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Latest posts by BobTheGardener

The mystery of the closed greenhouse

Posted: 20/04/2014 at 21:54

I too would suspect mice.  The places they can reach are incredible - they are quite amazing little acrobats!

Tomato Pollination

Posted: 20/04/2014 at 17:12

Tomatoes are self-pollinating but you can help by gently brushing you hand over the flowers or shaking/tapping the stems.  Insects can help of course but they aren't crucial.

Courgettes or Cucumbers?

Posted: 20/04/2014 at 17:07

No problem, OL.

Usually, the biggest problem with courgette Defender is picking them quick enough before they turn into marrows!  Crown Prince can be a bit reluctant to set fruit and you have to hope there is a male flower available when a female is open.  I use a very soft makeup brush to gently transfer pollen from the male to the females.  You have to be very careful as any damage at all to the centre part (stigma) of the female flower will cause the whole flower to drop off after a few days.  If a male flower appears and no female, you can pick it off and keep it in the fridge for a few days to increase your chances.

Hand pollination is best done early in the morning, as soon as the female flower opens.

Problem identifying and treating pear disease

Posted: 20/04/2014 at 16:56

It could be Pear Leaf Blister Mite.  If so, there's not much you can do but it is said to not significantly affect the health or fruiting ability of the tree.

The advice above is to remove affected leaves and shoots but doing that may cause more harm than good if most of the tree is affected:



Courgettes or Cucumbers?

Posted: 20/04/2014 at 16:39

Not bad at all Tricia!    Here's the annotated photo:

A = Courgette "Defender"

B = Winter squash "Crown Prince"

C = Winter squash "Autumn Crown"

D = Pumpkin "Summer Ball"

E = Cucumber "Bella"

F = Winter squash "Barbara"

G = Winter squash "Harrier"

H = Winter squash "High sugar (mixed)"



Posted: 20/04/2014 at 15:55

They are also rather slow to develop - I sowed two types (Blue Cascade and Crystal Palace) in a heated propagator in early March and transplanted small bunches of them into 7cm pots a couple of weeks ago:

Red ants

Posted: 20/04/2014 at 15:35

There are also nematodes which you can water on but those are rather expensive.  Google "Nemasys No Ants" to have a look at those.


Posted: 20/04/2014 at 14:31

That's a beauty Cody, a very high quality tunnel!  I look forward to seeing the results later in the year!

Oh no, lily beetles are back!

Posted: 20/04/2014 at 14:25

DD, you could try putting them on the birdtable and see what happens but brightly coloured insects are displaying a warning  "I taste nasty or am poisonous" so I wouldn't expect them to be taken.

Where best to plant Fuchsia plugs

Posted: 20/04/2014 at 14:20

I would pinch the tops out John.  Doing that will encourage them to bush out and you'll get more blooms.

Discussions started by BobTheGardener

Renovate or remove privet hedge?

Replace or cut back hard? 
Replies: 19    Views: 532
Last Post: 20/09/2015 at 13:33


No real rain here for weeks 
Replies: 11    Views: 297
Last Post: 07/06/2015 at 18:41

Little Red Devils (Lily beetles)

They're about now! 
Replies: 1    Views: 327
Last Post: 06/04/2015 at 17:03

Christmas has come early

New trees 
Replies: 9    Views: 929
Last Post: 19/12/2014 at 16:52

Anyone for squirrel crumble?

Thieving rodents 
Replies: 12    Views: 708
Last Post: 27/11/2014 at 21:12

Plant ID quizzes

Have fun identifying plants! 
Replies: 16    Views: 659
Last Post: 14/09/2014 at 13:17

Watering dried-out pots

Tip to help to stop water running straight through 
Replies: 13    Views: 630
Last Post: 28/07/2014 at 12:28

Blackfly - ladybirds to the rescue!

Broad bean tip blackfly infestation 
Replies: 2    Views: 498
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: 434
Last Post: 05/07/2014 at 18:52

Lovely surprise

I went down the garden in the gloom.. 
Replies: 15    Views: 758
Last Post: 18/06/2014 at 14:32

Dragonfly/Darter/Mayfly ID?

Flew into the polytunnel for a while 
Replies: 6    Views: 668
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: 1143
Last Post: 01/06/2014 at 17:42

Deep Down & Dirty: The Science of soil

Replies: 4    Views: 776
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: 1223
Last Post: 22/04/2014 at 10:58

Seed grown Wisteria finally in flower - Hooray!

Planted many years ago 
Replies: 3    Views: 470
Last Post: 15/04/2014 at 12:39
1 to 15 of 29 threads