Latest posts by BobTheGardener

something eating my broccoli

Posted: 07/02/2015 at 14:01

Pigeons, without a doubt.


Posted: 07/02/2015 at 13:59

There is a small colony of these growing on an east-facing bare soil bank (45 degree slope) underneath some very old Yew trees which I've been admiring on my walk to work each morning for the last couple of weeks.   Clearly they can grow anywhere if they are happy, but I was surprised to see them thriving in that spot!  The council use a leaf-blower to remove all fallen leaves from this bank every year, too.

Old Apple Tree

Posted: 06/02/2015 at 19:29

I agree with BL - tackle it over 2 or 3 years and don't take out too much in one go.  Watch for 'water shoots' which will appear after heavy pruning.  The RHS don't recommend treating tree cut wounds any more.  See their advice for renovative pruning of old apple and pear trees here:




Fertilzer Concentrations

Posted: 05/02/2015 at 23:12

The NPK values are the ratios to each other and nothing more.  It should really be written N:P:K but this forum will mess-up certain combinations of colons and numbers and display emoticons instead, so I'll use the dash below!

For example, a 10-6-4 will have 10 parts Nitrates, 6 parts Phosphates and 4 parts Potash.

So, for solid fertilizers, 100 grams of a 10-6-4 would have 50g Nitrates, 30g Phosphates and 20g Potash.

If supplied as a liquid, 1 litre of a 12-8-10 woulld have 400ml N, 267ml P and 333ml K.

Not sure if that helps, but there you go.

hawthorne and honeysuckle

Posted: 05/02/2015 at 18:30

Hawthorn can be tricky to root from cuttings (it is usually propagated from seed) but it can be done - I had a success rate of about 15% or so when I tried many years ago.


Posted: 01/02/2015 at 20:48

Just a tip, Victoria and everyone else:  You should not trust the colours you see on any website, ever.  From a technical viewpoint, I can assure you that there are simply too many variables and that you will NEVER see true colours on the web.  If you have more than one PC/laptop/i-thing, place them next to each other and you will also see that even those don't show the same colour on the same website!

no fruit on trees

Posted: 31/01/2015 at 12:22

As long asyou have at least two of each species (ie two varieties of apple, two pears etc) then they should pollinate each other if you have chosen compatible varieties (apples will only pollinate other apples etc.)  However, at 1000 feet above sea level, the problem is likely to be lack of pollinators at blossoming time.  Try hand-pollinating using a small, soft brush, like a make-up brush.  You will need to gently push it into as many flowers on one (say) apple tree before moving on to the other apple, then switch back to the first tree again and re-do it.  After that move on to the pears, then cherries etc.  It would be worth trying to encourage pollinating insects (especially native bees) to overwinter in your garden by creating 'bee hotels' (google that for ideas).  Having a pile or two made of short logs, branches and covered with leaves etc in sheltered corners of your garden is a natural way of creating such a habitat.  To get the pollinators to choose your garden to overwinter in, you will also need to grow as many species of 'pollinator friendly' flowers as you can throughout the year.  In general they don't like windy sites so surrounding your garden with hedges, shrubs etc will help create the right sort of micro-climate.


Posted: 29/01/2015 at 19:04

Worm casts are high in nutrients and very good for the grass, so it really should be growing rampantly.  Worms don't eat living plant tissue, so I suspect the real problem is that your lawn is being eaten from below by one of the common lawn pests, with leatherjackets (cranefly larvae) being the most likely.  Try treating it with nemasys leatherjacket killer if you prefer safe organic control, or a general lawn pest control product if you don't mind using pesticides.

Dreaded thrips

Posted: 28/01/2015 at 18:54

Jess, in response to your earlier query, yes, stop using SB before you introduce predators.  Hopefully the hard frosts we are having this winter will kill any overwintering thrips, eggs, larvae & pupae (did you know they have 6 different stages in their lifecycle?!)  If you had a bad infestation and are keeping any previously affected plants indoors now, I would seriously consider sacrificing them and starting afresh.  I was going to keep some chillies going this winter but decided the risk wasn't worth it.


Tree Lily Bulbs

Posted: 28/01/2015 at 18:42

I've had them from several of the well know suppliers (some were free) and all grew OK - about 4 foot the first year and 5-6' in subsequent years.  The only issue I've had is that there is more foliage to check for those bl**dy lily beetles!

Discussions started by BobTheGardener

Gardener's World about to start now!

Replies: 18    Views: 720
Last Post: 14/07/2016 at 16:55

Cutting ID

I thought these were philadelphus 
Replies: 3    Views: 267
Last Post: 11/07/2016 at 17:34


Hope it finds it's way home 
Replies: 3    Views: 394
Last Post: 26/04/2016 at 18:22

Vine weevils

..ate all of my winter carrots! 
Replies: 8    Views: 1222
Last Post: 01/01/2016 at 22:01

Huge pest problem

Don't think netting will work 
Replies: 10    Views: 872
Last Post: 19/12/2015 at 21:00

Renovate or remove privet hedge?

Replace or cut back hard? 
Replies: 19    Views: 1783
Last Post: 20/09/2015 at 13:33


No real rain here for weeks 
Replies: 11    Views: 614
Last Post: 07/06/2015 at 18:41

Little Red Devils (Lily beetles)

They're about now! 
Replies: 1    Views: 638
Last Post: 06/04/2015 at 17:03

Christmas has come early

New trees 
Replies: 9    Views: 1253
Last Post: 19/12/2014 at 16:52

Anyone for squirrel crumble?

Thieving rodents 
Replies: 12    Views: 1043
Last Post: 27/11/2014 at 21:12

Plant ID quizzes

Have fun identifying plants! 
Replies: 16    Views: 1043
Last Post: 14/09/2014 at 13:17

Watering dried-out pots

Tip to help to stop water running straight through 
Replies: 13    Views: 1029
Last Post: 28/07/2014 at 12:28

Blackfly - ladybirds to the rescue!

Broad bean tip blackfly infestation 
Replies: 2    Views: 889
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: 726
Last Post: 05/07/2014 at 18:52

Lovely surprise

I went down the garden in the gloom.. 
Replies: 15    Views: 1163
Last Post: 18/06/2014 at 14:32
1 to 15 of 34 threads