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BobTheGardener


Latest posts by BobTheGardener

Magnolia

Posted: 23/08/2014 at 14:29

Hi Linda, as above, you can plant them now - just keep up the regular watering.

Ill Apple Tree

Posted: 23/08/2014 at 14:27

Hi Rebekah, from the Orange Pippin Trees website:

"The main horticultural problem is that the fruit size can be on the small side, so a good session thinning the fruitlets at the end of May is usually called for."

So I think that's the answer with respect to small apples.

As for the new growth being curled up on apple trees, that is usually a sign of aphids and the solution for next year is to place a grease band around the trunk which will prevent ants climbing the tree and carrying the aphids around to all the new leaves (ants 'farm' aphids in this way and feed off of the honeydew they produce as waste when sucking the sap from the leaves.)  I use a thick band of Vaseline and since doing this I have had no aphid damage on my apple trees.

BTW, the variety name will likely be "Crimson Topaz" - originally from Czech Republic - not sure where Joanna comes in (maybe from the apple festival at Joanna Furnace in the US?"

 

Misshapen tomatoes

Posted: 22/08/2014 at 19:02

Is the 2nd photo supposed to be a Marzano, Patricia?  It's actually a Costoluto - did you get the labels mixed up like I often do?

That isn't BER on the 2nd one - that's just how Costaluto sometimes grow and I just slice that highly compressed bit off before cooking.  Some of the flowers are naturally malformed on that variety and the toms which develop from those have more of the compressed 'pleats' at the bottom.

Misshapen tomatoes

Posted: 22/08/2014 at 18:24

Those shapes are completely normal for those varieties Patricia.  David's is a little unusual (as well as funny)!

Non flowering Clematis

Posted: 22/08/2014 at 18:19

Do you know which varieties they are Jakesey?  The reason I ask is that many of them are in 'Group 2' and those (usually) flower only on one year old wood.  If you cut those types back to the ground in the Winter (or they die off completely on their own accord for some reason) then they won't produce flowers.  The other thing is feeding - if they get too much nitrate and not enough phosphate they can produce lots of leaves and no flowers, but that is quite unusual.

brown patches on broad beans

Posted: 21/08/2014 at 23:35

You can't really prevent it, but can minimize the chances of getting the fungus next year by not composting the dead plant material and not saving seeds from affected plants.  Like most fungi, chocolate spot likes damp humid conditions so plant your beans a bit further apart so plenty of air can circulate between them.

Caterpillar war

Posted: 21/08/2014 at 18:42

For next year, try butterfly netting which has smaller holes (7mm max.) and make sure there are no gaps or holes as the butterflies will find them!  They spend hours flying around mine trying to find a way in. 

Also don't plant young brassicas too close to the edge so the leaves will eventually touch the netting when they grow otherwise the butterflies simply lay through a hole.  The net must be held high enough so it doesn't touch the top leaves for the same reason.  Butterfly netting does work - not one caterpillar on mine this year.

turning air into soluble nitrate to feed garden??

Posted: 20/08/2014 at 23:02

The high temperature in lightning is necessary to form the Nitrogen ions - have a look here:

http://www.elmhurst.edu/~chm/onlcourse/chm110/outlines/nitrogencycle.html

 

 

turning air into soluble nitrate to feed garden??

Posted: 20/08/2014 at 22:17

You need actual lightning (ie a large spark) to split Nitrogen molecules (N2) into two separate atoms (N) as a lot of energy is required: N2 is very stable and unreactive until you split it by heating to several thousand degrees.  The single atoms of Nitrogen will then combine with nearby Oxygen molecules to form Nitrate (N03) and Nitrite (NO2) which dissolve in the rain to form weak Nitric acid.

A far more efficient method is used by plants which can fix Nitrogen directly from the air by using enzymes which are almost magical in their ability to do this using far, far, lower levels of energy.  We are talking thousands if not millions of times more efficient.

If you want to make your own Nitrates in the most efficient and ecologically friendly way possible, simply grow plants and stew them in cold water until they are broken down (again using enzymes) by naturally occurring bacteria.  Life has been perfecting these processes for billions of years and has become extremely efficient at it!

Red Hot Pokers

Posted: 20/08/2014 at 19:12

It has been an odd year for many things due to unusual temperature and rainfall patterns.  If we have a late warm spell you may still find they throw up flowers.  If not, a feed with fish, blood and bone next spring should see them right.

Discussions started by BobTheGardener

Plant ID quizzes

Have fun identifying plants! 
Replies: 16    Views: 372
Last Post: 14/09/2014 at 13:17

Watering dried-out pots

Tip to help to stop water running straight through 
Replies: 13    Views: 334
Last Post: 28/07/2014 at 12:28

Blackfly - ladybirds to the rescue!

Broad bean tip blackfly infestation 
Replies: 2    Views: 193
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: 181
Last Post: 05/07/2014 at 18:52

Lovely surprise

I went down the garden in the gloom.. 
Replies: 15    Views: 501
Last Post: 18/06/2014 at 14:32

Dragonfly/Darter/Mayfly ID?

Flew into the polytunnel for a while 
Replies: 6    Views: 311
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: 691
Last Post: 01/06/2014 at 17:42

Deep Down & Dirty: The Science of soil

Replies: 4    Views: 408
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: 481
Last Post: 22/04/2014 at 10:58

Seed grown Wisteria finally in flower - Hooray!

Planted many years ago 
Replies: 3    Views: 236
Last Post: 15/04/2014 at 12:39

Oops!

Polytunnel growing 
Replies: 16    Views: 541
Last Post: 16/04/2014 at 19:05

First day of (meteorological) Spring

How id your garden looking 
Replies: 13    Views: 557
Last Post: 03/03/2014 at 20:31

DIY heated propagator

Making one from scratch 
Replies: 48    Views: 4211
Last Post: 30/06/2014 at 19:57

Cost of bird food

bulk vs supermarket 
Replies: 31    Views: 1709
Last Post: 10/02/2014 at 12:33

Wild Garden (Community Channel)

On Freeview/Sky 
Replies: 5    Views: 511
Last Post: 10/12/2013 at 12:21
1 to 15 of 24 threads