

Leaf spots

Posted: 06/04/2014 at 13:51

I had to give up growing them because of rust, Kirsty.  They used to grow fine many years ago but it seems the air pollution back then (sulphurous smoke from burning coal) actually helped protect against it.  I have tried spraying with fungicide from seeding emergence to adulthood, different soil types and planting aspects, and pots.  Nothing prevented rust finally killing the plants, but some of them did get to produce nice flowers, although the ugly rusted leaves and stems always took away a lot of the pleasure.  The good news is there are lots of other plants so I don't miss them too much!

Soggy Discentra

Posted: 06/04/2014 at 12:36

I think you're right about overwatering it.  I'd plant it back into a mixture of fine grit and compost, water it once and then not again until the compost feels dry to about an inch depth when you stick your finger in.

Lilly beetle

Posted: 06/04/2014 at 12:28

Hi lisa, Assuming you used nematodes against the vine weevil grubs, those will have no effect on lily beetle, which overwinter as adults anyway.  The only defence is squashing them or spraying the lilies with a systemic insecticide like Provado, which many of us have now stopped doing due to environmental concerns.  Unfortunately, these invaders have no natural predators in this country.

The glory of Daffodils

Posted: 05/04/2014 at 13:22

Some of mine have gone over but most still going:


Posted: 05/04/2014 at 11:12

The anvil type are supposed to be easier to use when cutting thick woody stems with less chance of splitting the stem but I never use my pair, preferring the bypass ones which can get into awkward areas more easily.  For thick woody stuff like buddleia, hawthorn and hazel, I have a pair of anvil loppers which are great.  As I'm certain you know already, the main thing is to keep them sharp, so worth checking that they can easily be dismantled as doing that makes sharpening them much easier.

Broad Beans being eaten

Posted: 04/04/2014 at 19:21

It could also be pigeons.  I've watched woodpigeons ferret below the soil until finding a broad bean seed and then lift and swallow it whole.  One bird managed half a row before I got outside to scare it away.  I grow them in small pots now and only plant out when they are several inches tall to avoid this sort of damage by rodents or pigeons.

spindley thin tomato plants

Posted: 04/04/2014 at 19:02

You're not giving us much to go on, tom, but reasons for tall spindly tomato seedlings include:  Too much warmth after germination, not enough light, use of fertilizer too early in their life.  Are any of those a possibility?

Discussions started by BobTheGardener

Christmas has come early

New trees 
Replies: 9    Views: 779
Last Post: 19/12/2014 at 16:52

Anyone for squirrel crumble?

Thieving rodents 
Replies: 12    Views: 575
Last Post: 27/11/2014 at 21:12

Plant ID quizzes

Have fun identifying plants! 
Replies: 16    Views: 514
Last Post: 14/09/2014 at 13:17

Watering dried-out pots

Tip to help to stop water running straight through 
Replies: 13    Views: 451
Last Post: 28/07/2014 at 12:28

Blackfly - ladybirds to the rescue!

Broad bean tip blackfly infestation 
Replies: 2    Views: 316
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: 305
Last Post: 05/07/2014 at 18:52

Lovely surprise

I went down the garden in the gloom.. 
Replies: 15    Views: 608
Last Post: 18/06/2014 at 14:32

Dragonfly/Darter/Mayfly ID?

Flew into the polytunnel for a while 
Replies: 6    Views: 509
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: 953
Last Post: 01/06/2014 at 17:42

Deep Down & Dirty: The Science of soil

Replies: 4    Views: 582
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: 627
Last Post: 22/04/2014 at 10:58

Seed grown Wisteria finally in flower - Hooray!

Planted many years ago 
Replies: 3    Views: 347
Last Post: 15/04/2014 at 12:39


Polytunnel growing 
Replies: 16    Views: 649
Last Post: 16/04/2014 at 19:05

First day of (meteorological) Spring

How id your garden looking 
Replies: 13    Views: 699
Last Post: 03/03/2014 at 20:31

DIY heated propagator

Making one from scratch 
Replies: 48    Views: 7506
Last Post: 30/06/2014 at 19:57
1 to 15 of 26 threads