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Latest posts by BobTheGardener

2015, here we come!

Posted: 29/12/2014 at 14:38

Good luck Gemma, I always find this time of year exciting and cold, bright days like we're having at the moment are perfect to get some of the hard work done which keeps you nice and warm (as well as burning off any Christmas 'excesses'!)

The cold frame sounds like an excellent idea - I find mine indispensible and would give that a high priority!

2015, here we come!

Posted: 29/12/2014 at 13:39

Well, just bagged six 80 litre compost bags with my own stuff dug from the 'ready' heap, and lovely black crumbly stuff it is too!    Made mainly from shreddings with the addition of copious amounts of comfrey and, erm.. 'natural human liquid compost accelerator', an unbeatable combination!

That will give my plants a nice head start come spring.

When I came in to warm my hands and feet up, I found three seed catalogues had come through the letterbox, so that's the evenings sorted for the next few days.

Plum Codling Moth battle

Posted: 28/12/2014 at 22:23

I agree with Berghill.  Unfortunately, an insecticidal spray when the traps indicate Plum moth are active is the only thing which will seriously reduce fruit damage, but if you don't want to use insecticides you could try nematodes like "Nemasys Grow Your Own" which you spray on the branches, trunk and ground below (to kill pupae.)  The nematodes will kill caterpillars without poisoning other wildlife.

Victoria plum tree

Posted: 26/12/2014 at 18:05

I would also only use a John Innes No 3 for this.  Composts based on the No 3 formula are not only suitable for permanent container plantings but, because they are loam-based, are much heavier and will help to prevent the wind blowing the tree over.  That can be quite a problem for fruit-laden trees which are planted in pots.

Camera Corner

Posted: 26/12/2014 at 17:42

It's snowing here with very large flakes which have been caught nicely by the flash:

Christmas lights in the garden

Posted: 24/12/2014 at 19:26

This is my peach tree with blue LED lights - you can just about see the christmas tree inside, too:

 Merry Christmas everyone!

water butt

Posted: 24/12/2014 at 13:32

Nice one Alan.  It can get very dry for those of us in the East of the country - I'm sure you have noticed since moving from wettest Wales!


Posted: 24/12/2014 at 13:28

Actually I remember the Christmas smilies being more trouble than they were worth and long threads about them because some couldn't use them and later, some couldn't get rid of them!

Yes please Fairy - can I have a noisette (pretty please!)?


Posted: 24/12/2014 at 12:08

Same here in Leics Dove

Just off outside to plant a Magnolia which has spent a year in a large pot.

Hey, where are our forum Christmas smilies - I've only just noticed we don't have them this year!



Posted: 24/12/2014 at 11:59

They can be kept going if they like the conditions you give them over the winter but can be a bit finicky and usually some won't survive.  No harm in trying though.  When I've kept both peppers and chillies alive it was without leaves in a sort of dormant state - the stems remained green and any sections which turned brown from the tips were removed.  In the spring new stems start growing from the points where the old leaves had fallen (or had been removed) from.  I kept them in a room where temps were never outside the range of 10 to 20C (usually towards the lower end of that range) and didn't water them unless the compost was bone dry.  I know others keep them growing (with leaves) on a sunny windowsill but find I always and up overwintering aphids too when I try that!

Discussions started by BobTheGardener

Christmas has come early

New trees 
Replies: 9    Views: 780
Last Post: 19/12/2014 at 16:52

Anyone for squirrel crumble?

Thieving rodents 
Replies: 12    Views: 577
Last Post: 27/11/2014 at 21:12

Plant ID quizzes

Have fun identifying plants! 
Replies: 16    Views: 514
Last Post: 14/09/2014 at 13:17

Watering dried-out pots

Tip to help to stop water running straight through 
Replies: 13    Views: 453
Last Post: 28/07/2014 at 12:28

Blackfly - ladybirds to the rescue!

Broad bean tip blackfly infestation 
Replies: 2    Views: 317
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: 306
Last Post: 05/07/2014 at 18:52

Lovely surprise

I went down the garden in the gloom.. 
Replies: 15    Views: 609
Last Post: 18/06/2014 at 14:32

Dragonfly/Darter/Mayfly ID?

Flew into the polytunnel for a while 
Replies: 6    Views: 510
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: 953
Last Post: 01/06/2014 at 17:42

Deep Down & Dirty: The Science of soil

Replies: 4    Views: 582
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: 628
Last Post: 22/04/2014 at 10:58

Seed grown Wisteria finally in flower - Hooray!

Planted many years ago 
Replies: 3    Views: 347
Last Post: 15/04/2014 at 12:39


Polytunnel growing 
Replies: 16    Views: 649
Last Post: 16/04/2014 at 19:05

First day of (meteorological) Spring

How id your garden looking 
Replies: 13    Views: 700
Last Post: 03/03/2014 at 20:31

DIY heated propagator

Making one from scratch 
Replies: 48    Views: 7537
Last Post: 30/06/2014 at 19:57
1 to 15 of 26 threads