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BobTheGardener


Latest posts by BobTheGardener

raised bed building

Posted: 31/01/2014 at 18:43

How long will you make them dj?  Soil is very heavy when wet so you ideally want to drive some 50x50mm (2" x 2") stakes into the ground about every metre along the length and screw the boards to the stakes to prevent them bowing outwards under the weight.

Sue, it's because millimetres are often the standard unit quoted the UK building industry now - whereas we used to buy (say plywood sheets) in standard sizes of 8ft x 4ft, suppliers now size them as 2400x1200mm.  I say we should go back to cubits myself - the majority of us permanently carry two cubit measures around with us - they are very 'handy'!

best-potato-to-grow

Posted: 30/01/2014 at 23:00

Bumped for those talking about potatoes today.

Chitting potatoes- have I got this right?

Posted: 30/01/2014 at 22:56

PS, as to your earlier question regarding frost, it would be risky to put them in a greenhouse with missing panes at the moment.  Better would be in an unheated room of your house by a window.  If you don't have such a place, the greenhouse will have to do but cover them with some garden fleece which will keep the frost off of them.

Chitting potatoes- have I got this right?

Posted: 30/01/2014 at 22:52

Yes, if you can actually see what you are buying then avoid any that already have shoots longer than 1/4" (5mm) as these have been kept in too warm a place.  Also avoid any that are soft or look shrunken or crinkly.  A good seed potato at this time of the year should be firm and have tiny buds in the eyes rather than developed shoots.

Chitting potatoes- have I got this right?

Posted: 30/01/2014 at 19:09

Hi Rachael, you can get seed potatoes online or from garden centres and even places like Wilkinsons.  There is no real need to chit potatoes - trials have shown that while it can give a slightly earlier crop, unchitted potatoes grow perfectly well anyway.

Potatoes don't actually enrich the soil but are said to "help break it up", improving the soil structure.  My thinking on that one is that you dig the soil to plant them, then earth them up as they are growing and finally have another good dig to harvest your crop.  That's a lot of cultivation and probably explains why they "help to break-up the soil"!

 

Raspberries

Posted: 30/01/2014 at 19:00

They do prefer a slightly acid soil Cherry3, so you do need to get that test done.

Have you been feeding them with anything?  Raspberries are quite hungry plants and need something high in phosphates to fruit well.  I would recommend mulching them with 2-3 inches of well rotted farmyard manure in early spring but if that's not available, use fish, blood and bone and a layer of multi-purpose compost as a mulch.

If your soil turns out to be alkaline, you could also try feeding them with an ericaceous feed such as one meant for rhododendrons and azaleas which would also be a good feed for your blueberries.  You'll need to keep using this permanently though as chalky soils will always revert to becoming alkaline over time, even if you dig a big hole and fill it with ericaceous compost!

 

Will apple/fruit trees produce fruit this year if I hard prune this year?

Posted: 30/01/2014 at 18:29

They will still produce fruit on any fruiting spurs or the tips of branches which you haven't pruned off.  The easiest way to tell is to look for buds.  Fat buds will become flowers and thin buds will become leaves.

DIY heated propagator

Posted: 29/01/2014 at 18:17

Hi Alan, I have already bought the soil warming cable and thermostat but progress will have to wait until the weekend as it's dark when I get home from work.

Talkback: Valerian

Posted: 29/01/2014 at 18:14

Just be careful where you let it seed.  If you have any gravel and it gets in there (even if the gravel is on top of membrane) you will never be rid of it!  It also stinks when rotting at the end of the season so best not grown close to entrances.  It is quite nice for what is a rampant weed for me though .

Unproductive fruit trees ?

Posted: 28/01/2014 at 22:02

Try clearing the ground around the base of their trunks so there is open soil (no grass especially) within a metre all round and gently fork-in some well rotted manure or garden compost with added food (eg fish, blood and bone.)  I think they could be a bit starved of food which has been taken by other plants growing too close.  They might be being shaded out a bit by the taller trees surrounding them, too.

Discussions started by BobTheGardener

Christmas has come early

New trees 
Replies: 9    Views: 191
Last Post: 19/12/2014 at 16:52

Anyone for squirrel crumble?

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

Plant ID quizzes

Have fun identifying plants! 
Replies: 16    Views: 439
Last Post: 14/09/2014 at 13:17

Watering dried-out pots

Tip to help to stop water running straight through 
Replies: 13    Views: 377
Last Post: 28/07/2014 at 12:28

Blackfly - ladybirds to the rescue!

Broad bean tip blackfly infestation 
Replies: 2    Views: 246
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: 233
Last Post: 05/07/2014 at 18:52

Lovely surprise

I went down the garden in the gloom.. 
Replies: 15    Views: 549
Last Post: 18/06/2014 at 14:32

Dragonfly/Darter/Mayfly ID?

Flew into the polytunnel for a while 
Replies: 6    Views: 402
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: 861
Last Post: 01/06/2014 at 17:42

Deep Down & Dirty: The Science of soil

Replies: 4    Views: 492
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: 536
Last Post: 22/04/2014 at 10:58

Seed grown Wisteria finally in flower - Hooray!

Planted many years ago 
Replies: 3    Views: 282
Last Post: 15/04/2014 at 12:39

Oops!

Polytunnel growing 
Replies: 16    Views: 581
Last Post: 16/04/2014 at 19:05

First day of (meteorological) Spring

How id your garden looking 
Replies: 13    Views: 609
Last Post: 03/03/2014 at 20:31

DIY heated propagator

Making one from scratch 
Replies: 48    Views: 4949
Last Post: 30/06/2014 at 19:57
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