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BobTheGardener


Latest posts by BobTheGardener

Winter greenhouse

Posted: 12/10/2014 at 13:50

If you have any outdoor potted semi-hardy plants you can give them protection by bringing them into the GH.  If you plant bulbs in pots they will flower a week or three earlier Inside the GH.  I always have few pots of bulbs in there over the winter.

Fruit trees

Posted: 12/10/2014 at 12:37

Barry, most fruit trees are grafted onto different rootstocks so see if you can find the graft points.  If the only growth is from below that point it means the grafts have failed and you would be well advised to replace the trees as the growth from the rootstocks won't produce decent fruit.  The graft union will look a bit "knobbly" like this image I grabbed from google:

http://s3.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/61933.jpg?width=350

If there is some growth above the union you will be OK but must remove all growth from below it or the (usually wild tree) rootstock will take over and the fruiting tree which has been grafted on to it will die.

Mould

Posted: 11/10/2014 at 18:27

Yvie -

Fairy is right as well, once the cuttings have roots they don't need the heat any more, just sheltered conditions with plenty of light.

Evergreen jasmine - when to prune?

Posted: 11/10/2014 at 18:20

Is it an indoor type?  There are only a couple of evergreen outdoor types and those are really semi-evergreen in the UK.  Like most shrubs, pruning is generally best done immediately after flowering so I would re-pot it and just tidy the broken and bent bits for now by pruning back to a bud or just above a leaf joint.

Pruning roses

Posted: 11/10/2014 at 18:02

That one is a climbing hybrid tea rose.  You can prune them hard when needed and do that over the winter.  Start by cutting out any damaged or diseased bits, then cut some of the oldest stems right down to the ground and prune the remaining long ones by about a third.  For more details,  look under 'renovating overgrown climbers' on this RHS page:

https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?pid=189

Step back a few times during any kind of pruning to make sure the overall shape seems balanced.  In general, hard pruning leads to new strong growth so don't worry too much about a good cut-back which will likely do much more good than harm.

 

Fruit trees

Posted: 11/10/2014 at 16:46

I use a 4" high thick coating of Vaseline John, around the trunk just below where the first branch comes out of the trunk.  You can also buy grease bands from garden centres.  I renew it yearly or if I accidentally rub any off in the normal course of gardening.  One thing to realise is that ants will climb other nearby plants to get to the tree, so leave plenty of space around your fruit trees or cut-down the parts of any other plants which touch the tree above where you placed the grease band.

Moving thick heavy clay to another part of garden?

Posted: 11/10/2014 at 15:44

There's actually some controversy regarding the efficacy of adding gypsum and I think that's because there are so many types of 'clay soil'.  What I did and recommend is to do some testing on small areas of your own soil, using various amounts and started with one good handful per square yard.  There are no typical dosage figures as it depends completely on the chemistry of your particular soil.  Gypsum is Calcium Sulphate and if your clay is in a limestone area, it probably won't help.  It can take 2-3 years to show any effect.

Adding lots of organic matter, however, is always going to help improve clay soils and will have an immediate effect but gypsum is certainly worth trying as it can really help some types of clay soils.

Pruning roses

Posted: 11/10/2014 at 15:27

SJ, that variety is one of the 'Portland' types, so you know which pruning method is needed if you look this up on google or in books.

Portland types are repeat flowerers and are normally pruned in late winter.  Have a look at the RHS guide (scroll down the page to 'Repeat flowering shrub roses':

https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?pid=178

 

 

Moving thick heavy clay to another part of garden?

Posted: 11/10/2014 at 15:09

The 'clay breaker' Bamboogie mentions is actually gypsum.  The cheapest way of obtaining gypsum is as 25kg bags of plaster (yes, the stuff for going on walls) from a builder's merchant - the cheapest stuff is actually the best for this as it will contain no additives.

Talkback: How to apply mulch

Posted: 11/10/2014 at 14:59

"Mulching" is simply placing a layer of matter on top of the soil and is done for two reasons, firstly to reduce water loss by evaporation and secondly to reduce weed seed germination.

However, if the mulch is organic matter, a third benefit comes into play in that worms will pull the mulch down into the soil and improve its structure and fertility.  Multi-purpose compost is as good as anything else in this respect.

You can mulch at any time you like, but if you have clay soil which you have dug over to allow the Winter frosts to help break up the clods, you would not lay a mulch over it as that would prevent the frost from doing the job.  You should also avoid mulching dry soil as it will make it harder for the rain the penetrate, so only mulch soil which is already in a normally moist condition.

Until digested and excreted by worms, mulches add little in terms of nutrients so add fertilizers as a separate task, as and when needed.

Hope that makes thing clearer for you, Marigold.

Discussions started by BobTheGardener

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! 
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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! 
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Last Post: 05/07/2014 at 18:52

Lovely surprise

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

Dragonfly/Darter/Mayfly ID?

Flew into the polytunnel for a while 
Replies: 6    Views: 403
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: 492
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

Oops!

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: 610
Last Post: 03/03/2014 at 20:31

DIY heated propagator

Making one from scratch 
Replies: 48    Views: 4955
Last Post: 30/06/2014 at 19:57
1 to 15 of 26 threads