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Latest posts by BobTheGardener

Clematis Montana Var Rubens 'Pink Perfection'

Posted: 08/02/2015 at 15:52

It is actually recommended to cut all 1 year old clematis back to about 30cm regardless of type.  The idea is to stimulate more growth from the base which is far easier to do when they are so young.  My advice is therefore to do it now and lose this year's flowers.  In the long run you'll end up with a better plant.

something eating my broccoli

Posted: 08/02/2015 at 12:38

Sometimes using the 'back' button on your web browser can re-post stuff like that, Potty Lotty.

something eating my broccoli

Posted: 07/02/2015 at 14:01

Pigeons, without a doubt.


Posted: 07/02/2015 at 13:59

There is a small colony of these growing on an east-facing bare soil bank (45 degree slope) underneath some very old Yew trees which I've been admiring on my walk to work each morning for the last couple of weeks.   Clearly they can grow anywhere if they are happy, but I was surprised to see them thriving in that spot!  The council use a leaf-blower to remove all fallen leaves from this bank every year, too.

Old Apple Tree

Posted: 06/02/2015 at 19:29

I agree with BL - tackle it over 2 or 3 years and don't take out too much in one go.  Watch for 'water shoots' which will appear after heavy pruning.  The RHS don't recommend treating tree cut wounds any more.  See their advice for renovative pruning of old apple and pear trees here:




Fertilzer Concentrations

Posted: 05/02/2015 at 23:12

The NPK values are the ratios to each other and nothing more.  It should really be written N:P:K but this forum will mess-up certain combinations of colons and numbers and display emoticons instead, so I'll use the dash below!

For example, a 10-6-4 will have 10 parts Nitrates, 6 parts Phosphates and 4 parts Potash.

So, for solid fertilizers, 100 grams of a 10-6-4 would have 50g Nitrates, 30g Phosphates and 20g Potash.

If supplied as a liquid, 1 litre of a 12-8-10 woulld have 400ml N, 267ml P and 333ml K.

Not sure if that helps, but there you go.

hawthorne and honeysuckle

Posted: 05/02/2015 at 18:30

Hawthorn can be tricky to root from cuttings (it is usually propagated from seed) but it can be done - I had a success rate of about 15% or so when I tried many years ago.


Posted: 01/02/2015 at 20:48

Just a tip, Victoria and everyone else:  You should not trust the colours you see on any website, ever.  From a technical viewpoint, I can assure you that there are simply too many variables and that you will NEVER see true colours on the web.  If you have more than one PC/laptop/i-thing, place them next to each other and you will also see that even those don't show the same colour on the same website!

no fruit on trees

Posted: 31/01/2015 at 12:22

As long asyou have at least two of each species (ie two varieties of apple, two pears etc) then they should pollinate each other if you have chosen compatible varieties (apples will only pollinate other apples etc.)  However, at 1000 feet above sea level, the problem is likely to be lack of pollinators at blossoming time.  Try hand-pollinating using a small, soft brush, like a make-up brush.  You will need to gently push it into as many flowers on one (say) apple tree before moving on to the other apple, then switch back to the first tree again and re-do it.  After that move on to the pears, then cherries etc.  It would be worth trying to encourage pollinating insects (especially native bees) to overwinter in your garden by creating 'bee hotels' (google that for ideas).  Having a pile or two made of short logs, branches and covered with leaves etc in sheltered corners of your garden is a natural way of creating such a habitat.  To get the pollinators to choose your garden to overwinter in, you will also need to grow as many species of 'pollinator friendly' flowers as you can throughout the year.  In general they don't like windy sites so surrounding your garden with hedges, shrubs etc will help create the right sort of micro-climate.


Posted: 29/01/2015 at 19:04

Worm casts are high in nutrients and very good for the grass, so it really should be growing rampantly.  Worms don't eat living plant tissue, so I suspect the real problem is that your lawn is being eaten from below by one of the common lawn pests, with leatherjackets (cranefly larvae) being the most likely.  Try treating it with nemasys leatherjacket killer if you prefer safe organic control, or a general lawn pest control product if you don't mind using pesticides.

Discussions started by BobTheGardener

Christmas has come early

New trees 
Replies: 9    Views: 781
Last Post: 19/12/2014 at 16:52

Anyone for squirrel crumble?

Thieving rodents 
Replies: 12    Views: 579
Last Post: 27/11/2014 at 21:12

Plant ID quizzes

Have fun identifying plants! 
Replies: 16    Views: 515
Last Post: 14/09/2014 at 13:17

Watering dried-out pots

Tip to help to stop water running straight through 
Replies: 13    Views: 455
Last Post: 28/07/2014 at 12:28

Blackfly - ladybirds to the rescue!

Broad bean tip blackfly infestation 
Replies: 2    Views: 319
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: 308
Last Post: 05/07/2014 at 18:52

Lovely surprise

I went down the garden in the gloom.. 
Replies: 15    Views: 612
Last Post: 18/06/2014 at 14:32

Dragonfly/Darter/Mayfly ID?

Flew into the polytunnel for a while 
Replies: 6    Views: 513
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: 958
Last Post: 01/06/2014 at 17:42

Deep Down & Dirty: The Science of soil

Replies: 4    Views: 584
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: 630
Last Post: 22/04/2014 at 10:58

Seed grown Wisteria finally in flower - Hooray!

Planted many years ago 
Replies: 3    Views: 348
Last Post: 15/04/2014 at 12:39


Polytunnel growing 
Replies: 16    Views: 651
Last Post: 16/04/2014 at 19:05

First day of (meteorological) Spring

How id your garden looking 
Replies: 13    Views: 702
Last Post: 03/03/2014 at 20:31

DIY heated propagator

Making one from scratch 
Replies: 48    Views: 7611
Last Post: 30/06/2014 at 19:57
1 to 15 of 26 threads