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Latest posts by BobTheGardener


Posted: 07/08/2013 at 22:44

Hi Tony, I think it's something to do with the file size as well as the pixel size.  If the test image below works, I'll post back with my settings.


 OK, that worked.

My camera produces pictures of 3072 x 2304 at about 3 to 4 MB each.  However, if I upload them as-is, they don't work, so I open them in Irfanview (a free PC image viewer/editor) and use SaveAs to save them as jpeg at 75% quality which keeps them the same pixel size but compresses them to about 1MB in file size.  Any other application which can do this should also work.

Hope that helps!


Posted: 07/08/2013 at 22:28

Parsnips are one of the slowest maturing veg, need sowing early and harvesting late.  I'm not expecting to harvest any of mine before the first frosts affect the top growth, so I think patience is the answer.


Posted: 07/08/2013 at 19:34

You'll need to experiment to find which varieties taste best when grown in your particular soil as they taste very different when grown in different soils, no matter what the suppliers may say.  I spent a few years buying packs of 10 seeds of 6 different varieties before I found the ones that suit both my pallate and my soil.


Posted: 07/08/2013 at 19:30

I suggest you net them next year - well before butterflies appear.  Use 7mm hole size netting.


Posted: 07/08/2013 at 19:21

Hi Sue,  I reckon it's the great weather - all of my brassicas have grown brilliantly this year - have cabbages with solid hearts almost the size of footballs when they normally only get to about 6 inch diameter!  Growth will start slowing now and I'm sure you will get a wonderful harvest of purple-sprouting broc next Spring, but do stake them if necessary as wind-rock can damage the roots.  I can help with the netting - you need to use netting with a maximum of 7mm hole size - any larger and the butterflies can (and will!) squeeze through;  Google "Butterfly netting".  No caterpillars on mine this year thanks to that but dozens of butterflies every day and they have been trying to get in for weeks!  Oh, and watch out for wood pigeons over the Winter - they will destroy unprotected brassicas in very short order - they eat half my crop in one day last year as the netting supports broke so it was lying on the plants and they just pecked through the holes in the netting..


Posted: 06/08/2013 at 23:35

I agree with Verdun and am sure most plant losses over Winter are due to excess water around the roots rather than frost.  I garden on clay soil but even many dahlias survive being left in the soil over Winter since I have learnt to incorporate lots of grit into the soil below their planting positions.


Posted: 06/08/2013 at 21:05

The RHS have the perfect page for you, Joyce:

They may not all be completely deer-proof, but it is a very long list which contains some very nice plants so I'm sure you will eventually find some that are not to your local residents taste.


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!)

Discussions started by BobTheGardener

Anyone for squirrel crumble?

Thieving rodents 
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Last Post: Yesterday at 21:12

Plant ID quizzes

Have fun identifying plants! 
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Last Post: 14/09/2014 at 13:17

Watering dried-out pots

Tip to help to stop water running straight through 
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Last Post: 28/07/2014 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: 514
Last Post: 22/04/2014 at 10:58

Seed grown Wisteria finally in flower - Hooray!

Planted many years ago 
Replies: 3    Views: 267
Last Post: 15/04/2014 at 12:39


Polytunnel growing 
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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 
Replies: 48    Views: 4663
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
1 to 15 of 25 threads