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BobTheGardener


Latest posts by BobTheGardener

Gardening Books

Posted: 06/09/2013 at 18:54

Also the RHS "Encyclopedia of Gardening" is just packed with information on just about everything - it's a "must have" for new gardeners in my humble opinion.

Will a shelter help my kiwis to ripen ?

Posted: 06/09/2013 at 18:46

Green Beanz, go to the top of the page and there is a box "search this site" - type kiwi and press the search button - I just got 39 results.  I have about 5 or 6 kiwi plants I grew from the seeds of shop-bought fruit about 6-8 years ago.  I've never even had a flower so you are way ahead of me (in Leics.)!  I've never pruned them properly though but suspect my best bet is to buy a self-fertile variety and get rid of the ones I have.

honey fungus

Posted: 06/09/2013 at 18:36

My commiserations, LondonColin.  There are several species of Armillaria and some are far more damaging than others - sounds like you have a nasty.  All I'll say is that there is something called Armillatox and if you use it to clean the moss from any paths or patios etc around the affected areas, any accidental overspill into the soil might have a surprising effect.  Do think about the negative effects on wildlife and natural soil organisms before you slosh anything like this soap-based patio cleaner around though.

No fruit showing on Butternut Squash in polytunnel

Posted: 06/09/2013 at 18:20

Ging, some of the acorn-shaped winter squashes stay green even when ripe - but taste exactly the same as the classic butternut shaped ones.  If they are butternut-shaped then they're not yet ripe as Italophile says.  Unless they're from saved seed in which case all bets are off - not sure what colour or shape an acorn/butternut cross would likely be!

what to grow next year

Posted: 05/09/2013 at 19:32

Sandra, those are both fairly tricky veg to grow well.  Sweetcorn needs a good Summer in the UK and cucumbers (at least greenhouse types) are prone to a number of pests and diseases and need a lot of tlc.  I would look for F1 seeds that have been specifically bred to be grown in the UK.  These cost more but it's generally worth it. I had good results with sweetcorn 'Lark' a few years ago and cucumber 'Carmen' cropped well in the GH (but the seeds were over £1 each and only 2 of the 4 germinated!)

Are there any other veg you really like?  I'm not saying you shouldn't try sweetcorn and cucumbers - everyone has to learn by actually trying things - but there are lots of easier things to grow as well - don't want you having a 3rd disappointing year!

Tomatoes

Posted: 05/09/2013 at 19:13

Cheers bigolob.  I think I'll try a few extra varieties of mid-size ones that I haven't tried before next year as an experiment too.  I expect going for heirloom varieties would likely be the best bet for good flavour.  Italiophile - do you have any recommendations?

Clematis "Dr. Ruppel"

Posted: 04/09/2013 at 19:10

Hi Jan, you're doing everything right but they do take a couple of years to get going.  Prune it in late February to early March:  Starting at each growth tip, follow it back until you find a pair of strong buds and prune it just above them.  If any of the stems have outgrown their alloted space, prune back to a lower pair of buds, but bear in mind that the flowers will come from those buds.  Also remove any weak or obviously dead growth at this time.  I give them a handful of bonemeal immediately after pruning mixed into in a mulch of compost.  Start feeding with clematis feed (or tomato feed) in late Spring.  Your soil pH is perfect.

Starting from Scratch - Shrubs Recommendations

Posted: 03/09/2013 at 23:49

Japanese acers like Bloodgood will give a nice bit of red colour, are slow growing and pretty much maintenance-free.  They like a bit of shade as long as they don't get early morning sun (so avoid an east-facing aspect.)

decorative peppers

Posted: 03/09/2013 at 23:42

Hi shellly, those type are meant to be grown as houseplants, so any windowsill where it will get plenty of light and not too cold (above 10C) will be fine.  Cut down on watering over the Winter and only water it if the compost is very dry (stick a finger about an inch down in the compost and if it feels at all damp it doesn't need any water.)   All peppers are perennial if they get the right conditions.

climber

Posted: 03/09/2013 at 22:33

I have a Jasmine Stephanese - the buds are quite red until they open to pink - does it look like this video of one?:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uDLoB6XkRi8

If so, they can take as hard a pruning as is necessary but it will take 2-3 years before it starts flowering again, unless you can manage to keep some of the old wood.

Discussions started by BobTheGardener

Christmas has come early

New trees 
Replies: 9    Views: 502
Last Post: 19/12/2014 at 16:52

Anyone for squirrel crumble?

Thieving rodents 
Replies: 12    Views: 523
Last Post: 27/11/2014 at 21:12

Plant ID quizzes

Have fun identifying plants! 
Replies: 16    Views: 465
Last Post: 14/09/2014 at 13:17

Watering dried-out pots

Tip to help to stop water running straight through 
Replies: 13    Views: 400
Last Post: 28/07/2014 at 12:28

Blackfly - ladybirds to the rescue!

Broad bean tip blackfly infestation 
Replies: 2    Views: 276
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: 259
Last Post: 05/07/2014 at 18:52

Lovely surprise

I went down the garden in the gloom.. 
Replies: 15    Views: 570
Last Post: 18/06/2014 at 14:32

Dragonfly/Darter/Mayfly ID?

Flew into the polytunnel for a while 
Replies: 6    Views: 438
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: 908
Last Post: 01/06/2014 at 17:42

Deep Down & Dirty: The Science of soil

Replies: 4    Views: 526
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: 568
Last Post: 22/04/2014 at 10:58

Seed grown Wisteria finally in flower - Hooray!

Planted many years ago 
Replies: 3    Views: 304
Last Post: 15/04/2014 at 12:39

Oops!

Polytunnel growing 
Replies: 16    Views: 606
Last Post: 16/04/2014 at 19:05

First day of (meteorological) Spring

How id your garden looking 
Replies: 13    Views: 643
Last Post: 03/03/2014 at 20:31

DIY heated propagator

Making one from scratch 
Replies: 48    Views: 5911
Last Post: 30/06/2014 at 19:57
1 to 15 of 26 threads