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Latest posts by BobTheGardener

Autumn Raspberries

Posted: 24/09/2015 at 18:50

Polka for me too and, like SG I grow both.  Polka were bred from Autumn Bliss so are similar but with larger fruit and heavier crops.

Sweet Peppers

Posted: 24/09/2015 at 18:45

Build a conservatory - worked for me but maybe a bit of an overkill!

Seriously though, they need warmth, however you can provide it.

Brassica Problem

Posted: 24/09/2015 at 18:43

Looks like a fungal infection but that could be an after effect following attacck by some kind of sap-sucking pest, with aphids, whitefly or flea beetle being the most likely.  If you haven't done it for a while, I would try dosing whichever section of ground you will be using next year with garden lime this winter.  This will reduce the acidity and in doing so will reduce the likelihood of pests and diseases as most prefer acidic conditions.  Brassicas also prefer slightly alkaline soil.  I would also give the area a good sprinking of fish, blood and bone next spring before you plant anything out, just in case it is a nutrient deficiency of some kind.

Sharp sand

Posted: 23/09/2015 at 19:07

I actually use Wickes sharp sand both on the garden and for making concrete (which is what it is actually sold for.)  There is no salt or clay in any of it that I have had delivered (and, yes I have tasted it!)

What is this?

Posted: 23/09/2015 at 19:03

Yes, definitely a Jelly fungus of some kind - they only live on already dead wood and aren't pathogenic to the tree.

Sharp sand

Posted: 23/09/2015 at 18:56

If it is sharp sand and not builders' sand, digging it in to heavy soil will improve it.  You can also mix it with compost to make a better growing medium.  Basically anywhere you would use fine horticultural grit, you can substitute shap sand.

Plant Identity

Posted: 20/09/2015 at 18:45

Agree, Musk mallow for sure.

rust and black spot

Posted: 20/09/2015 at 17:38

Yes, some years are worse than others.  Make sure you remove all fallen leaves from beneath affected roses as they are the main source of infection icome next season and, of course, wind blows leaves around so can spread it to other nearby roses as do aphids.

Is it ok to use pressure treated timber to make raised beds?

Posted: 20/09/2015 at 17:32

Yes it's fine as the chemicals used to preserve the wood these days are safe.  If you use untreated wood it has to be much thicker as it will quickly rot.  Even pressure-treated timber can have a short life when in contact with constantly wet soil - mine tend to last for between 5 and 10 years on clay soil.

tayberry pruning

Posted: 20/09/2015 at 17:24

Tayberries are a cross with blackberries and have the same fruiting habit and pruning regime.  Basically they fruit on last year's wood, so the canes you see now will bear fruit next year.  Once you have picked the fruit from a cane you remove that cane by cutting it right back to the ground.  New canes will appear from the ground next spring and those will give you fruit the following year.  Tie the canes into a support frame of some kind and after you cut the fruited ones out, you tie-in the new canes which will replace them.  More here:

Discussions started by BobTheGardener

Renovate or remove privet hedge?

Replace or cut back hard? 
Replies: 19    Views: 645
Last Post: 20/09/2015 at 13:33


No real rain here for weeks 
Replies: 11    Views: 326
Last Post: 07/06/2015 at 18:41

Little Red Devils (Lily beetles)

They're about now! 
Replies: 1    Views: 367
Last Post: 06/04/2015 at 17:03

Christmas has come early

New trees 
Replies: 9    Views: 961
Last Post: 19/12/2014 at 16:52

Anyone for squirrel crumble?

Thieving rodents 
Replies: 12    Views: 746
Last Post: 27/11/2014 at 21:12

Plant ID quizzes

Have fun identifying plants! 
Replies: 16    Views: 703
Last Post: 14/09/2014 at 13:17

Watering dried-out pots

Tip to help to stop water running straight through 
Replies: 13    Views: 663
Last Post: 28/07/2014 at 12:28

Blackfly - ladybirds to the rescue!

Broad bean tip blackfly infestation 
Replies: 2    Views: 530
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: 455
Last Post: 05/07/2014 at 18:52

Lovely surprise

I went down the garden in the gloom.. 
Replies: 15    Views: 786
Last Post: 18/06/2014 at 14:32

Dragonfly/Darter/Mayfly ID?

Flew into the polytunnel for a while 
Replies: 6    Views: 695
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: 1176
Last Post: 01/06/2014 at 17:42

Deep Down & Dirty: The Science of soil

Replies: 4    Views: 833
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: 1295
Last Post: 22/04/2014 at 10:58

Seed grown Wisteria finally in flower - Hooray!

Planted many years ago 
Replies: 3    Views: 507
Last Post: 15/04/2014 at 12:39
1 to 15 of 29 threads