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BobTheGardener


Latest posts by BobTheGardener

Cauliflower

Posted: 06/01/2014 at 19:24

I find cauliflowers to be rather fussy and some years they do really well and others not so.  I've tried that variety but found it's worth paying the extra for F1 varieties, especially if they have an RHS AGM symbol.  My tips are to never let them go short of water (otherwise they usually 'bolt') and to make sure they are planted deep (up to the bottom leaves) in really good moisture-retentive soil.  The little blighters need too much mollycoddling for my liking!

Agapanthus

Posted: 06/01/2014 at 19:13

Hi GG, that's exactly what I do.  I do sow mine as soon as they are ripe so as you are a bit late I would recommend that you sow them now and keep half in the cold GH and half on the kitchen windowsill.  Dry agapanthus seeds don't last well so the sooner you sow them the better in my opinion.

Talkback: Rose rust

Posted: 05/01/2014 at 21:39

As soon as we get a good prolonged frost it will drop its leaves and you should remove all of them, including any still on the bush.  Either burn them or throw in the dustbin.  You should really only prune in spring otherwise the new growth which pruning promotes can be damaged by the frost and lead to more diseases so I'd leave it well alone now until spring.  RHS advice on pruning patio roses here:

http://apps.rhs.org.uk/AdviceSearch/profile.aspx?PID=182

Note the link at the bottom under "Problems" to dealing with rust.

Agapanthus

Posted: 05/01/2014 at 19:21

Hi ruleyo, I would only keep them indoors when it is frosty as they are generally hardy.  In mild winters one of mine (now a mature plant) is evergreen and keeps its leaves over winter even in the border.  I think ones grown from seed have quite a variation in range as to how hardy each individual plant is.  Having said all of that, I don't think they'll come to harm indoors if in a cold room and the smaller ones might even appreciate it given the current wet weather!  Like most plants they don't like both cold and wet so always err on the side of keeping them drier rather than overwatering.

don't waste my time plant!

Posted: 05/01/2014 at 18:18

With you on those, nut - they're invasive here to boot.

Fruit tree as gift - advice please!

Posted: 05/01/2014 at 18:06

You should look for a pot-grown tree which will be quite expensive for something like a 5-year old one in a large pot which would be ideal.  You should never let a bare-root fruit tree produce fruit in the first year or two as it will seriously weaken it and prevent the roots establishing well.  A pot-grown tree will crop in the first year, regardless of whether it is kept in a pot or planted in the ground and is likely to be on dwarfing rootstock so the tree won't grow too large for your folks.  I would look at some of the specialist fruit tree suppliers and give them a ring - most will be happy to give advice and recommendations.

Excess Nitrogen in veg plot soil

Posted: 05/01/2014 at 17:58

I would do as FB suggests.  If really bad (eg a previous owner went crazy with ammonium nitrate) you could mix sawdust with the soil which will take-in nitrogen as it decomposes.  This is exactly the reason you shouldn't normally use fresh sawdust on the garden as it removes nitrogen from the soil.

Apple tree pruning

Posted: 05/01/2014 at 17:51

Hi Tom, I suspect "water shoots" will be your main problem.  As long as you deal with those and the tree doesn't succumb to a bad disease it will probably be OK - they are tough things.  Have a look at this RHS link for how to deal with the water shoots and which diseases to watch for:

http://apps.rhs.org.uk/AdviceSearch/profile.aspx?PID=279

If you keep on top of those things for the next 3 years it should be OK.

don't waste my time plant!

Posted: 05/01/2014 at 17:38

Hi BL, that look a perfect spot for your lavender hedge which looks wonderful!  It just doesn't get enough sun in my garden so has to go unfortunately.  Try growing the h.h. agapanthus from seed - that's what I did and then used the seed those plants produced to grow more - I found them very easy to grow that way and if you keep doing that you will always have a supply of replacement plants should any die in the winter.  Some of those I grew that way turned out to be much hardier than others - natural selection and all that!   I'd recommend growing them for at least 3 years in containers before planting out into borders though.

don't waste my time plant!

Posted: 05/01/2014 at 15:24

Lavenders going this year for me too.  Most montbretia now gone and I'm getting rid of some of the headbourne h agapanthus as they are thugs here too.

Landgirl, if you want to try giving onions one more chance, start the sets in modules in a cold GH or coldframe and plant out when well rooted.  Works for me on my cold clay soil which gave the same results as you had when I planted them direct.

Discussions started by BobTheGardener

Anyone for squirrel crumble?

Thieving rodents 
Replies: 5    Views: 238
Last Post: 25/10/2014 at 22:29

Plant ID quizzes

Have fun identifying plants! 
Replies: 16    Views: 405
Last Post: 14/09/2014 at 13:17

Watering dried-out pots

Tip to help to stop water running straight through 
Replies: 13    Views: 358
Last Post: 28/07/2014 at 12:28

Blackfly - ladybirds to the rescue!

Broad bean tip blackfly infestation 
Replies: 2    Views: 229
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: 205
Last Post: 05/07/2014 at 18:52

Lovely surprise

I went down the garden in the gloom.. 
Replies: 15    Views: 525
Last Post: 18/06/2014 at 14:32

Dragonfly/Darter/Mayfly ID?

Flew into the polytunnel for a while 
Replies: 6    Views: 355
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: 815
Last Post: 01/06/2014 at 17:42

Deep Down & Dirty: The Science of soil

Replies: 4    Views: 452
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: 509
Last Post: 22/04/2014 at 10:58

Seed grown Wisteria finally in flower - Hooray!

Planted many years ago 
Replies: 3    Views: 264
Last Post: 15/04/2014 at 12:39

Oops!

Polytunnel growing 
Replies: 16    Views: 564
Last Post: 16/04/2014 at 19:05

First day of (meteorological) Spring

How id your garden looking 
Replies: 13    Views: 586
Last Post: 03/03/2014 at 20:31

DIY heated propagator

Making one from scratch 
Replies: 48    Views: 4616
Last Post: 30/06/2014 at 19:57

Cost of bird food

bulk vs supermarket 
Replies: 31    Views: 1817
Last Post: 10/02/2014 at 12:33
1 to 15 of 25 threads