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Latest posts by BobTheGardener

What's the star in your garden right now

Posted: 12/11/2014 at 18:56

Another really good red clematis is 'Rebecca' - this pic from a couple of years ago:

family fruit trees

Posted: 11/11/2014 at 18:45

I have a family apple and a family pear, both about 5 years old now.  The apple does very well and all 3 varieties crop.  The pear doesn't do so well (pear rust is a constant battle) but pears are much slower growing trees anyway.  It's very important to prune them properly for the first few years (winter pruning to promote strong growth - prune the weakest growing grafted varieties the hardest) and then you can switch to summer pruning to keep them to your preferred shape and dimensions which will also encourage fruiting side shoots (spurs.)

Any sprouts expert in the house? (pic)

Posted: 11/11/2014 at 18:37

If left for the 2 years needed to produce seed, the sprouts themselves may produce flowers as well as the top.  As this is a vegetable which has been bred by humans over centuries, it isn't necessarily the case that the sprouts are of any benefit to the plant whatsoever.  The first brussel sprout plant may well have been a genetic mutant which was then let to go to seed and bred on from those by whoever first discovered it.  That is how most of the vegetable varieties we now grow came into existence.

How to sharpen secateurs

Posted: 10/11/2014 at 19:00

For Felco and similar types:

at the end of the video you'll see links to dozens more similar clips, just in case some sections didn't show enough detail.

What's left for us to grow?

Posted: 10/11/2014 at 18:44

Most plants are poisonous and have naturally evolved to be so.  Humans have specifically bred toxicity out of many, many cultivated plants.  One should assume a plant is poisonous unless the label (or your own research) shows otherwise and you can't really go wrong.  Teach this to your children.  As a gardener who embraces nature I will not stop growing anything just because it might be toxic - to do so would be, well, unnatural!


Posted: 08/11/2014 at 15:07

Remove as much soil as you can but I wouldn't bother washing it off.  Yes, important to ensure they (and any remaining soil) is dry before storing.  Rot needs damp and is the thing most likely to kill a tuber, whether stored or left in the ground.

Transplanting japanese acer

Posted: 08/11/2014 at 14:26

Hi Helen, potted trees can be planted at any time of the year but now is a particularly good time.  Add some fish, blood and bone fertilizer to the planting hole and soil removed from that and mix it in a bit before planting the tree.  It might be worth sprinkling some mycorrhizal fungi (ie Rootgrow) onto the root-ball before planting it into the hole.

Just one thing though: Acers like neutral to acid soil, so if your soil is alkaline (eg if you live in a chalk or limestone area) I would recommend that you just transplant it into a larger pot instead of into the soil where it might suffer.


Posted: 08/11/2014 at 14:16

What Dave suggests can also be done as soon as you want at this time of the year stanley, regardless of whether there has been a frost or not in your area.  All of the ones in my back garden were frosted this week but the ones in the (south-facing) front garden were almost unaffected.


Posted: 05/11/2014 at 19:53

They do well in full sun here (Leicestershire), growing in clay soil.


Posted: 05/11/2014 at 19:48

It will flower next year as foxgloves are biennial, Lulu:



Discussions started by BobTheGardener

Renovate or remove privet hedge?

Replace or cut back hard? 
Replies: 19    Views: 647
Last Post: 20/09/2015 at 13:33


No real rain here for weeks 
Replies: 11    Views: 326
Last Post: 07/06/2015 at 18:41

Little Red Devils (Lily beetles)

They're about now! 
Replies: 1    Views: 367
Last Post: 06/04/2015 at 17:03

Christmas has come early

New trees 
Replies: 9    Views: 961
Last Post: 19/12/2014 at 16:52

Anyone for squirrel crumble?

Thieving rodents 
Replies: 12    Views: 746
Last Post: 27/11/2014 at 21:12

Plant ID quizzes

Have fun identifying plants! 
Replies: 16    Views: 705
Last Post: 14/09/2014 at 13:17

Watering dried-out pots

Tip to help to stop water running straight through 
Replies: 13    Views: 664
Last Post: 28/07/2014 at 12:28

Blackfly - ladybirds to the rescue!

Broad bean tip blackfly infestation 
Replies: 2    Views: 530
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: 456
Last Post: 05/07/2014 at 18:52

Lovely surprise

I went down the garden in the gloom.. 
Replies: 15    Views: 787
Last Post: 18/06/2014 at 14:32

Dragonfly/Darter/Mayfly ID?

Flew into the polytunnel for a while 
Replies: 6    Views: 695
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: 1176
Last Post: 01/06/2014 at 17:42

Deep Down & Dirty: The Science of soil

Replies: 4    Views: 834
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: 1295
Last Post: 22/04/2014 at 10:58

Seed grown Wisteria finally in flower - Hooray!

Planted many years ago 
Replies: 3    Views: 508
Last Post: 15/04/2014 at 12:39
1 to 15 of 29 threads