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Latest posts by BobTheGardener

Heating for sheds?

Posted: 02/12/2013 at 23:17

The numbers don't really work out for battery-powered heating, Nick.  A typical 12V car battery is rated at about 50Ah which means it can supply 0.6kWh.  A household single bar electric fire is rated at about 1kWh which would mean (if you managed to find a 12V powered heater of the same rating) it would only last for 36 minutes before the car battery was completely flat and needed a recharge (which would take several hours, say 8 or so.)  You'd also have to keep lugging car batteries around (although I suppose that would keep you warm!)  

......the good guys

Posted: 01/12/2013 at 16:46

Another vote for Woottens - good large plants supplied with lots of cultural information.  I've decided I'm only going to buy live plants from suppliers who have delivery tracking from now on.  Some of the better known mail order suppliers have let me down badly this year despite ordering well in advance and those companies provide no tracking information.  I've received several emails after making enquiries that 'they have just been despatched' etc which turned out to be.. well.. lies.  They have blown it as far as I'm concerned - I spend several hundred pounds every year on plants and they will be getting none of it!

thyme pruning

Posted: 01/12/2013 at 16:35

I fully agree with Verdun (as usual!)  What I sometimes do when they have grown long woody stems is to plant new ones which grow over the bare stems of the older ones.  By the time the new thymes have grown to cover those old stems (usually a couple of years), the old plants can be removed or cut back almost to the ground - if they survive (rare) it's a bonus.


Posted: 01/12/2013 at 16:30

Hi Heather, can you describe or take a photo of the mould?  Without knowing exactly what it is, it's difficult to advise.  Removing all of the plants and watering the gravel with diluted Jeyes Fluid might help if it's some form of fungus but probably not if it's an algae like Nostoc commune.



Posted: 01/12/2013 at 16:21

Hi Darren and welcome!  I think the best thing to do by far is treat it as a clean sheet and dig it all over, removing every piece of root you see.  Modern weedkillers only work when the plants are in full growth, so spraying now would be virtually useless - all of the perennial weeds have already gone dormant.

Rather than tackling the whole thing in one go, I'd do it in sections but doing each section well.  That way you'll see results as you progress which is important to keep you motivated - it's all too easy to take on too much as most of experienced gardeners know only too well from their early days!

If you do it before the hard frosts set in, those will help to break up any big lumps of soil which you can leave on the top after digging it over.  When spring comes, fork-in as much compost or well-rotted (it's important it is well rotted with no straw or soggy stuff) manure as you can lay yours hand on.  General purpose multi-purpose compost is fine if you can't easily get farmyard manure or spent mushroom compost etc.

By doing it this way any plants or shrubs you plant will get off the a great start and have enough food for several years.




Posted: 30/11/2013 at 13:02

And it's Zebadee, surely?!  Zébulon in the original French version according to Wiki.  In that version, Dougal speaks broken English, so the French were doing a bit of a reverse 'Allo 'Allo! on us at the time!

hawian palm tree

Posted: 30/11/2013 at 12:50

Blairs, I'm assuming it's Brighamia insignis as those are commonly sold in GCs etc.:

Perhaps Barbara can confirm?



Planting Jasmine nudiflorum

Posted: 30/11/2013 at 12:47

Not really, Lulu - it's one of the least fussy shrubs there is.   Plant in full sun for the best flowers but it'll handle part shade.

hawian palm tree

Posted: 29/11/2013 at 21:59

Barbara, I would treat it like any houseplant:  Never overwater - if the compost feels at all damp, do not water it until it feels very dry.  Keep away from central heating if possible - most houseplants hate it.  In the Winter, keep it on a South-facing windowsill, in the Summer move it to to somewhere more shaded.  Don't forget to feed it - use baby bio etc diluted to the rate recommended on the bottle.

Cleaning plastic plant labels

Posted: 28/11/2013 at 23:52

Same experience here with the actual plastic going brittle after only one season, fidgetbones.  They really need to make them from UV-proof plastic.  UPVC as used to make windows would be ideal but google isn't coming up with anything.  I'm sure someone could make a lot of money by selling slightly more expensive but longer lasting ones - a 5 year life would be fine.  There are plenty of expensive ones (some £5 each!) but no middle ground it seems.

Discussions started by BobTheGardener

Little Red Devils (Lily beetles)

They're about now! 
Replies: 1    Views: 145
Last Post: 06/04/2015 at 17:03

Christmas has come early

New trees 
Replies: 9    Views: 798
Last Post: 19/12/2014 at 16:52

Anyone for squirrel crumble?

Thieving rodents 
Replies: 12    Views: 594
Last Post: 27/11/2014 at 21:12

Plant ID quizzes

Have fun identifying plants! 
Replies: 16    Views: 534
Last Post: 14/09/2014 at 13:17

Watering dried-out pots

Tip to help to stop water running straight through 
Replies: 13    Views: 475
Last Post: 28/07/2014 at 12:28

Blackfly - ladybirds to the rescue!

Broad bean tip blackfly infestation 
Replies: 2    Views: 336
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: 315
Last Post: 05/07/2014 at 18:52

Lovely surprise

I went down the garden in the gloom.. 
Replies: 15    Views: 624
Last Post: 18/06/2014 at 14:32

Dragonfly/Darter/Mayfly ID?

Flew into the polytunnel for a while 
Replies: 6    Views: 527
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: 987
Last Post: 01/06/2014 at 17:42

Deep Down & Dirty: The Science of soil

Replies: 4    Views: 602
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: 681
Last Post: 22/04/2014 at 10:58

Seed grown Wisteria finally in flower - Hooray!

Planted many years ago 
Replies: 3    Views: 357
Last Post: 15/04/2014 at 12:39


Polytunnel growing 
Replies: 16    Views: 668
Last Post: 16/04/2014 at 19:05

First day of (meteorological) Spring

How id your garden looking 
Replies: 13    Views: 719
Last Post: 03/03/2014 at 20:31
1 to 15 of 27 threads