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Latest posts by BobTheGardener

Echinacea purpurea

Posted: 13/06/2013 at 18:57

Will do - as long as we get something resembling a summer, that is!

Unidentified Spider

Posted: 13/06/2013 at 18:50

All spiders are carnivores so don't eat plants.  In my book that makes them good for the garden.

Soap spray

Posted: 12/06/2013 at 22:03

Achieving an environmental balance is not necessarily going to come easy or cheap, and when you create imbalance by growing things under glass, pest infestations are often a consequence.  If you are happy to spend money to overcome the problem, introduce some predators:

There are a number of online suppliers.  One alternative is to spend several hours a day manually removing them (eg squashing and washing off etc) but you can only keep the infestation under control doing this, not eliminate it.  A second alternative is to make your own natural pesticides by extracting natural poisons from plants and spraying them with it.  Oxalic acid from rhubarb leaves, Nicotine from Nicotiana tabacum (the actual tobacco plant), for example.

white mites

Posted: 12/06/2013 at 00:00

The web is almost certainly a sign of spider mite.  These tiny pests can be somewhat controlled by raising the humidity around the plant.  The easiest way is to regularly spray with water (several times a day.)  Standing the plant pot on a tray of wet gravel will help, too.  They love hot dry conditions and are difficult to eradicate completely.  Use a magnifying glass to confirm:

There is a predator mite available called Phytoseiulus persimilis which will eradicate it, but they are expensive.



Posted: 11/06/2013 at 22:33

It could be your new allotment is affected by onion white rot (hopefully not.) Have a look at the RHS description and see if your onions look anything like this:


Talkback: Growing leeks

Posted: 11/06/2013 at 22:26

Hi Leonard, yes, they'll be ok.  Leeks are one of the few veg which can keep growing over the winter - I am often still harvesting them in March.  I've just transplanted mine (which were about the same size as yours) from 40-plant per tray modules into 5cm square pots (15 per tray) and will grow them on like that until I lift the first row of potatoes, which they'll immediately replace.  Even after a week the growth has picked-up noticeably.  As members of the onion family, leeks are very hungry plants and will benefit from being transplanted into larger modules/small pots of fresh compost.

Echinacea purpurea

Posted: 11/06/2013 at 18:55

Yes, but it does have to be a fairly large and deep one.  Just snapped this in my garden - their second year in this 18" tub.  Five plants in all and they only produced one flower each in their first year, but I expect 3-4 times that many this year.


clematis - The President

Posted: 11/06/2013 at 18:39

About 5 years ago my specimen (about 3 or 4 years old then) was also very tall and lanky with just 3 or 4 stems.  I'd say it is particularly prone to getting lanky.  I cut it completely down to the ground in the next early spring and was rewarded by it sending up 11 new stems!  I plan to do exactly the same next spring as it is pretty bare for the first 3 feet this year.  Some say the 'proper' way to do it is to remove about a third of the stems every year, but I find it impossible to remove the cut stems without damaging the ones I want to keep.  Even when cut back to the ground, it still managed a good show, but only one flush of flowers and much later than normal.  Like all of my clematis, it was planted 6" deeper than in the pot it came in, so there's a good root crown.  It might be risky cutting a shallowly planted clematis to the ground.

Back to your question, I think your method should work, BB - it should have the same effect as partially cutting back after flowering which is often recommended.

Wilting Cauliflowers

Posted: 09/06/2013 at 15:59

Caulies are the hardest brassica to grow well in my experience, too.  You definitely have a root-eating pest of some kind.  I would try growing them to a larger size before planting out, then plant them deep - right up to the first leaves - maybe even an inch deeper.  Also make sure you firm the soil really well after planting, then place a collar around the stem (see RHS link below.)

Most pests like acidic conditions so next Winter it might also be worth liming the area where you will be growing them.

RHS advice on cabbage root fly:


Name your favourites - help me fill a trellis

Posted: 09/06/2013 at 15:48

Sorry, I somehow missed the fact that you gave the names your first post (it's what comes of nipping in from gardening for a few minutes for a cup of tea!)  Nevertheless, they are indeed Group 2 so can be treated as I advised.  You would only cut them back to 30cm in their first year, to help develop more stems from the base, unless you were indeed growing them in containers.  Here are your clematis on (the best, in my opinion) clematis site on the web:



Ooh La La:

The first two will reach 1.5-2m, but Ooh La La will reach 1m max, according to the Hull university site above.

As others have said, probably best to consider a mix of climbers if you want the whole trellis covered.  I grow a few Winter-flowering evergreen Clematis Cirrosa "Freckles" which can lightly cover a large area, have small pretty leaves and are easy to control/look after (just cut off any stems growing where you don't want them - simple!)  I grow Group 2's through them.



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15 threads returned