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Latest posts by BobTheGardener

Tidy or mulch?

Posted: 26/12/2013 at 15:02

Hi Karen,  I do pretty much the same as nut (happy Christmas nut, btw!)

The only leaves I do remove are from beneath the roses as mine suffer badly from black spot and as spores from this disease overwinter on the dead rose leaves under the bushes, I try and remove every last one of those.

When To Prune Clematis Japonica

Posted: 26/12/2013 at 14:39

Hi Ngcards, c.japonica is a group 1 so doesn't need any pruning.  All you need to do is remove any unwanted growth if it gets too large and you do this immediately after flowering so that the plant has time to grow new shoots before the leaves fall in late autumn.  Group 1 clematis flower only on wood which is one year old or more so of you ever need to cut it back hard you will lose flowers for a year.

Sow Some Veg Together - Confuse A Carrot Fly !!

Posted: 26/12/2013 at 14:31

What's your soil like, newboy2?  For carrots I add a *lot* of sharp sand as I garden on clay and it works well.  Carrots don't need a huge amount of food (unlike onions) so I just add a bit of FB&B like Verdun.  For clay soil, this method works well:

Dig a trench the width of a border fork (ie about 6") and about 10" deep, laying the soil at the side.  Sprinkle plenty of sharp sand on the removed soil so that it is about 50/50 soil and sand.  Mix well by raking over a few times, adding a couple of handfuls of FB&B.  Once mixed, rake back into the trench, firm a little and sow the seed, finally covering the seed with about 1/2" of the sand soil mix.  Any of the mix left over can be raked over the rest of the bed or removed and stored for later use with compost as a general potting mix.

A few years ago I saw a TV programme where a lighthouse keeper grew the most wonderful large carrots in the virtually pure sand of his little island.  All he used was a bit of composted seaweed mixed with the sand so they don't need that much fertiliser to grow well.  I think he was on one of the Scottish islands so the growing season must have been relatively short, too.

Sow Some Veg Together - Confuse A Carrot Fly !!

Posted: 24/12/2013 at 20:24

I've always grown alternating rows of onions and carrots and didn't have any problem with carrot fly for over 20 years until the last 2 or 3 when damage has appeared and steadily increased so it's barriers for me too next year.  Now they are present my normal crop rotation doesn't seem to help at all as the pupae overwinter in the soil so the emerging adults don't have very far to fly.  Lost 2/3rds or more of my crop this year to the little blighters.


Posted: 22/12/2013 at 15:07

Just moved 3 clematis which were climbing up a trellis that got blown over last week.  The two group 2's (Evison varieties) weren't doing very well there anyway so have potted them up into large pots with my best home-made compost for some tlc next season before I find them a better aspect.  The third was a Bill McKenzie which was rampant so has gone somewhere it can do it's thing without bullying anything else!

Being a bloke I've left all of the Christmas stuff until the last minute of course, so the next 2 days will be a bit hectic!

OH is going around her mums so will be on my own and cooking my own Christmas dinner - absolute bliss!  Inspected my Christmas veg this morning most of which is still in the ground.  Brussels look great, parsnips a bit small this year but big enough, 2 types of potato (for roast and 'new'), celeriac (going to try roasted),  savoy cabbage and a winter squash, also for roasting.  Yum!   Need a snack now - made myself hungry by typing that!

Badly explained help!

Posted: 19/12/2013 at 18:59
Sue Gough wrote (see)

I ordered some wallflowers online, said they came in a 2litre pot. Which indeed they did, plugs pushed into a pot of compost! From a very well known female TV gardener! Another con.


blairs wrote (see)
Sue Gough wrote (see)

I ordered some wallflowers online, said they came in a 2litre pot. Which indeed they did, plugs pushed into a pot of compost! From a very well known female TV gardener! Another con.

I had something similar. The plant was in a 1 litre pot and the roots where 9cm pot. It had fallen out and broke in transit because of it...

Most annoying!  Hope you've both added these suppliers to this thread!:



Posted: 19/12/2013 at 18:51

I do the same as Welshonion.  The section blanched white is a lot more more tender than the green part but it's all good to eat, whatever the colour!   Commercial soup makers use all of the leek for instance, but it is of course chopped into very small pieces so the coarseness of the top part of the oldest leaves isn't really noticed.


Posted: 19/12/2013 at 16:49

Inedible indoor decorative plants are the only things I use chemical sprays on, and as whitefly can be an absolute bu**er to deal with indoors, I would use a bug spray in this instance but would do the actual spraying outdoors.  That way the cloud of whitefly which will take off will not settle inside your house and find their way back to your plants.

Merry Christmas

Posted: 19/12/2013 at 16:40

Happy Christmas everyone!

Badly explained help!

Posted: 19/12/2013 at 16:38

In technical terms, the soil in the pots will radiate heat as infra-red radiation (heat) in all directions.  If a pot is surrounded by other pots, some of this heat will be absorbed by the other pots instead of being lost to the environment.  The effect of this is that (say) 10 pots clustered together will cool down more slowly than 10 pots spaced widely apart, so it is worth doing.

Discussions started by BobTheGardener


No real rain here for weeks 
Replies: 11    Views: 253
Last Post: 07/06/2015 at 18:41

Little Red Devils (Lily beetles)

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

Christmas has come early

New trees 
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Last Post: 19/12/2014 at 16:52

Anyone for squirrel crumble?

Thieving rodents 
Replies: 12    Views: 676
Last Post: 27/11/2014 at 21:12

Plant ID quizzes

Have fun identifying plants! 
Replies: 16    Views: 627
Last Post: 14/09/2014 at 13:17

Watering dried-out pots

Tip to help to stop water running straight through 
Replies: 13    Views: 593
Last Post: 28/07/2014 at 12:28

Blackfly - ladybirds to the rescue!

Broad bean tip blackfly infestation 
Replies: 2    Views: 464
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: 397
Last Post: 05/07/2014 at 18:52

Lovely surprise

I went down the garden in the gloom.. 
Replies: 15    Views: 712
Last Post: 18/06/2014 at 14:32

Dragonfly/Darter/Mayfly ID?

Flew into the polytunnel for a while 
Replies: 6    Views: 632
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: 1104
Last Post: 01/06/2014 at 17:42

Deep Down & Dirty: The Science of soil

Replies: 4    Views: 723
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: 1130
Last Post: 22/04/2014 at 10:58

Seed grown Wisteria finally in flower - Hooray!

Planted many years ago 
Replies: 3    Views: 436
Last Post: 15/04/2014 at 12:39


Polytunnel growing 
Replies: 16    Views: 764
Last Post: 16/04/2014 at 19:05
1 to 15 of 28 threads