London (change)


Latest posts by BobTheGardener

Forsythia suspensa

Posted: 24/03/2015 at 23:53

I much prefer them growing like that.  Not a shrub for growing into neat shapes in my book.  One of my neighbours neatly trims theirs just before it flowers every year, leaving an ugly twiggy mess which eventually leafs-up at which point the hedge-trimmer comes out again.  They probably don't even know that it flowers!   They might as well grow privet - at least it would be green for the full 12 months!

Favourite biscuit?

Posted: 24/03/2015 at 18:41

Plain digestives dunked in tea and removed just before they go too soft and fall in!

Few newbie questios (mainly tomatoes)

Posted: 24/03/2015 at 18:33

Yes Joe - if you start feeding too early you'll get lots of leafy growth instead of them producing flowering trusses.  There's a school of thought that when a plant senses diminishing nutrients being taken in that this triggers it to reproduce (ie a survival tactic) hence the earlier production of flowers to make seed.

Few newbie questios (mainly tomatoes)

Posted: 24/03/2015 at 00:32

Also peppers don't require the same strength feed as toms - use it at half strength.  The better liquid tomato feeds also contain trace elements - look for that on the label.  Having trace nutrients can help if the compost is lacking anything vital to healthy growth.  Under-watering is also better than over-watering and always water the compost directly to avoid wetting the leaves as this encourages fungal infections.

Dicentra spectabilis - is yours up yet?

Posted: 24/03/2015 at 00:18

Hi Gillian, yes the shoots are around 3-4 inches high on mine, but it is in a sheltered spot.

Plant Identification please

Posted: 22/03/2015 at 23:03
nutcutlet wrote (see)

I thought monbretia had flattened round corms

I agree - whatever those roots are, they aren't montbretia.

SALIX 'Flamingo'

Posted: 22/03/2015 at 22:32

Claire, just about all you can do is keep your fingers crossed.  The tree may have been 'sulking' after the shock of being planted and will hopefully soon start growing again.  To check it hasn't died, scrape a bit of the bark off near the end of a branch with your thumbnail - it should be green underneath.  If it is brown, move down the branch nearer the ground and try again.  If you don't find any green underneath the bark anywhere on the tree then I'm afraid it will have gone to the great garden in the sky.  If that's the case contact the supplier and you may get a replacement.

Anyone done any gardening today?

Posted: 22/03/2015 at 16:58

Beautiful day here - did some work on the veg beds, repotted some 2 year old strawberries into larger pots with plenty of well-rotted FYM in the mix.  Decided to sow all of the old tomato seeds which have been hanging around for a few years - if they all come up (and they might - tom seeds last for years in my experience) I'll have about 20 varieties!  Sowed all of the sweet pepper and chili seeds also on the heated bench and inspected all the other (,ainly flower) seeds I've sown over the last few weeks and found signs of life everywhere!   Before I know it, I'll be out of room.. as per usual!

Talkback: How to grow dahlias from seed

Posted: 22/03/2015 at 16:44

Sarah, ordinary multi-purpose compost will be fine.  Yes, they are perennial, but like all dahlias they are tender perennials, so you should move the pots inside to somewhere frost-free over winter, or lift the tubers (if planted in the ground) and store them in dry compost or wrapped in newspaper etc over the winter.  Sometimes dahlias will survive in the ground over winter.  All of the ones I've ever grown from seed have developed a sizeable tuber by the time the first frost comes.

Anyone done any gardening today?

Posted: 22/03/2015 at 15:14

Nice spot for something needing a bit of protection.  The roots of a fig would also be nicely 'hemmed in' there.  Fan-trained or espalier fruit tree, like a pear, peach apricot or nectarine?   Orange Pippin site has some good advice on those:


Discussions started by BobTheGardener


Hope it finds it's way home 
Replies: 3    Views: 252
Last Post: 26/04/2016 at 18:22

Vine weevils

..ate all of my winter carrots! 
Replies: 8    Views: 1056
Last Post: 01/01/2016 at 22:01

Huge pest problem

Don't think netting will work 
Replies: 10    Views: 693
Last Post: 19/12/2015 at 21:00

Renovate or remove privet hedge?

Replace or cut back hard? 
Replies: 19    Views: 1245
Last Post: 20/09/2015 at 13:33


No real rain here for weeks 
Replies: 11    Views: 525
Last Post: 07/06/2015 at 18:41

Little Red Devils (Lily beetles)

They're about now! 
Replies: 1    Views: 550
Last Post: 06/04/2015 at 17:03

Christmas has come early

New trees 
Replies: 9    Views: 1140
Last Post: 19/12/2014 at 16:52

Anyone for squirrel crumble?

Thieving rodents 
Replies: 12    Views: 941
Last Post: 27/11/2014 at 21:12

Plant ID quizzes

Have fun identifying plants! 
Replies: 16    Views: 931
Last Post: 14/09/2014 at 13:17

Watering dried-out pots

Tip to help to stop water running straight through 
Replies: 13    Views: 854
Last Post: 28/07/2014 at 12:28

Blackfly - ladybirds to the rescue!

Broad bean tip blackfly infestation 
Replies: 2    Views: 735
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: 622
Last Post: 05/07/2014 at 18:52

Lovely surprise

I went down the garden in the gloom.. 
Replies: 15    Views: 1007
Last Post: 18/06/2014 at 14:32

Dragonfly/Darter/Mayfly ID?

Flew into the polytunnel for a while 
Replies: 6    Views: 905
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: 1388
Last Post: 01/06/2014 at 17:42
1 to 15 of 32 threads