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Latest posts by BobTheGardener


Posted: 25/08/2013 at 18:28

Monty's isn't doing very well either as he mentioned in Friday's GW programme, so you're not alone!  Mine grows in a flower border and did OK this year, but I grow them more for the foliage and only take half a dozen or so spears from each plant.  They're about 25-30 years old.


Posted: 25/08/2013 at 18:26

Can't see the pic, Ian - try using the little green tree icon to upload.


Posted: 25/08/2013 at 16:45

Could be either, Picksy.  Male cats will often leave scent by spraying prominent plants.  I would make sure you keep them regularly watered for the rest of the year and hope they recover.  The acer sounds as though it dried-out though and may not recover, unfortunately.


Posted: 25/08/2013 at 16:38

It's a Birch shield bug, Emma.


Posted: 25/08/2013 at 16:30

As Dove says, you can prune back any unwanted growth exactly as you wish - you will not harm it.  The only time not to prune is in early spring, when the sap is rising and growth first starts - pruning then could make it bleed to death.  I have one about 60 feet long and have to remove about half of the growth about 3 times over the summer or it gets totally out of control.  In fact it needs doing again now - just took this photo of where it goes over an arch before continuing down the garden:



Posted: 24/08/2013 at 19:28

The worst thing that could happen is any slow-release fertilizer they may contain could become less effective.  However, as none of them contain enough food for more than 6 weeks growth, all you may have to do is start feeding a few weeks earlier than normal.  I have kept bags of multi-purpose compost (which is essentialy the same stuff as in grow bags) in storage for 2 years and had absolutely no problems whatsoever.


Posted: 23/08/2013 at 19:22

Might be partial pollination - the thin section may not have any seeds forming.  A similar thing happens to sweetcorn with some kernels not developing and staying tiny if it didn't get fully fertilized when the silks were catching pollen from the wind.


Posted: 23/08/2013 at 19:13

Peter, yes they do hybridise so you never know what you'll get from saved seed.  Nearly all of this family keep well though - I've even stored courgettes (which grew to marrow size when I missed them) for 3 months before eating them in the Winter.  I have some oddities myself from a few seeds I saved from last year - I think they're a cross between Summer pumpkin and Winter squash, so when I eat them I'll be calling them Autumn squashkins!


Posted: 23/08/2013 at 18:52

I love 'em and have been growing them from seed for years.  I'm always amazed that they can grow up to 8 feet tall from seed in a year - and often flower before saved tubers.  Because of that I don't usually bother to lift and store the tubers - if they survive all well and good, but there's always another 50 ready to replace them each year.  The T&M 'giant hybrids' are my favourite seeds - last couple of years the mix has been dominated  by cactus types though - I prefer the 'normal' flowers.


Posted: 21/08/2013 at 19:37

It's EXIF data as I suspected.  Fix for Apple users:


Discussions started by BobTheGardener

Blackfly - ladybirds to the rescue!

Broad bean tip blackfly infestation 
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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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Dragonfly/Darter/Mayfly ID?

Flew into the polytunnel for a while 
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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 
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Last Post: 15/04/2014 at 12:39


Polytunnel growing 
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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 
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Last Post: 30/06/2014 at 19:57

Cost of bird food

bulk vs supermarket 
Replies: 31    Views: 1276
Last Post: 10/02/2014 at 12:33

Wild Garden (Community Channel)

On Freeview/Sky 
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Last Post: 10/12/2013 at 12:21

Front garden revamp - before and after photos

Redsigning weedy crazy paving 
Replies: 24    Views: 1561
Last Post: 21/10/2013 at 20:16


Flowering in September 
Replies: 7    Views: 599
Last Post: 13/09/2013 at 13:20
1 to 15 of 22 threads