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Latest posts by BobTheGardener


Posted: 10/08/2013 at 09:34

Hi Janet, a lot depends on what the wood was originally treated with.  In general nothing will stick well to anything which has been varnished for example, unless he varnish was sanded off first.  Water-based paints don't work well over oil-based stains either.


Posted: 10/08/2013 at 09:27

Julie, not all varieties flower so you may well have potatoes in your planters regardless of whether you've seen flowers or not.  To maximise your crop, wait until the foliage yellows or dies off - at that point the tubers aren't going to get any larger and you may as well lift them.  When did you plant them?


Posted: 09/08/2013 at 22:01

Ah, I see it's a new bug - I didn't type any.


Posted: 09/08/2013 at 22:00

Lots of thread titles seem to have unnecessary hyphens between the words.  Is this a new quirk on the site or are folk putting them in on purpose for some reason?


Posted: 09/08/2013 at 21:39

Julian, I doubt anyone is going to commit themselves to saying yes, but those look like a fine example of edible Field mushrooms (Agaricus campestris) to me.  All I will say is that I would eat them!  I always do this test first:  I take a small piece of one and place it inside my mouth between bottom lip and teeth for two minutes.  If there is any burning sensation, I don't risk it.


Posted: 09/08/2013 at 21:14

Keeping the worst of the rain off of them is the main thing rather than protecting them from the cold.  However, if they germinate before the winter, things get tricky and they would need something like your plastic greenhouse, Red Dahlia.

Gill, you water once when sowing them and only need to keep the compost slightly damp after that.

Have a read about cold stratification here:




Posted: 09/08/2013 at 19:19

Many hardy perennials either require or will germinate better after cold stratification (the technical term for sowing and leaving over winter.)  The best bet is to sow half of your seeds in late autumn and the other half in spring, that way you're covered if any of the over-wintered ones fail.  A cold frame or unheated greenhouse is ideal as too much wet will often "do them in" if left in the open. 


Posted: 09/08/2013 at 18:59

Chris, the roots could have dried out a bit at a critical time during the hot weather.  Raspberries are very shallow rooted so can be affected this way.  If you mulch the ground with a few inches of compost early in the year this can help both feed them and keep the roots from drying out.


Posted: 08/08/2013 at 22:05

Those are the larvae of the infamous red Lily beetle.  The best way is to remove them manually - a messy job but if you don't kill them now they will overwinter in the soil and adult beetles will emerge, lay more eggs and both young and old will devastate your plants next year.


Posted: 08/08/2013 at 21:44

My best tool is a stainless steel wooden handled hand trowel I picked-up from wilkos many years ago.  Next best is a border fork and spade set - also stainless steel.  Those three get more use than anything else by far.  Worst are all in a drawer I rarely open and are mostly gifts from well-meaning friends and family - cheap secateurs and hand forks (never found a use for one!)

Discussions started by BobTheGardener

Blackfly - ladybirds to the rescue!

Broad bean tip blackfly infestation 
Replies: 2    Views: 98
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! 
Replies: 3    Views: 103
Last Post: 05/07/2014 at 18:52

Lovely surprise

I went down the garden in the gloom.. 
Replies: 15    Views: 394
Last Post: 18/06/2014 at 14:32

Dragonfly/Darter/Mayfly ID?

Flew into the polytunnel for a while 
Replies: 6    Views: 185
Last Post: 01/06/2014 at 21:44

A week of rain = jungle garden!

It's been too wet to really do anything outside.. 
Replies: 16    Views: 425
Last Post: 01/06/2014 at 17:42

Deep Down & Dirty: The Science of soil

Replies: 4    Views: 282
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: 334
Last Post: 22/04/2014 at 10:58

Seed grown Wisteria finally in flower - Hooray!

Planted many years ago 
Replies: 3    Views: 171
Last Post: 15/04/2014 at 12:39


Polytunnel growing 
Replies: 16    Views: 465
Last Post: 16/04/2014 at 19:05

First day of (meteorological) Spring

How id your garden looking 
Replies: 13    Views: 479
Last Post: 03/03/2014 at 20:31

DIY heated propagator

Making one from scratch 
Replies: 48    Views: 3172
Last Post: 30/06/2014 at 19:57

Cost of bird food

bulk vs supermarket 
Replies: 31    Views: 1272
Last Post: 10/02/2014 at 12:33

Wild Garden (Community Channel)

On Freeview/Sky 
Replies: 5    Views: 426
Last Post: 10/12/2013 at 12:21

Front garden revamp - before and after photos

Redsigning weedy crazy paving 
Replies: 24    Views: 1560
Last Post: 21/10/2013 at 20:16


Flowering in September 
Replies: 7    Views: 598
Last Post: 13/09/2013 at 13:20
1 to 15 of 22 threads