Latest posts by BobTheGardener

When to prune a Magnolia Grandiflora

Posted: 19/09/2016 at 23:28

Yes, prune it when you see new growth start in spring.  If 8 feet tall is a problem, you probably have the wrong tree for the space, as that is really just a tiddler.  M. Grandilfora will grow to well over 30ft tall and 20+ feet wide so you'll have a job to keep it small but still looking attractive.  Pruned that way it will always be a bit sparse as far as the number of flowers goes because annual pruning will always remove a large proportion of flower-bearing wood.  They can be wall-trained however and then the pruning is done in summer.  Do not prune it between late summer and spring. 

Alicante toms

Posted: 19/09/2016 at 19:07

That's a LOT of fruit for a tomato plant being grown outside!  I think there are too many for them to be able to ripen properly which is likely the problem, now we have seen it.  I can't tell from the photo how many trusses there are but you would normally limit them to 4 or 5 at most when grown outside.  If you have more than that I would remove the extra trusses starting at the top of the plant (you could make green chutney with them) which may give the fruit on the lower trusses a chance to ripen (if we get a bit more nice weather that is.)

pear tree leaf fungus

Posted: 18/09/2016 at 21:51

It's called Pear rust:

Bad year for it.

I have an unidentified climber!!

Posted: 18/09/2016 at 21:49

White Moth vine (Araujia sericifera) aka 'cruel plant', a native of Brazil:

Never heard of one fruiting in the UK - where do you live miketole?

Autumn planting help

Posted: 18/09/2016 at 19:17

I agree with the above comments about preparing the soil instead.  One problem with growing stuff over the winter is that it stops you doing that!  As scroggin said, if you have a small bit of good ground, garlic is another one which can be planted now.

Unidentifiable rampant tree

Posted: 18/09/2016 at 19:08

Aha, Lime trees!  Yep, that's where the honeydew has come from - they're infamous for it!

PS, I've just spotted the lower leaves of the wisteria have notches eaten out of them.  That looks like adult vine weevil damage, so you need to deal with those too before the eggs they will have laid in the soil hatch and the grubs hatch out and eat the roots!  You can get nematodes which you water in to deal with those.

Last edited: 18 September 2016 19:11:12

Unidentifiable rampant tree

Posted: 18/09/2016 at 18:59

Does the black stuff on the wisteria rub off with a damp tissue?  If so, it's probably a black mould which grows on honeydew which is secreted by ahpids and has fallen from foliage above and is common on anything growing underneath trees.  Not really harmful, just unsightly.  Deal with the aphids and the problem will go away but not worth bothering with this year as they will die soon when it gets colder.
Is the wisteria in a pot?  If so, it won't like that at all and needs to be planted in the ground, no matter how poor the soil.

The acer and bay both look as if they've been short of water at some stage - neither of those are at all tolerant of the soil drying out and will be much happier in the ground if you can find somewhere to plant them (both seem to be in pots?)  If they need to stay in pots, put them in larger ones and use a John Innes #1 compost which holds water well and is recommended for potted trees and shrubs.  If you do re-pot them, leave it until growth restarts in the spring.

Hope that helps!

Last edited: 18 September 2016 19:03:51

Weed Flame Wand

Posted: 18/09/2016 at 16:22

The beauty of these devices is that they'll destroy any seeds too, which is particularly useful for weeds growing in the cracks of paving etc.

Unidentifiable rampant tree

Posted: 18/09/2016 at 16:18

Viv, post photos and we will do our best in identifying the cause of the problems with your other shrubs & trees!

Last edited: 18 September 2016 16:19:05

late chilli plants

Posted: 18/09/2016 at 14:43

Superb, Pete - I'll definitely be trying that variety next year!  Where did you get the seeds from?

Discussions started by BobTheGardener

Some kind of mint?

Replies: 4    Views: 190
Last Post: 27/08/2017 at 19:16

Accidental greengage

Wrong variety but happy 
Replies: 4    Views: 195
Last Post: 29/07/2017 at 16:32


Seems hedgehogs are breeding in my garden 
Replies: 11    Views: 348
Last Post: 09/07/2017 at 21:28

New greenhouse

Building greenhouse from start to fruition 
Replies: 12    Views: 354
Last Post: 09/07/2017 at 16:13

Border design by Spanish bluebells

Random plantings 
Replies: 1    Views: 260
Last Post: 14/05/2017 at 14:32

Unknown bird

Came home this evening to find this 
Replies: 4    Views: 412
Last Post: 10/05/2017 at 20:19

Garden photos April

By month so folk can see what is in bloom for reference purposes. 
Replies: 1    Views: 253
Last Post: 02/04/2017 at 20:01

Winter soft fruit pruning

Some things to do now 
Replies: 4    Views: 355
Last Post: 04/02/2017 at 17:52

'Dramatic' music in TV programmes

Increase in noise! 
Replies: 37    Views: 1655
Last Post: 23/11/2016 at 22:23

Autumn foliage photos (2016)

Thought I'd start a thread just for our photos 
Replies: 69    Views: 7632
Last Post: 03/12/2016 at 00:32

Gardener's World about to start now!

Replies: 16    Views: 1060
Last Post: 14/07/2016 at 16:55

Cutting ID

I thought these were philadelphus 
Replies: 3    Views: 558
Last Post: 11/07/2016 at 17:34


Hope it finds it's way home 
Replies: 3    Views: 631
Last Post: 26/04/2016 at 18:22

Vine weevils

..ate all of my winter carrots! 
Replies: 8    Views: 1571
Last Post: 01/01/2016 at 22:01

Huge pest problem

Don't think netting will work 
Replies: 10    Views: 1241
Last Post: 19/12/2015 at 21:00
1 to 15 of 44 threads