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BobTheGardener


Latest posts by BobTheGardener

Alkanet seedling identification.

Posted: 20/07/2014 at 14:40

Alkanet seedling identification.

Posted: 20/07/2014 at 13:11

A fine collection of garden weed seedlings!  It's a bit early to ID them yet as Edd said, but the one with the largest leaves near the front is the only one I'd say is probably alkanet.

Growing a fruit tree in a pot

Posted: 18/07/2014 at 19:26

You'll need a large pot to grow plums - there isn't as much choice due to a limited number of dwarfing rootstocks.  Try googling for "patio plum" to see the sort of thing available which might be suitable.

Hazelnut trees - What are your experiences?

Posted: 18/07/2014 at 19:11

One benefit is that a coppiced tree will live much longer than a single trunk (natural lifespan of a Hazel is about 50 years) - some coppiced Hazels are hundreds of years old and another is that you get a free supply of poles and pea supports.

It might be difficult to train one as a single trunk as Hazel's natural habit is to grow as a multi-stemmed shrub/tree.  When you need to prune it to keep it within your stated bounds, it is very likely to keep throwing up new stems from below ground, so you'd need to keep on top of that.  It's certainly possible though as many young filbert and cobnut trees are supplied that way.

Screening

Posted: 17/07/2014 at 22:46

You could try reed or bamboo screening - it only lasts a few years but is cheap (2m x 4m roll about 20 quid.)

Growing a fruit tree in a pot

Posted: 17/07/2014 at 22:37

I would avoid pears Jillity - they prefer sheltered conditions and can be finicky at the best of times!

The OrangePippin site has some good advice:

http://www.orangepippintrees.co.uk/articles/growing-fruit-trees-in-pots-and-containers

Reads Nursery are also excellent and I'm sure if you contacted a specialist supplier like these they would be happy to give advice specific to your location and garden aspect.

Hazelnut trees - What are your experiences?

Posted: 17/07/2014 at 22:25

Thanks GD - they do grow very fast though!  You could keep some control by coppicing (cutting back to about 15cm above the ground) a third of the oldest stems each year in the Winter and the remaining stems should produce nuts, so you'd only lose a third of the crop by doing that (the new stems won't bear nuts in their first year.)

I recommend that you let them grow unpruned for 3 years before you start coppicing them though, so they develop a good root system.

Hazelnut trees - What are your experiences?

Posted: 17/07/2014 at 20:56

This is about 4-5 years growth on my Hazel (taken today):

http://s4.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/52850.jpg?width=512&height=350&mode=max

It's about 4 metres high by 3m wide and will be coppiced this winter.  Plenty of nuts forming but like most others here find, it's the squirrels who get them, not me!  Closer pic showing nuts:

http://s4.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/52851.jpg?width=288&height=350&mode=max

One of the best things about Hazel is the Catkins (pic taken in January):

http://s4.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/52852.jpg?width=288&height=350&mode=max

Red bugs on fartichokes

Posted: 17/07/2014 at 19:48

As pansyface guessed, they are cardinal beetles.  A goodie and won't touch your plants as they predate on other insects.  Lucky you!

http://www.wildlifetrusts.org/species/red-headed-cardinal-beetle

 

Problematic mushrooms

Posted: 16/07/2014 at 19:05

Hi Maxine, Fungi are almost never a problem for plants - they grow on dead plant matter in the soil and are actually beneficial as they release nutrients from that in a form which plants can take up via their roots.  If you don't like looking at them, just remove them by hand (best to wear gloves) and dispose of them as you see fit.  The mushrooms are only the fruiting body - 90% of the fungus is below ground and you wouldn't often even see it if you dug into the soil.  Have a read of this:

http://www.countrysideinfo.co.uk/fungi/importce.htm

Discussions started by BobTheGardener

Drought

No real rain here for weeks 
Replies: 11    Views: 264
Last Post: 07/06/2015 at 18:41

Little Red Devils (Lily beetles)

They're about now! 
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Last Post: 06/04/2015 at 17:03

Christmas has come early

New trees 
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Last Post: 19/12/2014 at 16:52

Anyone for squirrel crumble?

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

Plant ID quizzes

Have fun identifying plants! 
Replies: 16    Views: 636
Last Post: 14/09/2014 at 13:17

Watering dried-out pots

Tip to help to stop water running straight through 
Replies: 13    Views: 605
Last Post: 28/07/2014 at 12:28

Blackfly - ladybirds to the rescue!

Broad bean tip blackfly infestation 
Replies: 2    Views: 470
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: 406
Last Post: 05/07/2014 at 18:52

Lovely surprise

I went down the garden in the gloom.. 
Replies: 15    Views: 725
Last Post: 18/06/2014 at 14:32

Dragonfly/Darter/Mayfly ID?

Flew into the polytunnel for a while 
Replies: 6    Views: 640
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: 1112
Last Post: 01/06/2014 at 17:42

Deep Down & Dirty: The Science of soil

Replies: 4    Views: 738
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: 1162
Last Post: 22/04/2014 at 10:58

Seed grown Wisteria finally in flower - Hooray!

Planted many years ago 
Replies: 3    Views: 443
Last Post: 15/04/2014 at 12:39

Oops!

Polytunnel growing 
Replies: 16    Views: 776
Last Post: 16/04/2014 at 19:05
1 to 15 of 28 threads