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BobTheGardener


Latest posts by BobTheGardener

Clay soil improver

Posted: 08/02/2014 at 22:32

Any bulky organic matter like this will help in the long term but anything uncomposted like wood chippings will deplete the nitrogen levels in the soil (as nitrogen is taken in as they decompose), so plants will not grow very well for a year or so if you dig it in fresh.  Much better to compost the chippings first, adding as much green matter as you can lay your hands on to provide the nitrogen required for them to decompose.  You can also add other high-nitrate sources such as urine or high-nitrate fertiliser as a compost accelerator.

I think raised beds are an excellent solution for a clay slope though and you can use them to terrace the slope, making it a much more useful area to grow things in.

Chinese redbud trees

Posted: 08/02/2014 at 18:05

I think you'll be ok with some formative pruning while they're young but probably best to leave them to it once that is done and would lay-off with the MG.  Yes, they do seem a bit finicky - I don't normally grow things which are picky but got carried away when I was plant shopping and think they must have, erm, "accidentally fallen into the basket"!

Cost of bird food

Posted: 08/02/2014 at 17:15

Hooray, the goldfinches have turned up after going awol for a few weeks. 

They are so colourful when the garden is looking a bit drab.  The feeders are starting to be emptied much quicker now than over the last few weeks too.

No Aconites yet

Posted: 08/02/2014 at 17:05

Hopefully they will appear.  Being woodland plants they do need shade in the Summer to emulate tree foliage and stop them drying out.  I didn't provide that the first time I grew them and only one came up the next year.

HEATED PROPOGATOR

Posted: 08/02/2014 at 15:37

It looks like a Sankey Growarm 300 Propagator Kit. If so, that is definitely capillary matting.   Nice bit of kit with the temperature control.

DIY heated propagator

Posted: 08/02/2014 at 13:16

 

 

 

Hi David, as promised, here are photos of the lid.

The underside has a couple of battens to locate it properly and stop it sliding off:

http://s4.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/37193.jpg?width=288&height=350&mode=max

Lid in place:

http://s4.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/37194.jpg?width=288&height=350&mode=max

I also discovered that the cheap (£3.50 from Wilko) windowsill propagators fit perfectly - more by luck than judgement though! :

http://s4.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/37195.jpg?width=288&height=350&mode=max

The small module trays in those are ideal for small batches of seeds, so I'll definitely be using them this way for my toms, peppers etc.

Greenhouse help

Posted: 08/02/2014 at 12:07

John, if whatever you choose has an optional aluminium base, I strongly suggest you spend the extra to get it.  They add a lot of rigidity which helps prevent the frame warping over time if the ground/paving/brick below settles which is a big cause of cracked panes.  I'd also go for the safety glass, especially if you have very young or old folk about, or if you might ever decide to move it in the future.  Horticultural glass is a nightmare to remove after a few years as it becomes brittle and panes often break into large and extremely sharp pieces. 

Beetroot Problems

Posted: 08/02/2014 at 11:50

A few years ago I left a tray of 3" tall beetroot seedlings, sown in modules, laying on an unused part of a veg bed for a few weeks as there was no room for them.  A few weeks later I found they had rooted into the soil below and they went on to produce usable roots.  I don't know if that tells us anything other than neglect isn't necessarily a bad thing!

Gardener come.....

Posted: 08/02/2014 at 10:55

I always wanted to be an astronomer and found Patrick Moore an inspiration, RIP.  Unfortunately I was rather immature in my youth (and perhaps still am!) and discovered motorcycles, alcohol and the opposite sex (not necessarily in that order!) when I should have been concentrating on my A levels.  I caught up later on my education but was already in a job by then and never had the courage (or any encouragement) to jack the job in and go back to university to study the subject.  Still, I do now have telescopes and an observatory in my garden and with over 40,000 amateur astronomers in the UK it's a thriving community, as is the gardening one I love so much.

Backfilling hole for laying lawn

Posted: 08/02/2014 at 01:38

I'm finding it difficult to visualise exactly what you mean from the description.  Can you upload a photo?  If you mean the whole area is 2m x 2m x 32cm deep but you only want to buy 10-15cm of topsoil, then one option is to put 15-20cm of ballast, gravel, sharp sand or similar free-draining cheap 'filler' material down to provide drainage then a layer of topsoil to the required level on top.

Discussions started by BobTheGardener

Christmas has come early

New trees 
Replies: 9    Views: 481
Last Post: 19/12/2014 at 16:52

Anyone for squirrel crumble?

Thieving rodents 
Replies: 12    Views: 520
Last Post: 27/11/2014 at 21:12

Plant ID quizzes

Have fun identifying plants! 
Replies: 16    Views: 462
Last Post: 14/09/2014 at 13:17

Watering dried-out pots

Tip to help to stop water running straight through 
Replies: 13    Views: 398
Last Post: 28/07/2014 at 12:28

Blackfly - ladybirds to the rescue!

Broad bean tip blackfly infestation 
Replies: 2    Views: 272
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: 258
Last Post: 05/07/2014 at 18:52

Lovely surprise

I went down the garden in the gloom.. 
Replies: 15    Views: 568
Last Post: 18/06/2014 at 14:32

Dragonfly/Darter/Mayfly ID?

Flew into the polytunnel for a while 
Replies: 6    Views: 431
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: 906
Last Post: 01/06/2014 at 17:42

Deep Down & Dirty: The Science of soil

Replies: 4    Views: 524
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: 564
Last Post: 22/04/2014 at 10:58

Seed grown Wisteria finally in flower - Hooray!

Planted many years ago 
Replies: 3    Views: 304
Last Post: 15/04/2014 at 12:39

Oops!

Polytunnel growing 
Replies: 16    Views: 604
Last Post: 16/04/2014 at 19:05

First day of (meteorological) Spring

How id your garden looking 
Replies: 13    Views: 642
Last Post: 03/03/2014 at 20:31

DIY heated propagator

Making one from scratch 
Replies: 48    Views: 5837
Last Post: 30/06/2014 at 19:57
1 to 15 of 26 threads