London (change)
Today 15°C / 11°C
Tomorrow 15°C / 12°C

BobTheGardener


Latest posts by BobTheGardener

Fruit tree as gift - advice please!

Posted: 05/01/2014 at 18:06

You should look for a pot-grown tree which will be quite expensive for something like a 5-year old one in a large pot which would be ideal.  You should never let a bare-root fruit tree produce fruit in the first year or two as it will seriously weaken it and prevent the roots establishing well.  A pot-grown tree will crop in the first year, regardless of whether it is kept in a pot or planted in the ground and is likely to be on dwarfing rootstock so the tree won't grow too large for your folks.  I would look at some of the specialist fruit tree suppliers and give them a ring - most will be happy to give advice and recommendations.

Excess Nitrogen in veg plot soil

Posted: 05/01/2014 at 17:58

I would do as FB suggests.  If really bad (eg a previous owner went crazy with ammonium nitrate) you could mix sawdust with the soil which will take-in nitrogen as it decomposes.  This is exactly the reason you shouldn't normally use fresh sawdust on the garden as it removes nitrogen from the soil.

Apple tree pruning

Posted: 05/01/2014 at 17:51

Hi Tom, I suspect "water shoots" will be your main problem.  As long as you deal with those and the tree doesn't succumb to a bad disease it will probably be OK - they are tough things.  Have a look at this RHS link for how to deal with the water shoots and which diseases to watch for:

http://apps.rhs.org.uk/AdviceSearch/profile.aspx?PID=279

If you keep on top of those things for the next 3 years it should be OK.

don't waste my time plant!

Posted: 05/01/2014 at 17:38

Hi BL, that look a perfect spot for your lavender hedge which looks wonderful!  It just doesn't get enough sun in my garden so has to go unfortunately.  Try growing the h.h. agapanthus from seed - that's what I did and then used the seed those plants produced to grow more - I found them very easy to grow that way and if you keep doing that you will always have a supply of replacement plants should any die in the winter.  Some of those I grew that way turned out to be much hardier than others - natural selection and all that!   I'd recommend growing them for at least 3 years in containers before planting out into borders though.

don't waste my time plant!

Posted: 05/01/2014 at 15:24

Lavenders going this year for me too.  Most montbretia now gone and I'm getting rid of some of the headbourne h agapanthus as they are thugs here too.

Landgirl, if you want to try giving onions one more chance, start the sets in modules in a cold GH or coldframe and plant out when well rooted.  Works for me on my cold clay soil which gave the same results as you had when I planted them direct.

Bird feeders

Posted: 05/01/2014 at 15:02

Me too Chicky.  I feed all the year round but only have sparrows, a couple of robins and blackbird at the moment (well, magpies, woodpigeons, collared doves and crows but I don't really count those!)

 

Fertilising the Veg Garden

Posted: 05/01/2014 at 14:35

Thanks E - it helps.  I agree with Verdun 's advice which gives a good general overview.  Root veg don't really do well in containers so that may be half of your problem.  Try and select varieties which are bred for container growing - often called 'mini veg'.  For carrots, these would be a 'stump rooted' variety as containers generally don't have the necessary depth for standard varieties, so suggest your raised beds for those.  I would also suggest buying the best compost you can afford - a John Innes number 2 type would be good, or mix your own using bagged topsoil mixed with a good general multi-purpose compost and adding a little fish, blood and bone (don't over-do that though!)  Doing that would provide more long-term nutrition than just using MP compost which generally has enough fertiliser to last for 6 weeks.  Later in the season use your weak general liquid feed, much of which can be absorbed via the leaves, so wet those when watering it in.  Little and often is the best way to use liquid types - those based on seaweed are good.  Also use as large/deep containers as you can. If it helps, my root veg grown in the soil didn't do very well last year either although I usually have a great crop, so perhaps it was just a bad year for some crops - the cold, slow start to the year being mainly to blame I think.

Fertilising the Veg Garden

Posted: 05/01/2014 at 14:05

Enchantica, can we assume you are growing in containers?

Where do I find the cheapest butterfly netting online (in UK)?

Posted: 04/01/2014 at 19:19

Agreed, anything around 60p per square metre is good value.

More importantly Anna, you need to check delivery information as many gardening suppliers in the UK won't take online EU orders or delivery to the EU may be expensive or not available.  Google "butterfly netting UK" and go straight to the delivery information link on each site.  You may find your choice very limited unfortunately.

HELLO FORKERS!

Posted: 01/01/2014 at 00:00

Happy New Year everyone!

Discussions started by BobTheGardener

Plant ID quizzes

Have fun identifying plants! 
Replies: 16    Views: 372
Last Post: 14/09/2014 at 13:17

Watering dried-out pots

Tip to help to stop water running straight through 
Replies: 13    Views: 337
Last Post: 28/07/2014 at 12:28

Blackfly - ladybirds to the rescue!

Broad bean tip blackfly infestation 
Replies: 2    Views: 194
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: 182
Last Post: 05/07/2014 at 18:52

Lovely surprise

I went down the garden in the gloom.. 
Replies: 15    Views: 501
Last Post: 18/06/2014 at 14:32

Dragonfly/Darter/Mayfly ID?

Flew into the polytunnel for a while 
Replies: 6    Views: 312
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: 692
Last Post: 01/06/2014 at 17:42

Deep Down & Dirty: The Science of soil

Replies: 4    Views: 412
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: 484
Last Post: 22/04/2014 at 10:58

Seed grown Wisteria finally in flower - Hooray!

Planted many years ago 
Replies: 3    Views: 245
Last Post: 15/04/2014 at 12:39

Oops!

Polytunnel growing 
Replies: 16    Views: 541
Last Post: 16/04/2014 at 19:05

First day of (meteorological) Spring

How id your garden looking 
Replies: 13    Views: 557
Last Post: 03/03/2014 at 20:31

DIY heated propagator

Making one from scratch 
Replies: 48    Views: 4221
Last Post: 30/06/2014 at 19:57

Cost of bird food

bulk vs supermarket 
Replies: 31    Views: 1714
Last Post: 10/02/2014 at 12:33

Wild Garden (Community Channel)

On Freeview/Sky 
Replies: 5    Views: 513
Last Post: 10/12/2013 at 12:21
1 to 15 of 24 threads