London (change)
Today 15°C / 14°C
Tomorrow 16°C / 8°C


Latest posts by BobTheGardener

The jungle in my garden needs to go.

Posted: 13/05/2013 at 19:49

Looks like it's overrun by brambles, a very tough thing to deal with.  You can either cut them back to about a foot long, then completely dig out the roots, or use a very strong weedkiller, like SBK Brushwood Killer.  I'd advise the latter unless you have a few weeks to spare to properly dig everything out.

Weed Identification

Posted: 13/05/2013 at 19:07

If the ones with the rounded leaves are slightly furry, they could be foxgloves.

outdoor tomato planting

Posted: 13/05/2013 at 19:03

Yeah, it's particularly tricky this year, Bf!  I delayed sowing seeds until Good Friday this year but they're now ready to go into their final planting positions.  I have a cold greenhouse but it's still getting too cold at night to put them in there really.  It got down to 3.2C the other night, which is low enough to have checked their growth.

One good thing about keeping them in small pots for a while yet is that they will likely start to produce flowers - in fact I just looked and some of mine are showing the beginnings of flower clusters.  They will soon romp away once finally planted.

Honeysuckle leaves brown &shrivelled

Posted: 11/05/2013 at 19:14

Do the brown/back spots have yellow rings around them?

Clematis problem

Posted: 11/05/2013 at 19:06

This is not unusual for newly planted clematis, especially if the plants were originally bought in small pots/large plugs.  The thing to remember with all new clematis (of any group) is to cut them back to about a foot (30cm) from the ground early in spring (usually end of Feb or early Mar), the year after planting.  That will encourage them to bush out and send up new shoots from below ground.  As others have said, it's always best to plant them 4-6" (10-15cm) deeper than the original soil level in the pot to encourage them to develop a 'root crown', from which they can send up more shoots.  It also protects the roots of large flowered varieties from being killed if they get clematis wilt.

outdoor tomato planting

Posted: 11/05/2013 at 18:51

Wait until temperatures at night are guaranteed to not fall below 10C, so probably the end of May or early June.  Ideally you want them well developed before putting outside - say a foot (30cm) or so.  They will benefit from some protection from wind and rain if you can manage it and definitely need to be placed somewhere which gets full sun in order to do well.  Not that many varieties are really suitable for outdoors in the UK though - what type are you growing?

The daftest thing you've done in your garden

Posted: 11/05/2013 at 09:22

When I first moved here there was a fairly attractive (single) plant which I thought the previous owner had grown, so left it to see what it was.  Lovely tall purple flower spikes followed so I collected seed and spread it around a bit.

I've been pulling-up examples of my self-induced purple toadflax invasion from my borders for the last 30 years.

transplanting wild bluebells

Posted: 10/05/2013 at 23:57

Hi Ray, it's illegal to dig up wild flowers so I wouldn't advise it.  However, you can collect seed and they will eventually flower but it might take a few years.

What to grow in pots?

Posted: 10/05/2013 at 00:29

Those size pots will be fine for tomatoes or strawberries.  The smaller the pot, the more you will have to keep an eye on watering, but they are certainly big enough for one plant per pot.  If you buy strawberry plants which are already growing well in smaller pots (garden centres often have these) they will bear some fruit this year but it's too late to plant bare-root strawberries.  Similarly, look for young tomato plants which are already about 15-20cm tall.  Both will need feeding (liquid tomato feed is good for both) about once a fortnight, but don't start feeding until the flowers appear.  Strawberries can be kept in the same pot for about 3 years with the best crop coming in the second year.  If growing tomatoes outdoors, they will need some protection from the cold nights we are having in the UK at the moment (eg bring indoors or cover with fleece each night.)

Propagating and Growing Bilberries

Posted: 09/05/2013 at 22:44

I have a couple of young bilberry plants I bought last year in large containers of ericaceous compost and which look to be doing well.  I understand their crop is per plant considerably less than a similarly sized blueberry plant, so will be trying to propagate more from cuttings.  Bilberry seeds need cold stratification and may take a long time to germinate, so don't give up if nothing appears.  I'd be tempted to sow them in a mixture of your acid soil and lime-free compost and then leave in a cold frame until something happens.  Some good info here:

Discussions started by BobTheGardener

Plant ID quizzes

Have fun identifying plants! 
Replies: 16    Views: 369
Last Post: 14/09/2014 at 13:17

Watering dried-out pots

Tip to help to stop water running straight through 
Replies: 13    Views: 333
Last Post: 28/07/2014 at 12:28

Blackfly - ladybirds to the rescue!

Broad bean tip blackfly infestation 
Replies: 2    Views: 191
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: 180
Last Post: 05/07/2014 at 18:52

Lovely surprise

I went down the garden in the gloom.. 
Replies: 15    Views: 499
Last Post: 18/06/2014 at 14:32

Dragonfly/Darter/Mayfly ID?

Flew into the polytunnel for a while 
Replies: 6    Views: 309
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: 675
Last Post: 01/06/2014 at 17:42

Deep Down & Dirty: The Science of soil

Replies: 4    Views: 406
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: 479
Last Post: 22/04/2014 at 10:58

Seed grown Wisteria finally in flower - Hooray!

Planted many years ago 
Replies: 3    Views: 234
Last Post: 15/04/2014 at 12:39


Polytunnel growing 
Replies: 16    Views: 540
Last Post: 16/04/2014 at 19:05

First day of (meteorological) Spring

How id your garden looking 
Replies: 13    Views: 555
Last Post: 03/03/2014 at 20:31

DIY heated propagator

Making one from scratch 
Replies: 48    Views: 4202
Last Post: 30/06/2014 at 19:57

Cost of bird food

bulk vs supermarket 
Replies: 31    Views: 1706
Last Post: 10/02/2014 at 12:33

Wild Garden (Community Channel)

On Freeview/Sky 
Replies: 5    Views: 510
Last Post: 10/12/2013 at 12:21
1 to 15 of 24 threads