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BobTheGardener


Latest posts by BobTheGardener

honey fungus

Posted: 06/09/2013 at 18:36

My commiserations, LondonColin.  There are several species of Armillaria and some are far more damaging than others - sounds like you have a nasty.  All I'll say is that there is something called Armillatox and if you use it to clean the moss from any paths or patios etc around the affected areas, any accidental overspill into the soil might have a surprising effect.  Do think about the negative effects on wildlife and natural soil organisms before you slosh anything like this soap-based patio cleaner around though.

No fruit showing on Butternut Squash in polytunnel

Posted: 06/09/2013 at 18:20

Ging, some of the acorn-shaped winter squashes stay green even when ripe - but taste exactly the same as the classic butternut shaped ones.  If they are butternut-shaped then they're not yet ripe as Italophile says.  Unless they're from saved seed in which case all bets are off - not sure what colour or shape an acorn/butternut cross would likely be!

what to grow next year

Posted: 05/09/2013 at 19:32

Sandra, those are both fairly tricky veg to grow well.  Sweetcorn needs a good Summer in the UK and cucumbers (at least greenhouse types) are prone to a number of pests and diseases and need a lot of tlc.  I would look for F1 seeds that have been specifically bred to be grown in the UK.  These cost more but it's generally worth it. I had good results with sweetcorn 'Lark' a few years ago and cucumber 'Carmen' cropped well in the GH (but the seeds were over £1 each and only 2 of the 4 germinated!)

Are there any other veg you really like?  I'm not saying you shouldn't try sweetcorn and cucumbers - everyone has to learn by actually trying things - but there are lots of easier things to grow as well - don't want you having a 3rd disappointing year!

Tomatoes

Posted: 05/09/2013 at 19:13

Cheers bigolob.  I think I'll try a few extra varieties of mid-size ones that I haven't tried before next year as an experiment too.  I expect going for heirloom varieties would likely be the best bet for good flavour.  Italiophile - do you have any recommendations?

Clematis "Dr. Ruppel"

Posted: 04/09/2013 at 19:10

Hi Jan, you're doing everything right but they do take a couple of years to get going.  Prune it in late February to early March:  Starting at each growth tip, follow it back until you find a pair of strong buds and prune it just above them.  If any of the stems have outgrown their alloted space, prune back to a lower pair of buds, but bear in mind that the flowers will come from those buds.  Also remove any weak or obviously dead growth at this time.  I give them a handful of bonemeal immediately after pruning mixed into in a mulch of compost.  Start feeding with clematis feed (or tomato feed) in late Spring.  Your soil pH is perfect.

Starting from Scratch - Shrubs Recommendations

Posted: 03/09/2013 at 23:49

Japanese acers like Bloodgood will give a nice bit of red colour, are slow growing and pretty much maintenance-free.  They like a bit of shade as long as they don't get early morning sun (so avoid an east-facing aspect.)

decorative peppers

Posted: 03/09/2013 at 23:42

Hi shellly, those type are meant to be grown as houseplants, so any windowsill where it will get plenty of light and not too cold (above 10C) will be fine.  Cut down on watering over the Winter and only water it if the compost is very dry (stick a finger about an inch down in the compost and if it feels at all damp it doesn't need any water.)   All peppers are perennial if they get the right conditions.

climber

Posted: 03/09/2013 at 22:33

I have a Jasmine Stephanese - the buds are quite red until they open to pink - does it look like this video of one?:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uDLoB6XkRi8

If so, they can take as hard a pruning as is necessary but it will take 2-3 years before it starts flowering again, unless you can manage to keep some of the old wood.

Blue Berries

Posted: 03/09/2013 at 19:03

Hi Barney, are you trying them in the ground, or pots?  They need acid conditions and if your soil isn't acidic by nature, it is often a waste of time to try changing it.  If in pots, you need to use ericaceous compost and must never let them go dry (so use large pots, at least 50cm diameter) as well as feeding them regularly with an ericaceous liquid feed.  Fussy things.

What's been eating my shrubs?

Posted: 02/09/2013 at 23:12

It is a liquid which you dilute.  There is information about neonicotinoids like these at the Soil Association site:

http://www.soilassociation.org/wildlife/bees/householdpesticides

These chemicals are taken up by the plants and can end up in the nectar and pollen.  While I'm yet to be convinced about the effects on bees (and us of course, if we use these chemicals on fruit & veg which the instructions say not to do), I would sooner play safe than sorry.  The nematodes are safe for use on food crops and cost only a tiny bit more than the Provado.

Discussions started by BobTheGardener

Blackfly - ladybirds to the rescue!

Broad bean tip blackfly infestation 
Replies: 2    Views: 98
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 
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Last Post: 22/04/2014 at 10:58

Seed grown Wisteria finally in flower - Hooray!

Planted many years ago 
Replies: 3    Views: 171
Last Post: 15/04/2014 at 12:39

Oops!

Polytunnel growing 
Replies: 16    Views: 466
Last Post: 16/04/2014 at 19:05

First day of (meteorological) Spring

How id your garden looking 
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Last Post: 03/03/2014 at 20:31

DIY heated propagator

Making one from scratch 
Replies: 48    Views: 3182
Last Post: 30/06/2014 at 19:57

Cost of bird food

bulk vs supermarket 
Replies: 31    Views: 1275
Last Post: 10/02/2014 at 12:33

Wild Garden (Community Channel)

On Freeview/Sky 
Replies: 5    Views: 426
Last Post: 10/12/2013 at 12:21

Front garden revamp - before and after photos

Redsigning weedy crazy paving 
Replies: 24    Views: 1560
Last Post: 21/10/2013 at 20:16

Bilberry

Flowering in September 
Replies: 7    Views: 598
Last Post: 13/09/2013 at 13:20
1 to 15 of 22 threads