London (change)
Today °C / °C
Tomorrow °C / °C

BobTheGardener


Latest posts by BobTheGardener

Talkback: How to force rhubarb

Posted: 28/11/2013 at 21:26

Any type of 'forcing' will weaken a crown.  The only reason to do it is to get an earlier crop at the expense of using up the stored energy in the crown.  I was originally done in areas where they grew thousands of crowns so they could use a proportion for forcing each year (to extend the season - ie for making money!) which, when exhausted, would be replanted and left to grow for a few years to build-up the crown again while being cropped normally.  Unless you have several rhubarb plants growing I think forcing is a waste of time for the home gardener.

HELLO FORKERS!

Posted: 28/11/2013 at 19:06

Hope Clueless is getting better.  What's happened to FairyGirl?  Not seen any posts from her for a while..

ORNAMENTAL APPLE TREE

Posted: 28/11/2013 at 18:47

Hi Nadger, Yes that is young and it is important to prune it properly in the early years to help it form a good shape.  Prune it when completely dormant - if it still has any leaves on, leave it for a while - I usually do mine in January/February, but never during a prolonged hard frost.  For both ornamental and edible apples, the pruning is the same when they are young.  Cut each branch back by about a third to half, to a bud facing in the direction you want it to grow (usually that's an outward facing one.)

Branches which are pruned will have stronger growth next year than any which you don't prune, so although it seems illogical, if the tree is growing weakly on one side, prune that side harder.

Here's the RHS advice on pruning young apples:

http://apps.rhs.org.uk/AdviceSearch/profile.aspx?PID=164

and the diagrams here may help:

http://www.gardenaction.co.uk/fruit_veg_diary/fruit_veg_mini_project_september_2d_apple.asp

 

 

If you could invent something...

Posted: 27/11/2013 at 23:09

Great idea, Dove - I'll sign-up for a tardis-shed right now!

How about trowels and secateurs which emit a beep when you click a remote on your key-ring so you can find them in the garden?  I spend ages looking for mine after leaving them somewhere after getting distracted! 

Peppers

Posted: 27/11/2013 at 22:54

Hi David, while you can overwinter peppers, they do need to be kept warmer than in an unheated greenhouse.  I've done it by keeping them in a back room of the house where it never dropped below about 15C but I wouldn't say it was really worth it as ones grown from seed actually did better that year.  Due to the cold Spring this year, there wasn't really a long enough warm period to successfully grow peppers outdoors - they need quite a long season.  To be sure of a crop in the uk we really need to grow them in a greenhouse although it's fine to take them out into the open during the height of the Summer.

When do I plant lily of the valley

Posted: 27/11/2013 at 19:31

Isn't that the truth - sometimes I think they do it just to tease us!

When do I plant lily of the valley

Posted: 27/11/2013 at 18:23

As nut says, they're very hardy but can be temperamental.  Some folk have real trouble getting them to establish while for others they become invasive.  Doesn't seem to be much middle ground!

Daffodils suitable for heavy soil

Posted: 26/11/2013 at 19:25

Hi Lewis,  I garden on heavy clay and think the display will look fine next Spring.  The tulips probably won't come back very well the year after but the daffodils will probably love it.  Some of the crocus types will do well, others may flag in subsequent years.  Some large red or yellow tulips might repeat well depending on type, but I have to treat most of the fancy ones as annuals.  Species tulips are a lot more tolerant:

http://www.gardenersworld.com/plants/features/wildlife/growing-species-tulips/1119.html

 

Freesias

Posted: 26/11/2013 at 18:41

I think it's down to the size/quality of the bulbs - if they're nice and fat you should be OK.  Mine looked a bit on the small side to be fair - will buy them from somewhere else next time!

ORNAMENTAL APPLE TREE

Posted: 26/11/2013 at 18:39

How old is the tree?

Discussions started by BobTheGardener

Plant ID quizzes

Have fun identifying plants! 
Replies: 16    Views: 272
Last Post: 14/09/2014 at 13:17

Watering dried-out pots

Tip to help to stop water running straight through 
Replies: 13    Views: 294
Last Post: 28/07/2014 at 12:28

Blackfly - ladybirds to the rescue!

Broad bean tip blackfly infestation 
Replies: 2    Views: 157
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: 143
Last Post: 05/07/2014 at 18:52

Lovely surprise

I went down the garden in the gloom.. 
Replies: 15    Views: 456
Last Post: 18/06/2014 at 14:32

Dragonfly/Darter/Mayfly ID?

Flew into the polytunnel for a while 
Replies: 6    Views: 266
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: 510
Last Post: 01/06/2014 at 17:42

Deep Down & Dirty: The Science of soil

Replies: 4    Views: 347
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: 423
Last Post: 22/04/2014 at 10:58

Seed grown Wisteria finally in flower - Hooray!

Planted many years ago 
Replies: 3    Views: 205
Last Post: 15/04/2014 at 12:39

Oops!

Polytunnel growing 
Replies: 16    Views: 505
Last Post: 16/04/2014 at 19:05

First day of (meteorological) Spring

How id your garden looking 
Replies: 13    Views: 513
Last Post: 03/03/2014 at 20:31

DIY heated propagator

Making one from scratch 
Replies: 48    Views: 3712
Last Post: 30/06/2014 at 19:57

Cost of bird food

bulk vs supermarket 
Replies: 31    Views: 1532
Last Post: 10/02/2014 at 12:33

Wild Garden (Community Channel)

On Freeview/Sky 
Replies: 5    Views: 470
Last Post: 10/12/2013 at 12:21
1 to 15 of 24 threads