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Latest posts by BobTheGardener


Posted: 06/10/2014 at 18:51

Borage or Comfrey would probably do OK (if they establish) as they have roots which go down a metre or more.  Conifers don't generally have deep roots which is why they tend to suck all of the moisture from the topsoil in the surrounding area.

Hibiscus dormancy

Posted: 06/10/2014 at 18:44

I bought 2 identical ones and kept them in identical conditions.  One of them didn't produce leaves until a whole month after the other one.  Both have now shed most of their leaves except for a few at the top.

I need a new clematis

Posted: 06/10/2014 at 18:34

If you can manage to upload a photo it will really help to identify the purple one.  If it looks like this (Polish Spirit):

That's a Group 3 and you can hack those back as hard as you like and they will come back beautifully (if fact they should be cut down to about a foot high every year in late February.)

In general clematis don't do well in pots.  Having said that, there are a few modern ones which have been bred for doing that - see here:


Something has eaten the plastic lid of my slug pellets

Posted: 06/10/2014 at 18:28

Good idea Jane!  Metal containers like biscuit/sweet tins should be rodent-proof too, but I wouldn't put it past a determined one..

FG: I wouldn't put it exactly that way but rats are a menace in my garden - stables are only metres away and I think they are the main 'holding tank'.  It's either stop feeding the birds or continue to poison the rats, so any 'Darwin awards' they win themselves are a definite bonus!   I do worry about catching Lyme disease from their ticks, too.

Something has eaten the plastic lid of my slug pellets

Posted: 05/10/2014 at 18:18

I found a dead rat in my garden a few days ago.  When I went into my garage yesterday, I found that it had gnawed at the bottom of the wooden door to gain entry and then proceeded to chew it's way into a plastic container of rat poison before devouring the lot, including all of the small plastic packets within!

Quite a spectacular own goal really! 

Transplanting japanese acer

Posted: 05/10/2014 at 13:22

Trees of that size can be moved but only by using specialised machinery and it will be expensive.  This video shows how it's done:


End of the season thoughts

Posted: 04/10/2014 at 18:41

Over the coming weeks and months I'll be revamping some borders, digging over the veg plots, removing some unwanted plants/shrubs/trees to make space for others (inc. a few overgrown agapanthus thugs, montbretia, hazel and a forsythia), planting some new young fruit trees and of course lots of tulips.  Also making a fairly large raised bed area full of ericaceous compost as a new home for all of my potted blueberries (too much effort watering those blummin' pots!)  Lots to do!  

I much prefer doing the hard work in the cold rather than the heat of summer.


Posted: 04/10/2014 at 18:13

Sawfly overwinter as pupae which hatch to the flying form in Spring.  The flies mate and then lay eggs on the bushes.  The chances are that there are pupae in the soil under the bushes, so when you move them dig over the soil where they were, stamp it flat and dig it over again.  Doing that a couple of times will probably kill all the pupae.  Remember to add manure or other fertilizer afterwards and before planting the strawberries in the area as the gooseberries will have used up most of what was in the soil under them.

Tomato Blight

Posted: 04/10/2014 at 14:49

Sungold is a wonderful variety.  It consistently starts cropping earlier and finishes later than any other variety I have ever grown (indeed, my plants are still in flower!)  It also seems to have excellent all-round disease resistance.  Some folk do find it too sweet though and the fruit can be prone to splitting but the huge crops and fantastic taste easily make it my all-time number one.  I usually grow about 10 varieties each year, roughly half of which are always types I've never tried before but Sungold will always have a place.

PS: After taking Italiophile's advice over the last few years and so ensuring excellent ventilation, I haven't had any significant disease problems even though I do grow plants far closer together than is recommended;  I'm as certain as one can be that ventilation is the key for those suffering from tomato disease problems.


Posted: 01/10/2014 at 22:33

Hi Rosemummy, I hate autocorrect on any type of computer or phone and always turn it off!  Here's how to do it on an iPad:

To turn auto correct off:

1. Navigate to Settings - General - Keyboard

2. Touch Auto-Correction - OFF

Discussions started by BobTheGardener

Christmas has come early

New trees 
Replies: 9    Views: 180
Last Post: 19/12/2014 at 16:52

Anyone for squirrel crumble?

Thieving rodents 
Replies: 12    Views: 468
Last Post: 27/11/2014 at 21:12

Plant ID quizzes

Have fun identifying plants! 
Replies: 16    Views: 439
Last Post: 14/09/2014 at 13:17

Watering dried-out pots

Tip to help to stop water running straight through 
Replies: 13    Views: 377
Last Post: 28/07/2014 at 12:28

Blackfly - ladybirds to the rescue!

Broad bean tip blackfly infestation 
Replies: 2    Views: 246
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: 232
Last Post: 05/07/2014 at 18:52

Lovely surprise

I went down the garden in the gloom.. 
Replies: 15    Views: 549
Last Post: 18/06/2014 at 14:32

Dragonfly/Darter/Mayfly ID?

Flew into the polytunnel for a while 
Replies: 6    Views: 402
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: 490
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


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: 609
Last Post: 03/03/2014 at 20:31

DIY heated propagator

Making one from scratch 
Replies: 48    Views: 4939
Last Post: 30/06/2014 at 19:57
1 to 15 of 26 threads