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BobTheGardener


Latest posts by BobTheGardener

Talkback: How to plant bulbs

Posted: 19/09/2013 at 19:20

You want twice the depth of soil above the bub as the bulb is tall.  That is, if a daff bulb is 5cm tall, dig a hole 15cm deep and place the bulb at the bottom which will then have 10cm of soil above it when you fill the hole in.

storage during winter veg and fruits

Posted: 19/09/2013 at 19:16

Potatoes and onions can be kept in hessian or paper sacks and stored in a dark, cool but frost-free place for several months. Carrots and parsnips can be stored in a bucket of damp (but not wet) sand, but are perhaps best left in the ground until needed.  Other things like calabrese, peas, beans etc should be picked at their best, blanched (see below) and frozen.  I usually 'open freeze' them and then place in plastic bags once they are hard which prevents them all sticking together in one lump.

Blanching means to drop into a large pan of boiling water for about 2 minutes and then taken out and immediately plunged into a large bowl/pan of iced water.

Plant id please

Posted: 19/09/2013 at 19:04

Yes, you should be able to.  It will (hopefully) form long seed pods if the flowers have been pollinated.  When the lowest pods turn brownish and start opening by themselves you can snip them off and keep them in a paper bag or envelope etc.  The seeds are very, very small and I find it difficult to sow them evenly.  Best sown in-situ as they don't transplant well in my experience, but if you want to try sow in small pots or modules and plant-out the whole thing rather than trying to separate seedlings.

Plant id please

Posted: 19/09/2013 at 18:55

Hi 4thPanda, it's night scented stock, Matthiola longipetala.  Easily confirm by the strong evening fragrance.  Not all that much to look at, but one of the most powerful scents there is.   I love it!

Alternative lawns

Posted: 18/09/2013 at 21:59

Depends on device & browser, nut.  Pressing enter makes them active in anything.

Alternative lawns

Posted: 18/09/2013 at 21:49

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-22846419

You just need to remember that you must press Enter when pasting links, Sara

fruit border help/advice needed

Posted: 16/09/2013 at 23:50

I would agree that going for early cropping varieties of whichever fruit trees you decide on is a good idea as it will give them more time to ripen in the shady conditions.  Most fruit trees can be trained to have a long trunk with a 'lollipop' or larger head simply by progressively pruning the lower branches off almost flush with the trunk while it is young.  Remove a third of the leader each Winter just above a strong shoot which will turn into a new leader.  Winter pruning will make pruned branches grow more strongly in the Spring.  Once the tree has reached the maximum height you want, you can Summer prune the leader each year which will restrict its growth.  Trees trained this way are sometimes called 'minarette' or 'columnar' fruit trees.

As it happens I have bought a few (normal type) trees from the company waterbutts mentioned and have been pleased - large, well-grown young trees which were very well packed for delivery.  Whoever you decide to buy from, give them a ring, explain what you are trying to achieve and ask them which rootstock they would recommend for the variety you are after to achieve the height you want - any good supplier will be happy to help.

 

honey fungus

Posted: 16/09/2013 at 23:17

Sorry, I mis-read and missed the bit about it not being in your garden.  Annoying as there's a lot less you can do about it if your neighbour is just going to let things (literally) rot!  One thing which might help is to keep the soil cultivated next to the hedge, effectively creating a barrier between the tree and your garden.  Digging will break any rhizomorphs which radiate out from the tree and try to cross the strip.  The rhizomorphs can't live when disconnected from the main fungal body.  From the pdf you can see that sandy soil inhibits rhizomorph growth whereas peaty soil promotes it so if you dig plenty of sharp sand into the strip it will do two things: keep it easy to regularly dig-over and also help to restrict the spread of the tendrils.  You can probably find annuals which can thrive in the sandy soil of such a protective strip.  Good luck and I hope you don't lose your fruit trees and bushes.

honey fungus

Posted: 16/09/2013 at 18:55

If you have the tree (including roots) removed, this may help.  Honey Fungus requires a home/base of dead wood to grow from.  If this 'home' is rotten wood within your old cherry tree, complete removal of the tree and roots followed by cultivation of the soil in the area might well rid you of the problem.  If the infected roots aren't removed as well as the tree, it could remain a problem for many years.  You might find this fact sheet (pdf) useful:

http://www.gov.gg/CHttpHandler.ashx?id=4797&p=0

 

Planting Potatoes

Posted: 13/09/2013 at 23:45

The only way to have home-grown potatoes most of the year is to grow all of the types above but many more maincrop than the rest.  Store the maincrop ones in sacks in a cool dark place.  By doing this I manage to not have to buy potatoes for about 10 months on average but haven't quite made a full year.

Discussions started by BobTheGardener

Watering dried-out pots

Tip to help to stop water running straight through 
Replies: 13    Views: 271
Last Post: 28/07/2014 at 12:28

Blackfly - ladybirds to the rescue!

Broad bean tip blackfly infestation 
Replies: 2    Views: 130
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.. 
Replies: 15    Views: 431
Last Post: 18/06/2014 at 14:32

Dragonfly/Darter/Mayfly ID?

Flew into the polytunnel for a while 
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Last Post: 01/06/2014 at 21:44

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

Replies: 4    Views: 319
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: 387
Last Post: 22/04/2014 at 10:58

Seed grown Wisteria finally in flower - Hooray!

Planted many years ago 
Replies: 3    Views: 191
Last Post: 15/04/2014 at 12:39

Oops!

Polytunnel growing 
Replies: 16    Views: 485
Last Post: 16/04/2014 at 19:05

First day of (meteorological) Spring

How id your garden looking 
Replies: 13    Views: 494
Last Post: 03/03/2014 at 20:31

DIY heated propagator

Making one from scratch 
Replies: 48    Views: 3433
Last Post: 30/06/2014 at 19:57

Cost of bird food

bulk vs supermarket 
Replies: 31    Views: 1411
Last Post: 10/02/2014 at 12:33

Wild Garden (Community Channel)

On Freeview/Sky 
Replies: 5    Views: 451
Last Post: 10/12/2013 at 12:21

Front garden revamp - before and after photos

Redsigning weedy crazy paving 
Replies: 24    Views: 1609
Last Post: 21/10/2013 at 20:16
1 to 15 of 23 threads