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Latest posts by BobTheGardener


Posted: 28/07/2013 at 11:23

Hi John, the answer is "it depends"..

Received wisdom says that once you have 4 or 5 trusses that you should pinch-out the tops of the plants which will prevent any more flower trusses being produced.  However, you only want to do this if all of the lower trusses have already set fruit which may not be the case - I have had years in which the bottom two trusses failed to set so doing that would have resulted in a very small crop.  My advice is to nip out the tops once you have 4 or 5 trusses of SET fruit, or when the tops of the plants have reached roof level or have otherwise out-grown the available space.  The other consideration is the weather and time of the year - if there isn't enough time left for new fruit to grow and ripen then you don't want the plant to waste energy producing fruit which will never ripen.  That one is a judgement call as it depends on local growing conditions.  Commericial producers with heated greenhouses grow tomato plants to 20+ feet tall for instance.

What's the weather like in your area?

Posted: 27/07/2013 at 21:32

According to my weather station 27 mm (over an inch) in the last hour and still going strong! (Leicestershire)

Tomatoes not Ripening

Posted: 27/07/2013 at 17:27

I'd need a lot of convincing that any of those things can have any impact on ripening.  I started mine late this year (sown on Good Friday) and they are ripening just fine.  I have 10 varieties including 'heritage' Italian, so the seeds are likely to have come from all over the world.

What is different this year is the compost which has been available.  Most of the common suppliers are using new formulas because of the upcoming restriction on using peat as a base.  Luckily, the one I use hasn't changed yet.  Are you using commercial compost and if so does it appear any different this year to previous years?  Are you growing more than one variety so we can eliminate a bad batch of seeds?  I feel sure this can only be a cultural matter.

PS, once the temperature goes above about 27C, this will slow down growth just as low temperatures will, so the recent hot weather may not actually be helping!

where do I find this strange onion?

Posted: 27/07/2013 at 02:47

Other common (or maybe not so common these days!) names are 'tree onions' and 'walking onions'.

dead wisteria but possible

Posted: 26/07/2013 at 19:40

It depends whether the original was grafted.  If so, the new shoot from the roots will be different.  If it wasn't a grafted one, the new shoot will grow into an identical form.  Either way, it will likely take a few years before it will flower again though - just keep up with the recommended way of pruning.

I know this may not help but I had a similar experience with one of my Wisteria but the new shoot eventually died too, about 2 seasons later.  When I dug it out I found the roots had been attacked by Honey Fungus.

what's my plant?

Posted: 26/07/2013 at 19:32

It does sound like an Eryngium but there are a lot of forms - a photo would help if you can manage it?

Tomato plants in greenhouse

Posted: 26/07/2013 at 19:27

I agree with Italophile - good air circulation is essential to reduce the chance of fungal problems.  Exactly how you do this is up to you, just as long as you do do it!

Talkback: How to plant and grow asparagus

Posted: 25/07/2013 at 20:53

Just let them grow freely as the ferny stems are photosynthesising and feeding the roots - the more ferns the better.  Cut the stems down to about 5cm after they die in the autumn.  What you shouldn't do is start harvesting the young shoots in the first two springs after planting as you want the roots to establish and grow as much as possible.

Identify two new tree shoots

Posted: 25/07/2013 at 19:39

Those could be Elder (Sambuca) and Ash.  It is very difficult to tell many tree seedlings apart at their early stages.  Ash trees seedlings are blown in by the wind but many of the things you mention grow from bird droppings - they eat the fruit and deposit the seed together with a nice dollop of fertiliser to get things started!  Indeed, many seeds need to be eaten and go through the digestive system of animals before they will germinate.


Posted: 24/07/2013 at 18:35

It sounds like they need pollinating.  Are there any male flowers (these just have stems with no small courgette behind the flower)?

Discussions started by BobTheGardener

Anyone for squirrel crumble?

Thieving rodents 
Replies: 5    Views: 194
Last Post: 25/10/2014 at 22:29

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.. 
Replies: 15    Views: 506
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.. 
Replies: 16    Views: 710
Last Post: 01/06/2014 at 17:42

Deep Down & Dirty: The Science of soil

Replies: 4    Views: 415
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: 487
Last Post: 22/04/2014 at 10:58

Seed grown Wisteria finally in flower - Hooray!

Planted many years ago 
Replies: 3    Views: 248
Last Post: 15/04/2014 at 12:39


Polytunnel growing 
Replies: 16    Views: 545
Last Post: 16/04/2014 at 19:05

First day of (meteorological) Spring

How id your garden looking 
Replies: 13    Views: 561
Last Post: 03/03/2014 at 20:31

DIY heated propagator

Making one from scratch 
Replies: 48    Views: 4309
Last Post: 30/06/2014 at 19:57

Cost of bird food

bulk vs supermarket 
Replies: 31    Views: 1735
Last Post: 10/02/2014 at 12:33
1 to 15 of 25 threads