Latest posts by BobTheGardener

lycanthrope infestation

Posted: 07/08/2014 at 19:30

They look like loose pieces of the outer bark which do flake off naturally.  However, if they have all appeared in a short space of time, I suspect a woodpecker or one of several other possible birds has been searching under any loose flakes for insects by levering them off.  There doesn't seem to be any damage.  

any tips

Posted: 06/08/2014 at 20:18

You must try one - easiest is roasting, just slice, a touch of seasoning and bung in the oven for 45 minutes or so - no proper cooking skills required and you won't believe how tasty they are!  If you like soup you can do exactly the same then liquidise them.

any tips

Posted: 06/08/2014 at 20:10

Too right bekkie!  Even my sharpest kitchen knife has a hard time slicing a mature squash in half - the rubber mallet often comes in handy to get it started!

What is this plant?

Posted: 06/08/2014 at 20:05

They look like tree seedlings, probably maple.

Got Big Courgettes. Recipes, please!

Posted: 06/08/2014 at 19:15
Steve 309 wrote (see)

Once courgettes have got to marrow size and developed thick, hard skins, they'll keep for ages as long as they're not damaged.  Someone I know keeps them all winter.  Cut them with plenty of stalk.

Fully agree Steve - I always have a few which become 'marrows' and they last for months once the skin has hardened.

Grape vine

Posted: 06/08/2014 at 00:46

Hi Dee, yes you can trim much of the tangle back now to regain access to your pergola but do the hard pruning in December.  The link to the RHS guide has changed slightly due to recent changes on their site:

Well worth a read.

Got Big Courgettes. Recipes, please!

Posted: 05/08/2014 at 19:06

Cut in half lengthways and stuff with a mixture of finely chopped tomatoes, garlic, herbs, black pepper, olive oil, bacon and cheese, topped-off with a sprinkling of breadcrumb/grated cheese mixture.  Bake for 30-40 minutes.  Delicious!  You can substitute any number of these ingredients but the cheese and bacon provide salt, otherwise you'll need to add some as oversize courgettes are pretty much tasteless, like marrows (to which they are closely related, so also google "marrow recipes".)

What's eating my magnolia?

Posted: 05/08/2014 at 00:33

If I'm not mistaken, you have captured the culprit in that last photo.  Here's a blow-up of what looks like a caterpillar on the leaf:

I has similar on one of mine and because it is still a small tree, carefully went over each leaf and picked them off.

Upside down pics

Posted: 04/08/2014 at 19:42

The technical explanation is that some devices add EXIF information to photos and that contains data on the photo's orientation (and possibly your name, address and location!)  Unfortunately not all software understands this information so some browsers show it the right way up, some don't.  The only guaranteed way to ensure everyone can see it the right way up is to open it in a photo editing application which allows you to remove the EXIF data.  Unfortunately there are so many devices out there that I can't provide a list of what to use which will work for everybody, but there are lots of free ways to do it, like this one:

Once the EXIF data has been stripped out, you might still have to rotate your picture if you took it with your i-Thing upside down, but once done it should stay done!


wood chips. Good or bad?

Posted: 04/08/2014 at 19:29

If you sprinkle some pelleted chicken manure into the bags, give them a good mix and dampen them, the woodchips will rot down much faster than if left to their own devices.  Make sure the bags have a few holes in the bottom so that any excess water can run out.

Discussions started by BobTheGardener

Plant ID quizzes

Have fun identifying plants! 
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Last Post: 14/09/2014 at 13:17

Watering dried-out pots

Tip to help to stop water running straight through 
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Blackfly - ladybirds to the rescue!

Broad bean tip blackfly infestation 
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Bob's guide to picking soft fruit

Only fto be read by your household's main gardener! 
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Lovely surprise

I went down the garden in the gloom.. 
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Dragonfly/Darter/Mayfly ID?

Flew into the polytunnel for a while 
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A week of rain = jungle garden!

It's been too wet to really do anything outside.. 
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Last Post: 01/06/2014 at 17:42

Deep Down & Dirty: The Science of soil

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Last Post: 24/04/2014 at 11:30

Check your delphiniums for caterpillars

Look for distorted and damaged leaves near the tips 
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Last Post: 22/04/2014 at 10:58

Seed grown Wisteria finally in flower - Hooray!

Planted many years ago 
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Last Post: 15/04/2014 at 12:39


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

First day of (meteorological) Spring

How id your garden looking 
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Last Post: 03/03/2014 at 20:31

DIY heated propagator

Making one from scratch 
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Last Post: 30/06/2014 at 19:57

Cost of bird food

bulk vs supermarket 
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Last Post: 10/02/2014 at 12:33

Wild Garden (Community Channel)

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