Latest posts by BobTheGardener


Posted: 22/06/2013 at 16:06

Hi Lulubella,  You may be lucky enough to have some kind of gardening club in your area - worth a google.  There are often very experienced folk at these and many will be happy to be paid with a cup of tea and bit of cake!

Best fruit cage materials?

Posted: 22/06/2013 at 15:55

What are the connectors made of?  If plastic, lubricate with a few drops of washing-up liquid as this will not react with the plastic like oil-based products can and will wash off in the rain - a plumbers trick for any kind of plastic pipe joints.  If aluminium, then remove any manufacturing burrs and tap them in with a rubber mallet.


Posted: 21/06/2013 at 21:35

Fireblight shouldn't be affecting the bottom of the main trunk unless it is an extremely young tree.  Damage at that level sounds like Honey Fungus - check for black root-like growths just beneath the bark at ground level.  It's entirely possible you have both and the Honey fungus is weakening the trees in that area, allowing fireblight to quickly take hold.  Get an expert to look at them is my advice.


Posted: 20/06/2013 at 18:56

KEF, Jersey Royal seed potatoes can be bought as "International kidney", however you're quite right in that they don't taste as good as those grown in Jersey!  They used to use seaweed on the south-facing slopes to grow them in but I suspect that is a dieing practice.  Spuds do taste different depending on the soil - best bet is to keep trying different varieties each year until you find some that taste good when grown in your plot.  Anya are the best tasting in my garden.

Summer has arrived

Posted: 19/06/2013 at 22:56

Some beautiful plants in the photos everyone!  We must remember to enjoy the fruits of our efforts especially at this time of the year and this thread is a great way to do it.

I find it's all too easy to be kept so busy weeding, watering etc that I sometimes forget to just sit in the garden and enjoy looking at it!


Posted: 19/06/2013 at 22:37

Verdun, I lift the lot after the leaves have died back like WW.

Fairygirl: You plant one shallot from the previous year and it splits into several new shallots which grow outwards in a circle.  When you cut a mature shallot open, you can see there are several parts, a bit like a garlic bulb but not separated by skin into cloves.  Each part grows into a new bulb the next year:


Summer has arrived

Posted: 18/06/2013 at 22:22

Just before I came in 3 swifts came very low and swooped through a low part of a hedge (just as I stood up from weeding) passing just a couple of feet over my head  - they are quite big birds when you see them up close and coming straight at you!   About 18" wingspan I would guess.

Any know what these plants are ?

Posted: 18/06/2013 at 22:11

Scabiosa.  Several suppliers were selling "Blue jeans" this year - I have some too.


Turnip Root Worm

Posted: 18/06/2013 at 18:41

Hi Suzanne, depends what 'root worm' is.  If it's cabbage root fly which attacks all brassicas - see here:

then planting any other brassicas in their place will very likely be a problem.  You could treat the area with Nemasys Grow Your Own (as mentioned in the RHS link above) which is a mixture of nematodes which prey on cabbage root fly (and many other pests) and will help to clear up the problem.  Crop rotation is a must once you have had a root fly infestation, so don't grow any brassicas in that piece of ground next year.


Posted: 18/06/2013 at 00:24

It can be hit and miss as to whether you get a second flush - depends on the weather.  Some varieties will self seed, others (F1s) are often sterile.  I've grown seeds from some of mine (parents were all blue) and got a mixture of colours, but many were quite bland (eg dirty whites and some with sparse flowers.)  One thing I've learnt from experience is to cut them down right to the ground at the end of the year.  I left some until the next spring once (I usually leave most of my plants uncut to provide winter cover for wildlife) but found that the next year the flowers had all been eaten when they were small by caterpillars of the delphinium moth.  They overwinter inside the hollow stems..

Discussions started by BobTheGardener

Plant ID quizzes

Have fun identifying plants! 
Replies: 16    Views: 331
Last Post: 14/09/2014 at 13:17

Watering dried-out pots

Tip to help to stop water running straight through 
Replies: 13    Views: 309
Last Post: 28/07/2014 at 12:28

Blackfly - ladybirds to the rescue!

Broad bean tip blackfly infestation 
Replies: 2    Views: 171
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: 158
Last Post: 05/07/2014 at 18:52

Lovely surprise

I went down the garden in the gloom.. 
Replies: 15    Views: 477
Last Post: 18/06/2014 at 14:32

Dragonfly/Darter/Mayfly ID?

Flew into the polytunnel for a while 
Replies: 6    Views: 285
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: 549
Last Post: 01/06/2014 at 17:42

Deep Down & Dirty: The Science of soil

Replies: 4    Views: 369
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: 449
Last Post: 22/04/2014 at 10:58

Seed grown Wisteria finally in flower - Hooray!

Planted many years ago 
Replies: 3    Views: 214
Last Post: 15/04/2014 at 12:39


Polytunnel growing 
Replies: 16    Views: 522
Last Post: 16/04/2014 at 19:05

First day of (meteorological) Spring

How id your garden looking 
Replies: 13    Views: 529
Last Post: 03/03/2014 at 20:31

DIY heated propagator

Making one from scratch 
Replies: 48    Views: 3883
Last Post: 30/06/2014 at 19:57

Cost of bird food

bulk vs supermarket 
Replies: 31    Views: 1629
Last Post: 10/02/2014 at 12:33

Wild Garden (Community Channel)

On Freeview/Sky 
Replies: 5    Views: 487
Last Post: 10/12/2013 at 12:21
1 to 15 of 24 threads