London (change)
Today 15°C / 13°C
Tomorrow 16°C / 8°C


Latest posts by BobTheGardener

Dwarf Tulips in Pots

Posted: 30/12/2013 at 17:00

They're a bit advanced due to the mild temperatures we've had so far this winter but will slow down when it gets colder.  Bulbs contain everything they need to flower and you don't need to feed them until after they have flowered.  Doing that builds the bulb up for next year and either of your feeds will be fine.  If you don't plan to keep the bulbs (many treat tulips as annuals these days) then you wouldn't bother to feed them at all. 

Quick Growing Hedge

Posted: 30/12/2013 at 16:54

I'd say about 5 years minimum for most suitable hedging shrubs to form (say) a 1.5m tall hedge and longer before it becomes "solid" or higher.  Privet would certainly take that long.

You could do it a little faster by buying mature plants as KEF says but that would likely cost you more than replacing the fence - large plants don't come cheap and you would need about 5 or 6 to replace each panel to make a hedge of any substance (ie thick enough to keep people/animals out or for privacy.)

Ideas for this hedge to hide house!

Posted: 30/12/2013 at 16:06

Like nutcutlet, I'd plant something much nearer to the office window, perhaps in an island bed in the lawn.  If you choose a range of shrubs which flower at different times of the year and some evergreens, your eye would tend to focus on those rather than the angular house.  I'd also probably plant a few more silver birch next to the large one as I always think they look better in groups;  This would tend to break-up the sharp roofline even in winter.  The one good thing about the house wall is that it accentuates the bark of that silver birch very effectively so you could think of it as a visual asset in some ways (however hard that may seem right now!)  At least there are not many windows in it.

How to tackle completely overgrown garden?

Posted: 30/12/2013 at 00:23


Turned it the right way up for you Georgina.   Looks like you have a lot of potential there (and a lot of hard work) but it will all be worth it!


Peas - Sticks - Canes - Wire Netting

Posted: 29/12/2013 at 17:08

You'll soon be a master of it, Newboy2!  You're doing the right thing by trying lots of crops and will soon find which things work on your allotment and which don't - few sites are suitable growing every type of veg.  A friend of mine can't grow peas for the life of him and he's been trying them for 30 years - I'd have given up long ago!

Peas - Sticks - Canes - Wire Netting

Posted: 29/12/2013 at 16:14

Hi KEF, I use netting mainly for convenience (and usually lack of enough spare sticks/canes!)  I think weeding depends on what weeds you happen to be 'infested' with - two of my beds are fairly weed free now after many years of hoeing but one has creeping buttercup which has to be hand-weeded to keep any kind of control. 'Orrible stuff!

Seed compost

Posted: 29/12/2013 at 15:53

The main difference is that seed compost doesn't contain much nutrient which can be bad for young seedlings.  Having said that I have used sieved MP compost mixed with sharp sand for donkeys years and have had no problems at all growing from seed.  

Peas - Sticks - Canes - Wire Netting

Posted: 29/12/2013 at 15:48

You might want to go for taller posts than 3 foot ones as many peas grow to about 4-5 feet high.  I would use 3 posts for a 14ft long row and remember to drive them in to the ground well - about 18 inches deep so take that into account when deciding the post length - 5 foot long posts would give you a 3 feet 6 inches tall 'wall'.  With peas I dig a shallow 2 inch deep trench next to the bottom of the netting and sow the seeds about 2 inches apart.  I also sow a dozen or so pots (3 seeds to a pot)  to fill any gaps where they don't germinate in the ground (or get eaten by mice etc!)

Peas - Sticks - Canes - Wire Netting

Posted: 29/12/2013 at 14:07

I put a post at each end of the row so make a wall.  If you attach a piece of galvanised garden wire between the top of the two posts, you can tie the netting to that every foot or so which will help to stop it sagging too much in the middle.  I generally use plastic pea/bean netting which is very cheap.

Peas - Sticks - Canes - Wire Netting

Posted: 29/12/2013 at 13:52

Wire or plastic netting stretched between two reasonably strong poles/posts will work (the crop can be very heavy and prone to wind blowing the whole thing over.)

Discussions started by BobTheGardener

Plant ID quizzes

Have fun identifying plants! 
Replies: 16    Views: 368
Last Post: 14/09/2014 at 13:17

Watering dried-out pots

Tip to help to stop water running straight through 
Replies: 13    Views: 333
Last Post: 28/07/2014 at 12:28

Blackfly - ladybirds to the rescue!

Broad bean tip blackfly infestation 
Replies: 2    Views: 191
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: 180
Last Post: 05/07/2014 at 18:52

Lovely surprise

I went down the garden in the gloom.. 
Replies: 15    Views: 499
Last Post: 18/06/2014 at 14:32

Dragonfly/Darter/Mayfly ID?

Flew into the polytunnel for a while 
Replies: 6    Views: 309
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: 672
Last Post: 01/06/2014 at 17:42

Deep Down & Dirty: The Science of soil

Replies: 4    Views: 406
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: 479
Last Post: 22/04/2014 at 10:58

Seed grown Wisteria finally in flower - Hooray!

Planted many years ago 
Replies: 3    Views: 234
Last Post: 15/04/2014 at 12:39


Polytunnel growing 
Replies: 16    Views: 540
Last Post: 16/04/2014 at 19:05

First day of (meteorological) Spring

How id your garden looking 
Replies: 13    Views: 555
Last Post: 03/03/2014 at 20:31

DIY heated propagator

Making one from scratch 
Replies: 48    Views: 4193
Last Post: 30/06/2014 at 19:57

Cost of bird food

bulk vs supermarket 
Replies: 31    Views: 1706
Last Post: 10/02/2014 at 12:33

Wild Garden (Community Channel)

On Freeview/Sky 
Replies: 5    Views: 510
Last Post: 10/12/2013 at 12:21
1 to 15 of 24 threads