Latest posts by BobTheGardener


Posted: 16/10/2013 at 18:52

Good news Matt - with the dark nights approaching you can get some stuff done in the garden while you're off.  I'm now limited to a few minutes after I get home from work so have to squeeze it all in at the weekends.  150 crocus to go in my new raised beds this weekend - I think I'll just keep sticking a handful of fingers & thumb in the soil and pushing the bulbs in the holes - at least they'll get planted in groups of 5 and planting things in odd numbers is supposed to look best!

What new veg varieties have you tried?

Posted: 16/10/2013 at 18:42

I grew calabrese Kabuki for the first time this year and was impressed.  It was grown with close spacing but still produced good sized heads which were followed by sideshoots when cut.  I'd recommend successional sowing though as I had a glut!


Posted: 15/10/2013 at 19:06

Hi Mazza, best to prune during December or January when the tree is completely dormant.  When you cut it back, always do it flush with an existing sideshoot or the main trunk if removing a whole branch.  Acers don't really like being pruned much, so try to make as few cuts as possible - better to take a large section/branch out than trim lots of small bits at the end of branches.


Anyone know what this is

Posted: 15/10/2013 at 18:57

Hi Raymond, not it's not poisonous if it is Honey Fungus which is in fact edible, but I wouldn't risk eating it unless identified in-person by an expert.  Interestingly there aren't actually that many deadly fungi in the UK, but there are a lot that will make you very ill.

Front garden revamp - before and after photos

Posted: 15/10/2013 at 18:47

Thanks for all the kind comments everyone!

As for plants, that's where the real fun starts isn't it!

I have a couple of clematis in mind for the bed below the trellis and might try a semi-exotic fruit tree in the one by the door - in the existing bed there is already a peach which does well as the front of the house is South-facing.  Lots of bulbs will be going in first (well, they will if the blummin' things ever arrive - still no sign of them from VM!) Also fancy a weeping cherry in the centre of the large bed.

The soil was bought from rolawn - half is their fruit and veg mix (which had a lot of what looked like very well rotted horse manure in it) and half is their border mix.  As you say Verdun, prep is itally important - one thing I've learnt over the years about both DIY and gardening is that money and time spent on preparation always pays back far more thank you realise - a £10 plant in a £10 hole will do far better than a £20 plant plonked in an unprepared hole!

Front garden revamp - before and after photos

Posted: 13/10/2013 at 18:11

Hi all, In the Summer I decided it was finally time to 're-do' my small front garden and drive.  The 30 year old crazy paving layed by the previous owner was beyond repair and the wood (cut from a fallen Ash tree about 15 years ago) which supported my raised beds had finally rotted away.  On other threads I promised to post some before and after pics, so here they are.




 I put 2 layers of weed membrane down followed by 2 layers of landscaping fabric to proect against puncture by the blue slate chippings.  Next door is infested with ground elder, so needed to make sure that doesn't find its way into my new beds (but it probably will, eventually!)

What new flower seeds are you going to grow in 2014

Posted: 12/10/2013 at 23:59

Haven't decided yet (just getting the catalogues in for the usual nights of Winter browsing - it's not quite the same doing on the web!)  I usually grow hardy perennials, shrubs and trees from seed which can be quite challenging but very rewarding as the natural variation you get in seed sown plants can produce unique specimens.

best flavoured tomatoes

Posted: 12/10/2013 at 22:51

Thanks Italiophile - I think I'll try growing a lot of heritage varieties next year and will probably ask you for some recommendations over the Winter.  I normally grow Marmande but I was trying several varieties for the first time and had limited space, but they're already back on the 'regular' list.  Lots of the ones I grew this year were potato-leaved varieties as I wanted to find out if they suited my palate more than those with 'ordinary' leaves, but can't say I noticed any link between leaf type and taste.

Verdun, the other half loves the sweetness of Sungold, so I'll have to keep growing those  but for me the suncherry premium (it's an F1, so not many seeds per packet) was the outstanding find of the varieties I grew for the first time this year.


Posted: 12/10/2013 at 16:43

Hi, very wet here - rained most ofd the night but ust light drizzle this morning/earlt afternoon so got one of the tonne bags of topsoil decanted into the new raised beds before it started raining again - chucking it down now and not forecast to stop until Monday evening!  I'll just have to get my coat and hat on tomorrow and shift the other tonne!  The cosmos has collapsed under the weight of the wet foliage so will cut that all back tomorrow and have a few vases full of flowers.   Here's a radar pic from metcheck of the band of rain I'm under:




Posted: 11/10/2013 at 19:20

Hi Nikki, if they are the tuberous type, see here:

If the summer bedding type (usually bought as plugs or in very small pots) it may be possible to overwinter them (same method as above) if they have developed tubers but it's usually far more trouble than it's worth with most going rotten so bedding types are normally discarded at this time of the year - it's the compost heap for mine.

Discussions started by BobTheGardener

Plant ID quizzes

Have fun identifying plants! 
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Only fto be read by your household's main gardener! 
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I went down the garden in the gloom.. 
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Flew into the polytunnel for a while 
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A week of rain = jungle garden!

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Deep Down & Dirty: The Science of soil

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Check your delphiniums for caterpillars

Look for distorted and damaged leaves near the tips 
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Seed grown Wisteria finally in flower - Hooray!

Planted many years ago 
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Polytunnel growing 
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How id your garden looking 
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DIY heated propagator

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Cost of bird food

bulk vs supermarket 
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Last Post: 10/02/2014 at 12:33

Wild Garden (Community Channel)

On Freeview/Sky 
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Last Post: 10/12/2013 at 12:21
1 to 15 of 24 threads