London (change)
Today 17°C / 16°C
Tomorrow 18°C / 13°C


Latest posts by BobTheGardener

Pulled My Spuds - Wash or Dry ?

Posted: 12/09/2014 at 15:01

Just leave them to dry for a few hours and then store them in a paper or hessian sack somewhere cool, dry and preferably dark or at least shaded from direct sunlight.  Check every week and remove any which show signs of mould.  Don't wash them as this will shorten their storage life!

unknowns plants

Posted: 12/09/2014 at 14:57

Clematis need deep soil and are hungry and thirsty plants, Tony.  Is there a good depth of soil where it is planted?  It will need soil at least a foot deep and if that isn't the case, I'd recommend moving it to elsewhere in your garden.  You can buy specialist clematis feed at garden centres or sprinkle fish, blood and bone around the base in early spring. 

Some chrysanth's are very late flowerers but there is still time left. However, there are a lot of types and some need special treatment and are rather fussy.  If they don't flower this year then they may be a type which need mollycoddling - see here:


Black fly and Ants on My Bean Stem

Posted: 12/09/2014 at 14:47

Yes, ants do 'farm' aphids;  They move young ones to new growth and protect them from attack!  When aphids suck the sap of plants, there is too much sugar for them to digest and they get rid of it as 'honeydew', which the ants feed on.  It is a symbiotic relationship.  Interesting read here:


Drainage for Plant Box

Posted: 12/09/2014 at 14:17

I suggest drilling holes in the bottom of the box and standing it on something which will raise it about an inch or so above the concrete.  The only problem might be dirty water running out over the concrete, but if you line the bottom of the box with a layer of porous weed membrane, that should act as a dirt filter.

unknowns plants

Posted: 12/09/2014 at 14:08

The first one looks like a chrysanthemum which should be coming into flower about now, if it is.  2nd looks like a not-very-healthy clematis and the last is a fuchsia.  None of them need cutting back at this time but cut chrysanthemums back to the ground in winter and prune the fuchsia quite hard in early spring, back to emerging buds.  Young clematis should be cur back to about 30cm high regardless of the pruning group in early spring.

Hawthorn hedge

Posted: 12/09/2014 at 13:59

I think that's the answer as Orchard Ermine (Yponomeuta padella) moths do feed on hawthorn and I can see what look like caterpillar droppings when the pics are seen full size.


Can someone please identify the problem with this conifer & what to do?

Posted: 11/09/2014 at 21:46

Unfortunately, conifers don't sprout new growth from main trunks or branches.  That section is dead as a dodo and won't recover, but you may be able to save the rest by cutting it out promptly, otherwise it might continue to die back to the roots (if it hasn't already.)

The conifers either side in the hedge will grow from the ends of their branches and will hopefully cover the gap in time.  Nature abhors a vacuum!

Talkback: How to fit an automatic greenhouse vent opener

Posted: 11/09/2014 at 21:06

I can tell you how I adjusted mine:  At night when the temperature was low, I turned the adjustment so that the window was only just closed.  I found this allowed it to open to the maximum (about 8 inches) on a hot day.

Hot thread

Posted: 11/09/2014 at 20:54

The original 'Cosmos' was presented by the late Carl Sagan and this is the version you want to watch.  The series was later re-made but although more up do date scientifically, isn't a patch on the original which was truly awe inspiring thanks to Sagan's wonderful presentation skills.

Can someone please identify the problem with this conifer & what to do?

Posted: 11/09/2014 at 20:49

It looks like dieback, possibly from a fungal disease.  I think all you can do is delve inside, cut the dead section out (try to cut a few inches lower than the dead section)and hope the other parts grow to cover the hole.  It looks like a conifer hedge?

Discussions started by BobTheGardener

Renovate or remove privet hedge?

Replace or cut back hard? 
Replies: 19    Views: 493
Last Post: 20/09/2015 at 13:33


No real rain here for weeks 
Replies: 11    Views: 290
Last Post: 07/06/2015 at 18:41

Little Red Devils (Lily beetles)

They're about now! 
Replies: 1    Views: 319
Last Post: 06/04/2015 at 17:03

Christmas has come early

New trees 
Replies: 9    Views: 921
Last Post: 19/12/2014 at 16:52

Anyone for squirrel crumble?

Thieving rodents 
Replies: 12    Views: 703
Last Post: 27/11/2014 at 21:12

Plant ID quizzes

Have fun identifying plants! 
Replies: 16    Views: 652
Last Post: 14/09/2014 at 13:17

Watering dried-out pots

Tip to help to stop water running straight through 
Replies: 13    Views: 624
Last Post: 28/07/2014 at 12:28

Blackfly - ladybirds to the rescue!

Broad bean tip blackfly infestation 
Replies: 2    Views: 491
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: 428
Last Post: 05/07/2014 at 18:52

Lovely surprise

I went down the garden in the gloom.. 
Replies: 15    Views: 751
Last Post: 18/06/2014 at 14:32

Dragonfly/Darter/Mayfly ID?

Flew into the polytunnel for a while 
Replies: 6    Views: 662
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: 1135
Last Post: 01/06/2014 at 17:42

Deep Down & Dirty: The Science of soil

Replies: 4    Views: 770
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: 1214
Last Post: 22/04/2014 at 10:58

Seed grown Wisteria finally in flower - Hooray!

Planted many years ago 
Replies: 3    Views: 464
Last Post: 15/04/2014 at 12:39
1 to 15 of 29 threads