Latest posts by BobTheGardener

Please help me identify

Posted: 23/10/2014 at 18:38

I'd keep the 2nd/3rd one (same shrub?) until it flowers as it might be something nice but it's a bit difficult to ID at the moment.

Fruit bushes and trees

Posted: 23/10/2014 at 01:05

 Hi nikki, the best time for both of those things is when the bushes and trees have dropped their leaves and are dormant.  This is usually from about November to February, which is also the time frame in which suppliers deliver bare-root fruit trees.  Trees sold in pots can be planted at any time of the year though.  In either case, avoid doing anything if the ground is frozen or waterlogged.

What type of fruit bushes are you going to move?  Some things are easier than others and we may give different advice depending on what they are.

What are these?

Posted: 22/10/2014 at 18:50

On the 2nd photo, the two brown things on the top flower are simply the pollen-bearing parts (anthers) which have shrivelled and fallen off of the stamens.

Tomatoes - End of season

Posted: 21/10/2014 at 00:47

Cut the vines off leaving about 3-4 inches of stem above the soil (ie enough to grasp) and after a few weeks you'll be able to easily pull most of the root-ball out.  The smaller roots in the soil will soon rot away completely.  I have soil borders in my greenhouse and do this every year.  I also replace the top few inches with multi-purpose compost annually as the tomatoes will have used up most of the nutrients in it.

Potatoes - diff varieties problems

Posted: 20/10/2014 at 18:40

Google "slug resistant potatoes uk" then see which ones are available locally.  For me (heavy clay infested with keel slugs), Kestrel are hardly touched.  Some advice from the RHS including both susceptible and resistant varieties (scroll down to 'potatoes and slugs'):


Growing lettuce in winter

Posted: 20/10/2014 at 18:23

Perhaps surprisingly some lettuce are quite hardy.  They do grow much more slowly as it gets colder and you usually grow 'cut and come again' types over the winter.  I'd leave them in the greenhouse.  With a bit of luck you'll get useable amounts of leaves from them if you just remove the leaves as you need them and treat them like the aforementioned types.  I've grown cos types which have actually frozen in the GH but amazingly thawed and didn't die!

When spring comes (if they are still alive), they will just go to seed so you can't keep them for next year per se.

Grease bands for new cherry trees?

Posted: 19/10/2014 at 14:47

As you will be fan training them, ants will have many more ways to get onto the trees to do their 'aphid farming' than just by climbing up the trunks, so it's probably not worth using grease bands.  I would just keep an eye on them (particularly the growing tips) and treat any aphid attacks on the young leaves as and when you find them.

If you are fan training using free-standing posts and wire rather than against a fence or wall then a grease band on both the trunks and each post might be worth considering.

Tomatoes Indoors for next year

Posted: 18/10/2014 at 13:57

No for the tomatoes and maybe for the chillies.  Chillies are perennial but don't always survive over the winter indoors; it depends on exactly what the indoor conditions they experience are.

New small pond for frogs/toads

Posted: 18/10/2014 at 10:11

With a slug population that large I think your idea of using nematodes is a good one.  Those are completely natural and exist in small numbers in the soil anyway.  Perhaps your garden has low numbers of natural slug predators in general, so it's worth trying all of the suggestions here.  Frogs and toads are not a panacea against slugs but they will eat a few of the smaller ones each night so a pond can only help.  For snails you do need to try and attract thrushes and hedgehogs.

over wintering fuschias

Posted: 17/10/2014 at 20:08

The answer to that is "hardly at all".  Dormant plants are easily killed by a combination of overwatering and cold when they may survive the cold alone.  Once the leaves have fallen and the plant is dormant, the compost only needs to be barely moist.  I'm a great believer in the 'finger test':  Poke a finger into the compost and as long as it feels slightly damp about an inch down then no water is necessary.  The top inch can be completely dry with no ill effects.

Discussions started by BobTheGardener

Gardener's World about to start now!

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Cutting ID

I thought these were philadelphus 
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Hope it finds it's way home 
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..ate all of my winter carrots! 
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No real rain here for weeks 
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Little Red Devils (Lily beetles)

They're about now! 
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Christmas has come early

New trees 
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Anyone for squirrel crumble?

Thieving rodents 
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Plant ID quizzes

Have fun identifying plants! 
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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.. 
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Last Post: 18/06/2014 at 14:32
1 to 15 of 34 threads