London (change)
Today 16°C / 13°C
Tomorrow 15°C / 10°C


Latest posts by BobTheGardener


Posted: 06/08/2013 at 19:02

Hi shelley, they should already have fruit visible on them and would have blossomed in spring.  If you can't see any fruit, it is possible that a late frost damaged the blossom.  In general, the older a tree the better it will fruit, but very old trees may be diseased and not fruit well.  If that's the case the best thing is to remove them rather than trying to renovate them.  You can't really cut large mature fruit trees back hard without risking killing them.  However, now is the time to prune plums and you should remove any dead, damaged or diseased branches.  Exactly how big are they?

Young cherry tree

Posted: 05/08/2013 at 19:32

Sounds normal to me, Cardoon.  While the tree is young you can thin out the fruit to get larger (but fewer) cherries.


Posted: 05/08/2013 at 19:29

I agree with Paula - you really can't go wrong with those 'tried and tested' varieties.  If you like larger tomatoes (Sungold and Gardener's delight are 'cherries' the others two are 'normal sized'), then I'd recommend Legend as it has good blight resistance (I've grown it as both bush and cordon with good results.)  Of the ten varieties I'm growing this year, all are doing well with Sungold being the first to start cropping (and I can almost guarantee it will be the last to stop, as always!)

Apple tree problem

Posted: 05/08/2013 at 19:17

Hi Gracie, it is woolly aphid.  It's unlikely to damage the apples but the aphids buried within are sucking the tree sap.  The waxy cotton protects them from rain, predators and lessens the effect of pesticide spray which tends to just run off. The woolly aphid nymphs overwinter in cracks in the bark so will be back next year now that you have the problem.  The best way to get rid of them is by scrubbing them off now with a stiff brush, if the tree isn't too large.  You can also treat the tree with a winter tree wash (obviously in the winter) which will kill the nymphs.  In severe cases you can spray with various pesticides (see RHS link, below), but that is not nature-friendly.


Posted: 05/08/2013 at 00:02

Hi Mike, welcome to the forum and I'm sure you'll enjoy it - there's a wealth of knowledge and experience here as well as some great characters!

How to grow Soya Beans

Posted: 04/08/2013 at 15:35

Paul, the main two ways to eat soya are either eating the beans when they are still green and cooked in their pods by nipping off the top off the pod and squeezing them into the mouth as a kind of snack (look up "edamame".)  The main way though is to wait until the pods are brown and dry, in which case the hard beans are removed, often soaked overnight before being boiled until soft enough to eat.  Either way it is important that they are cooked as like most pulses they contain poisons which are destroyed by cooking.

Plant IDs needed

Posted: 04/08/2013 at 12:35

The first and second ones look like dahlias.  Can't help with the third one though.

New house, new garden, total newbie

Posted: 03/08/2013 at 20:53

I agree, don't do anything drastic for a year so you can see what you have.  Many plants are expensive and some take years to establish so it would be a shame to accidentally remove or damage any good ones you may have inherited.  When you do tackle a section, it's always best to concentrate on a small area at a time and do it well.  That way you can really appreciate your own efforts.  Doing bits here and there can lead to frustration as you often can't see any improvement when looking at the garden as a whole.  Good luck and enjoy it!

Weed or Plant identification

Posted: 03/08/2013 at 18:06

Good spot addict - would also explain the sheer number of them in the later photos.

Grape Vines

Posted: 03/08/2013 at 17:06

Have a look at the RHS grapevine pages David:

Come back with any questions you may still have.

Discussions started by BobTheGardener

Anyone for squirrel crumble?

Thieving rodents 
Replies: 5    Views: 199
Last Post: 25/10/2014 at 22:29

Plant ID quizzes

Have fun identifying plants! 
Replies: 16    Views: 379
Last Post: 14/09/2014 at 13:17

Watering dried-out pots

Tip to help to stop water running straight through 
Replies: 13    Views: 342
Last Post: 28/07/2014 at 12:28

Blackfly - ladybirds to the rescue!

Broad bean tip blackfly infestation 
Replies: 2    Views: 203
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: 188
Last Post: 05/07/2014 at 18:52

Lovely surprise

I went down the garden in the gloom.. 
Replies: 15    Views: 507
Last Post: 18/06/2014 at 14:32

Dragonfly/Darter/Mayfly ID?

Flew into the polytunnel for a while 
Replies: 6    Views: 321
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: 713
Last Post: 01/06/2014 at 17:42

Deep Down & Dirty: The Science of soil

Replies: 4    Views: 416
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: 487
Last Post: 22/04/2014 at 10:58

Seed grown Wisteria finally in flower - Hooray!

Planted many years ago 
Replies: 3    Views: 249
Last Post: 15/04/2014 at 12:39


Polytunnel growing 
Replies: 16    Views: 545
Last Post: 16/04/2014 at 19:05

First day of (meteorological) Spring

How id your garden looking 
Replies: 13    Views: 562
Last Post: 03/03/2014 at 20:31

DIY heated propagator

Making one from scratch 
Replies: 48    Views: 4328
Last Post: 30/06/2014 at 19:57

Cost of bird food

bulk vs supermarket 
Replies: 31    Views: 1743
Last Post: 10/02/2014 at 12:33
1 to 15 of 25 threads