Latest posts by BobTheGardener

Round circles appearing in lawn

Posted: 17/07/2016 at 15:29

If fungi (fairy rings), you will generally also see a greener outer circle to the patch.  If that isn't present then pansyface may well be right.

Grape leaves

Posted: 17/07/2016 at 15:24

PS, Magnesium deficiency is common in grape vines and spraying with Epsom salts dissolved in water is the recommended remedy.  Over-use of high potash fertilizers can actually cause magnesium deficiency (I mention this in case you have indeed been feeding it!)

Last edited: 17 July 2016 15:24:48

Grape leaves

Posted: 17/07/2016 at 15:15

Loss of colour between veins is usually a sign of nutrient deficiency (iron, manganese or magnesium.)  Have you been feeding it regularly?  If not, try using a tomato feed as these generally include the trace nutrients mentioned above.  As a short-term fix, spraying it as well as watering it in could be of benefit.  In the longer term, mulching the area around the roots with well rotted farmyard manure in the autumn should provide for its needs.

If it's a new(ish) wall, there is also the possibility that lime from the cement is making the soil a bit on the alkaline side, making it harder for the vine to take up nutrients.  Again, the FYM should help with that.

If only the oldest leaves are affected it could simply be those leaves are reaching the end of their life but a good feed would be a good idea in any case.

Which is best?

Posted: 17/07/2016 at 14:55

Depends what they are and where you are (eg Basil rarely does well in the ground in the UK and toms are hit-and-miss depending on the weather) but in general, in the ground is best.  That way the roots can spread as they like, there is much less chance of them becoming short of water and nutrients as well as the secondary benefits of symbiotic soil bacteria and fungi.  Of course, there can be negative effects such as soil-borne pests and diseases.

Of those you mention I would say the beans are better in soil, tomatoes better in pots and cucumbers are 50/50 but need large pots if grown that way.  Brassicas always better in soil.

In my experience the best way of preparing soil is to dig-in well-rotted manure in the autumn and then lay a mulch of the same over the top before winter.  The soil will then be easy to lightly cultivate in spring when you can sow seeds or plant out veg started off in modules and/or pots.

Any idea what this is?

Posted: 17/07/2016 at 14:42

I don't recognise it but it has the look of an orchid (although it probably isn't.)

Does putting slate on your pots help keep the soil moist?

Posted: 17/07/2016 at 13:21

Yes.  A layer of slate IS a mulch.

Evaporation is all about the surface area which is exposed to wind and sun.  Bare soil (millions of small particles) has a much greater surface area than a layer of slate/gravel/pebbles.

Rock is generally impervious to water so water cannot move upwards through it as the surfaces dries.  This is not the case for bare soil and water will travel upwards from the soil below as it evaporates from the surface.

Last edited: 17 July 2016 13:27:09

Ants in the greenhouse

Posted: 16/07/2016 at 23:34

Try nematodes.  Apparently ants will not tolerate nematodes near their nest and will move it.  No toxic effects so will not affect your figs.  Look for 'nemasys no ants'

Advice on scruffy aubretia, please

Posted: 16/07/2016 at 22:01

Best to cut them back (ie give them a bit of a haircut) immediately after flowering, which would usually be about late May/early June.  It might be a bit late to do it now and you could lose a lot of next year's blooms.

Can you I D Please?

Posted: 16/07/2016 at 21:51

I've managed to zoom in on the image and am almost certain it is indeed a rudbeckia and looks like a double form:

Very short stemmed amaryllis

Posted: 16/07/2016 at 20:02

According to this website:

"Stunted plants, flowers growing on short stems (out of their necks) and poor flower formation are usually caused by excessive watering prior to the initiation of top growth, nutrient-poor soil, improper storage conditions, and by under or over watering during plant growth. "

Discussions started by BobTheGardener

Some kind of mint?

Replies: 4    Views: 172
Last Post: 27/08/2017 at 19:16

Accidental greengage

Wrong variety but happy 
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Last Post: 29/07/2017 at 16:32


Seems hedgehogs are breeding in my garden 
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New greenhouse

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Border design by Spanish bluebells

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Last Post: 14/05/2017 at 14:32

Unknown bird

Came home this evening to find this 
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Last Post: 10/05/2017 at 20:19

Garden photos April

By month so folk can see what is in bloom for reference purposes. 
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Last Post: 02/04/2017 at 20:01

Winter soft fruit pruning

Some things to do now 
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Last Post: 04/02/2017 at 17:52

'Dramatic' music in TV programmes

Increase in noise! 
Replies: 37    Views: 1617
Last Post: 23/11/2016 at 22:23

Autumn foliage photos (2016)

Thought I'd start a thread just for our photos 
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Last Post: 03/12/2016 at 00:32

Gardener's World about to start now!

Replies: 16    Views: 1041
Last Post: 14/07/2016 at 16:55

Cutting ID

I thought these were philadelphus 
Replies: 3    Views: 541
Last Post: 11/07/2016 at 17:34


Hope it finds it's way home 
Replies: 3    Views: 611
Last Post: 26/04/2016 at 18:22

Vine weevils

..ate all of my winter carrots! 
Replies: 8    Views: 1548
Last Post: 01/01/2016 at 22:01

Huge pest problem

Don't think netting will work 
Replies: 10    Views: 1222
Last Post: 19/12/2015 at 21:00
1 to 15 of 44 threads