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Latest posts by BobTheGardener

Strong shoots from blueberry bush

Posted: 22/09/2014 at 22:36

How old and what size are these bushes Rachel?  If they are only a year or two old, it sounds like they have just established properly and you want to encourage strong shoots like these.  The idea is to continually replace the oldest shoots with new ones;  You should prune out some of the oldest stems in February and new stems like these should appear to replace them.  Here is the RHS guide to growing blueberries:


Invasive Dodder Weed

Posted: 21/09/2014 at 17:02

You have done enough Flowerpot Man.  Dodder doesn't infect plants like a disease does, it just attaches itself and sucks the sap.



Posted: 21/09/2014 at 15:45

In that case shazzab, you can just cover the old turf with the new topsoil - the old grass will die and actually improve the soil when it rots down.

Football season - 2014

Posted: 21/09/2014 at 15:42

Well, the Foxes just beat ManU 5-3 after being 1-3 down!  Couldn't be happier!


Posted: 21/09/2014 at 14:32

There are a couple of problems doing that.  Because of the slope you will need to remove some of the old turf where it meets the new section anyway, otherwise you can't make a level join.  Personally, I'd remove all of the old turf which will make levelling the whole area much, much easier.  The other problem is that the new turf may not match the old turf (eg a different combination of grass species) and the join may always stay visible and start to annoy you in the future.  If you do remove the old turf and stack it grass side down somewhere out of the way for a few months, you will create some rather nice soil for use on your borders or for potting etc. 

Beans for drying- now what?

Posted: 21/09/2014 at 13:31

Nope, fine in reflected daylight but I wouldn't store any kind of stored food (dried or not) in direct sunlight indoors, with the exception of squashes for ripening.


Beans for drying- now what?

Posted: 21/09/2014 at 12:33

My Borlotti beans have done very well this year - better than the runners.  Many are now dry on the plants and I'll soon harvest the lot.  They will then go on a teatray and be left in the conservatory until completely dry after which into jars with a few mm of salt at the bottom (which helps keep them dry.)  They look great in the kitchen - almost seems like a shame to use them!

Beans for drying- now what?

Posted: 21/09/2014 at 12:21

Hi Bekkie, in general all dried beans should be soaked for 24h before being used in cooking.  There are exceptions (eg dishes which are slow-cooked for several hours which gives the beans time to absorb liquid) but soak first and you can't go wrong. 

How to beat this weed?

Posted: 21/09/2014 at 12:17

As Dove said, a closer photo would help but the large leaved ones look very much like Foxgloves (a wild flower) to me which are biennial (ie they take 2 years to flower, then die) and will send up a tall flower spike next year;  I would keep those:

Foxglove seeds will be in the soil and can last for decades so will probably keep coming back forever - if you don't want them, just dig them up when you see them appear.

I think you also have brambles (smaller serrated leaved ones with spiky stems) and those are rather invasive so should be dug up, removing all of the roots if you can:

If you don't want any of these plants, dig the area over.  If you don't plant anything else and leave bare soil, weeds will constantly keep appearing, so either plant things you want in the area, or you'll just have to be prepared to keep weeding it.

It's my birthday

Posted: 20/09/2014 at 17:43

Happy birthday Lily and belated ones to anyone I've missed recently - been a bit too busy to keep up!

Discussions started by BobTheGardener

Renovate or remove privet hedge?

Replace or cut back hard? 
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No real rain here for weeks 
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Little Red Devils (Lily beetles)

They're about now! 
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Christmas has come early

New trees 
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Thieving rodents 
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Have fun identifying plants! 
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Last Post: 14/09/2014 at 13:17

Watering dried-out pots

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

Blackfly - ladybirds to the rescue!

Broad bean tip blackfly infestation 
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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: 434
Last Post: 05/07/2014 at 18:52

Lovely surprise

I went down the garden in the gloom.. 
Replies: 15    Views: 758
Last Post: 18/06/2014 at 14:32

Dragonfly/Darter/Mayfly ID?

Flew into the polytunnel for a while 
Replies: 6    Views: 669
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: 1147
Last Post: 01/06/2014 at 17:42

Deep Down & Dirty: The Science of soil

Replies: 4    Views: 781
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: 1224
Last Post: 22/04/2014 at 10:58

Seed grown Wisteria finally in flower - Hooray!

Planted many years ago 
Replies: 3    Views: 471
Last Post: 15/04/2014 at 12:39
1 to 15 of 29 threads