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Latest posts by BobTheGardener


Posted: 30/05/2013 at 00:30

Pigeons or other birds would be my guess.  The birds aren't really bothered whether the fruit is fully ripe or not.  Try netting the bushes.  Ants don't eat plants - the leaves probably have some aphids which exude a sweet liquid that the ants feed upon.

Bulb sizes?

Posted: 30/05/2013 at 00:18

It's the circumference of the widest part of the bulb in centimetres.  To get the diameter of a circle, you divide the circumference by Pi (roughly 3.)  That makes a 14/16 bulb about 5cm (2") in diameter.

Where is the buzz of busy bees?

Posted: 29/05/2013 at 18:50

It is worrying.  I hand pollinated all my fruit trees this year just in case and can see young fruit now developing.  Luckily they are all on dwarfing rootstock so I can reach the flowers!  In parts of South West China, they have to hand-pollinate all of their full size fruit trees as over use of pesticides and destruction of habitat killed all of the wild bees several years ago.

Butternut Squash

Posted: 29/05/2013 at 18:43

The larger the tub the better - they need huge amounts of water once they get going.  I'd say at least anything less than 40cm diameter would be too small.

Dwarf Pear Tree

Posted: 28/05/2013 at 21:41

When this season is over and it becomes dormant, try treating it with a Winter tree wash (Vitax do one, for example.)  This should kill any over-wintering pests and their eggs.  Hopefully it will then be free of the problem next year.  Trying that (in my opinion) is safer than spraying insecticides which may effect bees, other beneficial insects, or even you if the chemicals also end up in the fruit.

Pesky mushrooms...

Posted: 28/05/2013 at 21:17

Fungi are one of the few things that can break down cellulose (woody matter), releasing nutrients which plants can use and are an essential part of the cycle of life, so are actually improving your compost!  Like nutcutlet says, they aren't generally harmful to plants (although Honey fungus is indeed one of the exceptions) so pick the fruiting bodies off if you find them unsightly, but the fungus itself  is growing within the compost and there are no chemicals available to gardeners for eradication (not that it would be of any benefit.)  You can sometimes see it as as thin white sheets or strands (known as mycelia), even in sterilised bagged compost.

Advice re: building a wire trellis for wisteria

Posted: 28/05/2013 at 20:13

You can put a turnbuckle at one end of each wire.  They are used to tension the wire and are useful if you can't get it tight enough by hand (which can by tricky/dangerous if you are up a ladder!)  However, if you use several vine eyes along each wire to help support the weight of the wisteria (which will be considerably increased when it is wet and windy), a turnbuckle is not strictly necessary. Personally, I'd drill holes and use rawlplugs, putting in a vine eye every metre or so.  Make sure you buy long vine eyes so that there is room for the vine to grow in between the wall and the wire.

Even if you find it doesn't flower, you could grow a clematis through it to provide colour.  Many varieties of clematis will grow happily on a North-facing wall:


Advice re: building a wire trellis for wisteria

Posted: 28/05/2013 at 13:20

Horizontal wires will be enough, you don't need trellis as such.  Does this help?:

Come back with any questions you may have.

Talkback: Growing pears

Posted: 27/05/2013 at 15:20

Yes, katiebee, provided it is in flower at the same time as the cultivated tree.

Plant ID please

Posted: 27/05/2013 at 13:13

It's Herb Robert (Geranium robertianum), a wild cranesbill:

Many (like me) consider it a weed, but some grow it on purpose.  It's easy to pull-up but seeds itself everywhere, so it will be back even if you want to remove it!



Discussions started by BobTheGardener

Watering dried-out pots

Tip to help to stop water running straight through 
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Last Post: Today 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 
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Last Post: 01/06/2014 at 21:44

A week of rain = jungle garden!

It's been too wet to really do anything outside.. 
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Last Post: 01/06/2014 at 17:42

Deep Down & Dirty: The Science of soil

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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: 337
Last Post: 22/04/2014 at 10:58

Seed grown Wisteria finally in flower - Hooray!

Planted many years ago 
Replies: 3    Views: 173
Last Post: 15/04/2014 at 12:39


Polytunnel growing 
Replies: 16    Views: 466
Last Post: 16/04/2014 at 19:05

First day of (meteorological) Spring

How id your garden looking 
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Last Post: 03/03/2014 at 20:31

DIY heated propagator

Making one from scratch 
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Last Post: 30/06/2014 at 19:57

Cost of bird food

bulk vs supermarket 
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Last Post: 10/02/2014 at 12:33

Wild Garden (Community Channel)

On Freeview/Sky 
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Last Post: 10/12/2013 at 12:21

Front garden revamp - before and after photos

Redsigning weedy crazy paving 
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Last Post: 21/10/2013 at 20:16
1 to 15 of 23 threads