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Latest posts by BobTheGardener

Trillium seedlings

Posted: 29/03/2013 at 15:01

Hi Marina,  I've not grown them myself, but the info regarding propagation from seed on the RHS site looks as though it will be very useful.  Seems plenty of patience needed with these:

"Trillium seed has double dormancy. Sown immediately after harvest, the seed will germinate the following spring, after a period of chilling, to produce a root. Another cycle of warmth and chilling is then necessary for a shoot to emerge the second year. After a further two or three years the characteristic three leaves form. Flowering may occur a year or two later."

TIPS ........

Posted: 29/03/2013 at 14:52

Here's one some might find useful: Make fine grade vermiculite from standard.

My GC had run out of the fine grade vermiculite I use for covering some seeds, so I tried making my own from standard coarse stuff using a food processor (the type with very rapidily spinning blades, often used to blitz pesto etc.)  Pics below:


It took just 2 to 3 seconds!


What eats onion sets?

Posted: 28/03/2013 at 18:12

I think rodents will eat almost anything if they are hungry enough, Derek, and it's been a looong Winter!


Posted: 28/03/2013 at 18:08

Have a look at the workwear section at the screwfix site to see the sort of things available, Fairygirl.  I'm not sure the womens trousers there have kneepads, but I'm sure you could find a pair of the mens which would fit though - waist sizes go from 28" to 48"!

What eats onion sets?

Posted: 28/03/2013 at 17:47

Yep, sounds like mice, rats or blummin squirrels, Leggi.


Posted: 28/03/2013 at 17:44

Yep, my 'gardening boots' like you, Brumbull (I bought steel toecap work boots as they are VAT free ) and a pair of Dickies 'builders' trousers with replaceable padded knee inserts (invaluable!) and lots and lots of pockets.

missing fuchsia

Posted: 28/03/2013 at 17:36

There is an online image of it at, but that's about the only thing google turns up.  What occasionally happens in the plant retail world is that a particular variety is given a different name by a retailer when they sell it, if (for example) they are pricing it at below the minimum that the breeder (and owner of the original name) wants it to be sold at.  Something like that may have happened in this case.  You might therefore find a genetically identical fuchsia currently available but under a different name.  The trouble is there are thousands of fuchsias so finding it by searching the web for images may take some time!  If it was indeed sold under a different name, they might have used something similar (eg there seems to be a variety called crackerjack) which may help to narrow down the search.  Good luck in your quest, PG!

Talkback: House sparrows

Posted: 28/03/2013 at 16:46

What I like about sparrows most is when I see them flitting around my plants, clreaning them of aphids!  For some reason they don't like blackfly though, so still have to keep an eye on the broad beans and dahlias, which the blackfly seem to prefer.  Had a host of around 50 house sparrows in 2011, but a sparrowhawk started to regularly appear and was down to about 20 last year.  The most I've seen visiting my feeders at any one time this winter/spring was about 8, but hopefully numbers will rise agin once the breeding season starts.

Best dwarf pear or apple?

Posted: 27/03/2013 at 19:49

Patience is very much a virtue when it comes to growing fruit trees, Jess!

That is particularly true for bare-root trees and even if they do crop in the first year after planting, you should remove the fruit as soon as it forms as it is vital that the roots get established first.  However, if you are really impatient and want fruit this year, you could buy a 3 or 4 year old tree which has been grown all of it's life in a pot (if you can afford it - they come at a premium!)

canker in Rowan tree

Posted: 27/03/2013 at 19:39

It might be tricky growing any kind of tree in the same position as a felled tree of that age, as trees tend to deplete the soil around them.  If you have removed the roots as far as possible (eg having them ground out) and replace a lot of the soil in the area, you may be ok.

As far as the canker disease goes, you should avoid planting any of the Rosaceae family, which includes a lot of trees and shrubs, including Rowan.  See the wiki entry for Rosaceae and avoid anything mentioned in it:

Some kind of Birch, Beech or Oak would probably be ok. 

Discussions started by BobTheGardener

Watering dried-out pots

Tip to help to stop water running straight through 
Replies: 13    Views: 280
Last Post: 28/07/2014 at 12:28

Blackfly - ladybirds to the rescue!

Broad bean tip blackfly infestation 
Replies: 2    Views: 143
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: 131
Last Post: 05/07/2014 at 18:52

Lovely surprise

I went down the garden in the gloom.. 
Replies: 15    Views: 443
Last Post: 18/06/2014 at 14:32

Dragonfly/Darter/Mayfly ID?

Flew into the polytunnel for a while 
Replies: 6    Views: 253
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: 491
Last Post: 01/06/2014 at 17:42

Deep Down & Dirty: The Science of soil

Replies: 4    Views: 332
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: 404
Last Post: 22/04/2014 at 10:58

Seed grown Wisteria finally in flower - Hooray!

Planted many years ago 
Replies: 3    Views: 195
Last Post: 15/04/2014 at 12:39


Polytunnel growing 
Replies: 16    Views: 493
Last Post: 16/04/2014 at 19:05

First day of (meteorological) Spring

How id your garden looking 
Replies: 13    Views: 504
Last Post: 03/03/2014 at 20:31

DIY heated propagator

Making one from scratch 
Replies: 48    Views: 3571
Last Post: 30/06/2014 at 19:57

Cost of bird food

bulk vs supermarket 
Replies: 31    Views: 1467
Last Post: 10/02/2014 at 12:33

Wild Garden (Community Channel)

On Freeview/Sky 
Replies: 5    Views: 460
Last Post: 10/12/2013 at 12:21

Front garden revamp - before and after photos

Redsigning weedy crazy paving 
Replies: 24    Views: 1637
Last Post: 21/10/2013 at 20:16
1 to 15 of 23 threads