Latest posts by BobTheGardener

problem with apple tree

Posted: 19/06/2015 at 19:29

Almost certainly wooley aphid.  All you need to do is rub it off using a stiff brush (eg a nail brush.)  The apples will be fine.

Hydrangea Scale protection

Posted: 19/06/2015 at 19:23

Only a systemic insecticide would prevent them but that would also poison any visiting bees so not something I would do or recommend.  Infestations only occur when adult scale is already present but goes unnoticed.  When their eggs hatch young scale insect nymphs run all over the plant before settling.  If you stay vigilent and rub-off any adult scales that you see it is unlikely you will get another infestation.

Growing Tomatoes Up String

Posted: 19/06/2015 at 19:12

The softer the better David.  I've used the course threaded stuff and find both that and artificial fibres can cut into the stem as the fruit gets heavier which produces damage that can lead to fungal infections.

Ants eggs?

Posted: 19/06/2015 at 18:59

They look like empty shells of ants eggs to me - probably clearing them out of the nest.  Normally, a regular soaking of the pot will get rid of ants but I'm not sure the orchid would like that too much.  I would re-pot the orchid and shake off all of the soil/ants nest in the process.

My Strawberries are all being eaten

Posted: 19/06/2015 at 18:54

As said, likely blackbirds but it could also be squirrels.  Netting works against the birds but if they still disappear it's squirrels I'm afraid and they will scoff the lot no matter what defences you put in place (I speak from experience!) 

Cucumber feeding

Posted: 17/06/2015 at 18:49

Yes, too much feed and you'll do more harm than good florafanatic.  I only feed cucs and tomatoes once a fortnight myself.

I had a young apple

Posted: 16/06/2015 at 23:08

Where are you David?  Apricots don't grow well in most of the UK, especially in open positions - they usually need a sheltered spot such as by a south-facing wall.  Sanjy is right about not letting grass grow near the trunk - a circle of about a metre diameter should be kept clear of grass and weeds as those compete for the nutrients that the tree needs.

Ground cover plants?

Posted: 16/06/2015 at 19:21

Not particularly fast growing but Heuchera are pretty tough, need no real maintenance and come in an incredible number of colours these days.  Evergreen too.  If you grow them fairly close together they will suppress any weed growth.

The problem with most fast-growing ground cover is that it rarely stays where you want it and often becomes a thug if you don't keep it in check (which is, of course, the maintenance you are trying to avoid!)

Talkback: How to improve your soil

Posted: 16/06/2015 at 18:40

If you can't get any well-rotted farmyard manure locally, the bagged stuff from garden centres etc is very good these days.  I've been using the Westlands for a while now with great results.

Strange male courgette flower parts

Posted: 15/06/2015 at 22:33

The courgette fruit (in fact any fruit) only grows when the seeds inside have been fertilized (pollinated.)  If that doesn't happen, the fruit shrivels and drops off so the plant can save it's energy to form seeds in the next female flower.  From a plant's point of view (if there was such a thing!) it's only aim is to reproduce itself and that means producing fertile seeds. 

Discussions started by BobTheGardener


Hope it finds it's way home 
Replies: 3    Views: 301
Last Post: 26/04/2016 at 18:22

Vine weevils

..ate all of my winter carrots! 
Replies: 8    Views: 1108
Last Post: 01/01/2016 at 22:01

Huge pest problem

Don't think netting will work 
Replies: 10    Views: 743
Last Post: 19/12/2015 at 21:00

Renovate or remove privet hedge?

Replace or cut back hard? 
Replies: 19    Views: 1388
Last Post: 20/09/2015 at 13:33


No real rain here for weeks 
Replies: 11    Views: 556
Last Post: 07/06/2015 at 18:41

Little Red Devils (Lily beetles)

They're about now! 
Replies: 1    Views: 580
Last Post: 06/04/2015 at 17:03

Christmas has come early

New trees 
Replies: 9    Views: 1180
Last Post: 19/12/2014 at 16:52

Anyone for squirrel crumble?

Thieving rodents 
Replies: 12    Views: 978
Last Post: 27/11/2014 at 21:12

Plant ID quizzes

Have fun identifying plants! 
Replies: 16    Views: 963
Last Post: 14/09/2014 at 13:17

Watering dried-out pots

Tip to help to stop water running straight through 
Replies: 13    Views: 905
Last Post: 28/07/2014 at 12:28

Blackfly - ladybirds to the rescue!

Broad bean tip blackfly infestation 
Replies: 2    Views: 795
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: 656
Last Post: 05/07/2014 at 18:52

Lovely surprise

I went down the garden in the gloom.. 
Replies: 15    Views: 1071
Last Post: 18/06/2014 at 14:32

Dragonfly/Darter/Mayfly ID?

Flew into the polytunnel for a while 
Replies: 6    Views: 944
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: 1432
Last Post: 01/06/2014 at 17:42
1 to 15 of 32 threads