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BobTheGardener


Latest posts by BobTheGardener

Cleaning plastic plant labels

Posted: 28/11/2013 at 23:52

Same experience here with the actual plastic going brittle after only one season, fidgetbones.  They really need to make them from UV-proof plastic.  UPVC as used to make windows would be ideal but google isn't coming up with anything.  I'm sure someone could make a lot of money by selling slightly more expensive but longer lasting ones - a 5 year life would be fine.  There are plenty of expensive ones (some £5 each!) but no middle ground it seems.

Talkback: How to force rhubarb

Posted: 28/11/2013 at 22:01

I was assuming the former Dove.  I think what you do is quite a common method of keeping it tender and, as you say, getting a slightly earlier crop.

Peppers

Posted: 28/11/2013 at 21:41

Yes David, an early start is essential in our climate.  You must keep them above 12C at all times though, so starting early has its drawbacks.  If young plants get chilled it will usually 'set them back' and they may not do as well as seeds sown later.  I usually do 2 or 3 sowings so I have the best chance of success and grow the young plants on windowsills or in the conservatory until night temperatures in the greenhouse don't fall below 12C.  It can be challenging some years.

Choose early varieties too - this supplier has some good ones (no connection):

http://www.realseeds.co.uk/sweetpeppers.html

 

Talkback: How to force rhubarb

Posted: 28/11/2013 at 21:26

Any type of 'forcing' will weaken a crown.  The only reason to do it is to get an earlier crop at the expense of using up the stored energy in the crown.  I was originally done in areas where they grew thousands of crowns so they could use a proportion for forcing each year (to extend the season - ie for making money!) which, when exhausted, would be replanted and left to grow for a few years to build-up the crown again while being cropped normally.  Unless you have several rhubarb plants growing I think forcing is a waste of time for the home gardener.

HELLO FORKERS!

Posted: 28/11/2013 at 19:06

Hope Clueless is getting better.  What's happened to FairyGirl?  Not seen any posts from her for a while..

ORNAMENTAL APPLE TREE

Posted: 28/11/2013 at 18:47

Hi Nadger, Yes that is young and it is important to prune it properly in the early years to help it form a good shape.  Prune it when completely dormant - if it still has any leaves on, leave it for a while - I usually do mine in January/February, but never during a prolonged hard frost.  For both ornamental and edible apples, the pruning is the same when they are young.  Cut each branch back by about a third to half, to a bud facing in the direction you want it to grow (usually that's an outward facing one.)

Branches which are pruned will have stronger growth next year than any which you don't prune, so although it seems illogical, if the tree is growing weakly on one side, prune that side harder.

Here's the RHS advice on pruning young apples:

http://apps.rhs.org.uk/AdviceSearch/profile.aspx?PID=164

and the diagrams here may help:

http://www.gardenaction.co.uk/fruit_veg_diary/fruit_veg_mini_project_september_2d_apple.asp

 

 

If you could invent something...

Posted: 27/11/2013 at 23:09

Great idea, Dove - I'll sign-up for a tardis-shed right now!

How about trowels and secateurs which emit a beep when you click a remote on your key-ring so you can find them in the garden?  I spend ages looking for mine after leaving them somewhere after getting distracted! 

Peppers

Posted: 27/11/2013 at 22:54

Hi David, while you can overwinter peppers, they do need to be kept warmer than in an unheated greenhouse.  I've done it by keeping them in a back room of the house where it never dropped below about 15C but I wouldn't say it was really worth it as ones grown from seed actually did better that year.  Due to the cold Spring this year, there wasn't really a long enough warm period to successfully grow peppers outdoors - they need quite a long season.  To be sure of a crop in the uk we really need to grow them in a greenhouse although it's fine to take them out into the open during the height of the Summer.

When do I plant lily of the valley

Posted: 27/11/2013 at 19:31

Isn't that the truth - sometimes I think they do it just to tease us!

When do I plant lily of the valley

Posted: 27/11/2013 at 18:23

As nut says, they're very hardy but can be temperamental.  Some folk have real trouble getting them to establish while for others they become invasive.  Doesn't seem to be much middle ground!

Discussions started by BobTheGardener

Anyone for squirrel crumble?

Thieving rodents 
Replies: 5    Views: 238
Last Post: 25/10/2014 at 22:29

Plant ID quizzes

Have fun identifying plants! 
Replies: 16    Views: 403
Last Post: 14/09/2014 at 13:17

Watering dried-out pots

Tip to help to stop water running straight through 
Replies: 13    Views: 357
Last Post: 28/07/2014 at 12:28

Blackfly - ladybirds to the rescue!

Broad bean tip blackfly infestation 
Replies: 2    Views: 228
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: 204
Last Post: 05/07/2014 at 18:52

Lovely surprise

I went down the garden in the gloom.. 
Replies: 15    Views: 525
Last Post: 18/06/2014 at 14:32

Dragonfly/Darter/Mayfly ID?

Flew into the polytunnel for a while 
Replies: 6    Views: 355
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: 812
Last Post: 01/06/2014 at 17:42

Deep Down & Dirty: The Science of soil

Replies: 4    Views: 452
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: 507
Last Post: 22/04/2014 at 10:58

Seed grown Wisteria finally in flower - Hooray!

Planted many years ago 
Replies: 3    Views: 264
Last Post: 15/04/2014 at 12:39

Oops!

Polytunnel growing 
Replies: 16    Views: 564
Last Post: 16/04/2014 at 19:05

First day of (meteorological) Spring

How id your garden looking 
Replies: 13    Views: 584
Last Post: 03/03/2014 at 20:31

DIY heated propagator

Making one from scratch 
Replies: 48    Views: 4611
Last Post: 30/06/2014 at 19:57

Cost of bird food

bulk vs supermarket 
Replies: 31    Views: 1811
Last Post: 10/02/2014 at 12:33
1 to 15 of 25 threads