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Latest posts by BobTheGardener

neighbours fence

Posted: 01/06/2013 at 14:42

What you can do, even if the neighbours don't want you growing things on their fence or you don't want to ask, is erect a free-standing trellis right up against it and grow things up that.  A trellis looks much better than a bare fence in winter when your climbers have gone to sleep, too.  It's very easy to do - just drive in a 6 foot long 2" x 2" stake every 6 feet and use 6 foot long trellis panels (or expanding trellis packs), screwing it to the stakes.  Treat it with a fence treatment before planting and you won't have to maintain it for at least 5 years.

Problem Plants

Posted: 30/05/2013 at 23:40

I'm pretty sure the dahlia damage is slugs/snails as I think you already suspect.  The dogwood might be the same, but could also be caterpillar damage - have a good look and see if you can find any leaves which have been folded and/or stuck together with what looks like a small amount of cotton wool - that's how many caterpillars make little protective homes.  The fuchsia looks as though it has been affected by the cold but should recover.  The agapanthus could be the same - some are more susceptible to cold than others, but also worth checking for vine weevils with those two.  There are several diseases of laurel which cause brown spots, but they usually recover.  I would remove the worst affected leaves though.

Pesky mushrooms...

Posted: 30/05/2013 at 23:21

Definitely don't risk eating them!  Fungi are terribly difficult to identify accurately and even experts are extremely wary.  Any chance of uploading a photo?  I'd love to see what you have.

Advise please

Posted: 30/05/2013 at 20:53

One thing most herbs love is well-drained soil.  What type of soil do you have in the garden?  I have clay which doesn't really suit them, so I grow my herbs in raised beds which works wonderfully well.

Annoying Miracle-Gro advert

Posted: 30/05/2013 at 19:36

I use internet explorer 9 and don't see adverts like that as I have added both adblock and tracking protection, which is built-in to IE9.  See this Microsoft page:

The best advert blocker and tracking protections lists are by 'fanboy' from New Zealand, in my opinion.  Google "fanboy adblock tpl" to find it.  Then click on each "Add tpl" and follow the simple instructions.  They can easily be undone by using Tools, Manage Add-ons,Tracking Protection.

Moving tomatoes outside

Posted: 30/05/2013 at 19:04

Good advice from Busy-Lizzie about hardening them off.  Given the cold, wet weather, you need to give them a bit of protection when putting them outside, too.  The trick is to try and keep the rain off and protect from wind.  If you can fashion something out of canes and clear plastic sheet (ie put the plastic sheet up 2 sides of 4 canes and a flap over the top, you will have a much better chnace of them cropping.


Posted: 30/05/2013 at 00:30

Pigeons or other birds would be my guess.  The birds aren't really bothered whether the fruit is fully ripe or not.  Try netting the bushes.  Ants don't eat plants - the leaves probably have some aphids which exude a sweet liquid that the ants feed upon.

Bulb sizes?

Posted: 30/05/2013 at 00:18

It's the circumference of the widest part of the bulb in centimetres.  To get the diameter of a circle, you divide the circumference by Pi (roughly 3.)  That makes a 14/16 bulb about 5cm (2") in diameter.

Where is the buzz of busy bees?

Posted: 29/05/2013 at 18:50

It is worrying.  I hand pollinated all my fruit trees this year just in case and can see young fruit now developing.  Luckily they are all on dwarfing rootstock so I can reach the flowers!  In parts of South West China, they have to hand-pollinate all of their full size fruit trees as over use of pesticides and destruction of habitat killed all of the wild bees several years ago.

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.

Discussions started by BobTheGardener

Seed grown Wisteria finally in flower - Hooray!

Planted many years ago 
Replies: 3    Views: 80
Last Post: 15/04/2014 at 12:39


Polytunnel growing 
Replies: 16    Views: 325
Last Post: 16/04/2014 at 19:05

First day of (meteorological) Spring

How id your garden looking 
Replies: 13    Views: 372
Last Post: 03/03/2014 at 20:31

DIY heated propagator

Making one from scratch 
Replies: 57    Views: 2163
Last Post: 11/02/2014 at 11:06

Cost of bird food

bulk vs supermarket 
Replies: 31    Views: 897
Last Post: 10/02/2014 at 12:33

Wild Garden (Community Channel)

On Freeview/Sky 
Replies: 5    Views: 322
Last Post: 10/12/2013 at 12:21

Front garden revamp - before and after photos

Redsigning weedy crazy paving 
Replies: 24    Views: 1291
Last Post: 21/10/2013 at 20:16


Flowering in September 
Replies: 7    Views: 462
Last Post: 13/09/2013 at 13:20


The sparrows have had a good breeding season 
Replies: 15    Views: 567
Last Post: 07/10/2013 at 09:26


Replies: 4    Views: 322
Last Post: 10/08/2013 at 11:31

ID trumpet flower

Replies: 8    Views: 414
Last Post: 18/06/2013 at 11:41

Bee spotting

Have you seen any bees yet? 
Replies: 61    Views: 2010
Last Post: 11/04/2013 at 18:55

New deliveries

Tree and shrub planting 
Replies: 4    Views: 375
Last Post: 16/02/2013 at 19:01

Flower ID

Pink flowered perennial 
Replies: 4    Views: 692
Last Post: 10/07/2012 at 16:52

Oh no, lily beetles are back!

More of warning than a plea for help.. 
Replies: 28    Views: 6870
Last Post: Yesterday at 14:28
15 threads returned