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Latest posts by BobTheGardener

fuschia cuttings

Posted: 07/06/2013 at 21:47

Hi nikki, I bought a set of 3 'hardy' fuchsias a few years ago, one of which was Delta's sarah.  In my garden (e.mids), they all die down completely over winter but sprout new shoots from about where the main stem and soil meet and need all of the previous year's (dead and brittle) growth cutting off when these shoots appear.  I don't honestly think they can be described as hardy in my location, but they may do better in pots if overwintered in a greenhouse.

best kind of bird feeder?

Posted: 07/06/2013 at 00:47

They will come Jess.  The first year I put my feeders up, there weren't many takers, mainly the resident sparrows which live in a hawthorne hedge (actually my favourite birds!)  The year after, I got greenfinches too plus a couple of coal tits.  Each year it seems one or two new species.  This year I've seen all of those plus bullfinches, goldfinches (stunning - I'd never seen one up close before), great tits and blue tits.  I've 3 feeders - one with mixed seed, one with a black sunflower/niger seed mix and the third with sunflower hearts.  The latter gets emptied at least twice as fast as the others!  I also have a bird table which gets a general mix plus fruit for the blackbirds and mealworm for the robins.  There's the cut-off bottom of an old copper hot water cylinder nearby which I keep full of fresh water - I'm sure that helps too.

Oh, I forgot, pigeons hoovering up beneath of course!

Oh no, lily beetles are back!

Posted: 06/06/2013 at 21:54

KEF, lily beetle eggs are also bright red and very small (less than 1mm), usually layed in clusters.  You need to check beneath every leaf, especially the lowest ones.  Once they hatch they start eating the leaves and cover themselves with their own dung to hide themselves.  They are an invader from overseas and have no natural predators in the UK.

Ericaceous Compost Recommendations

Posted: 06/06/2013 at 19:59

Because they will be in their pots for many years, choose big pots and mix the ericaceous compost with John Innes No 3, which is intended for permanent plantings.  I mixed mine 50-50 and the acid loving berries I grow (including blueberries) seem to be doing well in that mix.  Remember to only water them with rainwater as tap water often contains lime (which they hate) and will neutralise the acid effect of the ericaceous compost over time.

Black spots on pear tree leaf?

Posted: 06/06/2013 at 00:58

Hi Art, It might be blister mite which causes red spots which turn black.  There are no organic or chemical controls for most pear tree leaf problems, so treatment is extremely easy and cheap as there is none!  It's recommended to remove affected leaves though.  The good news is that the fruit crop shouldn't be affected.

A little green area in two months?

Posted: 05/06/2013 at 20:05

Hi Saru, how about some salad crops?  You can get multi-coloured salad leaves, lettuce, radishes etc and they are fast growing.  They can look quite attractive plus you get to eat the results!

Planting out Salvias

Posted: 05/06/2013 at 18:50

I would get them planted. Harden them off by putting outside during the day and bringing back inside at night for a few days beforehand though.

Winkle weeded

Posted: 05/06/2013 at 18:46

I've never heard of a hoe called that - possibly a brand name?  As is often the case in gardening, local names for things vary massively!

Have a look at the links below to see if you can spot the type:

There are at least 50 types of hoe!  My favourite is a stirrup hoe.


Meconopsis delight

Posted: 03/06/2013 at 22:04

Well onr gurbian, it's no mean feat to grow meconopsis from seed and keep them alive long enough to flower!  I think I'll try one more time..

Summer has arrived

Posted: 03/06/2013 at 21:59

Artjack & Andy, whatever you do, don't look at the heuchera selection at unless you want to make yourself very poor very quickly!

Discussions started by BobTheGardener

Seed grown Wisteria finally in flower - Hooray!

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The sparrows have had a good breeding season 
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Last Post: 10/08/2013 at 11:31

ID trumpet flower

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Last Post: 18/06/2013 at 11:41

Bee spotting

Have you seen any bees yet? 
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Last Post: 11/04/2013 at 18:55

New deliveries

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Last Post: 16/02/2013 at 19:01

Flower ID

Pink flowered perennial 
Replies: 4    Views: 691
Last Post: 10/07/2012 at 16:52

Oh no, lily beetles are back!

More of warning than a plea for help.. 
Replies: 21    Views: 6583
Last Post: Yesterday at 22:14
15 threads returned