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Latest posts by BobTheGardener

Autumn Bliss raspberries

Posted: 12/07/2015 at 22:37

Polka have large tasty fruit which are quite firm and last a long time on the canes.  It was bred from Autumn Bliss, so has a similar taste.  There are a lot fewer spines on the canes too, a definite plus when it comes to picking time.

Potatoes that turn to mush when cooked

Posted: 12/07/2015 at 22:31

Oldigger, I have a perennial keeled slug problem so have tried a lot of varieties over the years and can recommend Kestrel for both slug resistance and flavour.  I always grow at least two rows of those and they hardly get any slug damage.  Another one that has few slug problems is Sarpo Mira which also shows good blight resistance.  Both are worth trying for anyone who gets a lot of slug damage.

Autumn Bliss raspberries

Posted: 12/07/2015 at 22:15

It's bad luck really - there may even have been pupae in the soil around the roots that they came with.  There are images of the beetle on this page:

If you want to try a different autumn fruiting variety, I and several others on the forum highly recommend Polka which have huge crops and are very reliable.

Autumn Bliss raspberries

Posted: 12/07/2015 at 21:54

Autumn fruiting rasperries like Autumn Bliss should be cut back to the ground in February.  If you don't cut the canes down the old canes will produce a crop at this time of the year but the normal late summer crop will be much reduced or will be absent.  The maggots will be those of the raspberry beetle which lays its eggs in about May and when they are fully fed they drop into the soil and pupate ready to start the cycle again.

To get rid of the beetles you need to break this cycle.  Although it means losing this years crop (which, if they are maggoty I shouldn't think you will miss too much!) I would cut off all fruit and flowers now and throw them in the dustbin.  This will also get the plants back on their normal cropping cycle as long as you remember to cut all of the canes back to the ground next February.

What is causing the petals to fall off my Dahlias!!

Posted: 12/07/2015 at 11:17

Dahlia flowers don't last long which is why they aren't usually available as cut flowers in florists.  Make sure you cut the seed head off soon after the petals drop to encourage more flowers.

The mind boggles

Posted: 12/07/2015 at 11:12

The correct answer is to eat what is in season and not expect to have (say) french beans on your plate all the year round.  Most home grown produce can be frozen and although this takes electricity, it is far more efficient than flying in french beans from Kenya.

A flowering yukka??

Posted: 12/07/2015 at 10:58

They do take a few years before they start flowering but will then produce flowers in most subsequent years.  Occasionally they may not produce any which will be down to the weather.


Posted: 11/07/2015 at 09:48

I agree with scroggin and will add that they are probably the hardest 'ordinary' veg to grow well for gardeners.  Planting them deep (right up to the lowest leaves) and firming the soil well around the roots when planting helps.  I think they prefer heavy soils, so clay would be best and light sandy soils are probably going to lead to disappointment.

Plant DNA

Posted: 11/07/2015 at 09:26

Interestingly, research has now shown that genetic variation can occur within a single tree:

Just to throw a spanner in the works!  Fascinating stuff.

Tulips in a Mixed Border

Posted: 11/07/2015 at 09:18

To give them the best chance of coming back, plant them deep (8" = 20cm) if you leave them in the ground.  

Discussions started by BobTheGardener


No real rain here for weeks 
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They're about now! 
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Christmas has come early

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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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Last Post: 05/07/2014 at 18:52

Lovely surprise

I went down the garden in the gloom.. 
Replies: 15    Views: 714
Last Post: 18/06/2014 at 14:32

Dragonfly/Darter/Mayfly ID?

Flew into the polytunnel for a while 
Replies: 6    Views: 636
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: 1107
Last Post: 01/06/2014 at 17:42

Deep Down & Dirty: The Science of soil

Replies: 4    Views: 728
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 
Replies: 16    Views: 769
Last Post: 16/04/2014 at 19:05
1 to 15 of 28 threads