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Latest posts by BobTheGardener

Tomato 2014

Posted: 17/01/2014 at 19:37

As our resident expert Italiophile is always saying, we need to treat tomatoes with 'controlled neglect'.  Over-feeding and over-watering will simply encourage them to produce lots of green growth and little fruit.  The theory behind this is that plants try harder to propagate themselves when conditions are harsh.  In the case of tomatoes, that means producing as much seed as possible which of course means lots of tomatoes.  It does work!


Posted: 17/01/2014 at 19:07

You could try growing in pots as Charley suggests and then burying the pots in the bed.  When the bad weather comes it would then be relatively easy to lift the pots and store them somewhere more sheltered.  In my experience the wet does more damage than the cold to hardy perennials so your high water table is probably what killed them last year.

Essential Tools

Posted: 16/01/2014 at 20:22

Yes, the business ends of border forks and spades are about two thirds the size of standard ones.

Anyone know what this is?

Posted: 16/01/2014 at 18:41

How big is it, Gg?  Are there any signs of where a pin was attached on the back?

I really enjoy this forum

Posted: 16/01/2014 at 18:37

Yeah, itchy fingers here too - collected some fruit from snowberry bushes on the way to work yesterday morning with the intent of trying to grow them from seed (which I understand is tricky with these - warm then cold stratification needed.)  Today I walked by and the council had hard-pruned all of the bushes so I was lucky.  Shame though as they were in full fruit and looked wonderful, as well as being food for wildlife - that's blummin' councils for you!

Cold frames

Posted: 15/01/2014 at 23:40

Polycarb here too - mine is at least 20 years old.  Much of the wooden frame has been replaced over the years but the top will be good for many more yet.  Sharp sand over membrane inside - for the same reasons as BL!

Early pruning advised?

Posted: 15/01/2014 at 23:33

Same here.  Pruning promotes fresh growth and that's something I don't want to do at this stage - I think we are unlikely to get to spring without a good hard frost at some stage.

Essential Tools

Posted: 15/01/2014 at 23:23

Hi Tracey, the two things I use most and would be lost without are my hand trowel and border fork which do 80% of the work in my garden and veg plots.  Next would probably be the spade, secateurs, rake and hoe.  I really recommend using stainless steel tools with wooden handles but have a quite a variety of makes and can't really put one make above another - I just bought the ones that 'felt right' when I handled them in the shop.

Plant ID please

Posted: 13/01/2014 at 18:54

If not loosestrife, could it be one of the veronicas eg longifolia or spicata?


Posted: 12/01/2014 at 21:41

Hi ffb, just found the delivery note - I got them from Mr Fothergills (who happen to have a special offer on them at the moment )

Discussions started by BobTheGardener

Plant ID quizzes

Have fun identifying plants! 
Replies: 16    Views: 372
Last Post: 14/09/2014 at 13:17

Watering dried-out pots

Tip to help to stop water running straight through 
Replies: 13    Views: 335
Last Post: 28/07/2014 at 12:28

Blackfly - ladybirds to the rescue!

Broad bean tip blackfly infestation 
Replies: 2    Views: 194
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: 181
Last Post: 05/07/2014 at 18:52

Lovely surprise

I went down the garden in the gloom.. 
Replies: 15    Views: 501
Last Post: 18/06/2014 at 14:32

Dragonfly/Darter/Mayfly ID?

Flew into the polytunnel for a while 
Replies: 6    Views: 311
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: 692
Last Post: 01/06/2014 at 17:42

Deep Down & Dirty: The Science of soil

Replies: 4    Views: 409
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: 483
Last Post: 22/04/2014 at 10:58

Seed grown Wisteria finally in flower - Hooray!

Planted many years ago 
Replies: 3    Views: 237
Last Post: 15/04/2014 at 12:39


Polytunnel growing 
Replies: 16    Views: 541
Last Post: 16/04/2014 at 19:05

First day of (meteorological) Spring

How id your garden looking 
Replies: 13    Views: 557
Last Post: 03/03/2014 at 20:31

DIY heated propagator

Making one from scratch 
Replies: 48    Views: 4213
Last Post: 30/06/2014 at 19:57

Cost of bird food

bulk vs supermarket 
Replies: 31    Views: 1713
Last Post: 10/02/2014 at 12:33

Wild Garden (Community Channel)

On Freeview/Sky 
Replies: 5    Views: 512
Last Post: 10/12/2013 at 12:21
1 to 15 of 24 threads