London (change)
Today 20°C / 13°C
Tomorrow 20°C / 14°C


Latest posts by BobTheGardener

Waterbut downpipes

Posted: 12/01/2013 at 16:45

If this:

isn't the right one, perhaps give them a ring - phone number is at the top of that page.

Stag Beetle Grubs?

Posted: 11/01/2013 at 21:56

If they are Rose Chafer, they are very beneficial as far as helping the composting process goes.

Stag Beetle Grubs?

Posted: 11/01/2013 at 19:41

Most likely Rose Chafer larvae, which are often found in compost heaps and are about 20mm long, which fits well with the 3/4 inch size quoted.  Stag beetle larvae are a fair bit bigger than that (up to 110mm, but usually about 50-80mm) and are usually only found in (or in the soil under) dead wood.

Can anyone help identity this plant?

Posted: 08/01/2013 at 18:50

If Agapanthus, as meganrose mentioned, they will have thick white hairy roots.  Probably not those though as most varieties lose their leaves in winter unless in a very sheltered spot.  If they are, they're more likely to start flowering in a pot though, so I agree with everyone else on taking that course of action (whatever they turn out to be!)

can you save seeds from cut flowers?

Posted: 06/01/2013 at 14:13

hi Tracyshed, Yes, I've done the very same thing in the past.  Growing petunias from seed can be slightly tricky as the seeds are so tiny and they need to be surface-sown and not covered by compost.  The normal recommendation is to prepare a seed tray and water it first, before sprinkling the seed evenly and finely over the surface, then (very gently) patting it down into the surface (with dry hands, so the seed doesn't stick to them!)  Best to start them in a propagator (set to 21-26C), or put the tray in a plastic bag on a light, warm windowsill until they germinate (they need light to germinate, which is why you don't cover them with compost.)  Prick them out into  individual small pots/modules when they have 2 or 3 leaves (that may be hard if you sowed too thickly!)  Good luck - you might save yourself a small fortune!

personal experience on composting

Posted: 05/01/2013 at 15:40

Hi Sam, There's a bit of a myth that composting is difficult, but it really isn't.  The simple trick is to turn it often, so it gets regularly mixed.  Doing that will ensure it breaks-down evenly and quickly.  It is hard work, but skimp doing it and it will take two or three times longer and will still have some uncomposted material in it.  It needs to be damp but not wet, so cover it to prevent rainfall making it all into a soggy mess.

In scientific terms, if it gets too wet and isn't turned, the 'good' air-loving (aerobic) bacteria which do the composting will die-off and be replaced with anaerobic (air-hating) types which operate much more slowly and are what make some compost heaps smell nasty. 

when to plant

Posted: 04/01/2013 at 18:14

And watch-out for Lily Beetle when they start growing.  My Madonna lilies are in the centre of a bed so hard to get to, and the little red devils love them, munching them to death if they get the chance!

When to prune zebra grass?

Posted: 04/01/2013 at 18:06

That's right, Berghill - grasses are one of the few plants which grow from the base of the leaf, so if you cut the tops of the new shoots off, they carry that damage all season.

Which sand for soil improvement?

Posted: 04/01/2013 at 01:15

Yes, a rough grade of sharp sand like that would be good and is the cheapest suitable stuff.  Just avoid 'builders sand', as that has rounded grains (it's basically graded beach sand) which won't help drainage much.

Thuja Plicata turned red

Posted: 04/01/2013 at 01:05

The base looks as though the bark had been damaged by something (could a mower or strimmer have stripped it?  Perhaps animal or fungal damage?)  I would cut the red (which is dead) top off, immediately above the green growth, which then has a better chance of taking over as the main stem, although it will probably always have an odd shape.

Discussions started by BobTheGardener

Watering dried-out pots

Tip to help to stop water running straight through 
Replies: 13    Views: 277
Last Post: 28/07/2014 at 12:28

Blackfly - ladybirds to the rescue!

Broad bean tip blackfly infestation 
Replies: 2    Views: 138
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: 127
Last Post: 05/07/2014 at 18:52

Lovely surprise

I went down the garden in the gloom.. 
Replies: 15    Views: 439
Last Post: 18/06/2014 at 14:32

Dragonfly/Darter/Mayfly ID?

Flew into the polytunnel for a while 
Replies: 6    Views: 247
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: 489
Last Post: 01/06/2014 at 17:42

Deep Down & Dirty: The Science of soil

Replies: 4    Views: 328
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: 396
Last Post: 22/04/2014 at 10:58

Seed grown Wisteria finally in flower - Hooray!

Planted many years ago 
Replies: 3    Views: 194
Last Post: 15/04/2014 at 12:39


Polytunnel growing 
Replies: 16    Views: 491
Last Post: 16/04/2014 at 19:05

First day of (meteorological) Spring

How id your garden looking 
Replies: 13    Views: 501
Last Post: 03/03/2014 at 20:31

DIY heated propagator

Making one from scratch 
Replies: 48    Views: 3531
Last Post: 30/06/2014 at 19:57

Cost of bird food

bulk vs supermarket 
Replies: 31    Views: 1447
Last Post: 10/02/2014 at 12:33

Wild Garden (Community Channel)

On Freeview/Sky 
Replies: 5    Views: 457
Last Post: 10/12/2013 at 12:21

Front garden revamp - before and after photos

Redsigning weedy crazy paving 
Replies: 24    Views: 1631
Last Post: 21/10/2013 at 20:16
1 to 15 of 23 threads