Latest posts by BobTheGardener

Murphy's Sequestrene

Posted: 11/09/2016 at 14:27

That particular brand seems no longer available (this same topic came up a year or two ago.)

Search for "sequestered iron feed" which is what this stuff is.

Plants dying?

Posted: 11/09/2016 at 14:14

Agree with Tetley, Hogweed & Palaisglide to some extent.

However, I've just read all of your previous posts Cat3 and can see this is a new build and you described your garden as boggy and have had lots of plant and tree problems.

I think the issue is that you are on a particularly tricky type of clay and plants have been put into holes in the clay which have been filled with bought-in topsoil.  This is a recipe for disaster as when the clay is boggy, the water drains into the planting holes which act as sumps and the plants and trees suffer from waterlogging which makes the roots rot.  When the weather becomes drier, the clay turns into a concrete-like layer and sucks all of the water out (as evidenced by your dry looking grass.)  Because of the damaged roots, the trees are unable to support the leaves and this leads to premature leaf drop or even death.

There is no easy way to solve this issue other than by wholesale improvement of your soil by incorporating large amounts of organic matter (mushroom compost being a relatively inexpensive way of obtaining this.)  Adding large amounts of grit would help too.  From you previous posts I also note that you are unable to do this work yourself and employ gardeners so would suggest that rather then spending lots of money on expensive plants (and gardeners which don't seem to be very good) that you invest in getting a landscaping firm in who can use machines to incorporate the soil improvers and rotovate it all in thoroughly.  Sorry if this is not what you wanted to hear but is the best advice I can offer.

Last edited: 11 September 2016 14:17:12

Raspberry canes - potassium problem?

Posted: 11/09/2016 at 13:54

Agree with fidgetbones.  Some of them may have died though - I have a success rate of about 75% when planting bare-root raspberries, regardless of type.  When planted in rows, nearby plants always send enough runners to colonise the gaps (and usually lots of other places where they are not wanted, too!)  It may take a couple of years before they become fully 'rampant'.

Last edited: 11 September 2016 13:55:08

I can't identify this plant

Posted: 11/09/2016 at 13:48

Indian Pokeweed (Phytolacca acinosa):

Same stuff asAmerican Pokeweed.  Variable.

Last edited: 11 September 2016 13:50:18

Pear tree leaves

Posted: 10/09/2016 at 19:19

Do both Huddy.  Some years are worse than others but it's always worth keeping a close eye on your pears then pick off any leaves as soon as you see an orange spot appear.

Coloured beds but mixed Tulip bulbs...

Posted: 10/09/2016 at 19:11

Sometimes it's possible to separate mixed packs by looking at the shape, and colour of the bulb skins but only if they are mixed varieties.  Personally, I no longer buy mixed packs and if they come as free offers they only get planted into pots.

Last edited: 10 September 2016 19:12:00

Pear tree leaves

Posted: 10/09/2016 at 19:05

Pear rust.  Remove all affected leaves.  The disease needs two hosts with Juniper being the other one, so removing any nearby junipers will help to lessen the chances of it reappearing next year.

Aftercare of tree lilies

Posted: 10/09/2016 at 19:01

Wait until the stems are dead and pull away easily from the bulb.  Don't cut the stems while they are green as they are still feeding the bulbs ready for next year.


Posted: 08/09/2016 at 19:03

I've used over a hundred bags of this brand and they do occasionally smell when they have been in the sun, which makes the bacteria which break down organic matter become active.  Nothing to worry about.  Ammonia is part of the smell, is a natural product of rotting down and is used to make high-nitrate fertilizer.   In fact, I've used it straight out of the bag mixed 50/50 with MPC to grow squashes and aubergines this year with no ill effects on the plants.

Yes, late autumn is good.

Unhappy grapevine!

Posted: 08/09/2016 at 01:00

That looks like typical powdery mildew damage with one clue being the split fruits.  Because you haven't regularly pruned the vine, it is growing too much foliage for the roots to support and therefore isn't getting enough water.  This, together with the overcrowded foliage which restricts the flow of air creates perfect conditions for powdery mildew to thrive.  Being in a pot is exasperating the situation.  It probably needs a good feed too.

I would cut it right back this winter and research pruning methods.  They are tough plants and will survive a severe hacking back as long as you do it well before growth starts in the spring, otherwise it will bleed to death. Late November is ideal.  Correct pruning is essential if you want a healthy vine and  lots of fruit.

Start with the RHS site for basic info.



Given the location against a wall, you should probably use the rod and spur pruning system:

I'm sure you will be able to nurse it back to health though. 

Last edited: 08 September 2016 01:05:16

Discussions started by BobTheGardener

Autumn foliage photos (2016)

Thought I'd start a thread just for our photos 
Replies: 18    Views: 339
Last Post: Yesterday at 16:06

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 
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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! 
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Last Post: 01/01/2016 at 22:01

Huge pest problem

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

Renovate or remove privet hedge?

Replace or cut back hard? 
Replies: 19    Views: 1864
Last Post: 20/09/2015 at 13:33


No real rain here for weeks 
Replies: 11    Views: 629
Last Post: 07/06/2015 at 18:41

Little Red Devils (Lily beetles)

They're about now! 
Replies: 1    Views: 654
Last Post: 06/04/2015 at 17:03

Christmas has come early

New trees 
Replies: 9    Views: 1264
Last Post: 19/12/2014 at 16:52

Anyone for squirrel crumble?

Thieving rodents 
Replies: 12    Views: 1053
Last Post: 27/11/2014 at 21:12

Plant ID quizzes

Have fun identifying plants! 
Replies: 16    Views: 1068
Last Post: 14/09/2014 at 13:17

Watering dried-out pots

Tip to help to stop water running straight through 
Replies: 13    Views: 1052
Last Post: 28/07/2014 at 12:28

Blackfly - ladybirds to the rescue!

Broad bean tip blackfly infestation 
Replies: 2    Views: 921
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: 746
Last Post: 05/07/2014 at 18:52
1 to 15 of 35 threads