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Latest posts by BobTheGardener


Posted: 10/08/2013 at 13:39

It looks like some type of woolly aphid judging by the trunk, but I didn't know they attacked (I assume from the photos) laurel.  There is a laurel aphid in the US that looks a bit like that.


Posted: 10/08/2013 at 11:41

They look like standard aphids to me.  Adult whitefly will be immediately visible as they will fly around the plant when you disturb it.  If you don't see any of those, they are normal aphids.  Repeated spraying with a hand-sprayer containing a few drops of ordinary washing-up liquid in the water should clear them up (it drowns them.)  I use basic 'value' type detergent rather than fancy-smelling ones which may contain things plants don't like.


Posted: 10/08/2013 at 09:41

They've had 12 weeks, so you should have a crop - good luck!


Posted: 10/08/2013 at 09:37

It's a penstemon, Martin.

Yes, you can take cuttings and this is recommended as they aren't all that hardy.  Look under propagation at the RHS penstemon page:



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:



Discussions started by BobTheGardener

Watering dried-out pots

Tip to help to stop water running straight through 
Replies: 10    Views: 144
Last Post: Today at 10:46

Blackfly - ladybirds to the rescue!

Broad bean tip blackfly infestation 
Replies: 2    Views: 103
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: 104
Last Post: 05/07/2014 at 18:52

Lovely surprise

I went down the garden in the gloom.. 
Replies: 15    Views: 397
Last Post: 18/06/2014 at 14:32

Dragonfly/Darter/Mayfly ID?

Flew into the polytunnel for a while 
Replies: 6    Views: 194
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: 433
Last Post: 01/06/2014 at 17:42

Deep Down & Dirty: The Science of soil

Replies: 4    Views: 285
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: 337
Last Post: 22/04/2014 at 10:58

Seed grown Wisteria finally in flower - Hooray!

Planted many years ago 
Replies: 3    Views: 173
Last Post: 15/04/2014 at 12:39


Polytunnel growing 
Replies: 16    Views: 466
Last Post: 16/04/2014 at 19:05

First day of (meteorological) Spring

How id your garden looking 
Replies: 13    Views: 480
Last Post: 03/03/2014 at 20:31

DIY heated propagator

Making one from scratch 
Replies: 48    Views: 3192
Last Post: 30/06/2014 at 19:57

Cost of bird food

bulk vs supermarket 
Replies: 31    Views: 1286
Last Post: 10/02/2014 at 12:33

Wild Garden (Community Channel)

On Freeview/Sky 
Replies: 5    Views: 430
Last Post: 10/12/2013 at 12:21

Front garden revamp - before and after photos

Redsigning weedy crazy paving 
Replies: 24    Views: 1566
Last Post: 21/10/2013 at 20:16
1 to 15 of 23 threads