Latest posts by BobTheGardener

Tubs and containers

Posted: 11/02/2016 at 21:18

For permanent plantings go for a mix of 75% of a John Innes #3 loam-based compost mixed with 25% bagged well-rotted manure.  Alternatively you could look at 1 tonne bags of a good topsoil and a few bags of well-rotted manure.  For very large planters I've used tonne bags of Rolawn veg & fruit topsoil and I've also used Wickes topsoil mixed with their bagged manure with excellent results.

Mystery sprouting bulbs - can they be moved?

Posted: 10/02/2016 at 18:58

Do any of those tall hollow dead stems appear to be coming from where the new leaves are appearing?  If so, you might have something really nice like nerines.

Bug identification!

Posted: 10/02/2016 at 18:50

PS, I agree that the actual damage does look like it has been made by slugs.  My ID was for the tiny insect but it probably isn't that which is causing the damage in the top pic.

Bug identification!

Posted: 10/02/2016 at 18:34

My best guess would be the larva of a thrip of some kind, especially given you are having difficulty eradicating them as they are persistent little s*ds.  I can't give any tips on fighting them as whenever I've had thrip issues the best I managed was limiting their numbers a little.   RHS advice here:


Anyone done any gardening today - Version 2

Posted: 09/02/2016 at 23:34
Steve 309 wrote (see)

Just a bit of weeding and tidying up in the sunshine.  A lily my mum thought had died has some promising-looking buds low down so I've trimmed and repotted it.

Someone told me daylight's getting more by 15min a day at the mo, which sounds optimistic if you ask me.

It's actually about 4 minutes Steve.  Link here showing calculations for London (it varies by latitude, but that's close enough for anyone in the UK):

As a gardener, I welcome the longer days but the astronomer in me hates it!

Garden Pictures 2016

Posted: 08/02/2016 at 23:07

No, this is the new 2016 garden pics thread Hazel.  I just think it's slowed down a bit because the rotten weather over the last few days has stopped folk going ouside with a camera!

Talkback: How to grow dahlias from seed

Posted: 08/02/2016 at 22:47

Yes, C J W P, but dahlias cross-pollinate readily and there is no guarantee that plants grown from the collected seeds will be like the parent plant although there will probably be a resemblance.  This is how new cultivars are created and it is fun seeing what you get.  Any really nice ones can be propagated by taking cuttings which will produce more plants but this time identical.

Lemon Tree Leaves

Posted: 08/02/2016 at 20:46

I think you are overfeeding it Redwing.  While lemon trees are heavy feeders, they need most of it in spring.  I would feed no more than once every couple of months on average and once a month in spring when it is growing strongly.  Water it with rainwater regularly (and never tap water which can be alkaline) but don't add feed to every watering.  During winter you are probably best to only feed it using a citrus winter food in a foliar spray.


Posted: 07/02/2016 at 20:24

The easiest would be to use an organic fertiliser like fish, blood and bone.  Apply at the rate specified on the packet and mix it in to the surface using a hand fork.  This will work fine if the planters contain soil, or a soil-based compost, such as a John Innes number 3.  However, if the planters contain only multi-purpose compost, you would be better advised to consider replacing it with a soil-based compost which would last for many years if treated as above.

Growing from seed for beginners...

Posted: 07/02/2016 at 18:09

One big advantage of growing (especially hardy perennials) from seed is that you can find out what will flourish in the conditions of you own particular garden.  It can be expensive to buy nursery-grown plants and shrubs only to find they struggle or die on you.  At least two thirds of all the perennials in my garden were grown from seed.  I had a lot of failures along the way but those which survive are healthy and perfectly established.

As others mention, growing from seed is exciting and the sense of achievement of watching tiny things you can hardly see turn into beautiful (and sometimes huge) plants, shrubs and trees is very rewarding.  

Discussions started by BobTheGardener

Winter soft fruit pruning

Some things to do now 
Replies: 4    Views: 205
Last Post: 04/02/2017 at 17:52

'Dramatic' music in TV programmes

Increase in noise! 
Replies: 37    Views: 1231
Last Post: 23/11/2016 at 22:23

Autumn foliage photos (2016)

Thought I'd start a thread just for our photos 
Replies: 84    Views: 6288
Last Post: 03/12/2016 at 00:32

Gardener's World about to start now!

Replies: 18    Views: 864
Last Post: 14/07/2016 at 16:55

Cutting ID

I thought these were philadelphus 
Replies: 3    Views: 392
Last Post: 11/07/2016 at 17:34


Hope it finds it's way home 
Replies: 3    Views: 467
Last Post: 26/04/2016 at 18:22

Vine weevils

..ate all of my winter carrots! 
Replies: 8    Views: 1377
Last Post: 01/01/2016 at 22:01

Huge pest problem

Don't think netting will work 
Replies: 10    Views: 1006
Last Post: 19/12/2015 at 21:00

Renovate or remove privet hedge?

Replace or cut back hard? 
Replies: 19    Views: 2186
Last Post: 20/09/2015 at 13:33


No real rain here for weeks 
Replies: 11    Views: 690
Last Post: 07/06/2015 at 18:41

Little Red Devils (Lily beetles)

They're about now! 
Replies: 1    Views: 711
Last Post: 06/04/2015 at 17:03

Christmas has come early

New trees 
Replies: 9    Views: 1335
Last Post: 19/12/2014 at 16:52

Anyone for squirrel crumble?

Thieving rodents 
Replies: 12    Views: 1120
Last Post: 27/11/2014 at 21:12

Plant ID quizzes

Have fun identifying plants! 
Replies: 16    Views: 1166
Last Post: 14/09/2014 at 13:17

Watering dried-out pots

Tip to help to stop water running straight through 
Replies: 13    Views: 1160
Last Post: 28/07/2014 at 12:28
1 to 15 of 37 threads