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Latest posts by BobTheGardener

Help! Crows feasting on my apples

Posted: 29/08/2013 at 19:08

How to cook a crow:

Build a fire and when it is burning well, throw in a couple of rocks and the crow.  When the rocks go soft the crow is ready to eat.

(Adapted from an Australian joke)

Moving Black currant bush

Posted: 29/08/2013 at 19:02

Sybille, now is not the best time to move shrubs like blackcurrant - best to wait until late Autumn.   They are tough plants though, so if you must move it now it would very likely be OK as long as you kept it well watered for the next 6-8 weeks. You want to dig a circle all the way around it and take as much root (with soil still attached) as possible.  The bigger the root-ball the better.  They also grow incredibly easily from cuttings - cut branches that are at least a foot long from a main stem and remove all of the leaves.  Trim the bottoms with a cut straight across and then trim the tops with an angled cut so you are left with 'sticks' about 9-10 inches long.  Plant them so that 2/3rds of the cutting is under the soil.  Wait.  


Posted: 28/08/2013 at 20:13

Hi Lyndab, that's quite an unusual colouring for a starling though I'm sure you're right, looking at the chest plumage.  I think the bee/wasp is actually a hoverfly.

Newbie Help on fungus

Posted: 28/08/2013 at 20:01

The stuff on the apple tree is a lichen as others have said.  However, even the fastest growing lichen only grows at 1cm per year, so I think the other plants you mention are covered in something else - most probably powdery mildew.

Lichen will only grow where the air is of excellent quality as it is killed by pollution so having it is a good sign.

Powdery mildew on the other hand is a pain:


Flat green bugs on tomatos

Posted: 28/08/2013 at 19:29

Shield bugs - almost certainly the common green (Palomena prasina), at their 5th larval stage (known as the 5th instar.)  Fascinating creatures:


Runner Beans

Posted: 28/08/2013 at 19:06

Hi Jessica, yes you can start them off in little pots - many of us do that to give them a head start.  I usually start them off in early-mid April.  I sow direct in the ground in early May.  Those times are not fixed though - so much depends on the weather.  They will not take any frost at all, so the danger is that late frosts will mean they have to be kept in the greenhouse longer than expected and can grow so much that they get tangled together.  When they get to that stage they rarely grow well when planted out.  My advice is to sow half the seeds in small pots and keep half until there is no longer any danger of a frost, then plant the remaining half of the seeds directly into the ground.  As an aside, doing that will also give you a longer cropping season.


Posted: 27/08/2013 at 18:57

Or possibly some sort of basil?  Rub a leaf - all basils have distinctive smells.


Posted: 26/08/2013 at 20:55

I'm not sure it's a beetle at all - the definition is that they have wing cases covering the wings, but these wings look like they are on the outside.  Also the eyes are rather large, suggesting a wasp, bee or fly of some kind.


Posted: 26/08/2013 at 19:07

That won't normally work MadBartman - runners will die if detached from the mother plant before they have developed their own roots.  Is there any way you could build something to raise small pots up to the same level as the plants?  Even using duct tape to attach the pots to the side of the tower might work.


Posted: 26/08/2013 at 18:07

Fill small pots with compost and peg the nodes (ie the bits with leaves) of the runners down into the pots.  Leave the runners attached to the mother plant until they have rooted well into the small pots (you should see roots coming through the holes at the bottom.)

Discussions started by BobTheGardener

Christmas has come early

New trees 
Replies: 9    Views: 490
Last Post: 19/12/2014 at 16:52

Anyone for squirrel crumble?

Thieving rodents 
Replies: 12    Views: 521
Last Post: 27/11/2014 at 21:12

Plant ID quizzes

Have fun identifying plants! 
Replies: 16    Views: 463
Last Post: 14/09/2014 at 13:17

Watering dried-out pots

Tip to help to stop water running straight through 
Replies: 13    Views: 398
Last Post: 28/07/2014 at 12:28

Blackfly - ladybirds to the rescue!

Broad bean tip blackfly infestation 
Replies: 2    Views: 274
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: 568
Last Post: 18/06/2014 at 14:32

Dragonfly/Darter/Mayfly ID?

Flew into the polytunnel for a while 
Replies: 6    Views: 435
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: 906
Last Post: 01/06/2014 at 17:42

Deep Down & Dirty: The Science of soil

Replies: 4    Views: 525
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: 567
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


Polytunnel growing 
Replies: 16    Views: 604
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: 5888
Last Post: 30/06/2014 at 19:57
1 to 15 of 26 threads