Latest posts by BobTheGardener

Anyone done any gardening today?

Posted: 28/03/2015 at 18:53

Got the cucumber, melon, squash and pumpkin seeds sown (45 in total) and a few more trays of various flowers, mostly perennials.  Soil in the rasied beds (for carrots and parsnips) prepared.  Noticed about half the tomato seeds have germinated, some of them from 10 year old packets I found when having a clear-out!  Definitely going to have space problems soon..

Rat problem

Posted: 28/03/2015 at 11:46

There is never only one rat Kate.  The gestation period is 3 weeks and they have on average 7 offspring, each of which is sexually mature in another 5 weeks..

Plant ID Please

Posted: 28/03/2015 at 11:35

If you are going to dig over any areas where either of these are, they will spread like mad.  The celendine propagates itself by both seed and it's main method, hundreds of tiny bulblets (bulbils) each about 3mm.  The the top growth dies down completely after it finishes flowering.  The cuckoo pint does similar but the bulbs are larger and irregularly shaped.  If you don't disturb the ground where they are they tend to only spread slowly and it will be several years before a colony grows to a couple of square feet.  I have more of a love-hate relationship with them - I love them where I want them but hate them everywhere else (like where the cuckoo pint has invaded the roots of a tree peony!)  Just be careful to note the areas where they are if you are doing any planting!

Anyone done any gardening today?

Posted: 27/03/2015 at 20:33

Got my spuds planted, shredded a coppiced hazel and a huge pile of other stuff.  Found homes for the 2 globe artichokes.  Had a rest and felt really hungry so was looking forward to my dinner when the power went off at 6.30pm!  Rang the electricity supplier and they estimated that it would be restored at 10.30pm..

As I'm all electric that meant cold food so I rigged-up a battery powered light in the now dark kitchen so we could make sandwiches and, just as I finished spreading the butter and laying on the filling, the power came back on!

Clearly, I have no choice but to eat the sandwiches AND my dinner!

What is this please?

Posted: 27/03/2015 at 16:06

As it is on gravel, it might be worth using a flame gun - that would kill 'em and zap any seeds, too, so you'd be rid of it for much longer.  They cost about £25 on amazon and come with 4 cans of gas.  Cost for hiring one is about the same for a day, but the pro ones are a lot more powerful and better for large areas.


Peach tree

Posted: 27/03/2015 at 14:14


Can anyone tell me what this plant is please?

Posted: 27/03/2015 at 14:12

I'm not 100% sure that it's cow parsley but is certainly in the Apiaceae (umbellifer) family.  They are all quite pretty and as long as you cut the flower spike off before the seeds form, you can leave and enjoy them.  Lot's of folk now grow cow parsley on purpose.

Has anyone seen this plant before?

Posted: 27/03/2015 at 13:33

It will only grow to 25ft in it's native climate (central America) and when in the ground.  As a housplant in a pot it you can just keep it until it gets too big and then dump it and start another.  Pinching out the growing tip should keep it in check for longer.

What is this please?

Posted: 27/03/2015 at 13:21

Heather, that is hairy bittercress and a real nuisance.  It is just about the fastest known plant from germination to seeding and, worse, the seeds fly off a long way when they are ripe!  You need to keep pulling it up before it goes to seed but you will be plagued with it forever once you have it, unfortunately!

What To Grow In a Big Box

Posted: 27/03/2015 at 10:33

Yes Jazzmini, you do need to winter-prune them for the first few years to establish the correct shape but after that you can summer-prune which is really just pruning the tips of the branches to keep them to the size you want.  It's not as difficult as some make it out to be.

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