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Latest posts by BobTheGardener

Newbie with lots of questions

Posted: 21/01/2014 at 18:55

I have a hardy Chilean potato vine growing in a pot and it hasn't lost any leaves so far this winter.  It's a pretty rapid grower and unfussy.  I think it's Solanum crispum 'Glasnevin'.

Cost of bird food

Posted: 21/01/2014 at 18:45

Woo, the birdies are back!

It's been -2C for the last couple of nights and when I looked out for just 2 minutes this morning I saw greenfinches, sparrows, coal tits and a robin, so they do remember where the easy pickings are when it gets a bit nippy!

blueberry and raspberry plant spacing

Posted: 21/01/2014 at 18:36

I've never grown raspberries in pots but others here have and may be able to give better advice.  Personally, I'd think they would need pretty large ones - say 30cm dia.

As for Verdun plunging the pots into the ground, that's probably to help with watering (less required) and to keep frost from getting at the roots I would think.

I need to prune mature apple and pear trees that have not ever been pruned

Posted: 21/01/2014 at 18:17

Yep, sound advice from Dove - do a 1/3rd this year and same for the next 2 winters.  Some watershoots are bound to appear so remove those growing where you don't want them and cut the ones back you do want to keep to about 4 inches (those will turn into fruiting spurs.)  The RHS advice for renovative pruning is very good:



blueberry and raspberry plant spacing

Posted: 20/01/2014 at 23:16

Hi djjjuk, blueberries must have acid soil, so if you aren't sure what you have, get a soil testing kit (which aren't expensive.)  They a need a pH value between 4 and 5.5.

If your soil pH is higher than 5.5, they won't grow well and will probably die if it is alkali (ie the pH higher than 7.)

Raspberries do like a slightly acid soil but won't grow well at the low pH levels blueberries need so you can't really grow them together.

The alternative is to grow your blueberries in large containers using special ericaceous (acid) compost and they do well when grown like that.  You could probably grow at least 6 large pots of blueberries in that space and plant raspberries in the ground behind the pots so you would get the best of both worlds.


Posted: 20/01/2014 at 22:46

Ryan is right - plant immediately.  Even though it's very late, they won't survive if kept dry until autumn.  If you plant them now the likelihood is that some will flower this year but rather late and the rest will just develop leaves this year but will flower normally from next year onwards.

Another tomato question

Posted: 20/01/2014 at 22:40

If the seeds are actually viable (and they may not be) you'll likely get plants which resemble one or other of the parents, Ivyhouse.  It's unlikely any will come true and be the same as the ones you grew last year.  I wouldn't rely on them as your only crop in case the results are disappointing but it's a fun thing to try.


Posted: 20/01/2014 at 18:53

Good luck Marilyn - I'd love to see some photo's if it all works out.

Am I a sillee billee?

Posted: 20/01/2014 at 18:51

I'm one - I ordered a 4m walk-in poly tunnel over the weekend to supplement my 10x6 greenhouse and for growing sweet potatoes in.  Unfortunately I now need to move one of my gooseberry bushes to fit it in!  D'oh!  

Fertilising the Veg Garden

Posted: 20/01/2014 at 18:38

Hi Boingey, I make and use comfrey liquid feed for my tomatoes (in fact for everything which benefits from liquid feeds.)  You do need a bit of room to grow it, but it's easy-peasy.  'Bocking 14' is the one to plant as it won't seed itself everywhere like native comfrey does.  You just fill a bucket with hand crushed comfrey leaves, add water and cover.  After a couple of weeks, remove the rotted leaves and it's ready.  Dilute with water until it looks like weak tea and water away.

Discussions started by BobTheGardener

Anyone for squirrel crumble?

Thieving rodents 
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Last Post: 25/10/2014 at 22:29

Plant ID quizzes

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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Bob's guide to picking soft fruit

Only fto be read by your household's main gardener! 
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Last Post: 05/07/2014 at 18:52

Lovely surprise

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

Dragonfly/Darter/Mayfly ID?

Flew into the polytunnel for a while 
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Last Post: 01/06/2014 at 21:44

A week of rain = jungle garden!

It's been too wet to really do anything outside.. 
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Last Post: 01/06/2014 at 17:42

Deep Down & Dirty: The Science of soil

Replies: 4    Views: 452
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: 507
Last Post: 22/04/2014 at 10:58

Seed grown Wisteria finally in flower - Hooray!

Planted many years ago 
Replies: 3    Views: 264
Last Post: 15/04/2014 at 12:39


Polytunnel growing 
Replies: 16    Views: 564
Last Post: 16/04/2014 at 19:05

First day of (meteorological) Spring

How id your garden looking 
Replies: 13    Views: 584
Last Post: 03/03/2014 at 20:31

DIY heated propagator

Making one from scratch 
Replies: 48    Views: 4610
Last Post: 30/06/2014 at 19:57

Cost of bird food

bulk vs supermarket 
Replies: 31    Views: 1811
Last Post: 10/02/2014 at 12:33
1 to 15 of 25 threads