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Latest posts by BobTheGardener

Butternut Squash

Posted: 29/05/2013 at 18:43

The larger the tub the better - they need huge amounts of water once they get going.  I'd say at least anything less than 40cm diameter would be too small.

Dwarf Pear Tree

Posted: 28/05/2013 at 21:41

When this season is over and it becomes dormant, try treating it with a Winter tree wash (Vitax do one, for example.)  This should kill any over-wintering pests and their eggs.  Hopefully it will then be free of the problem next year.  Trying that (in my opinion) is safer than spraying insecticides which may effect bees, other beneficial insects, or even you if the chemicals also end up in the fruit.

Pesky mushrooms...

Posted: 28/05/2013 at 21:17

Fungi are one of the few things that can break down cellulose (woody matter), releasing nutrients which plants can use and are an essential part of the cycle of life, so are actually improving your compost!  Like nutcutlet says, they aren't generally harmful to plants (although Honey fungus is indeed one of the exceptions) so pick the fruiting bodies off if you find them unsightly, but the fungus itself  is growing within the compost and there are no chemicals available to gardeners for eradication (not that it would be of any benefit.)  You can sometimes see it as as thin white sheets or strands (known as mycelia), even in sterilised bagged compost.

Advice re: building a wire trellis for wisteria

Posted: 28/05/2013 at 20:13

You can put a turnbuckle at one end of each wire.  They are used to tension the wire and are useful if you can't get it tight enough by hand (which can by tricky/dangerous if you are up a ladder!)  However, if you use several vine eyes along each wire to help support the weight of the wisteria (which will be considerably increased when it is wet and windy), a turnbuckle is not strictly necessary. Personally, I'd drill holes and use rawlplugs, putting in a vine eye every metre or so.  Make sure you buy long vine eyes so that there is room for the vine to grow in between the wall and the wire.

Even if you find it doesn't flower, you could grow a clematis through it to provide colour.  Many varieties of clematis will grow happily on a North-facing wall:


Advice re: building a wire trellis for wisteria

Posted: 28/05/2013 at 13:20

Horizontal wires will be enough, you don't need trellis as such.  Does this help?:

Come back with any questions you may have.

Talkback: Growing pears

Posted: 27/05/2013 at 15:20

Yes, katiebee, provided it is in flower at the same time as the cultivated tree.

Plant ID please

Posted: 27/05/2013 at 13:13

It's Herb Robert (Geranium robertianum), a wild cranesbill:

Many (like me) consider it a weed, but some grow it on purpose.  It's easy to pull-up but seeds itself everywhere, so it will be back even if you want to remove it!



Compost for runner beans and sweet peas in a pot

Posted: 27/05/2013 at 11:24

Runners are hungry plants, so see if you can buy some composted manure (most garden centres will have it.)  They also act as a sail in the wind, so tie the top of the canes to something solid nearby (if you can) to prevent them blowing over.  The deeper the pot the better.

sweet pea - are mine annual or perennial?

Posted: 27/05/2013 at 11:18

Spencer are annuals.  Once they die off at the end of the year, you can leave the dead stems for a while and they will turn brittle like straw, making them easier to pull away from the things they have grown through.  They will look untidy for a while though.  If you try and remove them while they are still green, it could be a bit of a job as the stems are quite tough, a little like string. 


Posted: 27/05/2013 at 10:05

Today I'm planting out about 60 brassicas which are now at the 5 leaf stage (2 types of calabrese, brussels and Primo cabbage.)  Also have to find a way to fix my wheelbarrow which broke on Saturday, while I was moving a tonne of topsoil.  One of the handles broke off at the base.  Will probably have to fork out for a new one and turn the old one into a herb planter.

I reckon I'm also going to have to plant the toms into the greenhouse, regardless that it's still getting pretty cold at night.  They're in the conservatory at the moment and most of them have open flowers.  I've already had to pot them on into 5" pots as it is, even though I didn't sow them until Good Friday (Mar 29), a month later than usual.  It's been a very challenging year for cold glasshouse growing (well, gardening in general!)

Discussions started by BobTheGardener

Seed grown Wisteria finally in flower - Hooray!

Planted many years ago 
Replies: 3    Views: 77
Last Post: 15/04/2014 at 12:39


Polytunnel growing 
Replies: 16    Views: 323
Last Post: 16/04/2014 at 19:05

First day of (meteorological) Spring

How id your garden looking 
Replies: 13    Views: 368
Last Post: 03/03/2014 at 20:31

DIY heated propagator

Making one from scratch 
Replies: 57    Views: 2142
Last Post: 11/02/2014 at 11:06

Cost of bird food

bulk vs supermarket 
Replies: 31    Views: 887
Last Post: 10/02/2014 at 12:33

Wild Garden (Community Channel)

On Freeview/Sky 
Replies: 5    Views: 321
Last Post: 10/12/2013 at 12:21

Front garden revamp - before and after photos

Redsigning weedy crazy paving 
Replies: 24    Views: 1282
Last Post: 21/10/2013 at 20:16


Flowering in September 
Replies: 7    Views: 460
Last Post: 13/09/2013 at 13:20


The sparrows have had a good breeding season 
Replies: 15    Views: 562
Last Post: 07/10/2013 at 09:26


Replies: 4    Views: 319
Last Post: 10/08/2013 at 11:31

ID trumpet flower

Replies: 8    Views: 412
Last Post: 18/06/2013 at 11:41

Bee spotting

Have you seen any bees yet? 
Replies: 61    Views: 2006
Last Post: 11/04/2013 at 18:55

New deliveries

Tree and shrub planting 
Replies: 4    Views: 373
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