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Latest posts by BobTheGardener


Posted: 06/07/2013 at 10:14

Morning all, first day of 2 weeks hols!

Plan is to sort out the front garden and drive.  The garden half was last given a makeover about 12 years ago using the remains of the trunk of a 70ft ash tree which fell on my 2 greenhouses (so I partially got my own back!) but the wood used to make 2 circular raised beds has now been internally consumed by grubs of lesser stag beetles so needs replacing.  The drive has needed doing since I moved in about 30 years ago, but other things have always prevented me from doing it (plus the thought of lifting about 30 square metres of crazy paving has always resulted in my finding 'more important' things to do instead!)  Might start a new thread with photos of progress.

One of these years I might actually go away for a holiday but to be perfectly honest I usually find trips away rather disappointing and can't wait to get back home!

Growth from graft

Posted: 05/07/2013 at 21:22

I second what fidgetbones said and personally would try and get a refund.  If you let it grow you could end up with a very large tree (eg acuminata can grow to 30m!) with fairly insignificant flowers.  If you have a lot of space, fair enough but it will probably take 5 years or so before it starts flowering, at which point you would be able to identify it.  You could always ask the supplier what rootstock it came on and look it up before deciding.

comfrey liquid feed

Posted: 05/07/2013 at 20:11

As mine tends to vary in concentration (I have about a dozen bottles made over the last few years), I always use a rule-of-thumb method: Keep adding small amounts until the water looks like weak tea.  Easy-peasy!


Posted: 05/07/2013 at 19:31

If the tree is too big to pick them off by hand, try hanging a bird feeder on it.  The birds will soon notice them.

Mystery plant- friend or foe? Eat or not?

Posted: 05/07/2013 at 19:28

I agree, almost certainly woody nightshade.  Do not eat!

comfrey liquid feed

Posted: 05/07/2013 at 19:23

Hi little-ann,  The thing to do is bottle it once it is ready.  I use 2 litre plastic pop bottles and they keep for years.  It's a messy and smelly job to do the bottling (use a funnel), but that's the end of the smell until it is time to use it.  It will smell for a few minutes after watering it onto your plants but that soon dissipates.

Talkback: Growing strawberries

Posted: 05/07/2013 at 19:15

scousegarden, strawberries ideally need planting in October and will produce the following July and August.  You might still get a few this year, but they won't crop properly until next summer, so don't give up on them - they will get better each year until they are about 3 or 4 years old, then they really need replacing as viruses build up in them.  If it throws out any runners (long thin shoots with little leaves on the end, pin the end down in a pot of compost with a U of bent wire and that will usually grow into a new plant - for free!  Once it has good roots, you can cut the runner from the mother plant.


Posted: 04/07/2013 at 23:24

I usually cut them off before winter sets in and get a great display so don't think protection is needed.  I do it then so they have more time to compost as they do take a while to break down in the heap.

Strawberry Growing Experiment

Posted: 04/07/2013 at 23:08

Hi little-ann, I have tried them in growbags but found it difficult to provide enough water - I'd water them before work and often found them wilting by the time I got home (must have been one of those rare summers when we actually had some sun!)  I always grow them outside - no room in the greenhouse.  If you have to use containers, I'd recommend at least 30cm pots, or using large (60 or 70l) bags of multi-purpose compost rather than growbags as they will allow the roots to grow fully and they hold more water.  You can cut a bag in half to make two 30 litre half bags as 'pots'.  Use good compost eg JI No.2 or even No.3 as they will be in there for 3 years.  Weekly feeding (I use comfrey feed, but tomato feed is fine) is essential once the flowers appear.

Help please - rust hollyhocks

Posted: 04/07/2013 at 19:54

I agree with Paula - nothing to lose in trying the fungicide.  They look close to flowering which will take the eye away from the leaves.  If you try and grow them again next year, best to try a different spot in the garden - you might be lucky!

Discussions started by BobTheGardener

Plant ID quizzes

Have fun identifying plants! 
Replies: 16    Views: 372
Last Post: 14/09/2014 at 13:17

Watering dried-out pots

Tip to help to stop water running straight through 
Replies: 13    Views: 337
Last Post: 28/07/2014 at 12:28

Blackfly - ladybirds to the rescue!

Broad bean tip blackfly infestation 
Replies: 2    Views: 194
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: 182
Last Post: 05/07/2014 at 18:52

Lovely surprise

I went down the garden in the gloom.. 
Replies: 15    Views: 501
Last Post: 18/06/2014 at 14:32

Dragonfly/Darter/Mayfly ID?

Flew into the polytunnel for a while 
Replies: 6    Views: 311
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: 692
Last Post: 01/06/2014 at 17:42

Deep Down & Dirty: The Science of soil

Replies: 4    Views: 412
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: 484
Last Post: 22/04/2014 at 10:58

Seed grown Wisteria finally in flower - Hooray!

Planted many years ago 
Replies: 3    Views: 245
Last Post: 15/04/2014 at 12:39


Polytunnel growing 
Replies: 16    Views: 541
Last Post: 16/04/2014 at 19:05

First day of (meteorological) Spring

How id your garden looking 
Replies: 13    Views: 557
Last Post: 03/03/2014 at 20:31

DIY heated propagator

Making one from scratch 
Replies: 48    Views: 4215
Last Post: 30/06/2014 at 19:57

Cost of bird food

bulk vs supermarket 
Replies: 31    Views: 1714
Last Post: 10/02/2014 at 12:33

Wild Garden (Community Channel)

On Freeview/Sky 
Replies: 5    Views: 513
Last Post: 10/12/2013 at 12:21
1 to 15 of 24 threads