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Latest posts by BobTheGardener


Posted: 01/10/2013 at 18:44

Typical kitchen vegetable waste will break down really quickly - even in days with the right kit, but normally a few weeks at most.  Some kitchen composters need an activator but can compost things other than just veg waste and some trap any smells which may arise so can be kept indoors.  Try a google for "kitchen composter" - there are a lot of options around these days.

Zinc planter

Posted: 01/10/2013 at 01:02

Hi Stephanie, it's a bit technical but black zinc coating is not corrosion resistant and needs to be protected with a sealant layer, so your planters should have been first zinc plated then treated with a black passivate, then coated with a protective sealant.  It sounds like the sealant layer either wasn't used or has failed and I think you should pursue the company as either they weren't sealed (so not fit for purpose as unsealed black passivate is only suitable for indoors) or something has gone wrong with the sealant layer.  Read more here:


When to Prune?

Posted: 30/09/2013 at 19:05

Hi Mary, the RHS young apple tree pruning advice is here:

If yours has fruited, it's likely a 3 year old tree so maybe this is more apt:

Basically you prune in the Winter to promote branch growth.  Summer pruning (and it's too late for that now) is for increasing fruit yield and to restrict growth.



Good Evening FORKERS

Posted: 28/09/2013 at 19:16

Had two tonne bags of chipped blue slate delivered this morning so have been busy spreading it on the drive and raised-bed surrounds of my re-vamped front garden - before and after pics tomorrow, when it's done.

In between the bouts of heavy labour I potted on two dozen wallflower cuttings which were taken a few weeks ago, did some cosmos and dahlia dead-heading and cut back a few dead annuals (only those without seeds - anything bird-friendly I usually leave until Spring.)  Managed to grab a few cupfuls of hazlenuts before the squirrels got them, too - they must be eating other stuff or have forgotten about my tree - I usually get left about 3!  It's already covered in tiny catkins and should look amazing in late Winter.  All in all a very enjoyable day.  Plus the forum back working!  

exploding pumpkin

Posted: 28/09/2013 at 18:30

For most things, any cool, dry frost-free place out of direct sunlight is usually best.

First Allotment winter

Posted: 28/09/2013 at 18:29

Connie, remove all the perennial weeds - dandelions, field buttercup etc and hoe the rest down before they seed (if they haven't already.)  If you aren't sure which weeds you have, post a few photos and we'll ID them for you.

exploding pumpkin

Posted: 28/09/2013 at 18:24

It could have been slightly damaged (eg tiny insect hole) and infected by a yeast spore - the warm windowsill would effectively make it start fermenting inside and when the pressure got too great - bang!  Same as a bottle of wine will if fermentation hadn't stopped and it was bottled too early (that happened to me - elderberry wine stains still visible in the garage after 20 years!)

What's the star in your garden right now

Posted: 28/09/2013 at 13:24

I must remember to grow some asters next year after seeing those happymarion!  I have plenty of Michaelmas daisies coming out now but I do love the larger flowered ones.  I grew Purple Tower (if I remember the name correctly - can't seem to find seeds now, only Pink Tower) from seed a few years back and they were stunning - strong healthy plants with large, double, violet flowers.



Posted: 28/09/2013 at 11:09

If the garden centre is out of squirrels, jays and pigs, a garden vac might be worth a try.   Most of them can be also be switched to blow mode so you get a leaf-blower for free. 

Runners on new strawberry plants

Posted: 28/09/2013 at 11:02

Thirded!  I find Honeoye are one of the varieties which you need to keep an eye on as far as nipping-out runners is concerned as they seem to keep producing them for most of the year.  Just had a look at my strawberry raised beds and it looks like I need to get some vine weevil predators watered in fast while the weather holds - quite a few leaves showing typical damage from adults - notches eaten out of leaf edges..

Discussions started by BobTheGardener

Little Red Devils (Lily beetles)

They're about now! 
Replies: 1    Views: 177
Last Post: 06/04/2015 at 17:03

Christmas has come early

New trees 
Replies: 9    Views: 814
Last Post: 19/12/2014 at 16:52

Anyone for squirrel crumble?

Thieving rodents 
Replies: 12    Views: 609
Last Post: 27/11/2014 at 21:12

Plant ID quizzes

Have fun identifying plants! 
Replies: 16    Views: 552
Last Post: 14/09/2014 at 13:17

Watering dried-out pots

Tip to help to stop water running straight through 
Replies: 13    Views: 503
Last Post: 28/07/2014 at 12:28

Blackfly - ladybirds to the rescue!

Broad bean tip blackfly infestation 
Replies: 2    Views: 358
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: 332
Last Post: 05/07/2014 at 18:52

Lovely surprise

I went down the garden in the gloom.. 
Replies: 15    Views: 642
Last Post: 18/06/2014 at 14:32

Dragonfly/Darter/Mayfly ID?

Flew into the polytunnel for a while 
Replies: 6    Views: 554
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: 1005
Last Post: 01/06/2014 at 17:42

Deep Down & Dirty: The Science of soil

Replies: 4    Views: 623
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: 769
Last Post: 22/04/2014 at 10:58

Seed grown Wisteria finally in flower - Hooray!

Planted many years ago 
Replies: 3    Views: 371
Last Post: 15/04/2014 at 12:39


Polytunnel growing 
Replies: 16    Views: 696
Last Post: 16/04/2014 at 19:05

First day of (meteorological) Spring

How id your garden looking 
Replies: 13    Views: 740
Last Post: 03/03/2014 at 20:31
1 to 15 of 27 threads