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Latest posts by BobTheGardener

Chillis not yet ripe but it's winter?

Posted: 24/10/2013 at 19:42

James, when that happens to me I leave them on the plant and put them on the brightest indoor windowsill I can find.  I've had chillies turning ripe at Christmas - I put a bit of tinsel on the plants and they looked really festive!  Chillies are perennial and as long as the temperature doesn't fall below about 6-8C and they don't get too much water (causes fungal problems) they can keep going indoors almost indefinitely. 

Green water feature

Posted: 24/10/2013 at 19:13

Hi Dizzy, if it receives a lot of sunlight, try growing things around it which overhang and will give it shade.  The green is algae and the more sunlight it gets the worse it becomes.  Also never use tap water to top it up as that contains a lot of nitrates which encourages algae to grow more.  A bunch of barley tied together with string is often reported to help clear it up (this can be bought from GCs these days), but unless you want to keep replacing the barley, shade is likely a better long-term solution.


Posted: 24/10/2013 at 18:55

All organic here Verd.  I have half a bag of miracle grow crystals and half a box of growmore pellets which are about 20 years old - if I ever use them, it will be to sprinkle them in small amounts on the compost heap to help break down cardboard etc, but only if I ever have trouble with my (ahem) 'organic sprinkler', if you know what I mean!  


Posted: 23/10/2013 at 21:46

Some are for the new planters and some for established borders, Verdun.  A few of the more exciting (to me) ones are:

Ceanothus 'Autumnal Blue'

Chaenomeles 'Crimson and Gold'

Corydalis 'Purple Leaf'

Dierama 'Merlin' (the white one was o/s)

Dicenta spectabilis

Myrtus 'Tarentina'

Viburnum 'Eve Price'


Posted: 23/10/2013 at 20:43

Hi Verd, just want to say thanks for the tip about woottens.  I ordered about 20 plants at approx. 1am on Monday and they arrived this morning at 9am - now that's what I call service!  Nice big plants in big pots - much better than I've been used to - and extremely well packed with those biodegradable 'cheesey wotsits' that are now mixed into the compost heap.  

honey fungus

Posted: 21/10/2013 at 23:46

Any dead trunks left in the ground are the ideal home for HF and it's from this base that it sends out rhizomorphs ('bootlaces') which, when they come into contact with living roots, infect other plants.  If you place your woodpile on bricks etc so that the wood isn't in contact with the ground, any HF in the wood will die as the wood dries out.  I wouldn't worry about infecting things via garden tools - it's not like a virus or bacteria and doesn't spread by contact.  The specialist sites say that even the spores of the fruiting bodies have negligable effect in spreading the fungus - it's the rhizomorphs which cause the damage.


Posted: 21/10/2013 at 19:12

Hi all,

Verdun - I had a look at Woottens and got carried away - some great stuff there and many at half price due to the time of year I expect.    Looks like I may have to build another cold frame to overwinter some of them now though!

Must have natives?

Posted: 21/10/2013 at 19:04

Also don't forget Sweet Rocket which also comes in a white form (Hesperis matronalis alba)  as well as the usual pink.  The scent is heavenly.

Front garden revamp - before and after photos

Posted: 21/10/2013 at 18:41

Dolgarrog, the two new beds took two 'jumbo' (1000 litre) bags to fill with about half a bag left over which I used to top-up the large bed.  The one by the door is 180cm long x 60cm wide x 60cm deep - that's 648,000 cubic cm which equals 648 litres. 

With square beds it's easy: Length x Width x Height (all in cm) then divide by 1000 to get litres.   As FG said, it takes more soil than you realise to fill raised beds!

Verdun, the almond is an excellent idea!

Statues OR Ornaments

Posted: 20/10/2013 at 20:26

Zoomer, I know exactly what you mean - I was always followed around the garden by a furry 'nuisance' in days past.  Pepper, Marmalade, Startle, Sneaky, Bubbly, Toast, Tigger and Muffin are all laid to rest in my garden.  Each one has a special shrub growing where they were each buried so I'm constanty reminded.  The OH won't let me have another cat as she's developed allergies but if another stray needs a home, I'd find it very difficult to refuse a new 'little helper'.

Discussions started by BobTheGardener

Watering dried-out pots

Tip to help to stop water running straight through 
Replies: 13    Views: 271
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! 
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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

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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: 385
Last Post: 22/04/2014 at 10:58

Seed grown Wisteria finally in flower - Hooray!

Planted many years ago 
Replies: 3    Views: 190
Last Post: 15/04/2014 at 12:39


Polytunnel growing 
Replies: 16    Views: 485
Last Post: 16/04/2014 at 19:05

First day of (meteorological) Spring

How id your garden looking 
Replies: 13    Views: 494
Last Post: 03/03/2014 at 20:31

DIY heated propagator

Making one from scratch 
Replies: 48    Views: 3429
Last Post: 30/06/2014 at 19:57

Cost of bird food

bulk vs supermarket 
Replies: 31    Views: 1411
Last Post: 10/02/2014 at 12:33

Wild Garden (Community Channel)

On Freeview/Sky 
Replies: 5    Views: 451
Last Post: 10/12/2013 at 12:21

Front garden revamp - before and after photos

Redsigning weedy crazy paving 
Replies: 24    Views: 1609
Last Post: 21/10/2013 at 20:16
1 to 15 of 23 threads