Latest posts by BobTheGardener

How to take Rose Cuttings

Posted: 05/07/2015 at 18:22

Usually, take hardwood cuttings in Autumn.  This is a piece of stem with no soft growth at the top (ie you cut that off.)  You need a piece of stem with all leaves removed about 10 inches long and which is about the thickness of a pencil.  Best to take several as not all will take root.  I dig a narrow trench about 8 inches deep and line the bottom with a two inch layer of sharp sand then place the cuttings in vertically so that about 4 inches protrude above the ground (making sure they are the right way up!)  It's then just a matter of waiting and if you have been lucky, new shoots will appear in spring or summer.  Leave them in the trench for at least a year by which time those which are still alive should have produced roots strong enough to be transplanted to where you want them to live permanently.  It's very hit-and-miss as to whether it works though.


Making own softsoap

Posted: 05/07/2015 at 18:12

2 or 3 drops in a 1 litre hand sprayer is ample.  All the soap does is break the surface tension of the water so that the aphids are covered by a thin layer of water which suffocates them.  The soap serves no other purpose (ie it doesn't act as a poison) so adding more is only likely to damage your plants.

Weed Fabric Control

Posted: 05/07/2015 at 17:57

Tina, when I covered my front drive in slate chippings, I put down a layer of weed control fabric and a second layer of ground control fabric (which is stronger) on top of that to protect the weed fabric from the sharp edges of the stones.  The reason I did this is that I previously found that gravel punctures weed control fabric when that is used on its own.  The stuff I used came from screwfix and is working extremely well.


Tomatoe Plants

Posted: 05/07/2015 at 17:30

Some of the large fruited varieties do this and you get a larger, sometimes very distorted fruit from that flower.  It may be caused by fasciation or is believed to be natural in some varieties and is called the 'king' flower and produces a 'king' fruit.




Identification of Plant

Posted: 05/07/2015 at 17:21

It's a snapdragon (antirrhinum), Enez.


Posted: 05/07/2015 at 16:17

I didn't see any earlier in the year and about a month ago my broad beans became infested with blackfly, far too many to knock off with the hose and too many to try washing-up liquid spray (I don't use any commercial pesticides any more) so I just decided to leave them to see what would happen.

The plants are sill crawling with insects.. but now they are ladybirds and their larvae and most of the blackfly have been eaten!  The crop is much reduced of course but there are now hundreds of ladybirds available in my garden and they are flying onto other plants and cleaning those up too.

Basically, the broad bean plants acted as a ladybird farm.


Posted: 04/07/2015 at 17:47

The cheapest way is to buy bare root bushes which become available from Autumn to early Spring and should be planted immediately providing the ground isn't frozen.  Get 2 or 3 year old bushes if you can.  You can also buy pot-grown bushes and those can be planted at any time.  Prepare the ground well by digging-in a lot of well-rotted manure and/or compost now and it will be ready for when you buy and plant them.  Each year, mulch the surface of the ground around them with more compost/manure and they will have everything they need although a sprinking of blood, fish and bone in spring will be of benefit.  Harvest the fruit when it is ripe (easy to tell as the birds will suddenly become very interested in them!) which will be any time from about mid June to the end of July depending on where you are.


Posted: 04/07/2015 at 17:27

Yes, one pot each Angela.


Posted: 04/07/2015 at 15:33

6 inch pots are too small for a tomato and will dry out too quickly hence the wilting.  Pot them on into pots of about twice that diameter and they will be fine.

Strange fungus

Posted: 04/07/2015 at 15:29

I agree and would get a tree surgeon in to give an opinion.  As nut says, the tree is certain to have started rotting inside for the fungus to appear and with that huge side branch making it look rather unbalanced, it may get into a dangerous state and come down one day in strong winds.

Discussions started by BobTheGardener

Winter soft fruit pruning

Some things to do now 
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Last Post: 04/02/2017 at 17:52

'Dramatic' music in TV programmes

Increase in noise! 
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Autumn foliage photos (2016)

Thought I'd start a thread just for our photos 
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Last Post: 03/12/2016 at 00:32

Gardener's World about to start now!

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Last Post: 14/07/2016 at 16:55

Cutting ID

I thought these were philadelphus 
Replies: 3    Views: 393
Last Post: 11/07/2016 at 17:34


Hope it finds it's way home 
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Last Post: 26/04/2016 at 18:22

Vine weevils

..ate all of my winter carrots! 
Replies: 8    Views: 1379
Last Post: 01/01/2016 at 22:01

Huge pest problem

Don't think netting will work 
Replies: 10    Views: 1009
Last Post: 19/12/2015 at 21:00

Renovate or remove privet hedge?

Replace or cut back hard? 
Replies: 19    Views: 2188
Last Post: 20/09/2015 at 13:33


No real rain here for weeks 
Replies: 11    Views: 691
Last Post: 07/06/2015 at 18:41

Little Red Devils (Lily beetles)

They're about now! 
Replies: 1    Views: 712
Last Post: 06/04/2015 at 17:03

Christmas has come early

New trees 
Replies: 9    Views: 1335
Last Post: 19/12/2014 at 16:52

Anyone for squirrel crumble?

Thieving rodents 
Replies: 12    Views: 1122
Last Post: 27/11/2014 at 21:12

Plant ID quizzes

Have fun identifying plants! 
Replies: 16    Views: 1167
Last Post: 14/09/2014 at 13:17

Watering dried-out pots

Tip to help to stop water running straight through 
Replies: 13    Views: 1161
Last Post: 28/07/2014 at 12:28
1 to 15 of 37 threads