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Latest posts by BobTheGardener


Posted: 03/12/2013 at 20:48

Not sure about the poo but hedgehogs often hibernate in the base of large pampas grasses.


Posted: 03/12/2013 at 18:41

Hi Verdun, the 90 minute wait while you were hungry must have been awful - time seems to drag when you're waiting like that doesn't it?! 

Yes, many of the plants are for the front garden including some Stokesia for a dry bit and Chaenomeles for a bit I want to keep cats off of.  Also 3 types of Pulmonaria for a damp shady bit in the back garden.  I'm going to overwinter most of them in the cold GH, so no photies until spring unfortunately!


Posted: 03/12/2013 at 14:20

They will flower just fine like that Sara as everything needed is stored in the bulb (apart from water, light and air of course!)  However, once it has flowered it needs to be potted into compost and fed until the leaves die back to build-up the bulb again, if you want to keep it (some folk throw them away after this type of one-off use.)  If you don't let the bulb build up energy again it won't flower anymore and will eventually die if just left in sand.


Posted: 03/12/2013 at 14:08

Afternoon all. Day off today and it's a good job as 15 plants arrived yesterday!  First job this morning was planting a Prunus kiku-shidare-zakura (weeping cherry) in the front garden.  Always wanted one of those so hope it survives.  Spent the rest of the morning re-potting the other arrivals into slightly larger pots for overwintering.  Some of them could go in now but I prefer to give them a bit of tlc first and plant out in Spring.  Had just enough ericaceous compost left for the four dwarf azaleas!  Now waiting to get the feeling back in my fingers so I can cut back all the hellebores.

Problem privet

Posted: 03/12/2013 at 12:58

As Dove says, no problem cutting back hard right now.  I'd suggest cutting it back more than the minimum (say 18" instead of 12") so that the new shoots which will form in Spring have room to bush out.  If you don't do that, the council may ask you to cut it back again each year and it will never get a chance to make a nice hedge.  It will look awful over the Winter but it's always surprising how quickly privet grow back.

Heating for sheds?

Posted: 02/12/2013 at 23:17

The numbers don't really work out for battery-powered heating, Nick.  A typical 12V car battery is rated at about 50Ah which means it can supply 0.6kWh.  A household single bar electric fire is rated at about 1kWh which would mean (if you managed to find a 12V powered heater of the same rating) it would only last for 36 minutes before the car battery was completely flat and needed a recharge (which would take several hours, say 8 or so.)  You'd also have to keep lugging car batteries around (although I suppose that would keep you warm!)  

......the good guys

Posted: 01/12/2013 at 16:46

Another vote for Woottens - good large plants supplied with lots of cultural information.  I've decided I'm only going to buy live plants from suppliers who have delivery tracking from now on.  Some of the better known mail order suppliers have let me down badly this year despite ordering well in advance and those companies provide no tracking information.  I've received several emails after making enquiries that 'they have just been despatched' etc which turned out to be.. well.. lies.  They have blown it as far as I'm concerned - I spend several hundred pounds every year on plants and they will be getting none of it!

thyme pruning

Posted: 01/12/2013 at 16:35

I fully agree with Verdun (as usual!)  What I sometimes do when they have grown long woody stems is to plant new ones which grow over the bare stems of the older ones.  By the time the new thymes have grown to cover those old stems (usually a couple of years), the old plants can be removed or cut back almost to the ground - if they survive (rare) it's a bonus.


Posted: 01/12/2013 at 16:30

Hi Heather, can you describe or take a photo of the mould?  Without knowing exactly what it is, it's difficult to advise.  Removing all of the plants and watering the gravel with diluted Jeyes Fluid might help if it's some form of fungus but probably not if it's an algae like Nostoc commune.



Posted: 01/12/2013 at 16:21

Hi Darren and welcome!  I think the best thing to do by far is treat it as a clean sheet and dig it all over, removing every piece of root you see.  Modern weedkillers only work when the plants are in full growth, so spraying now would be virtually useless - all of the perennial weeds have already gone dormant.

Rather than tackling the whole thing in one go, I'd do it in sections but doing each section well.  That way you'll see results as you progress which is important to keep you motivated - it's all too easy to take on too much as most of experienced gardeners know only too well from their early days!

If you do it before the hard frosts set in, those will help to break up any big lumps of soil which you can leave on the top after digging it over.  When spring comes, fork-in as much compost or well-rotted (it's important it is well rotted with no straw or soggy stuff) manure as you can lay yours hand on.  General purpose multi-purpose compost is fine if you can't easily get farmyard manure or spent mushroom compost etc.

By doing it this way any plants or shrubs you plant will get off the a great start and have enough food for several years.



Discussions started by BobTheGardener

Christmas has come early

New trees 
Replies: 9    Views: 179
Last Post: Yesterday at 16:52

Anyone for squirrel crumble?

Thieving rodents 
Replies: 12    Views: 468
Last Post: 27/11/2014 at 21:12

Plant ID quizzes

Have fun identifying plants! 
Replies: 16    Views: 439
Last Post: 14/09/2014 at 13:17

Watering dried-out pots

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

Blackfly - ladybirds to the rescue!

Broad bean tip blackfly infestation 
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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: 232
Last Post: 05/07/2014 at 18:52

Lovely surprise

I went down the garden in the gloom.. 
Replies: 15    Views: 549
Last Post: 18/06/2014 at 14:32

Dragonfly/Darter/Mayfly ID?

Flew into the polytunnel for a while 
Replies: 6    Views: 402
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: 861
Last Post: 01/06/2014 at 17:42

Deep Down & Dirty: The Science of soil

Replies: 4    Views: 490
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: 536
Last Post: 22/04/2014 at 10:58

Seed grown Wisteria finally in flower - Hooray!

Planted many years ago 
Replies: 3    Views: 282
Last Post: 15/04/2014 at 12:39


Polytunnel growing 
Replies: 16    Views: 581
Last Post: 16/04/2014 at 19:05

First day of (meteorological) Spring

How id your garden looking 
Replies: 13    Views: 609
Last Post: 03/03/2014 at 20:31

DIY heated propagator

Making one from scratch 
Replies: 48    Views: 4938
Last Post: 30/06/2014 at 19:57
1 to 15 of 26 threads