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Latest posts by BobTheGardener

Best way to i.d this plant?

Posted: 24/01/2014 at 00:00

I agree - your OH may change her mind once she sees the flowers and may only want it cutting back.  It's always best to wait a full year when you move to somewhere with an established garden so you can get to see the full range of plants. 

Folk here love identifying things from photo's and are very good at it so fire away!

improving heavy clay soil

Posted: 23/01/2014 at 23:01

For drainage you want to dig the grit in as deep as you can really to at least a foot and the more the better - even up to 50% in really heavy clay - a mere sprinkling will have no effect.  For the manure it depends on what fruit you'll be growing but many fruit plants have relatively shallow 'surface feeding' roots, so the manure doesn't need to be dug in so far and can even just be spread on the surface after improving the drainage - the worms will take it down into the soil over time.  Google "no dig gardening" for more on that technique.

Rosemary hedging

Posted: 23/01/2014 at 22:46

Hi Eve, I don't see why not unless your soil gets waterlogged as rosemary won't like that at all.  Take cuttings in summer when your father's bush is growing lots of new healthy shoots.  Here's how to root them:


improving heavy clay soil

Posted: 23/01/2014 at 22:34

Yes, grit, sharp sand and any kind of organic matter will help improve heavy clay.  However, herbs don't need much in the way of fertilizer and they have a more concentrated flavour when grown in poorer soil so put most of the farmyard manure in the end where you'll be growing the fruit which will really benefit from it.  Clay is naturally very fertile anyway so will provide everything the herbs need as long as you really improve the drainage - many are Mediterranean plants which naturally grow on poor stony soils on slopes etc. so good drainage is essential. 

Strawberry Plants

Posted: 23/01/2014 at 20:48

The usual reason given for starting afresh after 4 or so years is that viruses build up in the plants which reduces their vigour.  If that were the case I can't see why the viruses wouldn't also affect runners but that's what I've always read.

Strawberry sticks

Posted: 23/01/2014 at 20:23

Rings a bell nut now you mention it - I grew chenopodium 'strawberry sticks' from T&M seeds about 10-15 years ago.  Can't say they tasted much of anything and haven't grown them since.  Maybe it's me, but those, tomatillos and cape gooseberries just seemed very bland compared to more traditional fruits.

Strawberry sticks

Posted: 23/01/2014 at 20:17

Ah, but the 'sweet tobacco' was yummy - shredded coconut coated with cocoa and brown sugar I think!

Talkback: How to make a comfrey feed

Posted: 23/01/2014 at 18:47

Hi Anthony, yes.  The more nettles you use, the higher the nitrogen content will be though so not quite so good for fruit but better for leafy things like brassicas.



Posted: 23/01/2014 at 18:39

I grew them about 5 years ago in a cold greenhouse where they grew in pretty much the same way as tomatoes.  I didn't particularly like them though and found them to be a bit like unripe cape gooseberries (which I also didn't like much when I grew those) so won't be bothering with either of those again.

Fertilising the Veg Garden

Posted: 23/01/2014 at 00:10

Heheh - of course - les meilleurs vin of the garden liquid feed world!

Discussions started by BobTheGardener

Renovate or remove privet hedge?

Replace or cut back hard? 
Replies: 19    Views: 496
Last Post: 20/09/2015 at 13:33


No real rain here for weeks 
Replies: 11    Views: 290
Last Post: 07/06/2015 at 18:41

Little Red Devils (Lily beetles)

They're about now! 
Replies: 1    Views: 319
Last Post: 06/04/2015 at 17:03

Christmas has come early

New trees 
Replies: 9    Views: 922
Last Post: 19/12/2014 at 16:52

Anyone for squirrel crumble?

Thieving rodents 
Replies: 12    Views: 703
Last Post: 27/11/2014 at 21:12

Plant ID quizzes

Have fun identifying plants! 
Replies: 16    Views: 652
Last Post: 14/09/2014 at 13:17

Watering dried-out pots

Tip to help to stop water running straight through 
Replies: 13    Views: 624
Last Post: 28/07/2014 at 12:28

Blackfly - ladybirds to the rescue!

Broad bean tip blackfly infestation 
Replies: 2    Views: 491
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: 429
Last Post: 05/07/2014 at 18:52

Lovely surprise

I went down the garden in the gloom.. 
Replies: 15    Views: 751
Last Post: 18/06/2014 at 14:32

Dragonfly/Darter/Mayfly ID?

Flew into the polytunnel for a while 
Replies: 6    Views: 662
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: 1136
Last Post: 01/06/2014 at 17:42

Deep Down & Dirty: The Science of soil

Replies: 4    Views: 770
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: 1214
Last Post: 22/04/2014 at 10:58

Seed grown Wisteria finally in flower - Hooray!

Planted many years ago 
Replies: 3    Views: 464
Last Post: 15/04/2014 at 12:39
1 to 15 of 29 threads