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Latest posts by BobTheGardener


Posted: 14/06/2013 at 22:01

If the problem is cabbage root fly (for which bromophos was usually recommended), the methods now recommended are root collars (which you can make yourself) and/or covering the brassicas with enviromesh, which is what I prefer as it prevents cabbage root fly, cabbage white butterfly and the biggest pest (literally) in my area, bloomin great big fat woodpigeons!


Posted: 14/06/2013 at 19:05

Most of my clay stays quite damp and contains a lot of organic stuff added over the years.  I think they do need damp soil in general.


Posted: 14/06/2013 at 18:15

I have clay soil and the ones I grow from seed in compost only start growing well when planted out into the clay, so you might like to try something a bit heavier in the pots, like John Innes No3.  Like nutcutlet, I love breeding them and also weed out the muddy colours and small flowered ones before they get much chance to cross-pollinate with the 'keepers'.


Posted: 14/06/2013 at 18:00

Chris, I find they are extremely susceptible to glyphosate, so much so that I spray them in the winter and it kills them.  Unfortunately the seed stays viable for many years, so if they have ever seeded they'll be with you until the cows come home!

Geranium pratense 'Purple Haze'

Posted: 14/06/2013 at 17:55

I grew the same one from T&M a few years ago Andy, but can't remember what it looked like when very young.  The leaves do turn darker as the season progresses though - mine is looking dark green with a hint of dark purple at the moment and has just started flowering.  When self-seeded babies appear, only a few over the years have had purple leaves.  I think only one germinated from the original packet, so at least you are doing better than me on that score.


preserving heritage tomatoes

Posted: 13/06/2013 at 23:44

While tomatoes are largely self-fertilising, there is always a possibility of them cross-pollinating if grown close together.  Perhaps you could try growing one plant in a pot placed some distance away from the rest?  This year's fruit will come true to type regardless of any cross-pollination - it's the seed and next year's plants which could be hybrids.

I'm not sure I'd call "Peacevine" a heritage variety though.  As far as I've been able to find out, it was developed by Dr. Alan Kapuler who is still going strong I believe.  Interesting man from what I've read.

Laurel hedge

Posted: 13/06/2013 at 19:32

Semi-ripe is recommended by the RHS:

Laurel is easy to propagate from cuttings though, so providing you remove a lot of the leaf area from softwood cuttings and keep them out of direct sun to limit water loss, I think they'll likely take.

growing brassicas

Posted: 13/06/2013 at 19:26

I believe the main reason for firming the soil is to prevent wind-rock damaging the roots (particularly on tall brassicas like brussels and broccoli.)  If growing in naturally soft soil like compost etc, I would suggest that staking them might be a good alternative for those plants where it is possible (again, brussels and broccoli spring to mind - not sure how one would stake a cabbage!)

Pruning Cherry Tree

Posted: 13/06/2013 at 19:14

This is what I would do - others may differ!  Identify the leader (usually the highest vertically growing branch in the centre) and cut it back to the height you want, right above a weak-looking side shoot.  You want to do any pruning in early to mid summer as the tree will heal fastest at these times of the year and doing it at other times will invite nasty infections, such as Silver leaf or canker.  Once pruned, keep an eye out for 'water shoots', which are simply fast-growing vertical shoots.  Remove these as soon as you see them over the next few months.

Echinacea purpurea

Posted: 13/06/2013 at 18:57

Will do - as long as we get something resembling a summer, that is!

Discussions started by BobTheGardener

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Last Post: 30/06/2014 at 19:57
1 to 15 of 26 threads