Latest posts by BobTheGardener

Getting desperate after 8 years.... WISTERIA, help please

Posted: 24/08/2015 at 10:36

Oh no, that's awful Steph!

I don't honestly think there is much chance of getting it back up as it is, it will be far too heavy.  However, I would use this as an opportunity to put in some vine eyes and wire supports to support it properly when it grows back..  You are probably going to have to cut it back very hard.

A tip when drilling holes for vine-eyes is to drill them in the centre of a brick, not in the mortar gaps which is too weak to properly support the weight.  Use rawlplugs, long vine-eyes (at least 100mm) and at least 2.5mm thick galvanised steel wire.


Talkback: Sunflowers and hoverflies

Posted: 24/08/2015 at 10:01

Jeanette, look at the dates on the posts - you are are replying to a 4 year old thread, the competition closed in 2011..

Mystery Vine

Posted: 23/08/2015 at 12:52

Looks like Wisteria to me.

I will not be seduced.....!

Posted: 23/08/2015 at 01:48

Hi, my name is Bob and I too am a seedaholic!

The trickier they are the better it seems and I even find myself trying to germinate seeds which I know full well are unsuitable for growing at my location or I have no room for, just to see if I can!  However, the excitement of seeing those first tiny green shoots is something that has never diminished.

Silty clayey soil.

Posted: 22/08/2015 at 21:51

Yes, a clay-based soil is possibly the best there is as far a fertility is concerned.  However, you will need to improve the structure by adding as much organic matter as possible, with horse manure or farm yard manure being ideal.  Any kind of compost would also be good.  As a rough guide, you want to add about a 4 inch layer of manure/compost over the area and dig it in.  Do that every year and you will end up with a plot in which anything will grow.  Brassicas do particularly well in clay soils but are difficult to grow in light soils, so you already have an advantage.  Many folk including me recommend potatoes as your first crop as this helps to break up the clay (even if it's only because you have to dig the area twice - once to plant them and again to harvest!)

If nothing has been grown there before, or the area is compacted (eg after being used a lawn) an initial "double digging" may be worth the effort:


Planting strawberry plants

Posted: 22/08/2015 at 15:19

I agree, plant them out now.  Strawberries require a cold period to produce well and are completely hardy.  The longer they have to develop a goot root system now, the better future crops will be.

Green blobs

Posted: 22/08/2015 at 13:56

It's Nostoc algea which is indeed a blue-green algea but one which typically grows on gravel and very poor soils.

Difficult to deal with.  You best bet is to improve the soil with lots of compost etc.

Long thread about it a while back:


air brick problem

Posted: 21/08/2015 at 19:53

I've downloaded and added the image for you mrsail:

I fully agree with pansyface - you could find yourself in legal trouble if you breach the DPC.

One safe way of doing it would be to build a small retaining wall so there is about a 15cm gap between it and your neighbours wall.  Remove soil in the gap down about 15cm below where it is now and refill with gravel up to the present level to provide drainage.  Quite a lot of work though.

hyperlinks in editor

Posted: 21/08/2015 at 19:31

An app is a bit like an oran or a lemo.

Ooh!  Just found this to better describe a pop-up:


hyperlinks in editor

Posted: 21/08/2015 at 19:24
nutcutlet wrote (see)

wot's a pop up box

It's the computer version of a Jack-in-the-box, nut! 

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